Provided by: grml2usb_0.14.13_i386 bug


       grml2usb - install Grml ISO(s) on usb device for booting


       grml2usb [ options ] <ISO[s]> <device>

       Important! The Grml team does not take responsibility for loss of any


       grml2usb installs Grml on a given partition of your usb device and
       makes it bootable. It provides multiboot ISO support, meaning you can
       specify several Grml ISOs on the command line at once and select the
       Grml flavour you would like to boot on the bootprompt then. Note that
       the first ISO specified on the grml2usb command line will become the
       default one (that’s the one that will boot when just pressing enter on
       the bootprompt or wait until the boot timeout matches).

           By default a compatible master boot record (MBR) is installed on
           the device (being for example /dev/sdX when executing grml2usb
           grml.iso /dev/sdX1) and syslinux is being used as default
           bootloader. Avoid installation of the default MBR using the
           --skip-mbr option or if you encounter any problems with the default
           MBR consider using --syslinux-mbr instead.


       ISO[s] should be the path to one or multiple grml-ISOs and/or the path
       to the currently running live-system (being /lib/live/mount/medium).

       The device either might be a device name like /dev/sdX1 or a directory.
       When specifying a device name the device is mounted automatically. When
       specifying a directory grml2usb is assuming that you did set up a
       bootloader on your own (or don’t need one) and a bootloader won’t be
       installed automatically.

       The following options are supported:

           Use specified bootoptions as default. To use flavour name as a
           argument for a boot parameter use %flavour which will be expanded
           to the flavour name. To add multiple bootoptions you can specify
           the option multiple time.

           Do not copy files but instead just install a bootloader. Note that
           the boot addons are copied to /boot/addons at this stage as well.
           If you want to skip copying the boot addons consider using the
           --skip-addons option.

           Copy files only but do not install a bootloader.

           Avoid executing commands, instead show what would be executed.
           Warning: please notice that the ISO has to be mounted anyway,
           otherwise identifying the Grml flavour would not be possible.

           Format specified partition with FAT16.  Important: this will
           destroy any existing data on the specified partition!

           Force any (possible dangerous) actions requiring manual interaction
           (like --fat16).

           Install grub bootloader instead of (default) syslinux.

           Install grub into MBR (Master Boot Record) instead of PBR
           (Partition Boot Record). Check out the mbr-vs-pbr section in the
           FAQ of this document for further details.

           Display usage information and exit.

           Install master boot record (MBR) with integrated boot menu:
           interactively choose the partition to boot from, with a timeout to
           load the default partition, or boot from floppy. When NOT using the
           --mbr-menu option a MBR with LBA and large disc support but without
           an integrated boot menu is installed (so it’s not visible at all
           but instead directly jumps to the bootloader - being grub or
           syslinux). Note: This options is available only when using the
           default MBR and won’t have any effect if you’re using the
           --syslinux-mbr option.

           Do not output anything but just errors on console.

           Do not install /boot/addons/ files (like dos, grub, memdisk,...).

           Remove specified bootoption (could be a regex) from existing boot
           options. Use multiple entries for removing different bootoptions at

           Do not check for presence of bootflag on target device.

           Skip generation of grub configuration files. By default the
           configuration files for syslinux and grub will be written so you’ve
           a working configuration file no matter whether you’re using grub or
           syslinux as bootloader.

           Do not touch/install the master boot record (MBR).

           Skip generation of syslinux configuration files. By default the
           configuration files for syslinux and grub will be written so you’ve
           a working configuration file no matter whether you’re using grub or
           syslinux as bootloader.

           Skip check to verify whether given device is a removable device.
           Some USB devices are known to report wrong information, when using
           such a device you can skip grml2usb’s removable device check.

           This option is deprecated and is being left only for backwards
           compatibility reasons. Syslinux is the default bootloader of
           grml2usb and therefore the --syslinux option doesn’t have any
           effects. If you do not want to use syslinux as bootloader consider
           using the --grub option.

           Install syslinux' master boot record (MBR, which is booting from
           the partition with the "active" flag set) instead of the default
           one. If you encounter any problems with the default MBR you can try
           using the syslinux MBR instead. If that works for you please let us
           know so we can adjust our default MBR accordingly.

       -v, --version
           Return version and exit.

           Enable verbose mode.


