LIVEUSB download alternative for 4GB+ usb sticks?

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Baby Hen
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 16:46

LIVEUSB download alternative for 4GB+ usb sticks?

Post by MKunert » Mon Oct 01, 2007 17:10

Dear Sabayon folks,

I'm using the SL 3.4e live DVD to great avail on a laptop on which I'm denied access to the internal hd (its a "work" machine owned by my employer). Everything works fine, except for the slow boot and the occasional freezes when the dvd drive spins up to load some additional pieces of software.

It would be great if a version of SL existed with identical features but bootable from an (admittedly large) usb stick - 4GB or 8GB ... or even 16GB.

I tried this weekend to create such a stick from the live dvd, but failed miserably. My frail knowledge of the linux / gentoo / sabayon boot architecture prevents me from making major alterations, but there are obviously a number of modules missing to access "root" on the stick after some point in the boot process.

How about providing the public with such a download alternative, e.g. as a "dd" disk image? Or include the modules neccessary for usb boot in the early stages of system setup? Or even publish a comprehensive how-to, if the task is easily done by a "normal" user? (there used to be a how-to, but this seems to be long gone ...)

Thanks, and keep on the good work!

Baby Hen
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 14:58

Re: LIVEUSB download alternative for 4GB+ usb sticks?

Post by Ejdesgaard » Wed Nov 07, 2007 15:14

I just wanna say that i also have tryed to make a sabayon LiveUSB, but failed... the error i got was something like: mount: mounting /dev/loop0 /newroot/[somewhere] blablabla. Invalid Argument. on google there was/is a lot of suggestions but they point in all directions, so i dropped it...
atm. i use something called linux mint, but it don't use correct gfx drivers etc. so it would really be really nice if you guys either can make a dd image or a nice howto etc. :D


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Sagely Hen
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:40
Location: United Kingdom

Re: LIVEUSB download alternative for 4GB+ usb sticks?

Post by Fitzcarraldo » Wed Nov 07, 2007 16:17

Have you guys done any googling? You could give the following a try:

Growing Hen
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 17:39
Location: Roma

Re: LIVEUSB download alternative for 4GB+ usb sticks?

Post by fenius » Sat Nov 10, 2007 14:50

This unofficial howto works with 3.4 mini too and I suppose it can be applied to the DVD version if you have a 4GB+ USB pendrive :)

Anyway... I think that if you buy a 16GB+ USB pendrive you can install the system on it and it should work as if you installed it on a external hd
Either way you have configure the bios to boot up from usb device.
spitrage wrote:I recently got the Sabayon 3.2 mini Live edition running on a flash disk, I know some other people have been trying to get this going as well so I thought I'de share with you guys what I did.

Part 1, formatting.

First thing I did was try the standard "Syslinux" method of creating a live distro on a flash disk. Syslinux boots from FAT media so I formated the disk as a fat 32 partition. I did this with a windows utility that formats USB drives, this utility seems to fix problems that can show up trying to boot to flash drives that have been reformatted many times. I found this tool along with other information about live cds on flash memory here...( ... pixUsb.htm)
The link for the utility should be ... P27213.exe

You might not need this utility, but for me it came in pretty handy(it works on all flash drives, not just HP/Compaq).

Part 2, Syslinux

Next I installed syslinux on the drive via the method posted here...( ), Heres a quick breakdown of the important parts...

download Syslinux from These instructions used
Extract the syslinux files to C:\syslinux-3.11.
Insert you USB Key into a USB slot in your PC and note the drive letter that it is assigned.
Run "C:\syslinux-3.11\win32\syslinux.exe (target drive)" where the target drive is the letter assigned to your USB key. Ex. "C:\syslinux-3.11\win32\syslinux.exe E:"

Part 3, copying the CD over

Next thing I did was to copy the CD over to the root of the flash drive(yes that means I took the files out of boot and isolinux subfolders and moved them to the root of the flash drive as well). After moving the files to the root I had to rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg, also edit syslinux.cfg to remove references to the subfolders... here is an example of what mine looks like....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~syslinux.cfg top couple of lines~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
DEFAULT sabayon
GFXBOOT bootlogo
APPEND root=/dev/ram0 initrd=sabayon.igz unionfs init=/linuxrc cdroot doslowusb looptype=squashfs max_loop=64 loop=/livecd.squashfs splash=silent,theme:sabayon vga=791 CONSOLE=/dev/tty1 quiet --

LABEL sabayon
menu label ^Start SabayonLinux 3.2 MiniEd.
kernel sabayon
append root=/dev/ram0 initrd=sabayon.igz unionfs init=/linuxrc cdroot doslowusb looptype=squashfs max_loop=64 loop=/livecd.squashfs splash=silent,theme:sabayon vga=791 CONSOLE=/dev/tty1 quiet --


Part 4, more formatting

Now when I boot I have issue where it will boot, but when trying to mount and find the live image it would fail(this is where most people on the forums were stuck). What I did was to edit the initrd.scripts file to make it a little more verbose so I could see why exaclty it was failing. What I noticed is that the mount command that was being issued would fail on fat partitions. Simple solution, setup a second partition that is able to be mounted. I chose ext3, but there may be other formats that work aswell. I booted up a knoppix cd and ran "qtparted". Through qtparted I was able to resize the fat partition to leave about 800 megs free at the end of the disk(the image is only about 700 megs, but since ext3 is a journaled filesystem the same file "image.squashfs" takes more space. I also made sure to set the first partition(the fat partition) to Active(in qtparted right click on the partition and hit set active). After this was completed I copied two files "image.squashfs" and "livecd" over to the ext3 partition.

Part 5, enjoy

After these steps I was able to boot just like from the CD but with quite noticible speed increase. The partition with the image.squashfs(the ext3 partition) is locked, but the fat partition comes up writeable(so becareful what files you modify/delete). When using the flash drive from windows onlly the first partition(the fat partition) will show up and is usable just like any other flash drive. Abut 25 megs is occupied on the fat partition.

Good Luck and Enjoy:)


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