A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

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A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
Hello.

A possibility has occurred to me, and, I do not know whether it has
been done, whether it can be easily set up, with what now exists, or,
whether it is something that would need to be developed, to put it
into practice.

Recently, Ralf Mardorf posted a link in the thread about tiny kernels,
to a wikipedia comparison of "lightweight Linux distributions", that
can run with lesser resource requirements, than mainstream Linux
distributions.

So, it led me to wonder, as some distributions can be run as live
versions, where they boot from the removable optical drive (be it CD
or DVD, and, some (or all of those - I am not sure) can boot from
removable USB drives ("thumbdrives"), where a computer's BIOS permits
booting from removable USB drives, and, as provision exists, via GRUB
(and, I think, other boot managers), for a user to choose, when
booting from an internal hard drive, which operating system, be it a
choice between non-Linux OS's and a single Linux distribution and
version, or, between multiple Linux distributions and version numbers,
and, non-Linux OS's, whether something like a removable USB drive can
be easily set up, with GRUB, or, something like it, so that a user can
have multiple Linux distributions/versions live boot iso images, on
the same removable USB drive, and, upon booting into the removable USB
drive, be given the option of which distribution/(version number of a
distribution), into which, to boot, to find which, is a good match for
a particular computer's resources, so, I assume, having a GRUB, or
similar, interface, on the removable USB drive?

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

ubuntu-users mailing list
30 October 2019  at 11:01, Bret Busby wrote:
A question about multiple boot opti (at least in part)

>Hello.

>whether something like a removable USB drive can be easily set up, with GRUB,
>or, something like it, so that a user can have multiple Linux
>distributions/versions live boot iso images, on the same removable USB drive,
>and, upon booting into the removable USB drive, be given the option of which
>distribution/(version number of a distribution), into which, to boot, to find
>which, is a good match for a particular computer's resources, so, I assume,
>having a GRUB, or similar, interface, on the removable USB drive?

I don't know about opne that can be set up from Ubuntu (or other Nix*) but
there is a windows based USB creater that "claims" to do exactly that by the
name of YUMI (Multi Boot) I have never got it to make a working (bootable) copy
of Ubuntu with persistance so it's not on the top of my list, but its free so
you could try it

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Colin Law
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
Will the installer allow one to install onto a USB stick?  If so then
maybe you can install in the same way you would if it were an internal
disk.

Colin

On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 11:04, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello.
>
> A possibility has occurred to me, and, I do not know whether it has
> been done, whether it can be easily set up, with what now exists, or,
> whether it is something that would need to be developed, to put it
> into practice.
>
> Recently, Ralf Mardorf posted a link in the thread about tiny kernels,
> to a wikipedia comparison of "lightweight Linux distributions", that
> can run with lesser resource requirements, than mainstream Linux
> distributions.
>
> So, it led me to wonder, as some distributions can be run as live
> versions, where they boot from the removable optical drive (be it CD
> or DVD, and, some (or all of those - I am not sure) can boot from
> removable USB drives ("thumbdrives"), where a computer's BIOS permits
> booting from removable USB drives, and, as provision exists, via GRUB
> (and, I think, other boot managers), for a user to choose, when
> booting from an internal hard drive, which operating system, be it a
> choice between non-Linux OS's and a single Linux distribution and
> version, or, between multiple Linux distributions and version numbers,
> and, non-Linux OS's, whether something like a removable USB drive can
> be easily set up, with GRUB, or, something like it, so that a user can
> have multiple Linux distributions/versions live boot iso images, on
> the same removable USB drive, and, upon booting into the removable USB
> drive, be given the option of which distribution/(version number of a
> distribution), into which, to boot, to find which, is a good match for
> a particular computer's resources, so, I assume, having a GRUB, or
> similar, interface, on the removable USB drive?
>
> --
> Bret Busby
> Armadale
> West Australia
> ..............
>
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>  you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
>  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>  written by Douglas Adams,
>  published by Pan Books, 1992
>
> ....................................................
>
> --
> ubuntu-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Liam Proven
On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 17:44, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Will the installer allow one to install onto a USB stick?  If so then
> maybe you can install in the same way you would if it were an internal
> disk.

To be perfectly honest I did not understand Brett's huge multiline
sentence, so I am not sure what his question was.

No, AFAIK, the Ubuntu installer won't let you install directly onto
removable media.

However, you can attach a USB key directly to a virtual machine and
then *as far as that VM is concerned* it is a hard disk, the only one
in the computer, and you can install.