   Directory layout on usb device
           boot/ ->
             |-- addons/
             |   |-- allinone.img     [grub - all in one image]
             |   |-- bsd4grml/        [MirBSD]
             |   |-- balder10.imz     [FreeDOS]
             |   |-- memdisk          [chainloading helper]
             |   |-- memtest          [memtest86+]
             |-- release/
             |   |-- grml/
             |   |   |-- linux26      [Kernel]
             |   |   |-- initrd.gz    [initramfs]
             |   |-- grml64
             |   |   |-- linux26      [Kernel]
             |   |   |-- initrd.gz    [initramfs]
             |   |-- grml-medium
             |   |   |-- linux26      [...]
             |   |   |-- initrd.gz
             |   |-- grml64-medium
             |   |   |-- linux26
             |   |   |-- initrd.gz
             |   |-- grml-small
             |   |   |-- linux26
             |   |   |-- initrd.gz
             |   `-- grml64-small
             |       |-- linux26
             |       |-- initrd.gz
             |-- grub/
             |   |-- grml.png         [graphical bootsplash background image for grub2]
             |   |-- grub.cfg         [configuration file for grub2]
             |   |-- menu.lst         [configuration file for grub1]
             |   |-- splash.xpm.gz    [splash screen for grub1]
             `-- syslinux/
                 |-- grml.png         [graphical bootsplash background image for syslinux]
                 |-- syslinux.cfg     [main configuration file for syslinux]
                 `-- [....]           [several further config files for syslinux]

             |-- grml2usb.txt         [not yet implemented]
             |-- grml-cheatcodes.txt  [list of bootoptions for Grml]
             |-- grml-version.txt     [file containing information about grml-version]
             |-- LICENSE.txt          [license information]
             |-- md5sums              [md5sums of original ISO]
             |-- README.txt           [informational text]
             `-- web/                 [browser related files]
                 |-- index.html
                 |-- style.css
                 `-- images/
                     |-- button.png
                     |-- favicon.png
                     |-- linux.jpg
                     `-- logo.png

             |-- grml/
             |   |-- filesystem.module    [module specifying which squashfs should be used for grml]
             |   `-- grml.squashfs        [squashfs file for grml]
             |-- grml-medium/
             |   |-- filesystem.module    [module specifying which squashfs should be used for grml-medium]
             |   `-- grml-medium.squashfs [squashfs file for grml-medium]
             |-- grml-small/
             |   |-- filesystem.module    [module specifying which squashfs should be used for grml-medium]
             |   `-- grml-small.squashfs  [squashfs file for grml-small]
             `-- ...

   Grabbing the source
           % git clone git://

   Developers Debugging Hints
       To play with grml2usb you can avoid using a real device via a loopback
       file setup, like:

           # dd if=/dev/zero of=~/loopback bs=1M count=100 # adjust size to your needs
           # losetup /dev/loop1 ~/loopback

       Then create according partitions either running for example:

           # echo -en "n\np\n1\n\n\nt\n6\na\n1\n w\n" | fdisk /dev/loop1


           # parted /dev/loop1 -s "mkpart primary fat16 0 -1s mkfs 1 fat16"

       Finally create a filesystem and execute grml2usb as needed:

           # mkfs.vfat /dev/loop1
           # grml2usb --bootloader-only /grml/isos/grml-small_2013.01.iso /dev/loop1

   Performance tracing
           # blktrace -d /dev/sdX -o - | blkparse -i -
           # grml2usb grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1


       Here is a list of common error messages from BIOS/bootloader when
       trying to boot from USB.

       Error message   ran out of input data.
                       System halted

       Reason          Everything OK, except for
                       the filesystem used on
                       your usb device. So
                       instead of fat16 you are
                       using for example fat32.
                       Fix: use the appropriate
                       filesystem (fat16 for usb
                       pens usually). The
                       Bootsplash might be
                       displayed, the kernel
                       loads but you very soon
                       get the error message.

       Error message   Invalid operating system

       Reason          the partition layout is
                       not ok. Very probably
                       there’s no primary
                       partition (/dev/sdX{1..4})
                       or none has the flag
                       bootable set.

       Error message   Boot error.

       Reason          Some BIOSses offer
                       different modes for USB
                       booting. The proper mode
                       to boot a USB stick is
                       USB-HDD. If that doesn’t
                       work or is not supported
                       by your system, you need
                       to format your USB-Stick
                       as USB-ZIP. To do this,
                       syslinux contains an
                       utility called
                       mkdiskimage, which you can
                       use to re-format your USB
                       stick in USB-ZIP format
                       running mkdiskimage -4
                       /dev/sdX 1 64 32. Please
                       be aware that this
                       procedure will erase all
                       data on your stick. After
                       executing mkdiskimage just
                       continue installing as
                       usual (grml2usb ...
                       /dev/sdX4). Note that this
                       is not going to work for
                       any device larger than 8
                       GB, since mkdiskimage only
                       supports 1024c 256h 63s.
                       For a more detailed
                       explanation, refer to

       Error message   No operating system found.

