Mkusb, iso2usb, Win32DiskImager, ISOBoot Wiki Pages

@ian-weisser,

Thanks :slight_smile:

You can start by proof-reading the following pages and their subpages,

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/iso2usb

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick

The strange layout of FromUSBStick was created at a fairly recent revamp because I wanted to preserve link addresses. You may have better ideas how to solve that problem.

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Would like to chime in that I used mkusb as late as a few days ago. While I usually use Startup Disk Creator, it refused to recognize an unoffical ISO file for installing Debian. But with mkusb it worked smoothly as usual. Thanks for making mkusb available, @nio-wiklund!

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@nio-wiklund,

Been reading all the material. You have been busy!

Are you open to rearranging some (not much) content to improve clarity?

By “clarity”, I mean generally moving Quick Start information closer to the top.

You should start seeing some wiki edits in the next few hours and days.

Apologies in advance for any “improvements” that you must fix!

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@ian-weisser,

Yes, you are welcome to address all aspects of the documentation. I understand that rearranging (adding, removing) some content will help improve it.

Please let me know, when it is time for me to look at the result of your efforts (and point to the most important items).

Take a look at changes on https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb and see if you like (or dislike) the direction that it is heading. Little edits and updates here and there, a little rearrangement to make it more readable.

Looks like all the http://phillw.net/ links are dead.

Technical question: Looks like v11 should also be listed as deprecated?

I suggest deleting several pages specific to no-longer-supported releases:

I suggest deleting https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb/isotesting . Seems like the YouTube tutorials did much the same thing with newer versions of mkusb.

@ian-weisser,

I like the direction that it is heading :slight_smile:

Phill’s server is alive. I can ssh into it. I think he will soon make the web service work again. If you find a link without any alternative, please tell me, and I can fix that.

Yes, we can list version 11 as deprecated. Actually I removed it a couple of years ago, but a guy from Turkey still wanted it. I fixed a bug in version 12 so that he could upgrade. I will try again to remove version 11, but not right now.

I agree, that you can delete pages about 12.04 and 14.04 and also the one about isotesting. Those involved need no such instructions (and you are right, there are better tutorials now).

Still working on the mkusb page as time permits…

@ian-weisser,

Today I noticed that you have removed how to get the PPA from the main mkusb page. I guess you are relying on the quick start manual, but it is old, so at least until I improve that pdf file, I think we should keep that fundamental information [on the main mkusb page], so either the original tips or something like this,

sudo add-apt-repository universe     # this line only for standard Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mkusb           # to install
# sudo apt full-upgrade          # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems

sudo apt install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus

sudo apt install usb-pack-efi    # in order to make persistent live drives

Well, you’re an expert who has the most experience in what folks ask. Your opinion matters! You want it added back in, then let’s do that.

There. Done.

Most of the changes I have made involve reducing duplication, changing passive voice to active, and rearranging some sections so they flow a bit better.

I’m also trying to gently tease out the different Diataxis types (Tutorial, HowTo, Explanation, Reference) into separate sections so that (we hope) folks find it easy to locate the type of information they seek. There is no law requiring that separation, that’s just my preference. It’s more important that YOU think the structure is useful for users, and that YOU think that the page is maintainable.

@ian-weisser,

Thanks, I updated the beginning of the quick start manual, but cannot upload it as attachment (because of size limit). It is now at Phill’s server, and its web service is running again.

https://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/mkusb/mkUSB-quick-start-manual-12.pdf

and also at the github server.

https://github.com/sudodus/tarballs/blob/master/mkUSB-quick-start-manual-12.pdf

I tested the links and decided which one should have priority. The other one can be ‘alternate link’ and the attachment at our help.ubuntu page should be unlinked because it it deprecated now. – Aug 14: I fixed the links.

PS. I’m editing the quick start manual with LibreOffice, and it might suffer from similar problems as the help.ubuntu pages. Do you want the odp file, or would it be enough if you advice how I should revamp it?

Sorry for the pause. I’ve been busy at work.

I’ll read over the pdf, and let you know if I have any suggestions.

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Nice work! I have some knowledge and experience with the ISOBoot process using GNU GRUB 2. I have found, at least with Ubuntu 20.04.3 the /casper/initrd (initramfs) doesn’t include a driver for exfat drives. So, you can’t put the iso on an exfat drive or else it will reach busybox, but the same configuration works for a FAT32 device. Should I put this on the Wiki page, or do you want to? Not sure where to put “limitations” or the like.

Also, I have found that the BIOS boot order / GRUB boot order / Linux boot order can be different. I have a FAT32 USB stick with GRUB 2.04 loaded with files to boot BIOS/UEFI 32bit/UEFI64bit. So then, with that USB stick, I then point to another USB stick with ISO files on it. The way I do this is with labels. Even if you name the stick in Windows, you can use labels to search for the USB stick, make it root, then boot the ISO. Perhaps this label trick can be included? Here’s my example, USB1 boots USB2 with ISO files, USB2 is named BLUE. I’m using the short-hand GRUB for search -n = don’t search floppy, -l = label -s = set (default variable is root). The files are in the sub-directory iso. I’m not using persistence here.

menuentry “Lubuntu iso fat32” {
search -n -l BLUE -s
set isofile=/iso/lubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
loopback loop $isofile
linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile ro noprompt noeject
initrd (loop)/casper/initrd
}

@breakdaze,

If you wish and can, please feel free to edit the Ubuntu help wiki pages. Otherwise, please suggest what to add and where to add it, and I can do the editing.

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