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

Jim Klassen jklassen at sharedgeo.org
Wed Feb 16 14:40:24 PST 2022

Use dd to copy the ISO to the whole disk (e.g /dev/sdz, where sdz is whatever device the USB device shows up as) not a partition (e.g. /dev/sdz1).  The ISO image already has a partition table on it which points to two partitions.  One of them is a FAT32 EFI partition that the Mac needs to see to boot.  (Yes, it is also a valid ISO9660 filesystem.  This is some magic that uses the empty spaces in the various formats to make one image file that is valid as multiple formats at the same time).

Same thing applies for UEFI PC machines.  They will need to see the FAT32 EFI partitions to boot.

I'm not sure if the image is signed for secure boot or not, but that also requires seeing the EFI partition (and that the files on the EFI partition are signed appropriately).

On 2/16/22 16:30, Jochen Albrecht wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
>       Jochen
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