       Reason          you forgot to set the boot-flag on the
                       partition. Or there really isn’t any
                       operating system at all. :)

       Error message   kernel-panic: unable to mount root-fs...

       Reason          Kernel boots but fails to find the root
                       filesystem. The root= argument in your
                       kernel commandline is pointing to the
                       wrong device. Adjust root=..., consider
                       using root=UUID=....

       Error message   Could not find kernel image: ...

       Reason          either a broken isolinux/syslinux version
                       or a broken BIOS. Check out whether the
                       vendor provides a BIOS update or if using
                       bootloader grub instead of
                       isolinux/syslinux fixes the problem.


   Where can I get grml2usb?
       grml2usb is available as Debian package via the grml-testing Debian

       If you do not want to (or can’t) use the grml2usb Debian package you
       can either use the grml2usb git tree running:

           git clone git://
           cd grml2usb
           make -C mbr
           sudo ./grml2usb ...

       or download the provided (gpg
       signed md5 hash[2]). Download and extract the tarball and execute the
       provided script

           It is NOT enough to have just the grml2usb script itself without
           the according files provided either via the Debian package, the git
           tree or the file grml2usb.tgz.

   Why cant I just dd the ISO to a USB device?
       Well, you can. :) Starting with Grml 2009.10 the ISOs are dd-able
       straight out-of-the-box.

           Note that ANY existing data on your USB device will be destroyed
           when using the dd approach.

       This allows you to dd the Grml ISO to your USB device (use for example
       rawwrite[3] if you’ve just a Windows system available) running:

           % dd if=grml_2013.01.iso of=/dev/sdX

       where /dev/sdX is your USB device. Of course this doesn’t provide such
       a flexible system like with grml2usb (no multi-ISO setup, no additional
       default bootoptions,...) but it’s a nice way to get a working USB boot
       setup if you don’t have grml2usb available.

   Whats the difference between grml2usb and just using dd?
       grml2usb does not remove any data from your USB device and does not
       alter the partition table at all. grml2usb provides multi-ISO support,
       support for adding default bootoptions and selecting the bootloader
       (syslinux vs. grub) without having to manually touch the ISO at all.

   Whats grml2iso?
       grml2iso is a script which uses grml2usb to generate a multiboot ISO
       out of several grml ISOs. See man grml2iso for further details.

   Why is there a menu.lst and a grub.cfg inside /boot/grub/?
       grml2usb supports grub version 1 (grub1) as well as grub version 2
       (grub2). Whereas grub1 uses menu.lst the new version grub2 needs
       grub.cfg. Providing both files allows grml2usb to install grub on the
       target device no matter which grub version is available on the host
       where grml2usb is executed on.

   grub-install fails with 'The file ../boot/grub/stage1 not read correctly
       Check whether the partition has the right partition type. For example
       do NOT use FAT16 (partition type 6) when using a ext3 filesystem on the
       partition but instead use the correct partition type (83 - Linux) then.

   grub-install complains about /sbin/grub-install and/or xfs_freeze?!
       The following message:

           You shouldn't call /sbin/grub-install. Please call /usr/sbin/grub-install instead!
           xfs_freeze: specified file ["/tmp/tmpqaBK6z/boot/grub"] is not on an XFS filesystem

       This is "normal". grub-install sends those messages to stderr. To avoid
       hiding any possible real error messages grml2usb doesn’t ignore those

   grub-install complains about /boot/grub/!
       The following message:

           grub-probe: error: Cannot open `/boot/grub/'

       This is "normal" (at least with grub1). This isn’t a problem, because
       the file will be generated on the target device anyway.

   grub-install complains about a unary operator?!
       The following message:

           '/usr/sbin/grub-install: line 374: [: =: unary operator expected'

       This is "normal". Just ignore it. (It usually doesn’t appear on the
       second invocation on the same device.)

   grub-install fails with grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem?!
       The following message:

           grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem
           Auto-detection of a filesystem module failed.
           Please specify the module with the option `--modules' explicitly.

