Install from USB drive (working)



  • Hi all,

    Just wanted to let you know that it is possible to install with usb drive.

    What i did is used the image jim-p made
    (http://cvs.pfsense.org/~jimp/pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img.gz)
    downloaded DD (http://www.chrysocome.net/dd)

    Extract the dd.exe file from the zip and put the usbinstall image in the same folder as where you extracted DD.
    Open up a command window and CD to the directory your dd.exe file and pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img file are sitting.  Run this command:  "dd if=pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img of=\.\g: bs=1k"

    Let it run (will take about 5 minutes before it returns to the command prompt.)

    This worked on 4 different usb drives i tested it on

    I thought i let you know how i got it to work as i spend 2 days searching for a solution and seen many poeple looking for a solution.

    Hope this helps
    NemesisUK



  • Thanks for the info. Do you have a link to the pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img.gz file? I've searched for it, but I can't seem to find it.

    Thanks,
    Jason


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Give it a try:

    http://cvs.pfsense.org/~jimp/pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img.gz

    Let me know if there are any issues.



  • Your welcome Flashman hope it will work for you just as good as it did for me.

    Jimp I didnt put a link to your file as i wasnt sure if you wanted this.

    Thanks

    Nem


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @nemesisUK:

    Jimp I didnt put a link to your file as i wasnt sure if you wanted this.

    I moved it to a more public location :)



  • That worked perfectly. You should sticky this post.

    Jason



  • Great it worked for you as well Flashman.

    Big thanks to Jimp though as he made the usb version i only added the howto to write to the usb stick :)


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @nemesisUK:

    Big thanks to Jimp though as he made the usb version i only added the howto to write to the usb stick :)

    Edit your first post to include the url and a shout-out to me, and I'll sticky the thread. :-)


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Another note: Instead of DD, you could also have used physdiskwrite/physgui, or Image Writer for Windows.

    Jim



  • I'm not able to decompress the .gz file. Is there anyting wrong with it ?

    edit :
    When using wget it was ok…....


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @rolmn:

    I'm not able to decompress the .gz file. Is there anyting wrong with it ?

    edit :
    When using wget it was ok…....

    Some browsers (like Opera, and I think Safari on a Mac) will decompress the file as it downloads, but not rename it. Using wget/fetch is usually safer.



  • In many cases you can get around that by right-clicking the link and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" (whatever the browser has) instead of just opening the link normally.



  • @nemesisUK:

    Run this command:  "dd if=pfSense-1.2.3-usbinstall.img of=\.*g:* bs=1k"

    where g: is the drive of the usb stick.

    Exelent post is working



  • Im also havin some problem with decompressing this. Could anyone decompress and reupload as .rar please?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Every other file distributed by pfSense is gzip compressed. It shouldn't be any harder to decompress than any other image.



  • @jimp:

    Every other file distributed by pfSense is gzip compressed. It shouldn't be any harder to decompress than any other image.

    @Efonne:

    In many cases you can get around that by right-clicking the link and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" (whatever the browser has) instead of just opening the link normally.

    Solved by doin this. :) totally missed that comment.



  • hey guys i tried both dd and windiskimager, they write the image to the pendrive but at the moment to boot from it doesnt work :(…..any tips? thx


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Did you try downloading the link in a different browser? Or right clicking the link and choosing "Save Link As"?



  • yes i did that way too,i tried another pen too,no luck,when dd or diskimager finish i try to access to the pendrive and  i say that isnt formated,is that normal?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    That is normal. Windows won't see the partition, because Windows doesn't understand FreeBSD's file system (ufs2)



  • oh yeah,my bad,but i cant boot from the pen yet :(


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It may be your BIOS. I have encountered many systems over the years that would either not boot from USB, or would only do so unreliably.



  • well i tried other SO and the boot from the USB works….



  • @jimp:

    Every other file distributed by pfSense is gzip compressed. It shouldn't be any harder to decompress than any other image.

    I have seen pfSense-memstick-2.0-BETA4-20101121-1828.img.gz from snapshot repo, please confirm how can be pfsense 2 installed from usb stick please.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    decompress the file, and write it to a USB stick, same as any other.



  • Hi!

    i've noticed that there are pfsense 2.0 img files from snapshot server, does this mean that we only have to do de "dd" step to install pfsense 2.0 in a usb stick and then run the setup from it?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Yes, dd the decompressed image (or gzip … | dd, check the directions for embedded images on the doc wiki) and then boot from the USB stick.



  • thanks jimp, sorry for the repeated post.

    regards



  • Got the image installed on my USB drive however the boot hangs at the following.

    GEOM: da0: geometry does not match the label (16h, 63s != 255h,63s)
    GEOM: da0: media size does not match the label.

    EDIT: Selected Option 3 to boot from usb device on startup and issue resolved.



