If you like more flexibility or just want to know what's going on, you
should use the following method to put the files on your stick.
22.214.171.124. USB stick partitioning on Intel x86
We will show how to setup the memory stick to use the first partition,
instead of the entire device.
Since most USB sticks come pre-configured with a single FAT16
partition, you probably won't have to repartition or reformat the
stick. If you have to do that anyway, use cfdisk
or any other partitioning tool for creating a FAT16 partition and then
create the filesystem using:
Take care that you use the correct device name for your USB stick. The
mkdosfs command is contained in the
dosfstools Debian package.
In order to start the kernel after booting from the USB stick, we will
put a boot loader on the stick. Although any boot loader
(e.g. LILO) should work, it's convenient to use
SYSLINUX, since it uses a FAT16 partition and can
be reconfigured by just editing a text file. Any operating system
which supports the FAT file system can be used to make changes to the
configuration of the boot loader.
To put SYSLINUX on the FAT16 partition on your USB
stick, install the
mtools packages on your system, and do:
Again, take care that you use the correct device name. The partition
must not be mounted when starting SYSLINUX. This
procedure writes a boot sector to the partition and creates the file
ldlinux.sys which contains the boot loader code.
Mount the partition (
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt) and
copy the following files from the Debian archives to the stick:
If you want to rename the files, please note that
SYSLINUX can only process DOS (8.3) file names.
syslinux.cfg configuration file should
contain the following two lines:
append initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=12000 root=/dev/ram rw
Please note that the
may need to be increased, depending on the image you are booting.
If the boot fails, you can try adding
to the “append” line.
126.96.36.199. Adding an ISO image
Now you should put any Debian ISO image (businesscard, netinst or even
a full one) onto your stick (if it fits). The file name of such an
image must end in
If you want to install over the network, without using an ISO image,
you will of course skip the previous step. Moreover you will have to
use the initial ramdisk from the
directory instead of the one from
hd-media/initrd.gz does not have network
When you are done, unmount the USB memory stick (
/mnt) and activate its write protection switch.