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I am attempting to burn the full Fedora 19 x86_64 DVD iso to a USB drive and have a separate partition on it for a kickstart file / other media that will be installed in the kickstart process.

With the Ubuntu server 12 iso, you can simply dd the iso to the usb drive:

dd if=/path/to/iso of=/dev/sdb

Once the iso has been burnt, open gparted and create a ext2 parition in the allocated space. However, this does not seem to work with the Fedora ISO. When loading the USB drive in gparted I get a warning and an error:

Warning: The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes, but Linux says it is 512 bytes.
Error: The partition's data region doesn't occupy the entire partition.

Ignoring both of these errors allows gparted to load the usb drive, however it shows a blank drive with no partition table.

Has anyone come across this before?

From what I have found, it may have something to do with the fact that Fedora use isohybrid.

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The easiest way to create the USB stick would be to use the Fedora liveusb-creator tool. It's just plain old Python, so if you install its dependencies, you should be able to run it on Ubuntu. Or you can run it on a nearby Windows machine...

  • As a Fedora user I should have known about this... Thanks for today's learning moment! – Eric Fossum Mar 14 '16 at 18:15
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In Fedora, there is a tool called livecd-iso-to-disk which takes an install CD (despite the name it'll work with the netboot image or plain installer, too). This actually unpacks the image and recreates its structure on a vfat or ext2/3/4 partition on the USB drive, which makes it very easy to do things like drop in a kickstart file and modify the bootloader configuration to point to that file.

According to our documentation, using dd should work fine, and that's the recommended method from Ubuntu, but I'm not sure it's been tested recently.

But, luckily, the livecd-to-disk script is included in the Fedora iso — look in the LiveOS directory. This is just bash, and doesn't use anything really exotic, and so it should work even if you're on a different distro.

(Disclaimer: I work for Red Hat on Fedora, but not on the installer.)

  • I attempted your solution and all seemed well. The script checks the disk, asks you to unmount it and set it to bootable using parted. However once complete the pen drive is still not bootable. When attempting to boot from the device I see a black screen with a blinking cursor. – dooffas Oct 31 '13 at 15:47
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ISO2USB utility creates bootable USB drive from CentOS/RedHat 5.x/6.x installation disk or corresponding ISO image. Created USB drive may be used to perform installation on machines that lacks optical drive.

  • Writing the image to the USB Pendrive is not the problem. Simply dd-ing the iso to the drive is sufficient for this. I need an area of the disk that is no read-only afterwards. – dooffas Oct 31 '13 at 15:50
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The following steps was tested and seems to be working. At least I was able to add a partition to USB and start Fedora installation process.

  1. Reassemble Fedora ISO with xorriso (based on original Rebuild Fedora 19 ISO adding Kickstart for USB install):
    mkdir -p /mnt/linux
    mount -o loop /var/tmp/Fedora-19-x86_64-DVD.iso /mnt/linux
    cd /mnt/
    tar -cvf - linux | (cd /var/tmp/ && tar -xf - )
    cd /var/tmp/linux

    VOL_ID=`xorriso -indev /var/tmp/Fedora-19-x86_64-DVD.iso 2>&1 | grep 'Volume id'| sed 's/.*:\s*//'`

    xorriso -as mkisofs -R -J -V $VOL_ID -o /var/tmp/Fedora.iso 
    -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 
    -boot-info-table -isohybrid-mbr /usr/share/syslinux/isohdpfx.bin .
  1. Burn it to your USB:

    dd if=/var/tmp/Fedora.iso of=/path_to_usbdev bs=1M
  2. Add a partition:

    fdisk /path_to_usbdev

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