This is possible in VirtualBox but tricky.

However it is relatively easy in VMware Player, which is also freeware.

The advantage of this is that GRUB won't accidentally get installed to
your hard disk, and it won't pick up and add all the OSes on the hard
disk(s) to the USB key's GRUB menu.

Once you've installed it and updated, you can shut down the VM, unplug
the USB, turn off the PC, plug the USB back in and boot off it.

Notes:

* I recommend ext2 format, as it means fewer writes and won't wear out
the key so quickly

* don't allow a swap partition or swapfile; use ZRAM instead

* don't boot off the key and then update the OS on it, or it will add
all the HD's OSes to GRUB; update in the VM

* you can if you wish install VMware guest additions on the USB; they
just won't start up when you boot real metal with it. This is handy if
you want to use a 3D-composited desktop such as GNOME 3, KDE, Unity or
Cinnamon.

I've described it in detail in a blog post:
https://liam-on-linux.livejournal.com/50416.html

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Brian-277
On Wed 30 Oct 2019 at 18:22:20 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

> On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 17:44, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Will the installer allow one to install onto a USB stick?  If so then
> > maybe you can install in the same way you would if it were an internal
> > disk.
>
> To be perfectly honest I did not understand Brett's huge multiline
> sentence, so I am not sure what his question was.

Me too. But I think the answer is "yes".

> No, AFAIK, the Ubuntu installer won't let you install directly onto
> removable media.

I'd be surprised if the mini.iso did not allow this. But maybe it is
not a real "Ubuntu installer"?

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

সাজেদুর রহিম জোয়ারদার
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
Hi Bret
Peace be upon you.

বুধ, ৩০ অক্টোবর, ২০১৯ তারিখে ৫:০৪ PM টায় এ Bret Busby <[hidden email]> লিখেছেন:
Hello.
A possibility has occurred to me, and, I do not know whether it has
been done, whether it can be easily set up, with what now exists, or,
whether it is something that would need to be developed, to put it
into practice.

Recently, Ralf Mardorf posted a link in the thread about tiny kernels,
to a wikipedia comparison of "lightweight Linux distributions", that
can run with lesser resource requirements, than mainstream Linux
distributions.

Ok.

So, it led me to wonder, as some distributions can be run as live
versions, where they boot from the removable optical drive (be it CD
or DVD, and, some (or all of those - I am not sure) can boot from
removable USB drives ("thumbdrives"), where a computer's BIOS permits
booting from removable USB drives, and, as provision exists, via GRUB
(and, I think, other boot managers), for a user to choose, when
booting from an internal hard drive, which operating system, be it a
choice between non-Linux OS's and a single Linux distribution and
version, or, between multiple Linux distributions and version numbers,
and, non-Linux OS's, whether something like a removable USB drive can
be easily set up, with GRUB, or, something like it, so that a user can
have multiple Linux distributions/versions live boot iso images, on
the same removable USB drive, and, upon booting into the removable USB
drive, be given the option of which distribution/(version number of a
distribution), into which, to boot, to find which, is a good match for
a particular computer's resources, so, I assume, having a GRUB, or
similar, interface, on the removable USB drive?

Please put full stop or dot after you have completed a sentence. Else it is a very very very long sentence to get understood. :)

Though as far as I understood from your writing, you are asking for multiple live GNU/Linux distribution to run with a bootloader from the pendrive. For this kind of experiments we have multisystem. Download it and use it to multi boot your pendrive using various versions of Ubuntu, Trisquel, Gnewsense and many more.

While booting from the pendrive, selected from the system boot menu you will get the list of OS you have multi booted. You are allowed to choose in between and test run. You are also allowed to install into hard drive from the live session. :D

with regards
--
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মোজিলিয়ান/Mozillian

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
On 30/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 17:44, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Will the installer allow one to install onto a USB stick?  If so then
>> maybe you can install in the same way you would if it were an internal
>> disk.
>
> To be perfectly honest I did not understand Brett's huge multiline
> sentence, so I am not sure what his question was.
>
> No, AFAIK, the Ubuntu installer won't let you install directly onto
> removable media.
>
> However, you can attach a USB key directly to a virtual machine and
> then *as far as that VM is concerned* it is a hard disk, the only one
> in the computer, and you can install.
>

I am not seeking to install to a removable USB drive.

