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Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

For help or questions about 64-bit version of MEPIS, this is the forum to use.
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kmathern
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#51 Post by kmathern » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:00 am

Silent Observer wrote:How do I use dd to create a USB? Just bitwise copy the iso file, then syslinux the USB partition (or just mark it bootable in the partitioning software)? The installer creators generally do more than that, don't they?
All you need to use is the `dd` command. You don't need to use syslinux on it, or use partitioning software. You do need to make certain that you specify the correct device (/dev/sdc in my example)

Code: Select all

dd if=/full/path/to/isofile of=/dev/sdc

I usually do a slight variation of what's shown in my example above, I add the `pv` command (install the pv package if it's not already installed) so I can have some type of progress indication, otherwise you can end up waiting a long time and wonder if it's working or not

Code: Select all

dd if=/full/path/to/isofile | pv | of=/dev/sdc

Btw, I see that someone in your thread at the Kubuntu forum also mentioned having problems with Unetbootin and recommended dd-ing the iso file.

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JimC
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#52 Post by JimC » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:20 pm

Note that you can also use ddrescue to do the same thing, performing a block by block (a.k.a., sector by sector) copy of a source .iso file, writing it to a destination device (like a USB Flash Drive).

Many modern .iso files let you do that kind of thing using either dd or ddrescue.

ddrescue is already installed in Mepis 11 and most earlier releases.

Again, it works the same way as dd, only with different syntax.

For example, you could navigate to the folder that you had the Kubuntu .iso file stored in and do something like this to overwrite a flash drive (sdb in this example, but it may be labeled something else), so that you don't need to use a complete path to it (insert the correct .iso file name in the command).

cd /home/yourname/Downloads
su
ddrescue kubuntu-14.04-desktop-i386.iso /dev/sdb

Basically, ddrescue works similar to dd, only you don't need the if= and of= for the input and output devices.

I usually use su to perform operations as root. But, that's probably not really needed.

I'd suggest using fdisk -l and mount commands first, so that you are sure about the media you're writing to/from. For example, like this:

su
mount
fdisk -l

If you make a mistake (for example, use the wrong device for the output, it will be overwritten with the source you use. So, be careful to make sure you've got the correct input/output syntax, using either dd or ddrescue, paying attention to the devices that show up using fdisk -l so you are sure you're writing to the correct device (your flash drive). ;-)

It's also best to make sure the drive you're writing the image to is unmounted (and the location you're using as the source should be mounted). So, if you see a mount point for your destination device (the flash drive you're writing to) using the mount command, unmount any mounted partitions. For example, do this if your flash drive shows up as something like /mnt/sdb1 when using the mount command:

umount /dev/sdb1

Then, copy the .iso file to it, as shown in previous commands.

Either way (using dd as shown by kmathern), or using ddrescue, will insure the .iso file overwrites the destination device (/dev/sdb in my example) and you'll get an exact copy of the source .iso file from the mounted partition you're copying it from. Many newer .iso files for distros like OpenSUSE, Kubuntu, etc. can be used that way, and are already set up to be bootable using that technique.

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kmathern
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#53 Post by kmathern » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:47 pm

"Silent Observer" hasn't reported back yet, but according to a post he made at the Kubuntu forum (https://www.kubuntuforums.net/showthrea ... post355010) creating the LiveUSB with the `dd` command and reinstalling Kubuntu worked, and his install now boots okay.

I did note in that thread that he said he had originally used the '603-1' version of Unetbootin to create the LiveUSB. I see that the current Unetbootin version is at '608'. I wonder if he would have had a better result using the current version of Unetbootin?


fwiw, I prefer the `dd` method.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#54 Post by Silent Observer » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:22 pm


Okay, I found the problem. As suggested a couple posts back, creating the USB with dd instead of unetbootin appears to have solved the install problem, and mounting all partitions except the ones that need to be written as part of the installation (the actual OS partition, swap, and the home partition that will receive the user folder) kept the time hanging at the "Prepare" step in the installer to a reasonable figure. Installation when smoothly, Kubuntu booted via Grub 2 on the first try after installing from the dd-built USB, I then repaired Grub Legacy from Mepis and reinstalled Grub 2 in the Kubuntu partition only (missed the checkbox during install) and I'm about 60% through installing my applications and customizing it to look and act like my personalized Mepis (activate root password and changed launching default to require that for admin privilege -- which didn't fix a few things in System Setting that apparently use PolicyKit, but works for the majority of stuff like Dolphin as su and Synaptic, -- put my widgets where I'm used to seeing them, etc.). Got Pipelight installed (quick and easy, with its own segregated special version of Wine -- just need to find the button to active the 32-bit nVidia driver so Flash content will display correctly now that the player is working), and I'm now convinced this is going to do the job for me (even if they drop upgrades, it'll be 2019 before I lose support for 14.04).

I wish I could find the Keramik window decorations again -- I've been using those in Mepis for almost as long as I've had it (I like the little "bubble" with the window title, but with the buttons in the proper place, i.e. upper right corner), but the KDE Window Decorations setup no longer finds that option (perhaps it wasn't updated for the more current version of KDE in Kubuntu 14.04?) and Googling "KDE keramik" finds menus and icons but not the window decoration I'm after. I wonder if I could extract the download from my Mepis install and copy it over to Kubuntu (and if it'd work in the newer KDE)?
MEPIS 11 64-bit, MSI P6NGM-L motherboard, Core 2 Quad 9400 2.67 GHz, 4 GiB PC2-5300 RAM, 1 GiB nVidia GT520 on PCI Express x16.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#55 Post by Silent Observer » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:32 pm

kmathern wrote:I did note in that thread that he said he had originally used the '603-1' version of Unetbootin to create the LiveUSB. I see that the current Unetbootin version is at '608'. I wonder if he would have had a better result using the current version of Unetbootin?
The unetbootin version I used is the one in Debian testing or the antiX daveserver repo, since that's the system I installed it on and wrote the USB from. That's significantly newer than the one available in the Mepis repos (even Mepis testrepo has version 530 or some such). Unless unetbootin has fixed a specific, likely obscure and seemingly poorly reported bug between 603-1 and 608, I wouldn't think it would make much difference -- but now that I know how to use dd for the job, I'll probably use that method exclusively in future; it's equivalent to using CD burner software such as K3b to write a Live CD -- it just copies the ISO directly without doing anything to it, because the file contains a bootable image already.

