Boot Diskettes, Bootable USB Keys and Live CDs

Boot Diskettes, Bootable USB Keys and Live CDs

5 Pages · 2005 · 159 KB · English

Boot Diskettes, Bootable USB Keys and Live CDs Iowa State University Office ofAcademic Information Technologies Sooner or later it will happen: a Linux machine

Boot Diskettes, Bootable USB Keys and Live CDs free download


B ootD iskettes,B ootable U S B K eys and Live C D s IowaStateUniversity OfficeofAcademicInformationTechnologies Soonerorlateritwillhappen:aLinuxmachine willrefusetoboot,andallofyourfileswillbe lost...orwillthey? W iththerighttools,youcan repairtheproblem and/orcopythefilestoa networkedmachineevenwhenitwon'tstart.For thispurposeweusevariousformsofbootable removable?disk?,includingfloppies,CDsandthe new USB memorydisks.Thesetoolsarenotonly goodfordisasterrecovery,they'llletyouhavea Linuxdesktopanywhereyoucanbootadisk,and aregreatforshowingothershow coolLinuxcan be. EarlierversionsofRedHataskedifyouwanted tomakeabootdiskette.Ifyourharddisk'sboot loaderoritsconfigurationfilesgetdamaged,you canstillstartLinuxbybootingfrom akernelon thebootdiskette.Itwillthenmounttheharddisk andusethesystem filesontheharddisktogetthe restoftheway.From thereyoucancheckthe grub.conforlilo.conffile,redothebootloader,and withluckeverythingwillbeOK.Unfortunately, unlessyoucompileacustom kernelwithlotsof "useless"modulesleftout,Linuxwon'tfitona 1.44M B floppyanymore.(IfyouhaveanIBM witha2.88M B floppydriveoraregoodat compilingcustom kernels,youcanstillusethis.) Ifyou'rereally,reallyingeniousyoucangeta minimally-usefulLinuxdistributiononafloppy disk(ormoreoften,acoupleofdisks).Thiswill giveyouenoughtoolstostartupthemachine,run fsckontheharddisk,andcheckconfigurationfiles tomakesurethingsarestillOK.Besurebefore yourunfsckthatthedistributionsupportsthefile system onyourharddisk;olderfloppydistros don'talwayssupportext3,andwillthinkthedisk isadamagedext2drive.Runningfsckunderthose circumstanceswillmakesurethere'ssomething wrongwiththedisk(eveniftherewasn'tbefore...) B oot D iskettes,B ootable U S B K eys an d L ive C D s Used when the com putercan'tstartfor som e reason,asa diagnostic,repair and recovery tool. ?Bootdiskettes ?Floppy-based Linuxdistributions ?Bootable businesscards ?USB keydisks ?LiveCD distros B oot diskette ●CreatedduringRedHatinstallation,orlaterusing thecommands fdformat /dev/fd0 /sbin/mkbootdisk kernel where?kernel?isthenameofthekernel?letobe used ●Startsmachinefrom kernelondiskette,usesother OS?lesfrom harddrive ●StockLinux2.6kernelswon't?ton1.44MB ?oppies F loppy-based distributions ●SmallLinuxdistributionsdesignedtoboot andrunfrom oneormorefloppydisks ●Usedforrecoverywhentheharddiskis unbootableand/orthesystem filesare corrupted ●Usuallyverybasictoolsets;checktomake sureyourharddisk'sfilesystem andyour favoritetexteditoraresupported(problem forext3disks) ●Canusuallyrunfsck,makeanetwork connection,copyfilestoaserver,edit configurationfiles BootDisksandCDs Page2 FloppydistrosworkjustlikeabigLinux,except thatyou'llbestuckwithatextconsole,andmany ofthecommandswillhavefeweroptions.Your favoriteeditorwon'tbethere,usuallyjustnano, andyoumayhavetousetheinsmod command toloadmodulesforyourEthernet/wirelesscard andthefilesystem foryourharddisk.