I am seeking to be able to write/copy multiple iso's to a removable
USB drive, and, thence to be able, via a bootloader, such as GRUB, to
select which iso on the removable USB drive, to boot.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Liam Proven
On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 22:12, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:


> I am seeking to be able to write/copy multiple iso's to a removable
> USB drive, and, thence to be able, via a bootloader, such as GRUB, to
> select which iso on the removable USB drive, to boot.

OIC.

See the link in my blog post, then.

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Brian-277
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
On Wed 30 Oct 2019 at 21:09:50 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:

> On 30/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 17:44, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> Will the installer allow one to install onto a USB stick?  If so then
> >> maybe you can install in the same way you would if it were an internal
> >> disk.
> >
> > To be perfectly honest I did not understand Brett's huge multiline
> > sentence, so I am not sure what his question was.
> >
> > No, AFAIK, the Ubuntu installer won't let you install directly onto
> > removable media.
> >
> > However, you can attach a USB key directly to a virtual machine and
> > then *as far as that VM is concerned* it is a hard disk, the only one
> > in the computer, and you can install.
> >
>
> I am not seeking to install to a removable USB drive.
>
> I am seeking to be able to write/copy multiple iso's to a removable
> USB drive, and, thence to be able, via a bootloader, such as GRUB, to
> select which iso on the removable USB drive, to boot.

1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
   to the MBR of the drive.

2. Make a partition large enough to contain a chosen ISO and cat or dd
   the ISO to it.

3. Obtain the second partition's label with 'lsblkid -o list'.

4. Open the ISO and determine what is needed for the linux and initrd
   lines in a grub.cfg. Critical, and not always as easy as it sounds.

5. Construct a grub.cfg file to put in the grub directory on the first
   partition. A working example:

    set menu_color_normal=white/black
    set menu_color_highlight=white/green
    menuentry "Debian GNU/Linux Live (Cinnamon)" {
    search --label --set=root "d-live 10.1.0 ci amd64"
         linux /live/vmlinuz-4.19.0-6-amd64 boot=live components splash quiet
         initrd /live/initrd.img-4.19.0-6-amd64
    }
6. Repeat for other ISOs.

--
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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Liam Proven
On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
>    to the MBR of the drive.
[...]
> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.

Sounds like a lot of work to me.

This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero intervention.

http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212

As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
>>    to the MBR of the drive.
> [...]
>> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
>
> Sounds like a lot of work to me.
>
> This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
> intervention.
>
> http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
>
> As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
>

So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
with a common USB thumbdrive?

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Brian-277
On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 20:00:26 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:

> On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
> >>    to the MBR of the drive.
> > [...]
> >> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
> >
> > Sounds like a lot of work to me.
> >
> > This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
> > intervention.
> >
> > http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
> >
> > As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
> >
>
> So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
> with a common USB thumbdrive?

Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
all, the full instructions should help. :)

--
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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
On 31/10/2019, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 20:00:26 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:
>
>> On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> >> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
>> >>    to the MBR of the drive.
>> > [...]
>> >> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
>> >
>> > Sounds like a lot of work to me.
>> >
>> > This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
>> > intervention.
>> >
>> > http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
>> >
>> > As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
>> >
>>
>> So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
>> with a common USB thumbdrive?
>
> Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
> all, the full instructions should help. :)
>


"not always as easy as it sounds"

Original query -
"whether something like a removable USB drive can
be easily set up, ..."

Your response indicates a complicated possible solution, that you
assessed as "not always as easy as it sounds".

What I was hoping to be the level of simplicity, was something like
copy a set of iso's to a USB thumbdrive, and either run a utility (if
such a utility exits) that writes a GRUB instance to the thumbdrive,
and that does a thing like update-grub, to configure GRUB to provide
boot options for the iso's on the thumbdrive, thence, for one of the
iso's booted from the thumbdrive, to be able to copy and add another
iso (or, more iso's) to the thumbdrive, and, to be able to run again,
update-grub on the thumbdrive, to provide options to boot the added
iso's.

Years ago, from memory, when the Linux Format (and/or, another,
similar) magazine was/were in print and being sold, copies of the
magazine were sold with a DVD that contained more than one Linux iso,
allowing the user to choose which iso to boot.

That was from a time when a Linux iso was CD size, so allowing
multiple iso's to fit on a DVD, and, from a time when new laptop
computers all came with built in removable optical drives (DVD’s or
CD's).

