Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Installing Debian Lenny from a USB memory stick

To prepare the USB stick, you will need a system where GNU/Linux is already running and where USB is supported.

Needed packages and other things:

1. lilo
2. mbr package (optional)
3. syslinux download on here
4. vmlinuz, initrd.gz and boot.img.gz (optional). download on here (choose hd-media directory) . Thats i386 machine, for Others Machine try download on here
5. USB HDD (i use Kingston Data Traveler 2.0, 4G storage called USB HDD). maybe with USB key possible to install.
6. ISO can download on here
before do this, your lilo (or mbr package) and syslinux must installed (check first on your konsole with syslinux command. then, next step are:

1. creating fat filesystem:

$ mkdosfs /dev/sdb1

2. creating ldlinux.sys on your USB memory stick:

$ syslinux /dev/sdb1

3. open your favourite editor and fill:

default /vmlinuz vga language=791

*erratum , should be

default /vmlinuz vga language=791

append initrd=/initrd.gz

Save as syslinux.cfg and copy syslinux.cfg, vmlinuz, initrd.gz to /mnt/sdb1:

$ cp {syslinux.cfg,vmlinuz,initrd.gz} /mnt/sdb1

4. Also your lenny ISO:

$ cp /mnt/sda4/iso/debian-sid-lenny-cd/debian-testing-i386-CD-1.iso /mnt/sdb1/

5. then make bootable your USB memory stick, on konsole type:

$ lilo -S /dev/null -M /dev/sdb ext
$ lilo -S /dev/null -A /dev/sdb 1

your USB memory stick should be bootable now and possible to install debian lenny using USB memory stick :)



to install with graphical install you can ignore step 3 and copy all things on boot.img.gz ( gunzip && mount it with loop before or doing with zcat command).

with loop

$ mkdir tmp

$ gunzip boot.img.gz

$ mount boot.img tmp/ -o loop

copy all things on tmp to /mnt/sdb1

$ cp tmp/* /mnt/sdb1

other tips, u can using vmlinuz and kernel (initrd) from directory gtk . Replace vmlinuz and initrd on text mode based with it.

with zcat

$ zcat boot.img.gz >/dev/sdb1

using zcat, your usb stick will partitioned 250 M. so,you must use ISO smaller than 250 M. (netinst or etc)

and next step (step 4)


1. Installing Debian Sarge from a USB memory stick (USB key)
2. Installing Debian from a USB Stick
3. Install GNU/Linux Debian Etch dari USB Flash Disk


Aira said...

Hi Rakesh,

Its a very helpful article. This helped me a lot.


Rakesh said...

Thanks Aira!

Hope this article will help to all Debian users.


deanet said...

hi guys... thanks for backlink ...

can you add my site link on your site ?? i'll add your link into my site /blog also



Anonymous said...


Rakesh said...

Hello Deanet,

Your site is really nice and very useful. I really liked the stuffs at Deanet (

I added it to Debaira blog not because you requested to do so, but I did it because I liked the stuff very much.

Keep posting.. :-)


Charlotte said...

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