Make a USB Boot CD for Linux Mint 8 or 9

Make a USB Boot CD for Linux Mint that can be used to boot Linux Mint from a USB flash memory stick on computers with a BIOS that does not natively support booting from USB. The USB Boot CD created using the following process utilizes a grub bootloader to launch the vmlinuz kernel and initrd from the CD. The USB driver modules enable detection of the filesystem.squashfs on the USB device. The filesystem is then decompressed and Linux Mint proceeds to load.

USB Boot CD for Linux Mint 8 or 9 creation requirements:

  • Test PC with a BIOS that does not boot from USB
  • PC that does Boot from USB or can use the Live CD
  • Working CD Burner
  • USB flash drive with Linux Mint preinstalled

Creating a CD to Boot Linux Mint 8 or 9 from USB

Note: We accomplished the following while running from a pre-installed Linux Mint 9 Live USB on a machine that does support booting from USB. This enabled us to free up the CD Burner to use to burn the final ISO.

  1. Insert your Linux Mint Live USB or Live CD and restart your computer, booting from the CD or Live USB
  2. Open a Terminal (Menu > Terminal)
  3. Type sudo apt-get install grub
  4. Type mkdir -p mbcd/boot/grub
  5. Type cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/stage2_eltorito mbcd/boot/grub
  6. Type gedit mbcd/boot/grub/menu.lst
    Add the following information to your menu.lst file and click save:

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

  7. Type cp /cdrom/casper/vmlinuz ~/mbcd/boot
  8. Type sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
    Add the following lines to the modules file and click save:

    usbcore
    usb-storage
    uhci_hcd
    ohci_hcd
    ehci_hcd
    sd_mod
    scsi_mod

  9. Type sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf
    Add the following line to the bottom of the file and click save:

    WAIT=8

  10. Type sudo mkinitramfs -o mbcd/boot/initrd.lz
  11. Type mkisofs -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o mintusbcd.iso mbcd
  12. Insert a blank CD and type brasero -i mintusbcd.iso (to burn the ISO to a CD)
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