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To yancek: the problem is there's a subtle but significant difference: I'm not using Mint, I'm using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition), which is not derived from Ubuntu (which I ...
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  1. #11
    Just Joined! HisDudeness's Avatar
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    To yancek: the problem is there's a subtle but significant difference: I'm not using Mint, I'm using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition), which is not derived from Ubuntu (which I friendly and respectfully hate), but directly from Debian Testing, and so is similar and comparable (and, they say, 100% compatible) with Debian, but not with Ubuntu.

    The content of my DVD iso (which means of my /dev/sdb2 too after having extracted the image in it) is:

    casper/ → filesystem.manifest, filesystem.manifest-desktop, filesystem.size, filesystem.squashfs, initrd.lz, vmlinuz
    isolinux/ → boot.cat, isolinux.bin, isolinux.cfg, memtest, splash.jpg, vesamenu.c32
    md5sum.txt
    (with → I put down the folder's content. Obviously right now there's also boot/grub/ folder, but just 'cause I ran grub-install).

    The content of my grub.cfg is:

    Code:
    set timeout=10
    set default=0
    
    menuentry "LMDE"{
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 84708c15-b490-4ec4-8399-1b8d2edc92ee
    linux /casper/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    initrd /casper/initrd.lz
    }
    
    menuentry "Memtest 86+" {
     linux16 /isolinux/memtest
    }
    The problem is it doesn't recognise "casper", I tried other combinations, and it turned out that much probably after "boot=" it awaits a function in boot/grub/.

    So I also tried this:

    Code:
    menuentry "LMDE"{
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root=(hd0,5)
          linux /casper/vmlinuz boot=live config union=aufs noswap noprompt ip=frommedia live-media-path=/casper bootfrom=/dev/sda5 toram=filesystem.squashfs
          initrd /casper/initrd.lz
    }
    It loads kernel, initrd and everything, but does not boot. After 6 seconds of the usual initial outputs it tells me, without the usual [seconds.microseconds passed]before, "running /scripts/live-premount... done." Then, three times "modprobe: module unknown not found in modules.dep" and one time the same with module swap, and it freezes for a minute. After that, it drops to a debug shell and gives module i8042 atkbd errors, and every 60 seconds it keeps on disconneting and reconnecting my USB-connected mouse, for ever and ever. The debug shell details (error type, name and initial message) are:

    unable to find a media containing a live file system
    BusyBox v.1.19.3 (Debian 1:1.19.3-5) built-in shell (ash)
    /bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
    By the way, is there a way to save the whole boot log?
    Last edited by HisDudeness; 02-20-2013 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Miswrote number

  2. #12
    Just Joined! HisDudeness's Avatar
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    To atreyu: thanks a lot! I remember when automatically burning the iso to my USB with unetbooting it installed syslinux to boot it, so that's the only way I was ever able to boot into my live system. I wanted to use grub just for a reason of habit, uniformity and very partial familiarity. If it wasn't for GParted live giving instructions for GRUB and booting with success, by now I'd think GRUB was not able to load squashfs! If I fail to set up my GRUB and decide to boot everything with syslinux like LMDE Live would do on its own, your info will be very useful, thanks for that!

    By the way, is there a way to make grub and syslinux live together on the same drive while being able to choose between the two? You know, like installing them both and chainloading one with the other, is it a good idea? And who gets automatically loaded first of the two, does it depends on the MBR? Can this be switched over and over without problems, and if yes, how?
    Last edited by HisDudeness; 02-20-2013 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Syntactical mistake

  3. #13
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    I don't know if these are typos but, in the first menu entry you posted you do not have a parenthesis on the set root line on the left. I assume you also change the msdos5 to the correct partition. I'm not sure after reading your post if you have one or two partitions and if you have two, where the casper file is and if you have a separate boot partition?

    I found a Mint13 DVD and extracted the files and put a similar entry in the / of an Ubuntu partition and tried to boot. Had a black screen for about two minutes and then the same error, unable to find live filesystem. Also tried installing Grub to a flash drive and then extracting the files there and creating a grub.cfg file with the same negative results.

