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Thread: Multiple distros on USB

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  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    8

    Default Multiple distros on USB

    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to setup an USB flash memory that has several bootable Linux distributions on it. One of them will be BackTrack 4. There was no problem before BT4 used casper. But I have other distributions that use casper too. For example, I have BackTrack 4 files on the /bt4 directory on the USB, and Ubuntu 9.04 files on the /ubuntu directory on the same USB.

    The only thing I have found looking up hundreds of pages is to use the kernel parameter live-media-path to indicate a directory to the files different from /casper, where files are searched for by default. But it doesn't work, or I'm doing something wrong. Has anyone been able to achieve this?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    32

    Default

    You could probably achieve this easily by splitting the USB drive into seperate partitions and treating it as an internal drive.

  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    3

    Default

    Titan is right. Load each distro on a separate partition. You can make these partitions with cfdisk, fdisk, or gparted. Then, when you install grub, be sure to (manually) combine each /boot/grub/menu.lst file into one so you can boot to either distro.

    fraktil

  4. #4
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default

    I would like to do the same thing. I do not want to use multiple partitions if I don't have to because I am using syslinux in FAT32 to easily create and manage the multiboot usb. I had a drive with BT3 and Mint working but I want to reorganize the file structure. The kernel boots but then can't find the BT3 directory because I moved it. A flag to specify its location would be great!

  5. #5
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    1

    Default Agree with the flag suggestion

    I'm working on building a similar multiboot device with the following tools:

    Backtrack4
    DamnSmallLinux
    Mint
    Ultimate Boot CD
    Derik's Boot & Nuke
    BartPE winXP
    PartedMagic
    NTPasswd
    OphCrack
    Untangled

    As well as additional files / utilities:
    Drivers
    Installers
    Templates
    Scripts

    In order to keep the drive somewhat in order the folderstructure for bootable images is:

    Root (w/ syslinux, syslinux.cfg etc)
    \images\[toolname]


    I am using syslinux as well to manage as with this many different tools a fixed partition scheme would be difficult and an unnecessary waste of time for managing. The first partition on removable drives is the only one recognized by windows boxes without making a few changes. Leaving everything in the root makes things a mess to manage and leaves things like
    \boot
    \casper
    \data
    commonly used and conflicting.

  6. #6
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default

    Has anything been figured out with this since Oct? I've been googling for about 2 hours with exactly this problem; I've got dozens of tools on a single-partition USB stick, and the only one limiting me by a hardcoded directory structure is BT4. It would be great if I could make this one last tool match the organizational convention of everything else...

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