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  #1  
Old 17th March 2009, 02:16 AM
EvilRobotDrew Offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 13
How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

read my post, in it's original form on my friend's blog at http://informationinsecurity.com/

This tutorial will guide you through making a USB rescue drive, booting Grub4DOS, and loading Backtrack 3, Damn Small Linux, Belgian Federal Computer Crime Linux, Free DOS, Samurai Linux, Ultimate Boot CD, Ubuntu 8.04, and Darik's Boot and Nuke. You will need a computer able to boot from USB, a computer running Linux (can be the same computer), a large thumb drive (I used a Kingston 16Gb DataTraveller), 2 blank cds, and a lot of time. Follow the steps below, all of them except installing Grub4DOS are optional.

Grub4dos
1. Download Grub4DOS <http://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos>
2. Open GParted, and create 2 partitions.
Partition 1 needs to be a primary partition, formatted as FAT32, I made mine 7Gb. this will be where we install Grub4DOS, and being the first partition on the thumb drive will be read by windows as file storage. be sure to label it something you will remember, like "boot", or "first".
Partition 2 needs to be an extended partition. This will contain the logical partitions we need to make for the other Operating systems. no formatting or logical partitions are necessary right now.
3. Install Grub <http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p15.htm#How_to_add_Grub_to_your_USB_thumb_drive>
I don't know if it is necessary, but I installed GRUB first. If your bootloader is something other than GRUB, you can try either skipping this step, or doing a quick google search. Using Terminal type "sudo grub-install /dev/(THUMB)" where THUMB is the root of your thumb drive (sdb, not sdb1). Then type "sudo grub" to drop into the GRUB prompt. At the grub prompt, enter the command "root (hdX,Y)" where X is the hard drive number (startng the count at 0, ex. i have 3 Hard drives, after plugging in the thumb drive grub sees 4, so the thumbdrive will be (hd3)), Y is the partition number, it will be )for the first partition on the thumdrive. After successfully entering the root command, we have to setup the drive, "setup (hdX)" and quit grub with "quit". Then copy the contents of your /boot folder onto the drive with "sudo cp -ax /boot /media/(LABEL OF YOUR FIRST PARTITION)" and finally make these files editable by your current user "sudo chmod 777 /media/(LABEL OF YOUR FIRST PARTITION)/boot"
4. Install Grub4DOS
Unzip " grub4dos-0.4.3 " and copy grldr, bootlace.com, and menu.lst onto the first partition of your thumb drive. Navigate to this partition in terminal and run "sudo ./bootlace.com /dev/(THUMB)" where THUMB is the root of your thumb drive (sdb, not sdb1).
5. Reboot
Boot with the thumbdrive, you will see the Menu.lst that came with Grub4DOS.

Backtrack3

1. Download Backtrack 3 USB Version (Extended) < http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack_download.html>
2. Make a partition for Backtrack on the Thumbdrive. Make it FAT16, 800Gb large, and label it something you will remember.
3. Using Archive manager, extract the .ISO onto the new partition you made for Backtrack.
4. Edit menu.lst, on the root of your boot partition,and add the following entry

title Backtrack 3 (KDE)
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw autoexec=xconf;kdm
initrd /boot/initrd.gz

*NOTE* make sure that "root (hd0,4)" points to the partition on your disk that contains Backtrack

Damn Small Linux

1. Download Damn Small Linux dsl-4.4.10-embedded.zip < ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/damnsmall/current/>
2. Make a partition for DSL on the Thumbdrive. Make it FAT16, 100mb large, and label it something you will remember.
3. Using Archive manager, extract the .ISO onto the new partition you made for DSL.
4. Edit menu.lst, on the root of your boot partition, and add the following entry
title Damn Small Linux
root (hd0,5)
kernel /linux24
initrd /minirt24.gz

*NOTE* make sure that "root (hd0,5)" points to the partition on your disk that contains DSL

Belgan Federal Computer Crime Linux

1. Download FCCU 12.0 <http://www.securitydistro.com/security-distros/40/FCCU/downloads>
2. Make a partition for FCCU on the Thumbdrive. Make it FAT16, 600mb large, and label it something you will remember.
3. Using Archive manager, extract the .ISO onto the new partition you made for FCCU.
4. Edit menu.lst, on the root of your boot partition, and add the following entry
title FCCU Linux
root (hd0,6)
kernel /live/vmlinuz1 boot=live keyb=be noswap username=fccu hostname=fcculive union=aufs
initrd /live/initrd1.img

*NOTE* make sure that "root (hd0,6)" points to the partition on your disk that contains FCCU

FreeDOS

1. Download FreeDOS fdbasecd.iso < http://www.freedos.org/freedos/files/>
2. Make a partition for FreeDOS on the Thumbdrive. Make it FAT16, 62mb large, and label it something you will remember.
3. Copy the .ISO onto the new partition you made for FreeDOS. DON'T EXTRACT IT!
4. Edit menu.lst, on the root of your boot partition, and add the following entry

title Free DOS
find --set-root /fdbasecd.iso
map -mem /fdbasecd.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
root (0xFF)
map --mem /isolinux/data/fdboot.img (fd0)
map --rehook
chainloader (fd0)+1
rootnoverify (fd0)

*NOTE* this should work on any disk that has fdbase.iso on the root of a partition

