[OSGeoLive] OSGeo-live flash drive not detected on various platforms

Jochen Albrecht jochen.albrecht at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 14:30:39 PST 2022

Let me start with the positive news: I distributed a 32 GB flash drive to
my 20 students and a good number of them could happily boot from the
NTFS-formatted flash drive and proceed. It all works well on the
eight-years old Dell computers in our labs.

But I have not succeeded to help any of my Macintosh students and ran into
significant troubles with Lenovo and HP laptops.

On the Mac side, I concluded that I needed to format the OSGeo-live
partition to HFS+. I then proceeded to use the Linux 'dd' command to copy
the iso file to the first partition, which resulted in the partition format
to switch to "ISO9660". The resulting flash drive is still not detected on
a variety of Macs

   - Macbook Air (retina 13” 2019) , Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8210Y CPU @
   1.60GHz, Mac OS Big Sur version 11.6.
   - MacBook Pro, 13-inch, 2020, four thunderbolt 3 ports; CPU: 2 GHz
   Quad-Core Intel Core i5

Lenovo ThinkPads and IdeaPads apparently cannot read boot drives that are
NTFS formatted but once I go back to FAT32, they boot properly. Having said
that, the Lubuntu system does not recognize the built-in network cards and
hence fails to connect both via ethernet cable or wireless.

HP laptops work only if "secure boot" is disabled in the BIOS and "legacy
support" enabled. Unfortunately, newer HP laptops don't seem to have the
legacy boot option anymore and so we are here stuck again with the flash
drive being invisible to my students.

The last time I taught my Advanced GIS course with OSGeo-live flash drives
was in 2019 and back then I did not encounter any of the above problems.

So, after all this preambulation, here are my questions:

   1. What do I need to do the get my Mac students set up (I do not have a
   Mac and therefore need more hand holding here)
   2. Is there a website (I searched the listserv archives to no avail)
   that collects FAQs about installation problems?
   3. Assuming that there is not, are there readers of this message who
   have successfully circumvented the problems described with newer laptops?

I could be wrong but I believe that a bit of this is due to the
distribution being Lubuntu based, which has a much small community that may
not be as up-to-date with modern BIOS as other, larger Linux distributions.
Given that we are beyond the days of DVDs, might we perhaps return to one
of the heavyweights (Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian)?
And a second suggestion: could the organizers of this listserv create a FAQ
related to installation issues? The support in that respect is small and
outdated. I would be happy to populate it with what I have learned so far.

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