Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

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Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

Postby evansste » December 13th, 2017, 5:57 pm

I'm in a fairly unique situation. I'm running Lubuntu 16.04 on a laptop, but I have an application that requires me to use Lubuntu 14.04.2. Normally, I would burn a DVD and run it live so that I can do what's needed. However, I'm in a situation where I don't have access to blank DVDs. I tried using my flash drive as a boot device, but that didn't work either. I suspect my flash drive has certain defects which keeps it from working as a boot device. So now I'm wondering if there's any way for me to run a live version of 14.04.2, within my current version of Linux, without a DVD or flash drive. Does anyone know whether or not something like that is possible. If so, how would I go about doing it? I can download the ISO file, but my access to DVDs or another flash drive, is limited.

My computer is currently set up with a Windows XP/Lubuntu dual boot. So I'd like to run a live 14.04.2 without wiping out my current build.

If anyone knows of a way to do this, and whether or not something like this is possible, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your time and attention, and I appreciate any input/suggestions which anyone may have.
evansste
 
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am

Re: Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

Postby asheets » December 14th, 2017, 2:47 pm

Step 1) Install Oracle VirtualBox on host computer
Step 2) inside OVB, create a virtual machine
Step 3) configure that VM to boot from a virtual DVD drive
Step 4) configure virtual DVD drive to point to the desired ISO file on the host computer.
Step 5) boot virtual machine from OVB console.
Step 6) profit.


Steps 2 through 5 are covered to some degree by http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-boot- ... irtualbox/ . OVB install can be done to either Windows or Linux (though in my experience, running OVB in Ubuntu is a bit of a maintenance pain if you should update either the kernel or OVB itself sometime in the future. But, as we've discussed before, I prefer RHEL/CentOS. And the operational experience itself isn't all that bad under Ubuntu).
asheets
 
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Re: Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

Postby evansste » December 16th, 2017, 4:42 am

Thanks so much, asheets. I'll certainly have to remember this tip on how to do this.

When posting this, I thought that my USB drive was defective, and that's why I couldn't create a live boot from it. However, I later realized that the problem wasn't with my USB drive. My mistake was the way I tried to make my live boot. I was targeting a partition on my USB drive, when I should have been targeting the entire drive itself. I also learned a better way to do this without using UNetbootin. I used the Linux dd command instead, which worked wonderfully. After unmounting my USB drive, the following line, typed at the prompt, was quite effective:

sudo dd bs=4M if=input.iso of=/dev/sd<?> conv=fdatasync

All I needed to do was use the above line format with the <?> replaced with the correct letter which Linux had assigned to my USB drive. I used the letter only -- no number after it. Obvioiusly, I also replaced the "input.iso" with the actual iso file I was using. It was a relatively fast process, and, best of all, it worked prefectly.

From now on, I'll always recommend using the dd command when building a boot device from an iso file. It's painless, it works, and it doesn't require the use of a different program, like UNetbootin.

If anyone's interested, here's a link to where I learned about using dd, instead of UNetbootin:
https://askubuntu.com/questions/372607/ ... m-terminal

Thanks again for your solution. Especially since my question was about using Linux live within a running version of Linux. I'll certainly have to remember your post on how to do this!

Thanks again for taking the time to provide such a unique solution.
evansste
 
Posts: 103
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am

Re: Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

Postby asheets » December 16th, 2017, 11:37 am

It is good to hear that you found your solution. I do have to warn you about dd, however. It is very unforgiving of mistakes, and you could end up overwriting your hard drive if you aren't careful.
asheets
 
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Re: Live Linux, within Linux, with no Live CD

Postby evansste » December 17th, 2017, 7:00 am

Thanks for the reminder, asheets. I've learned that about the command, and completely agree with you. What I like most about it, however, is its simplicity and effectiveness. This isn't just with creating a boot device from an iso file, but also with making backups of hard drives and other media. But you're right. A lot of damage could be caused if used improperly. You simply can't be wrong about the name of your device when it comes to using this command. Otherwise, as you've pointed out, the result could be greatly regretable.
evansste
 
Posts: 103
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am


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