    I don't know why Mint fails and other distros work. I've used this method to boot systems from both Grub Legacy and Grub2 before.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HisDudeness View Post
    By the way, is there a way to make grub and syslinux live together on the same drive while being able to choose between the two? You know, like installing them both and chainloading one with the other
    I've never tried that but I've certainly read about others doing it. and yes, a simple chainloader command was the trick.

    is it a good idea?
    if you get it to work, and it is the only way you can get your usb disk to work universally on all systems, where you can't get just one bootloader to work, then I'd say hell yeah!

    And who gets automatically loaded first of the two, does it depends on the MBR? Can this be switched over and over without problems, and if yes, how?
    it is a combination of your BIOS and the MBR. Your BIOS is in control of disk boot order, but once you get past that, then the MBR of the first bootable disk is examined. Failing that, it would go to the next disk in the BIOS boot order. Actually, it might look first at any partition marked bootable on that disk before moving to the next disk, not sure about that.

    So in theory, you could have bootloaders on multiple partitions and your bootload du jour in the MBR. Then configure your MBR bootloader config file to chainload the other bootloaders on the other partitions. That's the theory, anyway. Hardware and bootloader limitations can get in the way.

    As to switching it over repeatedly, I've never had a problem re-installing bootloaders to disks dozens of times, during experimentation.

  5. #15
    Just Joined! HisDudeness's Avatar
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    To yancek: yeah, sorry man. For sloth I just copied and pasted here directly your message, when I put that entry in grub.cfg I added the parenthesis, and msdos5 is already my correct partition as I'm using logical ones. I have everything in an unique partition (I'm gonna have more of them, but just for different live distros/tools, Mint Debian is all just in one). The content I posted in the previous post is about the whole content of just one partition, so my casper folder is in the root directory of /dev/sdb5. But using a Mint13 DVD will give you some wrong references, as I'm using LMDE 201204 which is different, as it's based on Debian testing. http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=99 is my DVD (posted the 32-bit version as I don't know your hardware, you may wish to use the http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=100 eventually.

    I don't know, the only one I can boot with grub right now is GParted, and I don't know why. Basically, I should just load the kernel, the initial ramdisk and mount the live filesystem into the RAM, or am I wrong? So, once I can boot one of them (GParted) I don't understand why shouldn't I be able to boot all the others. I still don't get which instruction does load the squashfs filesystem.

    But, if I can actually boot all the others with grub, that might be just a LMDE problem, and I could post into Linux Mint forum. Still don't know...

  6. #16
    Just Joined! HisDudeness's Avatar
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    To atreyu: so, if I can get to work some with syslinux and some others with grub, another solution would be an hybrid chainloading setup. Just the last thing I need to this: what are the specific commands I need to put syslinux and grub to MBR?

    To put grub into the MBR I guess this will do:

    Code:
    sudo grub-install --force --no-floppy --root-directory=/where/the/partition/is/mounted /dev/devicecode
    But will this start everything over from scratch? I mean, will this override all my modifications and settings with default ones?

    And how do I correctly install syslinux, let's say, to /dev/sdb5 mounted in /media/LMDE? Will this do?

    Code:
    sudo syslinux -d /media/LMDE/boot/syslinux -i /dev/sdb5
    Or is there a better way to set the default one, let's say like having the MBR image for each one of the two bootloaders and dd-ing the one I want into the first sectors of my pen drive?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HisDudeness View Post
    To put grub into the MBR I guess this will do:

    Code:
    sudo grub-install --force --no-floppy --root-directory=/where/the/partition/is/mounted /dev/devicecode
    But will this start everything over from scratch? I mean, will this override all my modifications and settings with default ones?
    Do you mean will it overwrite your grub config file(s)? No, those should be fine. I just did a grub-install on a disk, and it only wants to overwrite all the *stage* files and update the device.map file.

    Also, it is worth noting that my grub-install failed with this error:
    Code:
    Error 6: Mismatched or corrupt version of stage1/stage2
    I was able to get around that one by just installing grub via the shell, e.g.:
    Code:
    # grub
    grub> device (hd0) /dev/sdc
    grub> root (hd0,0)
    grub> quit
    #
    And how do I correctly install syslinux, let's say, to /dev/sdb5 mounted in /media/LMDE? Will this do?

