I'm trying to boot the latest ISO image of Elementary OS from my USB with GRUB.

I use the same GRUB configuration that I use with Ubuntu images, which works fine, and since Elementary is Ubuntu based, I thought it would work as well.

But I get the error:

(initramfs) unable to find a medium containing a live file system

To an extent, I understand this error, which I sort out adding in the GRUB where to find the ISO image:

set root='(hd0,1)'
set iso_path=/elementaryos-5.1-stable.20191202.iso
loopback loop $iso_path

menuentry "Try or install elementary OS" {
 linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$iso_path maybe-ubiquity quiet splash
 initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz

I tried with findiso=$iso_path which works on Debian, but the result is the same. What other GRUB configurations could I try? I prefer not to unpack the ISO to make things work.

I check the mdsum of the ISO, it's OK.

  • It seems that within the initrd.lz I couldn't find the logic for looking up the iso. Maybe that's why? – Chen Xing Dec 12 '19 at 5:29
  • Try rebooting few times...I don't know why, but sometimes ISO from usb doesn't work and sometimes does... – Leon Jan 10 at 22:27

The easy fix is to create a folder named /casper on the root of your USB drive and copy filesystem.squashfs into that folder. It seems that they changed how the boot process is working between 5.0 and 5.1. Caveat, I've only tested this with the default install of glim, but it should work fine. (github.com/thias/glim)


issue: Appears to be that /casper is hard coded and/or not respecting the $root/$loop variable(s). Probably is related to the recent switch towards using a pure Debian Live-build. Lot's has changed since the prior build


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Partial solution:

Using the vmlinuz and initrd from an Ubuntu ISO, I could boot Eos.

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  • Which version of elementary did you use? Version 5.1 is different to 5.0, as I can boot 5.0 with default GRUB config from GLIM Multiboot Maker, but not with 5.1. – Ade Malsasa Akbar Jan 21 at 11:00
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    @AdeMalsasaAkbar I'm using 5.1 – schrodigerscatcuriosity Jan 29 at 18:36
  • how did you do it? You copied vmlinuz file from existing Ubuntu ISO into elementary 5.1 ISO? Or something different? I want to make a working multiboot USB to ship it to friend in other island. – Ade Malsasa Akbar Jan 30 at 3:02
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    @AdeMalsasaAkbar I copied vmlinuz and initrd into the usb, the location could be any, I just put them in a folder called eos. Then int the grub.cfg I changed the parameters linux and initrd: linux /eos/vmlinuz and initrd /eos/initrd. If you have any doubt I can extend my answer explaining my grub configuration. – schrodigerscatcuriosity Feb 4 at 22:00

Utiliza Rufus para bootear.

Sigue los siguientes pasos:


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  • 1
    Thanks. It's not about getting any bootable USB, but having one using GRUB. For rufus you need windows, which is what I want to avoid. – schrodigerscatcuriosity Jan 6 at 1:04

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