Make a USB Boot CD for Kubuntu 9.04

This tutorial explains how to create a USB Boot CD that can be used to boot Kubuntu 9.04 from a USB flash drive on computers utilizing a system BIOS that does not natively support booting from USB. Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop environment instead of Gnome. The USB boot CD created using this tutorial launches the initrd and vmlinuz kernel from the CD along with the necessary USB drivers, and then proceeds to locate the filesystem on the USB drive. Because the USB driver modules are preloaded from the initrd on the CD, the compressed filesystem can then be detected and loaded from the USB device.

USB Boot CD for Kubuntu 9.04 build essentials:

  • Test PC with a BIOS that does not support booting from USB
  • Live CD or a PC that can Boot from USB
  • Kubuntu 9.04 CD
  • Working CD Burner
  • USB flash drive with Kubuntu 9.04 preinstalled

Creating a CD to Boot Kubuntu from USB

Note: We prefer to perform the following steps by booting from a prebuilt Kbuntu 9.04 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 9.04 Live USB or Live CD and restart your computer, booting from the device
  2. Open a Terminal and Type mkdir -p ubcdk/boot/grub
  3. Type cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/stage2_eltorito ubcdk/boot/grub
  4. 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 Run Kubuntu 9.04 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.gz
    boot

  5. Type cp /cdrom/casper/vmlinuz ~/ubcdk/boot
  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Type sudo mkinitramfs -o ubcdk/boot/initrd.gz
  9. Type mkisofs -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o usbcdk.iso ubcdk
  10. Burn the usbcdk.iso to a CD
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