Catbird Linux to USB / SD Media
Catbird Linux is a fast and lightweight operating system, derived from Ubuntu, and distributed as an iso file. Most users will use one of the methods described below to put it on a USB or SD memory device for easy portability.
Option 1: Create a Boot Drive with Ventoy
Ventoy is the favorite, far ahead and above the other applications for making boot a bootable drive, and it comes installed in Catbird Linux. All you need to do is start ventoy in the terminal, setting it to prepare the correct drive, and wait. When the drive is ready, copy one or multiple iso files to the deive, and boot it. Ventoy will find the isos and offer them in a boot menu when you start the computer. Be careful and make sure to select the correct drive, as Ventoy will destroy data when it sets up the device.
A Ventoy bootable flashdrive with persistence is possible to have with a few extra steps, creating a medium to hold the changes.
Writing the Image Directly (Compressed) with dd
For this easy iso direct-to-USB/SD method, we will use the Linux dd command, which comes with virtually all distros, including Catbird Linux itself. You can use Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Knoppix, Puppy, Arch, or just about any derivative to write the iso file contents directly to a flash memory device. There is one factor to consider, though: using dd overwrites everything and allows only the iso's contents to remain on the flash memory device. Do not use this technique for a multipurpose device. Pick a flashdrive or SD card that exceeds the size of the iso file.
Before writing the iso to a flashdrive with dd, be sure to have these first:
- A running Linux system such as Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Knoppix, Mint, or Catbird Linux.
- A USB or SD flash memory device just slightly larger than the iso file.
- A Catbird Linux ISO file. Get Catbird Linux from here.
The dd utility comes from early Unix, and survives to this day as an essential command to copy data, bit for bit, to another location. It does not discriminate and simply does what it is told. The dd command is used for backing up the boot sectors of hard drives, completely copying storage devices for forensic analysis, or making backups. For making bootable flasdrive linux devices, dd is perfect.
Be careful with dd! It can overwrite important data if diven incorrect commands!
To use dd for creating a bootable USB or SD Catbird Linux system, you must properly identify the iso file and the destination drive.
Knowing where to find the iso is easy: simply note the folder and filename path where Catbird Linux is residing on the computer. Usually it is in the "downloads directory, such as:
The destination directory is much more critical, because dd must not be directed to write in an unwanted location. More than a few people have destroyed data on their hard drives or other storage by accidentally using the wrong identifier for a dd job. Properly dentify the device where you want to put Catbird Linux and all will go smoothly! Note that we want the device and not partitions on a device. A good technique is to look at the output from the "fdisk" command. The "lsblk" command also works, but is a bit less verbose than "fdisk -l". In the example, the main hard drive is /dev/sda and the USB flash drive is identified as /dev/sdb:
winston@churchill01:~$ sudo fdisk -l Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 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: 0xd9c2816e Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 63 43761059 21880498+ 83 Linux /dev/sda2 43761060 357703289 156971115 83 Linux /dev/sda3 357703290 616735349 129516030 83 Linux /dev/sda4 616735350 625137344 4200997+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris Disk /dev/sdb: 3965 MB, 3965190144 bytes 49 heads, 48 sectors/track, 3292 cylinders, total 7744512 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: 0x1d187107 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 8192 7744511 3868160 b W95 FAT32
With the parameters properly identified, it is now possible to write and execute a proper dd command. Some distros have tighter restrictions on normal users, so execute this as root (using "sudo" is okay):
dd if=/home/winston/Downloads/catbirdlinux-0.5.0.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
Results should look similar to the output below, which was from a test run of this method of creating bootable SD card from Catbird Linux:
root@churchill01:/home/winston# dd if=/home/winston/Downloads/catbirdlinux-0.5.0.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M 1603+1 records in 1603+1 records out 1632307712 bytes (1632 MB) copied, 354.782 s, 4.6 MB/s
To boot the newly installed system on a USB device, go into the computer's BIOS options and set them to boot from the flashdrive first, and make the system hard drive the next choice. Often the USB device appears listed as one of the hard drives and not as a removable device. Good luck, and enjoy the convenience of having Catbird Linux installed to a flash memory device. It is an order of magnitude faster than running from a DVD. If you want to put Catbird Linux on a multi-system USB device, or on the main hard drive, see the contents above for a link to the article on installing and booting multiple systems with Grub2.