Multiple unetbootin installs

Asked by steven_deaton@hotmail.com on 2008-02-10

I'm wondering if there is a way to install unetbootin so that I can have multiple types of functionality on one flash drive. When I install, it seems to overwrite the prior install. For example, I want to be able to have the Fedora install, the Ubuntu install, and the Parted .... all launchable, so to speak, from the grub boot menu.

Is there any way to do this? (Well, since the source is available, people can always tweak things, but I don't know C (or anything similar), personally.)

If not, are there any plans to add this sort of functionality in the future?

Thanks.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
UNetbootin Edit question
Assignee:
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Solved by:
Geza Kovacs
Solved:
2008-02-11
Last query:
2008-02-11
Last reply:
2008-02-10

....okay, I see it's a bunch of shell scripting which is cool, because that...I can do... (it would take time to go through it all, though...)

I guess I am just looking for a way to do this without having to make any changes, or make very few changes to the code.

Anything you could offer to this end would be great.

Thanks.

Best Geza Kovacs (gezakovacs) said : #2

Just copy additional kernel and initrd files into the USB drive (you can extract them from the UNetbootin deb files using file-roller, ark or 7z; they'll be in data/boot/ubnkern and data/boot/ubninit), and edit the file boot/grub/menu.lst on the USB drive to point to the new kernels and initrds. As for the kernel boot options, you can extract that too from the deb version (in the control/postinst file; they'll be after the line beginning with "kernel")

For example: use the UNetbootin .sh version to install Fedora to the USB drive, then rename ubnkern and ubninit from the Ubuntu deb files to ubnkern2 and ubninit2 and copy them to boot/ on the USB drive, then edit boot/grub/menu.lst and copy the existing Fedora entry, rename the title from Fedora to Ubuntu, change the paths to point to the Ubuntu kernel and initrd (/boot/ubnkern2, /boot/ubninit2), and add in whatever options are found in control/postinst.

Yeah....I came across something similar last night, when I was fooling around with it. Thanks tons. :)

DD Van Rooy (ddvanrooy) said : #4

Hi Geza, I just discovered UNetBootin a few days ago and I think is really cool. I have the same question a Steven above, but I dont understand your reply since I'm a bit of a noob....... For eaxmple: I made a bootable USB Clonezilla, but would like to add some more goodies on the same flashdrive , which have still plenty space. If you can perhaps explain bit more , thanks.

Cheers

DD

Sundar (sundar-ima) said : #5

@ Geza Kovacs

Unetbootin uses syslinux so you need to edit the syslinux.cfg file in the USB root folder.

@ DD Van Rooy

It is very easy to add more distros. I have added more than 22 distros in my pen drive (and keep on adding). Firstly download your favorite Live distro in iso format. I will considering Simply MEPIS 8 in this case. Basically you need to follow these steps :-

1. Extract the .iso file (Right click--> Extract Here)

2. Search for the menu.lst and open with Text Editor. (You have to open sylinux.cfg (or) isolinux.cfg depending on the distro)

Here is the menu.lst file o/p (only normal mode)

"title Default (for most systems)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz quiet vga=791 splash
initrd /boot/initrd.gz"

Read the lines carefully. You need to copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz files to your pendrive (you can create your own path)

3. Open syslinux.cfg file from pendrive root folder (simply open pendrive you will find syslinux.cfg) and add these following lines...

label ubnentry02
menu label Simply MEPIS
kernel /boot/vmlinuz quiet vga=791 splash
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz

(Basically you need to copy paste lines from menu.lst to syslinux.cfg in syslinux format)

4. This is most important part... copy "mepis" folder to pendrive (with out changing directory structure). You must know which folder or files to copy. Normally this file or folder will be bulky. For example, for Linux mint, "filesystem.squashfs" which is 683MB so you will have to copy casper folder because filesystem.squashfs is there inside casper.

Now you are done. Boot your system from USB. Now you can see new entry "Simply MEPIS" select it to explore...

