Creating a bootable USB stick of the LiveCD image



  • I'm sorry if this has been answered elsewhere - I did do a considerable amount of searching tonight for about 3 hours and didn't find a good solution.

    I am trying to figure out how to get the LiveCD image onto a 4GB USB stick to boot the net6501 Soekris platform.  I've tried a number of things that don't seem to work.  I'm using an mSATA SLC 4GB drive as my target install disk, and a 4GB USB stick to do the boot/install/LiveCD piece.

    I'm aware of the convoluted PXE, mSATA adapter, and other install methods - none of which I can use right now, although I should have an mSATA to SATA adapter soon.  Additionally, long term I can't rely on those options in the event of a failure based on where these systems will be deployed, and who will be doing recovery on them.

    I'm also aware that the Soekris platform didn't USB boot correctly but that was supposedly fixed in the most recent version of the comBIOS (see http://soekris.com/media/software/changelog.txt).  I'm sure there are corner cases, but I am using the 4GB SanDisk USB stick that they recommend/sell.

    Finally, I've read posts such as this http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,42028.15.html that indicate using the old reliable dd option of the nanobsd/embedded image cause some issues, and would much rather do a full install from the LiveCD.

    So, how does one go about getting the LiveCD ISO onto a USB stick in a bootable form?

    Thanks!



  • @stevemitchell:

    So, how does one go about getting the LiveCD ISO onto a USB stick in a bootable form?

    Download the appropriate (32-bit or 64-bit?) memstick image.

    gunzip it.

    dd the resultant file to the USB drive (not to a partition on the USB drive).

    See http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,42677.0.html for more information about the various download files.



  • @wallabybob:

    Download the appropriate (32-bit or 64-bit?) memstick image.

    gunzip it.

    dd the resultant file to the USB drive (not to a partition on the USB drive).

    See http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,42677.0.html for more information about the various download files.

    Great suggestion, but the memstick image is VGA only as far as I can tell.  I have a serial only platform.  I'm going to troll the forums more to see if there is a parameter I can feed it at boot time to output to serial.



  • Found several references to a memstick image that has serial support.  jimp has posted a file here http://files.pfsense.org/jimp/pfSense-memstick-serial-2.0.1-RELEASE-i386.img.gz and filed a change request (which I wholeheartedly support!) here https://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/1733 to add this as an option going forward.

    Unfortunately, even after install, it boots the initial loader, and then gibberish and blank screen.  I suspect that the installer didn't set the serial port as the primary display.  Off to search again to see if I can find a solution :(



  • Perhaps you have a serial port speed switch between the BIOS and FreeBSD startup. I think FreeBSD startup initialises the serial port to 9600bps. I think I have seen this discussed previously in the forums.



  • @wallabybob:

    Perhaps you have a serial port speed switch between the BIOS and FreeBSD startup. I think FreeBSD startup initialises the serial port to 9600bps. I think I have seen this discussed previously in the forums.

    Nope, it's actually known behavior.  The image is only setup to provide serial access to a point.  I've been working with folks via the support portal today on this issue.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    For the archives here, the current (updated) memstick image in my directory on files.pfsense.org should be working better now.


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