Samurai Linux

1. Download Samurai Linux <http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=235785>
Samurai and Ubuntu both need to be installed live to the USB, they will be persistent. Create a partition that is at least 3 Gb, label it something you will remember. You can also create a separate /home partition for it now. it should be at least 1Gb, and formatted as ext3.
2. Burn the ISO you just downloaded onto a CD, boot from that CD, plug in your USB stick, and use the Samurai installer to install it to the partition you made. If you decided you want a separate /home partition be sure to have the installer mount the partition as /home
DO NOT LET SAMURAI INSTALL A BOOT LOADER! If you do let Samurai install GRUB, you will not only make your USB disk unbootable, but also your COMPUTER!
3. After installation, edit menu.lst on the root of your boot partition, and add the following

title Samurai Web Testing
root (hd0,10)
kernel /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-23-generic root=UUID=2106-5051 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-23-generic

*NOTE* make sure that "root (hd0,10)" points to the partition on your disk that contains Samurai, be sure to change the UUID to the UUID of your Samurai partition.

Ultimate Boot CD

1. Download UBCD 5 beta 12 <http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/Ultimate-Boot-CD.shtml>
2. Create a partition for UBCD, at least 300mb, formatted as FAT16.
3. Add the following to menu.lst

title Ultimate Boot CD
root (hd0,11)
configfile /ubcd/menus/grub4dos/main.lst

*NOTE* (hd0,11) needs to be changed to reflect your UBCD partition.

Ubuntu 8.04

1. Download Ubuntu (can be any flavor you prefer, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.) <http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download>
Samurai and Ubuntu both need to be installed live to the USB, they will be persistent. Create a partition that is at least 3 Gb, label it something you will remember. You can also create a separate /home partition for it now. it should be at least 1Gb, and formatted as ext3.
2. Burn the ISO you just downloaded onto a CD, boot from that CD, plug in your USB stick, and use the ubuntu installer to install it to the partition you made. If you decided you want a seperate /home partition be sure to have the installer mount the partition as /home
DO NOT LET UBUNTU INSTALL A BOOTLOADER! If you do let Samurai install GRUB, you will not only make your USB disk unbootable, but also your COMPUTER!
3. After installation, edit menu.lst on the root of your boot partition, and add the following

title Start Ubuntu 8.04 in Graphical Mode
root (hd0,12)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-23-generic root=UUID=75332b78-071b-4a02-9562-31895d90f52a ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-23-generic

*NOTE* make sure that "root (hd0,10)" points to the partition on your disk that contains Samurai, be sure to change the UUID to the UUID of your Samurai partition.

Boot and Nuke
1. Download Boot and Nuke <http://www.dban.org/download>
2. Put the .ISO into your boot partition, follow the folder names below.
3. Add the following to menu.lst

title Boot and Nuke
map (hd0,0)/boot/floppy/dban.IMA (fd0)
map --hook
chainloader (fd0)+1
rootnoverify (fd0)

Now you should have a "Super Multi-Boot USB" you can add more bootable images, or live OSes. Please post a reply to this post if you get anything else working on this setup, or encounter any difficulties.

Last edited by EvilRobotDrew; 17th March 2009 at 02:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old 17th March 2009, 09:36 PM
bigtux Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 41
nice really a good tutorial thanx guy

Linux Archive

Last edited by bigtux; 25th March 2009 at 01:40 PM.
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  #3  
Old 18th March 2009, 07:49 PM
EvilRobotDrew Offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 13
np, it was my pleasure.

and my pleasure I mean aggravating enough that I don't want others to go through this rigmarole.
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  #4  
Old 14th May 2009, 10:08 AM
sabnext Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
I’ve made One-Size-Fits-All USB Multi-boot Flash Drive
with JUST ONE FAT32 partition and simple folders for all installed systems
using nice instruction http://realwindfall.blogspot.com/200...oot-flash.html.

Now I have:
  • Mini-Xp from Hiren’s boot CD
  • Knoppix
  • Puppy Linux
  • DOS (Yes!)
on my OCZ Raly 2 USB flash drive (32 Gb).
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  #5  
Old 20th July 2010, 05:20 AM
sundar_ima Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 8
linuxubuntufirefox
Re: How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

Have a look at automated script using grub2.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/multibootusb/files/

Forum thread is here...
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  #6  
Old 4th June 2011, 02:57 PM
sundar_ima Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 8
linuxfirefox
Re: How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

I have ported MultiBootUSB to fedora. Tested it on fedora 15 and works fine. You can download the latest script from here
http://sourceforge.net/projects/multibootusb/files/
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  #7  
Old 22nd March 2012, 11:13 AM
nmg49 Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posts: 3
linuxopera
Re: How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I've searched the internetz for hours and this is the clearest one I have found. Theres just one thing I don't understand. Why are you using Grub4Dos as opposed to just installing grub on the flash drive? Isn't there a way to do this without using a windows executable?

One addition note. I tried to install grub onto my flash drive as you described above. When I typed "sudo grub-install /dev/sdb" I get back "sudo: grub-install: command not found". Why does this not work? I'm using Fedora 16.

Thank you so much.
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  #8  
Old 23rd March 2012, 11:37 AM
linoseros Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Belgium
Posts: 13
linuxchrome
Re: How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

Thank you for this howto it's well done
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  #9  
Old 27th February 2013, 02:55 PM
Valent Offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Age: 36
Posts: 340
linuxchrome
Re: How to: make a multi-boot USB drive

I have finally found a script that actually works booting Fedora 18 iso from usb:
http://git.marmotte.net/git/glim/plain/fedora18-fromiso

Details are here:
http://git.marmotte.net/git/glim/plain/README

Cheers,
Valent.
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