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Posted by sebas on Fri 17 Sep 2010 at 12:29
Tags: none.
This is an update of the article published before for Debian Sarge. This time, the preparation of an USB device for the installation of Debian Lenny is on the menu. Note that the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator is not really useful to create a Debian installation device.

Insert an empty(!) USB device of at least 256MB, and look for it in dmesg:

$ dmesg
At the end of the output, it says:
[1922747.172561] sd 29:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
[1922747.179137] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] 1959807 512-byte logical blocks:
(1.00 GB/956 MiB)
[1922747.179629] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Write Protect is off
[1922747.179637] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Mode Sense: 0b 00 00 08
[1922747.179643] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Assuming drive cache: write through
[1922747.182521] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Assuming drive cache: write through
[1922747.182532]  sde: sde1
[1922747.205897] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Assuming drive cache: write through
[1922747.205908] sd 29:0:0:0: [sde] Attached SCSI removable disk
So apparantly, this device is now known as "/dev/sde". Check if it's automagically mounted:
If it is (i.e. there is a line that contains /dev/sde), unmount this device first.
umount /dev/sde1
Download the current boot.img.gz from a Debian repository to your home directory. This assumes that you want to use the 64-bits version of Debian.
cd ~
Okay, now we need root privileges in order to put this image on the USB device:
sudo bash
zcat ~/boot.img.gz > /dev/sde
Mount the USB device on a mount point. In this case, /mnt/usbdisk will be used for that. Then copy the ISO file to this location.
sudo mkdir /mnt/usbdisk
sudo mount /dev/sde1 /mnt/usbdisk
wget -O /mnt/usbdisk/debian-506-amd64-netinst.iso
You may want to compare the SHA512SUMS of with your local version:
$ sha512sum /mnt/usbdisk/debian-506-amd64-netinst.iso
When they match, unmount this USB device, and remove it, because you are now ready to use it to install Debian from it.
$ cd
$ sudo umount /mnt/usbdisk
Original article:


Posted by sebas on Mon 9 Oct 2006 at 11:38
Tags: , ,

Here is a very short (but in my opinion very useful) how-to for creating an USB boot device, which enables you to boot Debian from your memory stick.

We are assuming that your USB device is indicated by /dev/sda, and that you are interested in Debian stable (other distributions are untested, but should work).

First unmount your memory stick.

sudo umount /dev/sda

Now download the boot.img.gz, which is necessary to make your USB device bootable:

cd ~

Extract this image and write it to your USB device:

sudo zcat ~/boot.img.gz > /dev/sda

Now mount the volume to /mnt:

sudo mount /dev/sda /mnt

In this case a Debian Stable net-install image is used. You may also use a business card iso. Nevertheless, you should be sure to use the same version of the ISO-image as the image.tar.gz that was used before. Download the ISO to the USB device:

cd /mnt/
sudo wget
Now you can unmount the volume:
cd ~
sudo umount /dev/sda
You can remove the USB device, and plug it in your new system. Of course you should tell your BIOS to boot from USB. There is a copy of this how-to on our company's website