######################################################################

Another method::

Download multicd.sh script from here http://multicd.tuxfamily.org/ and follow the instructions given there. At the end of it you will get multicd.iso. Remember the path where the multicd.iso is been saved.

Open Unetbootin and select iso image and navigate to the multicd.iso path. Choose your USB drive and give ok. this will install multi distro in your usb.

Up on reboot you may encounter some distos may not boot properly. Note down the distro. Open pendrive and go to boot/isolinux and open isolinux.cfg (this is the file created by multicd.sh). Now go to root folder (just open Pendrive), and open syslinux.cfg file (this is the file created by Unetbootin). Now find the entry of kernel and append for a distro which is not booting. Ideally both the isolinux.cfg and syslinux.cfg file entries should be same. If not then copy entry from /boot/isolinux.cfg to /syslinux.cfg. Thats it. Boot from USB to login.

Gud luck and have fun :-))

freakalad (freakalad) said : #6

Thanks for the guide!
Will give it a go, but do you know of a more straight-forward way way to achieve this? Automated tool or UNetBootIn CLI argument, or something?

raiderj (joelrader) said : #7

@ Sundar

I've been trying to follow the method you outlined for putting multiple distro's on a single USB, but everytime I try and boot I get kernel panics and other errors. What my USB looks like:

##########################
/
 ubninit
 vesamenu.c32
 syslinux.cfg

     /clonezilla
        <clonezilla files here from ISO>

     /memtest86
        <memtest files here>

(etc)
##########################

My syslinux.cfg:

##########################
default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title USB Bootable Toolkit
timeout 100

label memtest86
menu label MemTest86+ v4.00
menu default
kernel /memtest86/ubnkern
append initrd=/memtest86/ubninit

label unetbootindefault
menu label Clonezilla Live v1.2.2-31
kernel /clonezilla/ubnkern
append initrd=/clonezilla/ubninit boot=live union=aufs nolocales ocs_live_run="ocs-live-general" ocs_live_extra_param="" ocs_live_keymap="" ocs_live_batch="no" ocs_lang="" vga=791 ip=frommedia
##########################

What I've done is copy over the "syslinux" and "live" folders from Clonezilla and put them into a separate folder on the USB, then edit the syslinux.cfg file to point towards that directory. I have also tried to create a bootable USB from the Clonezilla ISO (which works), then copy those files over to a separate folder.

My goal is try and be able to boot into syslinux, and have multiple options of tools to boot into. Since several tools use the same files, they need to be in separate folders? However, once I've copied the files to a new directory, they don't boot properly. How have you done this so several Live CD's can boot off one USB?

Appreciate any input you have!

Sundar (sundar-ima) said : #8

In order to boot the live linux from USB all directory structure should be copied as per default one. Exception are vmlinuz and intrid. Placing files in different directory and booting option can be done only with knoppix based distros (syslinux.cfg file need to be edited accordingly).

Another option is to boot distros directly from iso instead of extracted iso. For this you need to use grub2 instead of syslinux. In this case you can boot many distros you wish even if the directory structures are same. Sadely all iso files can not be booted from direct iso. I have tested Ubunt (and its derivatives), Mandriva, Open Suse, Slax and Slitaz. You can also try this.

You may try grub2 for the better control.

raiderj (joelrader) said : #9

Thanks for the info! I'll check out grub2.... on my quest to make the ultimate usb boot disk!

raiderj (joelrader) said : #10

Getting there! I followed this tutorial, figured out how to create a multiboot USB stick:

http://userbytes.com/roll-your-own-multiboot-usb-flash-drive/

Sundar (sundar-ima) said : #11

There are many sites on this topic. You might want to check this link which describes how to create multiple live linux on DVD and USB...

http://phoxis.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/multi_boot_cddvdusb/

Sundar (sundar-ima) said : #12

For grub2 guide go here http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1195275

Multi boot from direct iso http://www.panticz.de/MultiBootUSB (automated script)...

Go here for the live opensuse from direct iso http://en.opensuse.org/Live_USB_stick#openSUSE_11.2