I suppose unetbootin could be useful for some of its other functions -- it's apparently now able to perform frugal installs (probably already could even in the version Mepis offers), by copying the iso to a hard disk partition and pointing a bootloader there -- but that can surely be done with dd as well. I've wondered for a while how the antiX community was doing those, this seems likely to be the way (or "a" way, anyhow).
MEPIS 11 64-bit, MSI P6NGM-L motherboard, Core 2 Quad 9400 2.67 GHz, 4 GiB PC2-5300 RAM, 1 GiB nVidia GT520 on PCI Express x16.

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kmathern
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#56 Post by kmathern » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:44 pm

Silent Observer wrote:
kmathern wrote:I did note in that thread that he said he had originally used the '603-1' version of Unetbootin to create the LiveUSB. I see that the current Unetbootin version is at '608'. I wonder if he would have had a better result using the current version of Unetbootin?
The unetbootin version I used is the one in Debian testing or the antiX daveserver repo, since that's the system I installed it on and wrote the USB from. That's significantly newer than the one available in the Mepis repos (even Mepis testrepo has version 530 or some such). Unless unetbootin has fixed a specific, likely obscure and seemingly poorly reported bug between 603-1 and 608, I wouldn't think it would make much difference -- but now that I know how to use dd for the job, I'll probably use that method exclusively in future; it's equivalent to using CD burner software such as K3b to write a Live CD -- it just copies the ISO directly without doing anything to it, because the file contains a bootable image already.

I suppose unetbootin could be useful for some of its other functions -- it's apparently now able to perform frugal installs (probably already could even in the version Mepis offers), by copying the iso to a hard disk partition and pointing a bootloader there -- but that can surely be done with dd as well. I've wondered for a while how the antiX community was doing those, this seems likely to be the way (or "a" way, anyhow).
Actually BitJam would rather you not use the `dd` command for creating LiveUSB keys, because you can't use some of the features antiX offers (i.e. persistence). But if you're just creating the LiveUSB key to use it in the same manner as you would use a LiveDVD, dd is fine.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#57 Post by Silent Observer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:26 am

Grrr. So, unetbootin is preferred, unless you waste a couple hours making non-startable installs before giving up and using dd?

Given I've never had a need for persistence on a Live USB (the only place I go where I'd like to be able to reboot into a proper OS -- as opposed to Windows residing on a server 1000 miles away with 90% of personalization options locked out -- the USB ports are blocked at the BIOS level and the BIOS settings are locked, oh, and never mind I could probably be fired if I managed to start up one of those terminals in an unauthorized OS -- else the "backpack" terminals at work could be much more useful; they've got enough RAM and processor power to run antiX or Lubuntu, maybe even Xubuntu, in "toram" with persistence), I think I'll stick with dd -- perfectly fine for use as a "rescue key" (too bad USB keys don't have a hardware write protect like some SD cards; hmm, maybe I should look for some SD cards with protection tabs, cheaper than USB the same capacity, too, and reusable, unlike DVD-ROM media), for distros too big to fit on a CD.
MEPIS 11 64-bit, MSI P6NGM-L motherboard, Core 2 Quad 9400 2.67 GHz, 4 GiB PC2-5300 RAM, 1 GiB nVidia GT520 on PCI Express x16.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#58 Post by dolphin_oracle » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:02 am

off topic, but some usb keys do have write protect switches. but the sd cards are cheaper usually.

http://www.amazon.com/Kanguru-Flashblu- ... W9ZQMGBWQS
http://www.youtube.com/runwiththedolphin
lenovo ThinkPad T530 - MX-17
lenovo s21e & 100s - antiX-17, MX17(live-usb)
FYI: mx "test" repo is not the same thing as debian testing repo.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#59 Post by kmathern » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:56 am

Silent Observer wrote:Grrr. So, unetbootin is preferred, unless you waste a couple hours making non-startable installs before giving up and using dd?
I didn't say that Unetbootin was preferred, I said there's some antiX features you can't use with a LiveUSB key that's created by dd-ing the iso file to the key.

Antix has a tool of it's own for creating live usb keys, the antix2usb program. But I don't know if it can also be used to create LiveUSB keys for other distros like Kubuntu.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#60 Post by Silent Observer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:29 am

kmathern wrote:Antix has a tool of it's own for creating live usb keys, the antix2usb program. But I don't know if it can also be used to create LiveUSB keys for other distros like Kubuntu.
I've tried antix2usb once for writing another ISO -- it wouldn't boot. I don't know if that was just a "bad burn" (I've seen that a couple times with unetbootin, too), or if antix2usb is so tied to antiX that the only reason they give you a pull-down to select an iso file is that you might want different antiX versions or 32-bit vs. 64-bit.
MEPIS 11 64-bit, MSI P6NGM-L motherboard, Core 2 Quad 9400 2.67 GHz, 4 GiB PC2-5300 RAM, 1 GiB nVidia GT520 on PCI Express x16.

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