(W etold youallthosetext-modeconfigurationcommands wouldbeusefulsomeday.)Nevertheless,floppy distroscanbeusefulfordatarecovery.The Trinuxwebsiteincludesinstructionsfor recoveringfilesfrom NTFSvolumesusing Trinux;lookunder?W arStories?. First,notallmachineshavefloppydrives anymore.Second,theLinuxdistroyoucancram onafloppyisjusttoosmall?orold--tobe comfortable.Thenextstepupisthebootable businesscard(BBC).A business-card-sizedCD costsabout50centsblankandfitsinyourwallet, whichmeansyourrecoverytoolscanalwaysbe withyou.A BBC hasroom forabiggerkernel andmoresoftware,andoftenincludesX (soyou don'thavetosufferthetextconsole). LNX-BBC wasoneofthefirstBBCs,and spawnedtheLinuxcardBootableToolbox.If you'regoingtobeworkingonaW indows machine,youmightwanttouseINSERT;itcan actuallywriteonNTFSvolumes(mostly)safely. Allofthesedistrosnotonlyincludetoolsfor recoveringandrepairingharddisks,butsoftware forscanningnetworksandtestingnetwork security. F loppy-based distros ●Tom srtbt http://www.tom s.net/rb/ ●Trinux http://trinux.sourceforge.net M ostfloppy-based distroscan connect to the Internet,and can also read and som etim eswrite FAT and NTFS drives aswell,m aking them usefulfor recoveryofW indowsm achines,too. B ootable B u siness C ards ●Linuxdistributionsthatcan bootand run from a business-card sized CD. ●M achine m ustbe able to bootfrom a CD (including non-round,ifyou're using a realBBC;notallCD driveslike non-round disks) ●Providesa widervariety oftoolsfor repairand recovery,since the BBC has 50 M B ofspace B B C D istribution s ●LNX-BBC http://www.lnx-bbc.org ●INSERT (InsideSecurityRescueToolkit) http://www.inside-security.de/insert_en.html ?read/writesupportforNTFSvolumes ●LinuxcareBootableToolbox http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/lbt/ ●DamnSmallLinux http://www.damnsmalllinux.org BootDisksandCDs Page3 M anynew PCscanbootfrom adiskontheUSB port.Thisgivesyoutheabilitytocarryamostly- completeLinuxdistroonakeychaindrive.Since the/varand/homedirectoriesareontheUSB diskyoucanactuallysavedocumentsand settingsbetweensessions.DamnSmallLinux andFeatherLinuxaretwoexamples.(DSLwill alsofitonaBBC.)Inadditiontoadminand networktools,theyincludeasmallofficesuite andW ebbrowsersoyoucandousefulworkon anymachine. Besides,itjustseemsreallyappropriatetocarry Linuxonyour(USB-compatible)Swissarmy knife. Severalyearsago,KlausKnopperfiguredoutthat ifamachinehadenoughRAM ,youcouldunpack thepartsofDebianGNU/Linuxthathadtobe changedintoaRAM disk,runtherestofthe distrofrom acompresseddiskimageonaCD, andstillhaveenoughRAM leftovertoactually runprograms.HemodestlycalledhisCD Knoppix,andithasledtoawidevarietyof LiveCDsservingmanypurposes.Inadditionto theiruseinadminstrationandsecurity,LiveCDs arehandyfordemonstratingLinuxtopeoplewho don'twanttoinstallitontheircomputers.Just bootfrom theCD andyouhaveafullLinux distributiontoworkwith,evenonamachine withoutaharddisk.Andsinceallthesoftware ontheCD isfree,youcangivecopiesawayto anyonewho'lltakeone. B ootable U SB D isks Allow youtobootafunctionalLinuxdistro from aUSB ?keydisk? ●DamnSmallLinux http://www.damnsmalllinux.org ●FeatherLinux http://featherlinux.berlios.de/ L iveC D D istribu tions ●BootableCD containingafullfeature-packed distributionofLinux ●ConfigurationfilesinRAM disk,applications andutilitiesrunfrom compresseddriveon CD ●RequireslotsofRAM inmachine(usually 128M B min.) ●MostLiveCDsarebasedontheDebian distribution,whichwon'thavetheredhat- config-*tools. ●Youmust(usually)mounttheharddisk manually. BootDisksandCDs Page4 TheUbuntuLinuxgrouphascreatedaverygood LinuxdistributionbasedonDebianunstable. ThisisalsoavailableasaLiveCD,andalsoa LiveDVD whichcaneitherbeusedtorunUbuntu orinstallit. SinceKNOPPIX andUbuntuarebasedon Debian,youwon'tfindtheRedHattoolswe RHELusersareusedto,soyoumayhavetofall backtothecommand-linetoolswelearnedinthe BasicUnix1and2classes.Ifyouwouldrather stickwithaRedHatenvironment,trytheAdios LiveCD instead;it'sbasedonFedoraandhasall thesystem-config-*toolswhereyouexpectthem tobe.Itcanalsoinstallsomeorallofitsfilesto aharddisk,makingitaneasywaytodistribute Linux.