Fedora Live USB with GRUB

As already mentioned in my last post, my laptop won’t boot from a USB stick prepared using a binary copy of an ISO (by means of dd). Here is the method I use to boot the Fedora Live images off my USB stick using GNU GRUB2. The device node of the USB driver is denoted /dev/sdX in the following and must be replaced with the actual device node (e.g. /dev/sdc).

  1. Prepare a partition on the USB stick and/or make sure there is enough space on it (it must be slightly larger than the ISO image).
  2. Make sure it is flagged bootable. ( fdisk -l /dev/sdX is your friend)
  3. Remember the name of the USB partition you’re going to use or if unlabelled, label it.
  4. Loop-mount the ISO image using something like mount -o loop /path/to/iso /mnt/loop
  5. Copy the content of the ISO over to the USB
  6. Install GRUB on the USB by issuing grub-install --no-floppy --root-directory=/mnt/usb /dev/sdX
  7. Create a /mnt/usb/boot/grub/grub.cfg with the following content
    menuentry "Fedora Live" {
     linux /isolinux/vmlinuz0 root=live:LABEL=XYZ rootfstype=auto ro liveimg quiet  rhgb rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM
     initrd /isolinux/initrd0.img
    }
    
    menuentry "Fedora Live (Basic Video)" {
     linux /isolinux/vmlinuz0 root=live:LABEL=XYZ rootfstype=auto ro liveimg quiet  rhgb rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM xdriver=vesa nomodeset
     initrd /isolinux/initrd0.img
    }

    where XYZ must be replaced by the actual partition name of your USB partition.

  8. Unmount and boot

Von Fabian Stanke

Eine Leidenschaft für’s Ungreifbare habe ich schon lange. Als Patentanwalt helfe ich Erfindern, ihr geistiges Eigentum zu schützen und zu verwerten. Zuvor folgte einer frühen Begeisterung für Musik und Software ein Physikstudium in Wien, Toulouse und Genf, wo meine Spezialisierung auf Hochenergiephysik in eine Dissertation am Europäischen Kernforschungszentrum mündete.