the subject explains it all ... i am the uneducated fool when it comes to linux - can anyone please help?
Making a flash drive bootable is a complicated task. It's not easy, and the tools you need are not free.
Just burn it to a CD, and be done with it. Flash usb drives are NOT what they are supposed to be.. and they are slower. Faster than the general purpose CD rom drives, but slower than hard drives, but given they are more complicated to use and make bootable, it's really not worth the time to mess with it, just use CD's.
Here is a post by Paul Lalonde:
- You'll need SYSLINUX, a Linux boot loader for removable media. Get it here:
- These instructions are based on a Windows PC for simplicity. If you're a Linux guru, then you can obviously do this under Linux. You'd need to know how to mount .ISO images in order to extract files, etc.
1. Plug in your USB flash disk and format it under Windows. Use the FAT filesystem (not FAT32, although it would probably work).
2. From Windows Explorer, find the boot.iso file in the /images directory on the ESX 3.x CD-ROM. Copy boot.iso into a temporary directory on your hard drive.
3. Using your ISO extraction program of choice, extract the contents of the boot.iso file to your USB flash drive. On my PC, it's the E: drive.
4. Delete the isolinux.bin and updatecd.cfg files from the USB flash disk.
5. Rename the isolinux.cfg file on the USB flash disk to syslinux.cfg
6. Using WordPad (not Notepad), open the syslinux.cfg file and add the keyword usb to the end of every line that begins with append. Here's what the file should look like when you're done:
append initrd=initrd.img noapic nomediacheck debug usb
append initrd=initrd.img usb
append initrd=initrd.img text usb
append expert initrd=initrd.img usb
append ks initrd=initrd.img usb
append initrd=initrd.img lowres usb
7. Now, extract the syslinux .zip file into another temporary directory on your hard drive.
8. Open up a command prompt and use the cd command to navigate into the win32 directory. For example:
9. Now, run the syslinux program to apply the boot loader and boot sector to the USB flash drive:
syslinux -s e:
( On my PC, my USB flash drive is mounted as drive E: )
10. Finally, copy the ESX 3.x ISO image onto the flash drive:
copy c:\iso\esx-3.0.1-32039.iso e:\
11. Confirm that your USB flash drive contains the following files:
12. You're all set! Unplug the USB flash drive, configure the BIOS on your server to boot from USB accordingly, and boot 'er up!
13. The ESX installer will detect the USB device and whatever SCSI / disk controllers you have. When the installer asks you what the installation source will be, choose Hard Disk.
14. You will need to choose the right disk device (ie. /dev/sda, /dev/sdb) that corresponds to your USB flash disk. Chances are it will be /dev/sdb.
15. Finally, the installer will ask you what directory to find the ESX installation CD image in. Just use / and it will find the .ISO image for you.
16. The rest is history!
Would be interesting if it works for you.
Actually, no one here answered the question that was asked. He didn't want to make a bootable usb key out of an ESX 3.0.x iso ( which I agree, is complicated ), he wants to use a v3i iso image to make a bootable usb key.
You should be able to use rawwrite or dd to clone that .iso image to a usb key
dd if=/path/to/3i.iso of=/dev/sdX where X is the device name of the usb key
or from windows try a copy of rawrite.
Well the forum question is in the title, and it doesn't matter if it's ESX 2.5, 3.0, or 3i, the result is the same he WANTS to make an ISO image bootable on a USB drive. Either way, the fact remains, it is not an easy process, and I did answer his question, I posted a link to a utility that does JUST that. It just costs like 40 bucks.
Actually now that I look at the question again, he wants a botable USB DRIVE. This isn't even a key AT ALL, so probably not even flash to begin with. He wants to simple boot a USB drive and make THAT a bootable mount device. Is that even possible?
The question isn't the same at all. 3i was designed to boot from flash media, the 3.0.x iso image was meant to install from CD. There is a bug in the anaconda installer that ships with the 3.0.x iso image that prevents it from being easily ported to flash media / flash drive.
The answer to your other question is yes, it's possible to install 3i to a usb drive, it's roughly the same process that has been used to get 3i to work in workstation/fusion.
Well ok so for the very few that even had the chance to attend VM Ware Conference that had the priviledge to even get 3i, might have know this. For the rest of 99.98% of VM Ware customers, we have to do things the old fashioned way, which is burn ISO to a CD..
And it is the same thing, ISO image is an ISO image, just because VM Ware included a utility to write it to a USB Drive or Flash Drive, makes it easier, but that doesn't mean we all have access to it. He still wants to know how to get his ISO image to a USB drive, so if that's answer great!
I learned something today, because I didn't know it was that simple..
thanks a lot for your replies - i apologise for this confusion ...
i made the question sound stupid ... let me clarify my situation -
i have the esx 3i beta .iso image ... and wanted to boot esx onto my servers without any harddrives.
now, my options were either CD or USB flash drive (128 MB) ...
CD is a read-only media; hence, there is no way you can assign a static IP to your esx server as you will not be able to save the configuration onto cd ... try it yourself - change ip config and after you press ok - press ALT + F1 ... it clearly says 'can not write to disk i/o error' ... or something similar ... press ALT + F11 and your ip will still be set to DHCP ...
herez how i solved the problem -
1. download HP flash utility for pendrivelinux.com
2. this would allow you to create a primary linux boot partition onto your usb drive. it'll also give you the option to copy HP bios flashing utility - just press cancel.
3. extract all the files inside the .iso image onto your usb drive using any .iso extractor ... i used Magic ISO.
4. download syslinux and unzip the .zip file onto c:\temp\syslinux
+5. in the command prompt change your directory to c:\temp\syslinux\win32 and type syslinux.exe -s e: (where e: is your usb drive.)
6. copy the files mboot.c32 and menu.c32 from syslinux directory to your usb drive.
7. delete the file syslinux.cfg from your usb drive and replace it with isolinux.cfg file that is contained in the esx 3i .iso image
8. rename the isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
9. you should be able to boot now
it took my server ages to boot but it worked fine ... the reason being - my server is very old + it is an engineering sample + bios is very old and out of date ...
let me know if you could do it this way or not ...