Re: Trick to burning a bootable Debian CD?

From: John Summerfield (
Date: 06/24/04

  • Next message: LeVA: "Re: Trick to burning a bootable Debian CD?"
    Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 21:54:22 +0800

    Jon Dowland wrote:

    >On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 03:34:19 -0500, Steve Kleiser
    ><> wrote:
    >> Are there any freeware utilities to burn an ISO image to CD (e.g.,
    >>iso2CD.exe or something) that run under Windows? The CD burning applications
    >>appear to contain numerous features I don't need for this particular
    >>purpose, and which only serve as potential sources of error.
    >Oh I forgot to mention - jigdo is a free utility that can be used for
    >assembling bootable install CDROMs for Debian. So, somewhere in that
    >free tool set is a process of creating the boot block for an ISO.

    There seems to be a certain amount of confusion here, so I'll leap right
    in and try to clarify.

    On Linux, to create a bootable CD for peecees you first need a bootable
    floppy disk image. Its contents depend on what you want to do, it can
    contain the preliminary part of a Linux (or *BSD) installer, it can
    contain Freedos or even the first part of a Windows (or OS/2) installer.

    The floppy image can be any valid size including 2.88 Mbytes. Mostly, I
    don't see a point to making a smaller one for a CD, but if you already
    have a smaller (like 1.44) on that's fine.

    You then create an image (ISO) file containing the bootable floppy and
    anything else you need. The commandline tool for this is mkisofs, and
    there are various wrappers for it incliding toast/roast in their names,
    and the brilliantly-named k3b. I don't know precisely the names of the
    others, I always use mkisofs.
    man mkisofs for details.

    If you want Winders to recognose long filenames, you will want the
    option for joliet (no, joilet has nothing to do with being bootable),
    and if its a *x filesystem you will want rock-ridge extensions.

    The debian folk have helpfully done everything up to here for you, and
    all you need to do is download the images and burn them to CD.

    On *x we generally use cdrecord (which, I think can also be had for
    Winders), another commandline utility. Your favourite GUI wrapper will
    use it too. On Mac OSX (panther) you can use the Disk Utility or the
    commandline program hdiutil.

    Rewritable CDs are fine, you don't need to preformat them but you do
    need to erase them. This can be done in the same run of cdrecord as you
    use for the burn. If cdrecord is configured properly, this command will
    do it with rewritables:
    cdrecord -blank=fast -eject some.iso

    "-eject" tells cdrecord to spit the CD out at the finish, quite a useful
    way to tell you it's finished.

    On many/most Linux systems, it seems you need to turn on DMA first:
    hdparm -d1 -u1 /dev/cdrom
    otherwise the system can become somewhat erratic for a time. Reportedly
    though, some CD burners don't place nice with DMA.

    Jigdo is a utility package that can split out CD images into a template
    containing pretty much erverything except the files. Another component
    takes the templates and fills in the blanks from one or more other sources.

     There are some benefits to this:
    1. You can get the template from a remote site, it's not very big in
    comparison with the CD image
    1a You can get the files (mostly deb packages in Debian) locally, even
    from an older release if you want. It's handy way to update 3.0r0 to
    3.0r2. If you don't have them all, no probs you can get the rest (and
    updates ) from your favourite mirror.

    2. You can create official CD images even if your local mirror doesn't
    have them.

    I don't know how you burn the CD images to CDs in Windows: check the CD
    ISO images and Jigdo page for details.

    Note that in Woody, _all_ the x86 CD images are bootable. Read the
    installation manul for the details on their differences.

    -- spambait
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