So, now, when laptop computers are being sold without CD/DVD drives,
but can be booted from USB thumbdrives, I am wondering whether what
used to be done with the magazine DVD's - having multiple iso's on
them, from which, a user could choose one (at a time) to boot, could
now easily (with emphasis on the "easily") be done with USB
thumbdrives.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
On 31/10/2019, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 31/10/2019, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 20:00:26 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:
>>
>>> On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> > On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> >
>>> >> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install
>>> >> GRUB
>>> >>    to the MBR of the drive.
>>> > [...]
>>> >> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
>>> >
>>> > Sounds like a lot of work to me.
>>> >
>>> > This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
>>> > intervention.
>>> >
>>> > http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
>>> >
>>> > As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
>>> >
>>>
>>> So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
>>> with a common USB thumbdrive?
>>
>> Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
>> all, the full instructions should help. :)
>>
>
>
> "not always as easy as it sounds"
>
> Original query -
> "whether something like a removable USB drive can
> be easily set up, ..."
>
> Your response indicates a complicated possible solution, that you
> assessed as "not always as easy as it sounds".
>
> What I was hoping to be the level of simplicity, was something like
> copy a set of iso's to a USB thumbdrive, and either run a utility (if
> such a utility exits) that writes a GRUB instance to the thumbdrive,
> and that does a thing like update-grub, to configure GRUB to provide
> boot options for the iso's on the thumbdrive, thence, for one of the
> iso's booted from the thumbdrive, to be able to copy and add another
> iso (or, more iso's) to the thumbdrive, and, to be able to run again,
> update-grub on the thumbdrive, to provide options to boot the added
> iso's.
>
> Years ago, from memory, when the Linux Format (and/or, another,
> similar) magazine was/were in print and being sold, copies of the
> magazine were sold with a DVD that contained more than one Linux iso,
> allowing the user to choose which iso to boot.
>

As a single example, that I just happened to easily find, Linux Format
DVD107 has on it, Ubuntu 8.04 AND Mandriva One 2008 Spring.

> That was from a time when a Linux iso was CD size, so allowing
> multiple iso's to fit on a DVD, and, from a time when new laptop
> computers all came with built in removable optical drives (DVD’s or
> CD's).
>
> So, now, when laptop computers are being sold without CD/DVD drives,
> but can be booted from USB thumbdrives, I am wondering whether what
> used to be done with the magazine DVD's - having multiple iso's on
> them, from which, a user could choose one (at a time) to boot, could
> now easily (with emphasis on the "easily") be done with USB
> thumbdrives.
>
> --
> Bret Busby
> Armadale
> West Australia
> ..............
>
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>  you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
>  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>  written by Douglas Adams,
>  published by Pan Books, 1992
>
> ....................................................
>


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
On 31/10/2019, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 31/10/2019, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 31/10/2019, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 20:00:26 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> > On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> >> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install
>>>> >> GRUB
>>>> >>    to the MBR of the drive.
>>>> > [...]
>>>> >> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
>>>> >
>>>> > Sounds like a lot of work to me.
>>>> >
>>>> > This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
>>>> > intervention.
>>>> >
>>>> > http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
>>>> >
>>>> > As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>> So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
>>>> with a common USB thumbdrive?
>>>
>>> Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
>>> all, the full instructions should help. :)
>>>
>>
>>
>> "not always as easy as it sounds"
>>
>> Original query -
>> "whether something like a removable USB drive can
>> be easily set up, ..."
>>
>> Your response indicates a complicated possible solution, that you
>> assessed as "not always as easy as it sounds".
>>
>> What I was hoping to be the level of simplicity, was something like
>> copy a set of iso's to a USB thumbdrive, and either run a utility (if
>> such a utility exits) that writes a GRUB instance to the thumbdrive,
>> and that does a thing like update-grub, to configure GRUB to provide
>> boot options for the iso's on the thumbdrive, thence, for one of the
>> iso's booted from the thumbdrive, to be able to copy and add another
>> iso (or, more iso's) to the thumbdrive, and, to be able to run again,
>> update-grub on the thumbdrive, to provide options to boot the added
>> iso's.
>>
>> Years ago, from memory, when the Linux Format (and/or, another,
>> similar) magazine was/were in print and being sold, copies of the
>> magazine were sold with a DVD that contained more than one Linux iso,
>> allowing the user to choose which iso to boot.
>>
>
> As a single example, that I just happened to easily find, Linux Format
> DVD107 has on it, Ubuntu 8.04 AND Mandriva One 2008 Spring.
>

And, that is designated as a dual boot DVD - Linux Format issue July 2008.