       usually means that the device partition table says something else than
       the filesystem on the device. For example using FAT16 as filesystem
       type and using FAT32 as filesystem on the partition will not work.
       Either set filesystem type to FAT32 or format the partition using
       FAT16. It is essential that device partition table and filesystem use
       the same filesystem type.

   grub-setup fails after Attempting to install GRUB to a partition instead of
       the MBR?!
       The following message:

           grub-setup: warn: Attempting to install GRUB to a partition instead of the MBR.  This is a BAD idea.
           grub-setup: warn: Embedding is not possible.  GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists.  However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and its use is discouraged.
           grub-setup: error: Cannot read `/grub/core.img' correctly

       appears when using grub2 versions older than 1.98 as those version
       introduced a regression which avoids that grub is being installed into
       a partition (PBR, Partition Boot Record) instead of MBR (Master Boot

       To work around this issue you can either 1) upgrade to grub versions
       >=1.98, 2) install grub into the MBR (Master Boot Record) using the
       --grub-mbr option of grml2usb or 3) switch to syslinux as bootmanager
       (just drop the --grub option).

   Im getting something like  Error: /usr/share/grml2usb/grub/splash.xpm.gz
       can not be read"!?"
       Looks like you’ve only the grml2usb script itself available. Please
       make sure you’ve the grml2usb Debian package installed. The most resent
       stable version is available via the grml-testing Debian repository[1].
       If you do not have a Debian system please see section Where can I get
       grml2usb? in this FAQ.

   Why do I have to use a FAT16/FAT32 filesystem?
       Syslinux (currently) does not support any other filesystems besides
       FAT16/FAT32 (though that’s a sane default if you want to share your
       files with other (operating) systems). If you want to use a different
       filesystem (like ext2/3) use the bootloader grub instead using
       grml2usb’s --grub option.

           FAT32 is supported since syslinux version 3.0.

   AddonsHardware Detection Tool freezes
       This usually means that the machine you ran grml2usb on had syslinux
       3.x installed. The version of hdt (Hardware detection tool) shipping
       with Grml 2010.12 and newer requires syslinux 4.x.

   I think Ive got a really cool idea!
       Great! Please check out the TODO file[4]. Feel free to report your
       wishes to the author. Patches highly appreciated.

   Ive problems with booting from USB.
       Check out Troubleshooting and Pitfalls when booting.

   Ive found a bug!
       Please report it to the author. Please provide usage examples and
       output of your grml2usb commandline (consider using the "--verbose"


           # grml2usb /home/grml/grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISO on device /dev/sdX1.

           # grml2usb /home/grml/grml_2013.01.iso /home/grml/grml_small_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISOs on device /dev/sdX1 for multibooting ISOs.

           # grml2usb /lib/live/mount/medium /dev/sdX1

       Install currently running Grml live system on device /dev/sdX1.

           # grml2usb /lib/live/mount/medium /home/grml/grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install currently running Grml live system and the specified ISO on
       device /dev/sdX1 for multibooting.

           # grml2usb --fat16 /home/grml/grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISO on device /dev/sdX1 and format partition
       /dev/sdX1 with FAT16 filesystem.

           # grml2usb --grub --grub-mbr /home/grml/grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISO on device /dev/sdX1 and use grub as bootloader
       (instead of syslinux being the default) and install a master boot
       record (MBR) to the MBR of /dev/sdX.

           # grml2usb --bootoptions="lang=de ssh=mysecret" grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1
           # grml2usb --bootoptions="lang=de" --bootoptions="ssh=mysecret" grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISO on device /dev/sdX1 and use "lang=de
       ssh=mysecret" as default bootoptions.

           # grml2usb --remove-bootoption="vga=791" --remove-bootoption="nomce" grml_2013.01.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISO on device /dev/sdX1 remove vga=791 and nomce from
       existing bootoptions.

           # grml2usb --bootoptions="persistent-path=%flavour_name" grml64_2010.04.iso grml_2010.04.iso /dev/sdX1

       Install specified ISOs on device /dev/sdx and add parameter
       persistent-path to every menu entry. %flavour_name will be expanded to
       the flavour of the specific iso, e.g. grml64 and grml.


       Check out the grml2usb webpage[5] and the grml2usb git repository[6].


       Please report feedback, bugreports and wishes to the author.


       Michael Prokop <[7]>


        1. the grml-testing Debian repository

        2. gpg signed md5 hash

        3. rawwrite

        4. the TODO file

        5. grml2usb webpage

        6. grml2usb git repository


                                  10/24/2015                       GRML2USB(8)