Make a USB Boot CD for Kubuntu 9.10 or 10.04

How to create a USB Boot CD that can be used to boot a Kubuntu Live USB Flash Drive from a computer with a BIOS that does not natively support booting from USB. The USB boot CD created using this tutorial launches the initrd (Initial Ram Filesystem) along with the necessary USB drivers from the CD, and then tries to boot the squash filesystem from the USB drive. Kubuntu, a derivative of Ubuntu that uses a KDE desktop environment instead of Gnome is a product of Canonical Ltd.

Prerequisites for making a USB Boot CD for Kubuntu 9.10 or 10.04

  • Test PC with a BIOS that does not support booting from USB
  • Kubuntu Live CD
  • USB flash drive with Kubuntu preinstalled
  • Working CD Burner

How to Create a CD to Boot Kubuntu from USB

Note: We prefer to perform the following steps by booting from a prebuilt Kbuntu 10.04 Live USB on a machine that does support booting from USB. This allows us to free up the CD Burner and use it to burn the final ISO.

  1. Insert your Kubuntu Live USB or Live CD and restart your computer, booting from the device
  2. Open a Terminal (Start > Applications > System > Terminal)
  3. Type sudo apt-get install grub
  4. Type mkdir -p ubcdk/boot/grub
  5. Type cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/stage2_eltorito ubcdk/boot/grub
  6. Type nano ubcdk/boot/grub/menu.lst
    Copy the following information to the menu.lst file. Press Ctrl+X, press Y, and then press Enter to save the file:

    title Start Kubuntu from USB DISK
    root (cd)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/kubuntu.seed boot=casper noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent
    initrd /boot/initrd.lz
    boot

  7. Type cp /cdrom/casper/vmlinuz ~/ubcdk/boot
  8. Type sudo nano /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
    Add the following lines to the end of your modules file. Press Ctrl+X, press Y, and then press Enter to save the file:

    usbcore
    usb-storage
    uhci_hcd
    ohci_hcd
    ehci_hcd
    sd_mod
    scsi_mod

  9. Type sudo nano /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf
    Add the following line to the bottom of the file. Press Ctrl+X, press Y, and then press Enter to save the file:

    WAIT=8

  10. Type sudo mkinitramfs -o ubcdk/boot/initrd.lz
  11. Type mkisofs -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o usbcdk.iso ubcdk
  12. Type k3b usbcdk.iso to burn the ISO to a CD
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