>> That was from a time when a Linux iso was CD size, so allowing
>> multiple iso's to fit on a DVD, and, from a time when new laptop
>> computers all came with built in removable optical drives (DVD’s or
>> CD's).
>>
>> So, now, when laptop computers are being sold without CD/DVD drives,
>> but can be booted from USB thumbdrives, I am wondering whether what
>> used to be done with the magazine DVD's - having multiple iso's on
>> them, from which, a user could choose one (at a time) to boot, could
>> now easily (with emphasis on the "easily") be done with USB
>> thumbdrives.
>>
>> --
>> Bret Busby
>> Armadale
>> West Australia
>> ..............
>>
>> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>>  you'll know what the answer means."
>> - Deep Thought,
>>  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>>  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>>  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>>  written by Douglas Adams,
>>  published by Pan Books, 1992
>>
>> ....................................................
>>
>
>
> --
> Bret Busby
> Armadale
> West Australia
> ..............
>
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>  you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
>  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>  written by Douglas Adams,
>  published by Pan Books, 1992
>
> ....................................................
>


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Brian-277
On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 21:42, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
> all, the full instructions should help. :)

Nope.

I'm 51, I'm a new father. I have enough to do already.

Any technical option which has, say, 2 or 3 alternatives, I will take
the easiest one I can afford.

Here the alternatives are:

[1] Have a small bag full of USB keys, each of which costs less than a beer.
[2] Have an external drive which replaces the above with one small product.
[3] Any complicated multi-stage command or procedure

Then I am never going to pick #3.

If I do it rarely, I will pick #1.
If I do it a lot, I will pick #2.

I do it rarely, so #1 wins.

I am never, ever going to get to #3, and with some 31 years of
experience with Unix now, and formerly being a professional trainer of
computer skills to inexperienced beginners, I will *always* tell
anyone asking for advice to avoid #3 at all costs as well.

If an expert wants to waste their time on it, fine, go for it. Have fun.

Anyone who asks me? Oh *hell* no.

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
On Fri, 1 Nov 2019 at 00:34, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

> And, that is designated as a dual boot DVD - Linux Format issue July 2008.

Bret, that is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. It is hopelessly obsolete and you
might as well throw it away.

Ubuntu was 2y old when that came out. It fitted on 1 CD and had tons
of room to spare so all the main apps also had Windows versions
included on the CD so you could get a taste.

Ubuntu is now 15y old and a full download, without any Windows apps
because they no longer fit, is nearly 10× the size.

A DVD is 5GB  or so. Some modern distros, if they offer physical media
at all, come on multiple DVDs.

An 8GB USB key now is now AU$ 3:

https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=8gb+usb+drive&s=price-asc-rank&qid=1572605565&ref=sr_st_price-asc-rank

That will hold, oh, maybe 2 distros. 3 small ones.

Why would you bother for $3? Is that a good use of your time?

I *know* it's not a good use of mine.

That is considerably less than the cover price of that magazine, in
the unlikely event that that magazine still exists.

I run Ubuntu at home, SUSE at work. I also keep a Mac bootable key
around as I own 4 Intel Macs these days.

My main laptop runs Ubuntu.
My 2 old low-spec experimental ones run Devuan.
My watching-movies-in-bed spare laptop runs Ubuntu, and I'm
experimenting with Deepin. I might even try Elementary.

I have also evaluated a bunch of other distros recently, as I
regularly do. Fedora, Debian 8/9/10, Void, Alpine, Clear Linux, antiX,
MX Linux. I don't keep any of them around on keys. The ISOs are in my
download folder in case I need them. For experimenting, I load them in
VirtualBox VMs, so most of them never get written to physical media
anyway. Why would I waste my time? They only make it onto media if
they pass Stage 1 eval in a VM, and so far, none of the above have
done that.

It is an illusion that you need access to so many. Linux is basically
Linux. They're all the same OS, with minor, almost trivial
differences. I don't need to booth them all on physical machines, or
install them, to know that.


--
Liam Proven - Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
Email: [hidden email] - Google Mail/Hangouts/Plus: [hidden email]
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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Bret Busby-2
On 01/11/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Nov 2019 at 00:34, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> And, that is designated as a dual boot DVD - Linux Format issue July 2008.
>
> Bret, that is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. It is hopelessly obsolete and you
> might as well throw it away.
>

I was not aware that I still had the DVD, until I found it in a stack
of iso discs, that I have.

My reason for mentioning it, and, for mentioning what I did mention
about it, was that eleven years ago, now, and, as you said, when
Ubuntu was only two years old, the capability existed, for creating
DVD's with the multiple boot facility, that gave a user the ability
to, using a single DVD, to choose which iso on the DVD, to boot.

