Turning UBCD into a bootable USB drive

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Since doing this I have come across a couple of other ways to do this (one of which being the use of the tool on UBCD 4.1.1) but this way allows for some customisation and made the most sense to me.

Prerequisites

Making the USB drive bootable (Windows)

I performed this step in Windows but alternative methods exist for Linux - all other steps are Linux based

  1. Insert your USB drive
  2. Run the HP USB Key Utility
  3. Select the drive letter and wait

Copying UBCD to the USB drive

Either write UBCD to a CD first or extract the ISO into a folder

  1. Extract SYSLINUX
  2. Insert the USB drive (make sure it is not mounted)
  3. Make a note of the device name (I shall assume /dev/sdb1)
  4. run the following command as root:
syslinux -d /syslinux /dev/sdb1
  1. Mount the USB drive and you should find a folder named 'syslinux' containing a file named 'ldlinux.sys'
  2. Copy MEMDISK into the syslinux folder on the USB drive
  3. Copy the following folders from UBCD onto the USB drive
  • boot
  • custom
  • dosapps
  • images
  • isolinux
  • menus
  • syslinux

Making the drive a bit more useful

Version 3 of UBCD came with the INSERT Linux distro so we will copy the example and stick DSL (Damn Small Linux) on there

These instructions are modified from here

Either write UBCD to a CD first or extract the ISO into a folder

  1. Copy the KNOPPIX folder from the DSL ISO to the root of the USB drive
  2. Copy boot/isolinux/linux24 and boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz to the 'custom' folder on the USB drive
  3. Copy the following into the file custom/custom.cfg:
LABEL DSL
	MENU LABEL DSL (Damn Small Linux)
	KERNEL /custom/linux24
	APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=/custom/minirt24.gz nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix
LABEL DSL-TXT
	MENU LABEL DSL-TXT (Damn Small Linux - Text)
	KERNEL /custom/linux24
	APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=normal initrd=/custom/minirt24.gz nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

Optionally you can copy any of the other boot options from the DSL file boot/isolinux/isolinux.cfg - just remember to add '/custom' in where relevant

Making things pretty

  • The folder named 'menus' contains all the UI config files
  • Edit the file menus/defaults.cfg to change the global menu settings, e.g. the title at the top of the screen
  • Each screen has its own cfg file