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openSUSE LiveUSB with KIWI

May 21st, 2008 by

liveusb sysinfo

As mentioned on previous post, today I’m playing with LiveUSB creation. Coolo, our lovely (and busy 😉 ) openSUSE project manager discard his experimental test of making LiveUSB due to various specific problem with the USB.

I released factory snapshots of USB and CD images – the USB shows just too many USB specific problems to be worthy, so I kind of decided to kill this idea again ;( More…

Before taking the tutorial mentioned by Luiz Fernando, I’m trying with KIWI LiveUSB stick tutorial. I’ve followed the tutorial last month but the process unfinished yet due to the complaining from KIWI that the image doesn’t fit on my 2 GB USB Flash Disk. At the moment, I was stopped the process and planned to continue after buying another bigger flash disk. I take this conclusion with the assumption KIWI need more than 2 GB of USB disk.

Today I used same tutorial with another assumption 😉 , probably the problem occurred due to the annoying bug with KIWI in earlier version, not with the size of USB disk. KIWI using same image used by LiveCD (about 700 MB), so, 2 GB of USB disk should be fit with the requirement of KIWI for building live USB stick.

With this assumption, I’m trying KIWI once again for building live USB stick with same device (2 GB of USB flash disk), and now the process ended successfully. I could make a running USB Live stick with KIWI Wiki guidance for making USB live stick. Below is the summary of guidance :

  1. Install openSUSE with standard option. The easiest way is using openSUSE liveCD installation 😀 , but you still needed an installation DVD or DVD iso image as base installation source.
  2. Copying the entire content of installation DVD to specified folder as installation source. If you used iso image, you could mount the iso into specified folder with this command : mount -o loop name-of-iso-image specified-folderex : mount -o loop openSUSE-10.3-GM-DVD-i386.iso /mnt/iso
  3. Add the KIWI installation source.
  4. zypper sa http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/Tools/openSUSE_10.3 kiwi

  5. Installing kiwi component :
  6. zypper in kiwi kiwi-desc-livesystem kiwi-desc-usbboot

  7. Make proper changes to usbboot config.xml files on /usr/share/kiwi/image/usbboot/suse-10.3/config.xml and replace following lines with your local repos :
  8. <repository type="yast2" status="replaceable">
    <source path="/image/CDs/full-10.3-i386"/>

  9. Make proper changes to livecd config.xml /usr/share/kiwi/image/kwliveCD-suse-10.3/config.xml and replace this portion xml code to your local repos :
  10. <repository type="yast2">
    <source path="/mounts/dist/install/SLP/openSUSE-10.3-GM-DVD/i386/DVD1/"/>
    <repository type="rpm-md">
    <source path="http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/10.3:/Testing/openSUSE_10.3/"/>
    <repository type="rpm-md">
    <source path="http://download.opensuse.org/update/10.3/"/>

  11. Newer version of KIWI complaining about the version number on config.xml (it should be version number, major and minor changes), so, change this line : <version>2.5</version> with something like <version>2.5.0</version>
  12. Remove file .checksum.md5 on /usr/share/kiwi/image/usbboot/suse-10.3/ (it’s hidden file, so make a deal with your display on file manager preferences, ie : show hidden files on konqueror)
  13. Clean up temporary folder for kiwi processing
  14. rm -rf /tmp/kiwi*

  15. Run the kiwi command (replace KDE with Gnome if you more preferred with GNOME desktop manager)
  16. kiwi --prepare /usr/share/kiwi/image/kwliveCD-suse-10.3 --root /tmp/kiwi-tmp --add-profile KDE --logfile terminal

  17. Kiwi will processing and building the image. It should be ended with the information “KIWI exited successfully done”. If you get an error exception, please make a deal with the error 😉
  18. Create the compressed image. The process will produces the image named openSUSE-10.3.i686-2.5.0 on /tmp/kiwi-image/
  19. mkdir /tmp/kiwi-image
    kiwi --type usb --create /tmp/kiwi-tmp -d /tmp/kiwi-image --logfile terminal