    Code:
    sudo syslinux -d /media/LMDE/boot/syslinux -i /dev/sdb5
    I would do it something like this (assuming I've already formatted the 2nd partition on my USB disk, which is sdc, with vfat, and marked the partition type as W95 FAT32):
    Code:
    syslinux -i /dev/sdc2
    then install a boot loader into the MBR:
    Code:
    dd conv=notrunc bs=440 count=1 if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdc
    (the mbr.bin file should come w/your copy of syslinux)
    then set the 2nd partition to be the active one:
    Code:
     parted /dev/sdc set 2 boot on
    More on this here.

    Or is there a better way to set the default one, let's say like having the MBR image for each one of the two bootloaders and dd-ing the one I want into the first sectors of my pen drive?
    as you can see, they work a little differently. if you are determined to use both bootloaders, then if i were you, i'd try booting grub from syslinux (never tried this, but looks interesting). Booting syslinux from grub does not appear promising (w/out a patch), though.

  8. #18
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    I think your problem is specific to recent versions of Linux Mint. I found some posts at their forums a few days ago specifically relating to the problems you are having and some of the posts referred specifically to LMDE although the problem wasn't exclusive to LMDE but to the initrd.lz file. I did a quick google as I was going to post a link but couldn't find it. Will post it later if/when I find it.

    The Mint entry I gave in post #5 booted a remastered version of Mint13 which created a new initrd in the remastering process. I was able to boot it using the loopback method as well as extracted to the / of sda5 with the entry below:

    Code:
    menuentry "Mint Remastered extracted iso" {
            insmod part_msdos
            set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
            linux /casper/vmlinuz boot=casper file=/cdrom/preseed/custom.seed quiet splash --
            initrd /casper/initrd.gz
    }
    Using the same entry as above with the original Mint iso Failed with the errors you reported. There was a solution of sorts, fairly complex but I can't seem to find the link.

  9. #19
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    I downloaded the following versions of LMDE, Clonezilla and GParted to check them out:

    clonezilla-live-20121217-quantal.iso; gparted-live-0.14.1-6-i486.iso; linuxmint-201303-cinnamon-dvd-32bit-rc.iso
    I was able to get them to boot. Found the grub.cfg entry for LMDE on the Mint forums and the Clonezilla entry on its site and the GParted entry on its site. First installed Grub to the mbr then copied the Mint iso to sdb1, the extracted Clonezilla files to sdb1 and the extracted GParted files to a gparted directory in the / of sdb1. The grub.cfg entries which worked are below:

    menuentry "Clonezilla" {
    set root=(hd0,1)
    linux /live-hd/vmlinuz boot=live live-config noswap nolocales edd=on nomodeset ocs_live_run=\"ocs-live-general\" ocs_live_extra_param=\"\" ocs_live_keymap=\"\" ocs_live_batch=\"no\" ocs_lang=\"\" ip=frommedia nosplash live-media-path=/live-hd bootfrom=/dev/sdb1 toram=filesystem.squashfs
    initrd /live-hd/initrd.img
    }

    menuentry "LMDE iso" {
    loopback loop (hd0,1)/linuxmint-201303-cinnamon-dvd-32bit-rc.iso
    linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz isofrom=/dev/disk/by-uuid/ABDD-9194/linuxmint-201303-cinnamon-dvd-32bit-rc.iso boot=live live-media-path=/casper
    initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
    }
    menuentry " GParted" {
    search --set -f /gparted/live/vmlinuz
    linux /gparted/live/vmlinuz boot=live config union-aufs nowswap noprompt ip=frommedia live-media-path=/gparted/live bootfrom=/dev/sdb1 toram=filesystem.squashfs
    initrd /gparted/live/initrd.img

    }
    The only changes which need to be made are if it is not on sdb1 in gparted, the (hd0,1) and uuid entries in LMDE, and the (hd0,1) and sdb1 for Clonezilla. This worked on the specific iso files listed above, don't know if they will work on others.

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