Make a Slackware bootable USB-stick


the procedures described in this tutorial are to be considered "as is", without any warranty. There is no relationship between the original distro Slackware (great distro!) and the ideas contained in this article.


I think that the usbboot.img idea, as system to make a bootable USB-stick, has to be overcome, It is slow as boot time and uses a proprietary FAT filesystem. The only reason whereby Slackware team mantains this system in use is, perhaps, because the windows users cannot run bash scripts in their own system.

But to run a simple bash script is sufficient any Linux system, also the mini-system inside the Slackware DVD, so, also windows users that have at least a PC with DVD reader can run an external script.

The script

This is a simple script that can make a bootable USB-stick (or USD-HD) similar at Slackware installation DVD, that may contains also the packages to perform Slackware installation in computers without DVD reader. Download the script

Rev.03 - 2013-03-13 some improvments. Notes:

  1. The script copy the entire /dev structure of host system to avoid error below:
#Uncomment below if you get errors type: Warning: '/proc/partitions' does not match '/dev' directory structure.
  1. Slackware14 kernel needs LILO version 23.2 to boot

Note: the script is not wide scale tested, but so far it has worked well on several PCs

How to use

To make a bootable USB-stick, you must mount Slackware DVD in your system before run the script. You must be sure that you known exactly the name of USB disk connected to your PC: the script can format the disk, so all data in target device will be lost.

However, you can make the bootable USB-stick without formatting, infact the script will install entire system in a folder named "SlackDVD". The script will not format the USB device if this is already mounted, but, in every case, the script will copy the right files and will install the boot manager Lilo.

Operating procedure

$su -
# fsisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 251.0 GB, 251000193024 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30515 cylinders, total 490234752 sectors
Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Disk /dev/sdc: 4022 MB, 4022337024 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 489 cylinders, total 7856127 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x516cb889
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1              63     7438094     3719016   83  Linux
/dev/sdc2   *     7438095     7855784      208845    b  W95 FAT32

in this example the usb device is /dev/sdc1, already formatted with ext2 ... in this case you can also mount also the device, or to be sure that is umounted, so the script will begin formatting it.

./ sdc 1

then follow the program instructions, have fun!

Run script inside the Linux Slackware DVD installer

When using the Slackware installer to create the usb-stick you have to make additional operations, in particular install "lilo", because it is not present in the system by default. Here is an example:

mkdir /slackcdrom
mount /dev/sr0 /slackcdrom
installpkg /slackcdrom/slackware/a/lilo-*.txz

and, of course, copy the script in the home directory, /root for example

Zoros 00:45, 10 October 2012 (CEST)

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