  20. Plugin your USB flash disk and specifies the location of your USB flash on /dev folder (ls /dev/sd* will display your USB flash disk at the end of the list)
  21. Umount (ie : umount /dev/sdc1)
  22. Create a bootable LiveUSB stick with openSUSE 10.3 by run the command :
  23. kiwi --bootstick /tmp/kiwi-image/initrd-usbboot-suse-10.3.i686-2.1.1.splash.gz --bootstick-system /tmp/kiwi-image/openSUSE-10.3.i686-2.5.0

  24. Try your LiveUSB stick by rebooting with USB boot as your first device boot priority.

LiveUSB partition

The above procedure using openSUSE 10.3 as base installation but the overall process *should be* work with openSUSE 11.0 or newer version with a small modification. Please change the process path according your openSUSE version.

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7 Responses to “openSUSE LiveUSB with KIWI”

  1. Robin

    Great guide 🙂

    > Make proper changes to usbboot config.xml files on /usr/share/kiwi/image/usbboot/suse-10.3/config.xml and replace following lines with your local repos :

    Afaik that’s not needed. The repository is marked as “replacable” and kiwi will fill in the right repository itself (at least this is how it works with the netboot configurations).
    Otherwise you would have to create a new hash for this configuration

  2. While this may be a working guide, it is far too complex for the average user. If you bother to compare it to Fedora’s offer, you will find that openSUSE has a long way to go to hook users by means of live USB images.

    Steps for Fedora ( from a running openSUSE 11.0 Beta3 installation )

    1.) Download iso image from http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/9/Live/i686/Fedora-9-i686-Live.iso
    2.) Open iso image with file roller and extract /LiveOS/livecd-iso-to-disk into directory where iso resides ( not necessary, but saves some typing )
    3.) Install syslinux package ( zypper in syslinux )
    4.) run livecd-iso-to-disk –overlay-size-mb 512 /path/to/iso /path/tousbstick ( adjust path/to/iso and /path/to/usbstick

    If anything’s amiss the script will tell you what to do.

    The resulting bootable stick also has persistence, i.e. changes you make during a session will be preserved.

    • Hi,

      I know what the Fedora community (and also Ubuntu Team) offered is more simple and pretty much easier than what I mentioned at the tutorial above, that’s why I’m thinking some easy way to do same job.

      Coolo has an experimental test with the easiest way (simply 1 line of bash command), but it looks like have some specific issue with USB stick.

      Anyway, thank you for describing how to make a fedora liveUSB.

    • rhorstkoetter

      You’re absolutely right. It’s far too difficult to get openSUSE LiveUSB up and running atm. No newbie would install openSUSE to his harddrive to get it running on an USB stick, at least IMHO.
      Coolo’s approach is the right way from my perspective, although it’s not working for me so far.

      I think openSUSE LiveUSB would be a good way to attract newbies for the distribution
      – it’s damn fast
      – it’s persistent, so users could tinker much more with the system as possible with LiveCDs
      – and of course, there is no need to touch the harddrive

      Last but not least, USB installation should be possible from within windows as well.
      Fedora’s reference on this.. https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator

      Just to throw in my 2 cents!

  3. ben


    Thank you for this tutorial.

    But I have a problem when the USB stick boots.
    During the splashscreen.
    The computer is “waiting for USB devices to settle…………….” and after there is “No USB stick found”.
    Is anybody know what is wrong ?

    Thank you.

  4. Zhanlun

    Hi, thanks for your great tutorial first, I used fedora liveusb before, now, I would like to transfer it to openSUSE,

    my problem is, I can’t find the folder “/usr/share/kiwi/image/kwliveCD-suse-10.3′ after install the kiwi, would you

    possibly help fix this problem, I’m not a experimental user for openSUSE, all things done under the 11.O liveCD, Kiwi

    version is 2.38, thanks in advance!