In the context of current new computers that do not come with DVD/CD
drives, and, with the ability to boot from USB thumbdrives, I was
wondering whether a scenario like that DVD, could now be easily done
with USB thumbdrives, given that eleven years has passed, since that
DVD was issued, and, given other advances in Linux (and in GRUB).

It appears, from the responses that I have seen thus far, IT,
including, especially, Linux, has not progressed to the extent that I
was seeking.

I will respond to the rest of your email message, later - the response
is, I think, more complicated.

But, for the moment, I was not aware that 8GB USB thumbdrives are
still available - I have not seen them available for a while,
although, I have not dealt with amazon in Australia, yet.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Little Girl
Hey there,

Bret Busby wrote:
>Liam Proven wrote:

>> Bret, that is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. It is hopelessly obsolete and you
>> might as well throw it away.
>
>I was not aware that I still had the DVD, until I found it in a stack
>of iso discs, that I have.
>
>My reason for mentioning it, and, for mentioning what I did mention
>about it, was that eleven years ago, now, and, as you said, when
>Ubuntu was only two years old, the capability existed, for creating
>DVD's with the multiple boot facility, that gave a user the ability
>to, using a single DVD, to choose which iso on the DVD, to boot.
>
>In the context of current new computers that do not come with DVD/CD
>drives, and, with the ability to boot from USB thumbdrives, I was
>wondering whether a scenario like that DVD, could now be easily done
>with USB thumbdrives, given that eleven years has passed, since that
>DVD was issued, and, given other advances in Linux (and in GRUB).
>
>It appears, from the responses that I have seen thus far, IT,
>including, especially, Linux, has not progressed to the extent that I
>was seeking.

Maybe it has. Section 4 on this page describes a method for booting
into multiple ISOs on a thumb drive:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot#Creating_the_GRUB_2_Menuentry

The page was updated on October 12 of this year, so the information
should be current and may be worth a try.

--
Little Girl

There is no spoon.

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Re: A question about multiple boot options and live boot iso images

Brian-277
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 22:30:25 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:

> On 31/10/2019, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Thu 31 Oct 2019 at 20:00:26 +0000, Bret Busby wrote:
> >
> >> On 31/10/2019, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> > On Thu, 31 Oct 2019 at 16:53, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> 1. Make a partition on the drive to hold GRUB's files and install GRUB
> >> >>    to the MBR of the drive.
> >> > [...]
> >> >> 6. Repeat for other ISOs.
> >> >
> >> > Sounds like a lot of work to me.
> >> >
> >> > This device does the same thing, entirely automatically with zero
> >> > intervention.
> >> >
> >> > http://www.zalman.com/contents/products/view.html?no=212
> >> >
> >> > As I said in my blog post, and spelled out in my last message.
> >> >
> >>
> >> So, I assume from that, that you are saying that it can not be done
> >> with a common USB thumbdrive?
> >
> > Did it enter your mind to try it yourself and come to a decision? After
> > all, the full instructions should help. :)
> >
>
>
> "not always as easy as it sounds"
>
> Original query -
> "whether something like a removable USB drive can
> be easily set up, ..."
>
> Your response indicates a complicated possible solution, that you
> assessed as "not always as easy as it sounds".

I was writing for a general audience. You are an experienced user who
would likely navigate the waters when they get choppy.

You precisely specified:
 
 > I am seeking to be able to write/copy multiple iso's to a removable
 > USB drive, and, thence to be able, via a bootloader, such as GRUB, to
 > select which iso on the removable USB drive, to boot.

That is exactly what you have been given.

If, having tested the technique, the process is found not to be suitable,
you would have learnt something rather than relying on my off-the-cuff
remark to make a decision.

> What I was hoping to be the level of simplicity, was something like
> copy a set of iso's to a USB thumbdrive, and either run a utility (if
> such a utility exits) that writes a GRUB instance to the thumbdrive,
> and that does a thing like update-grub, to configure GRUB to provide
> boot options for the iso's on the thumbdrive, thence, for one of the
> iso's booted from the thumbdrive, to be able to copy and add another
> iso (or, more iso's) to the thumbdrive, and, to be able to run again,
> update-grub on the thumbdrive, to provide options to boot the added
> iso's.

Copying the ISOs to a single partition is an option. The grub.cfg
entries would likely have to use GRUB's loopback feature and a user
would still be faced with extracting boot options for the kernel and
the initrd from the ISO. In terms of ease of use - nothing changes.

--
Brian.

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