openSUSE on bootable USB

Is openSUSE 11.2 any better booting from USB? I tried using USB before, only to find out you have to do some trickery to get it to work.

This would be a helpful feature because my laptop, and lots of netbooks, don’t have DVD drives even if they have an optical drive.

I’ve been forced to use LiveCDs, which are fine for trying it out but if I am going to install I am beginning to think I will want to pick-and-choose instead of going with the LiveCD defaults.

It’ darn quick, that’s for sure.

Get live cd, I renamed mine to make it simpler (to image.iso)

then do:

dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M;sync


Change sdb so as to match your usb device and make sure the device has a boot flag

dragonbite wrote:
> Is openSUSE 11.2 any better booting from USB? I tried using USB before,
> only to find out you have to do some trickery to get it to work.

which OSs do you boot from USB, with no “trickery”? (Windows? OSX?
which Linux distros?)

> I’ve been forced to use LiveCDs, which are fine for trying it out but
> if I am going to install I am beginning to think I will want to
> pick-and-choose instead of going with the LiveCD defaults.

so, don’t just accept the defaults…during the install from a live cd
you have full access to all packages and environments available (if
you are connected to the internet) on the DVD, or in all the various
openSUSE repos…


palladium

Twas some kernel item that had to be changed in order for a computer to boot up to openSUSE on a USB stick.

I’ve used UNetbootin to install Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS and other distributions. It handles making the USB bootable as well.

So what you are saying is that a LiveCD can also be used as a Netinstaller for openSUSE? I can, theoretically, during the installation choose Rythmbox and not Banshee, gNote instead of Tomboy, and include other apps like Komopzer, Cheese, etc. without having to first install the base system and then remove/add what I want?

I’ve gone through Netinstallers but those are a pain because everything has to come down the pipe. If I could do a Netinstall using a LiveCD, but the kernel, Yast, Gnome, etc. comes from the CD and everything “different” comes from the Net then that would be awesome!

Ok, I got some information! In a nutshell, the answer is “Yes”, with 11.2 openSUSE can now run alright from a USB Stick. I’m posting my findings here in case somebody else has the same question.

The Solution can be found here: Live USB stick - openSUSE

First off, to validate that older versions of openSUSE did not work very well off USB Sticks without “trickery”

openSUSE 11.1 and earlier
Other than Ubuntu- and Fedora-type systems, the initrd on SUSE-type live CDs is not directly suitable for booting from a USB stick. The openSUSE system image creator, KIWI, can produce initrd files for Live USB media, however. These differ e.g., in the linuxrc script and in the supplied kernel modules.

Basically, to install the LiveCD ISO onto a USB Stick you type (and this can be done with any Linux system I am assuming)

dd if=*openSUSE-11.2-KDE4-LiveCD-i686.iso* of=/dev/*sdX* bs=4M;sync

Where

  • “dd” is the command (disk duplicate?) which is more thurough than just copying because it includes bootup points and hidden pieces that copy misses. Most Linux, possibly Unix too, based systems include or can include the “dd” command*]the “if=” (input file) points to the ISO file downloaded*]the “of=” (output file) points to the location of the USB stick, which needs to be unmounted
    *]“bs=4M;sync” is probably the block size and some other parameters I don’t know.

The page also goes into installing it via Windows, from a running openSUSE installation and adding a partition.

Just for the record…

Instead of “install” a live-CD in your usb-stick, you could try a normal installation… I have a OpenSUSE 11.2 running on my 100G USB HD and it works faster than the Vista installed in the laptop’s hard drive (I know, I know, it is not very difficult :P)

The only “trick” is the Grub installation. Check that you are loading GRUB in th MBR of the USB disk, not in the MBR of the laptop’s hard drive…

Bye!

Your method mades the USB stick the OS like any hard drive. I’m trying for a bootable install session where I can pick-and-choose which applications from everything located on the DVD.

The OS being on the USB stick is pretty fun though. I wish I could have gotten VMWare on my work laptop to boot from the USB so I could have my Linux installation running side-by-side with my work installation (without installing any non-official software ;)) Too late now anyway, I don’t have that VMWare on here anymore.

UPDATE: I just tried Unetbootin to install openSUSE 11.2 (Gnome) onto my USB and it didn’t work. When I chose to boot from USB drive it left me at a boot prompt.

So I went back to the system I ran Unetbootin and grabbed the code from this thread. It took a little while, but it worked!

Now, I want to find a large enough USB drive to download and install the DVD version for installing.

make any iso image file and write it into cd.