(Unfortunately,it'snotupdatedasoften asKNOPPIX is.) TouseaLiveCD fordisasterrecovery,bootthe machinefrom theCD.Thismaytakesome fussingatstartuptime;youmayhavetoinvoke theBIOSbootmenu,andmayneedtheBIOS password(ifone'sbeenset).Onceyou'vestarted up,loginasroot.SomeLiveCDsneeda password,somedon't;checkwiththedistributor. Onceyou'veloggedin,startarootshell(most GUI'swillhaveitinamenusomewhere).Look at/etc/fstaborusethefdiskcommandtolookat thedrivesonthesystem.The?p?commandwill displaythepartitiontable;?q?willgetyououtof fdisk.Don'tuseanyothercommands,oryoucan seriouslytoasttheharddiskpartitions! Torepairaharddiskpartition,firstmakesureit's notalreadymounted.(SomeLiveCDsmountall theavailablepartitionsautomatically.)Thenuse thefsck commandtorepairthedrive.Ifthe diskhasbeenbehavingespeciallyflaky,orifthe -fv optioncan'trepairthedamage,itmaybe necessarytocheckforbadsectorswithfsck -ckv.Bearinmindthatthisoptionsimply markssectorsasbad;itmakesnoattemptto recoverdatainthosesectors,sothisisalast resortandyoumayneedtoreinstallLinuxand/or recoverdatafrom backupsifyourdriveisgoing southonyou.(You'llalsowanttoconsider purchasinganew drive.) L iveC D D istros ●KNOPPIX http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html ?BasedonDebianGNU/Linux ?MostLiveCDdistrosarebasedonKNOPPIX ●Ubuntu http://www.ubuntulinux.org ?Acutting-edgedistrowithLiveCDbasedonDebian unstable ●AdiosLive CD http://dc.qut.edu.au/adios/adios-bootcd.html ?BasedonFedoraCore3(forRedHatfans) ?Candropsomeofits?lesonFATharddisksorresize NTFSvolumesandinstall U sin g a L iveC D ●Startfrom CD ●Log in asroot,orstarta rootshell ●Exam ine /etc/fstab,oruse fdisk to determ ine partitions /sbin/fdisk /dev/hda (IDE disks) /sbin/fdisk /dev/sda (SCSIdisks) R epairing the H ard D isk ●M ake sure the partition isnotm ounted umount /dev/hda1 ●Repairthe disk fsck -fv /dev/hda1 ●Ifyou suspectbad sectors,use fsck -ckv /dev/hda1 Thiswilltake longer,butwilluse badblocks to check forbad sectors. BootDisksandCDs Page5 KNOPPIX,inparticular,doesnothingtothehard disk;itdoesn'tmountanyharddiskpartitions. (Itdoesgothroughandenumeratethepartitions andcreates/etc/fstabentriesandmountpoints in/mntforthem,butit'suptoyoutomount them.)Thatmeansyou'llhavetomountthehard diskbyhandifyouwanttowriteonit. Rememberthatadiskcanbemountedanywhere inthedirectorytree,notjustinthe/mntdirectory (thoughthat'sthemostcommonplaceforhard disks). SomeLiveCDswillcreatedesktopiconsforthe unmountedpartitions;youcanclickonthem to mountthediskandopenawindow. Hereareafew examplesofspecial-purpose LiveCD distributions.Someareserious(likeGIS Knoppix),somearetrivial(likeGamesKnoppix). M orearelistedattheKNOPPIX andM orphix websites. PuppyLinuxisaveryinterestingLiveCD that allowsyoutostartfrom theCD,workinLinux, andthensavethedocumentsandsettingsyou've changedbacktoamultisessionCD,ifyou're usingacompatibledrive.W henstartedfrom a CD,everythingisloadedintoRAM ;oncethe desktopisdisplayed,theCD canberemoved.It's agreatchoiceforlaptops,asbatterylifeisgreatly extendedwhenyouneverspinthedrives. LastupdatedNovember7,2005byjbalvanz M ou ntin g the hard disk ●Create a m ountpoint mkdir /mnt/part1 (Note:doesn'thavetobeunder/mnt,some LiveCDsdiscourageusing/mnt.) ●M ountthe partition atthatpoint mount -t auto /dev/hda1 /mnt/part1 ●Use norm altoolsto exam ine and m odifyfileson /m nt/part1 S pecial-purpose L iveC D s ●GIS Knoppix http://www.sourcepole.com/sources /software/gis-knoppix/ ?LoadedwithGISsoftware ●Gam esKnoppix http://games-knoppix.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/ ?Loadedwithmanygames,supportshardware- acceleratedvideocards ●PuppyLinux http://www.puppylinux.org/ ?Runfrom CD-R,CDcanberemoved ?Runfrom rewriteabledrive,?lesandsettingsstored ondisk(includingCD-R,CD-RW andDVD-RW)

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