  • I've tried  gzip -d  then DD on the memstick 2.0.img, the 2.0 Nanobsd.img, as well as the usbinstall.img from farther up and I keep getting "no bootable partition on table." i've also tried multiple usb sticks with no luck… any suggestions?... I've never installed pfsense and trying to go with a usb drive to not have to buy a CDrom.... any help would be much appreciated.

    Here is the process I went through:

    **C:\MakeUSB>gzip pfSense-memstick-2.0-RC1-i386-20110226-1530.img -d

    C:\MakeUSB>dd if=pfSense-memstick-2.0-RC1-i386-20110226-1530.img of=\.\d: bs=1k

    rawwrite dd for windows version 0.5.
    Written by John Newbigin jn@it.swin.edu.auThis program is covered by the GPL.  See copying.txt for details
    253512+0 records in
    253512+0 records out/jn@it.swin.edu.au**

    -Tried it on machine and got the "no bootable partition on table"

    **C:\MakeUSB>gzip pfSense-1.2.3-RELEASE-2g-nanobsd.img -d

    C:\MakeUSB>gzip pfSense-2.0-RC1-512mb-i386-20110226-1633-nanobsd.img -d

    C:\MakeUSB>dd if=pfSense-2.0-RC1-512mb-i386-20110226-1633-nanobsd.img of=\.\d:
    bs=1k
    rawwrite dd for windows version 0.5.
    Written by John Newbigin jn@it.swin.edu.auThis program is covered by the GPL.  See copying.txt for details
    500472+0 records in
    500472+0 records out

    C:\MakeUSB>/jn@it.swin.edu.au**

    -Tried it on machine and got the "no bootable partition on table"

    same for usbinstall.



  • I too have had some issues getting PF 2.x working from USB - with the dreaded 'GEOM: da0: geometry does not match the label' error after DD'ing the memstick image over.

    After trying many different types of USB stick / CF Card - nothing worked, even after selecting option '3' on the installer.

    However in the end I got it working, but there is still a small problem hopefully someone will know the answer to….

    To get this working, with the USB stick in the system, I booted using the LiveCD. Once booted, I then dropped to shell and did :

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=1M

    After a while, the USB was zero'd out. I then exited and selected the '99' option to install from hard disk.

    The install ran through, but after reboot (after removing the CD) I am again confronted by the install / setup screen. I manually select '3' and this time, PF boots up and works.

    So my question is - how do I basically bypass this setup screen and get the thing to boot up without having to press '3'?

    At the moment, the default option is to just boot up (default) from hard disk which ends horribly.

    I was also wondering if this installation would be in any way different from the memstick / nano images, was wondering about logging / writing to flash more as this would basically be the 'hard disk'  version?

    JD


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Read the note here about setting the boot_delay:

    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting



  • Brilliant - works like a charm now.

    Any ideas if installing to 'disk' from LiveCD is any different from the 'memstick' build?

    I'm mainly concerned about PF performing excessive writes to the Flash medium.

    I thought I read something somewhere that the nano / memstick builds were optimised for flash media - with most logging functions disabled as default because of this?

    JD


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The nanobsd builds keep the file system read only, and even when they do switch to rw for various things, they keep the filesystem sync and noatime to minimize writes. The logs are kept in a RAM disk, they are not disabled.

    The full install will frequently write to the disk, there is no way around that on the full install. If you are installing to any flash media, you really do want the NanoBSD variety.



  • Ugh - feared as much. I can't get any of the nano builds to work on this server - just get to the BTX loader version and then nothing….

    The 'memstick' image does actually boot, however I get the disk geometry error - so no dice there either.

    Any ideas why all nano builds refuse to boot, whereas memstick / liveCD disk installed ones do?

    JD


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    NanoBSD builds output to serial console after the boot initializes. They're probably working fine, you're just not hooked up to a serial console with a null modem cable to see it. At the moment there aren't any NanoBSD builds with VGA happening on the snapshot builders.



  • Doh! Of course!

    Might have twigged that as the USB activity light only flickered a few times and then did nothing - it had halted with the MOUNT FAILURE. Followed the instructions again to stick the boot delay in and now works great.

    Thanks!

    JD



  • I have been struggling with pfsense for two days now… lol(?) anyways, how do i install it on the harddrive? I use this version pfSense-memstick-2.0-RC1-i386-20110226-1530.img.gz booting from usb.

    When I choose 99 in the menu i get this message:
    "An internal Lua error occurred while trying to run the script
    /usr/local/share/dfuibe_lua/install/main.lua"

    And a hell lot of other things.. how do i fix this? ;(


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It should boot up and install just like the CD. Nothing special to it really.

    Try a recent snapshot instead of the official RC1 image.



  • @jimp:

    It should boot up and install just like the CD. Nothing special to it really.

    Try a recent snapshot instead of the official RC1 image.

    Where do I find those?
    Actually, i have tried EVERY single img and iso file… cant get pfsense to boot.. with the img versions. But i can boot up with the usbstick 1.2.3 version but then i get this LUA error when trying to install it on my harddrive.


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