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#1 2018-12-16 04:28:35

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

[SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

First, I hope I put this in the right place. I would like to create a bootable .iso file of my system. I would intend to put it on a DVD disc so if the need for reinstallation ever came about, I could reinstall my system with all the apps I use already installed. To be clear, I already did some research (which made my head swim) and found out about partimage. I installed it, but apparently it won't work for me as the documentation says it works with ext2/3, but doesn't say anything about ext4, which is what I use. I also read about another way, I think it's called "dd," but I can't remember for sure. But I read that it will make the iso file the same size as the disk, including the unused space, so that wouldn't work for me. I searched Synaptic using "iso" but couldn't find what I wanted (but I might have missed something as I really don't know what I'm looking for). Can someone recommend an app, or a way to do this? I'm not asking for detailed instructions, just  give me the name of an app, or a link. Thanks.

Last edited by Ron (2018-12-18 02:53:55)

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#2 2018-12-16 04:53:19

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,603  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

You have to create an iso before you can burn it to DVD or dd to thumb drive.  refractasnapshot from our very own fsmithred works very well but will require some RTFM.  You can download it from the Devuan repos.  Here's a link to the documentation:
https://refracta.org/documents.html

Traditionally there is a 4GB limit to an ISO file but alphalpha recently found a way to make an iso larger than that:
https://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=2416

I tried it on my current system but had to exclude almost all of my home directory to get it down to just over 5 GB.   It boots and runs,

The companion to refractasnapshot is the refractainstaller which is what Devuan uses to install the desktop-live and minimal-live isos.

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#3 2018-12-16 17:36:10

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Thanks for you reply, golinux. A few things: one, out of curiosity I opened synaptic and redid my search of "iso," and refractasnapshot was in the list. Somehow I missed it yesterday. Next, I assume refractasnapshot doesn't have a gui, as it's not listed anywhere in the start menu?

When running it in the terminal, I get this message:

configfile is /etc/refractasnapshot.conf
uefi setting is yes

 Warning: grub-efi-amd64 is not installed.
 The snapshot will not be compatible with UEFI.
 To disable this warning, set make_efi=no in /etc/refractasnapshot.conf

My first question is how do I know whether I need to download grub-efi-amd64, or just disable the warning (as is said in the last line)? If I should install it, I'm concerned that it will mess up my system. Will it change the way my system boots?

EDIT:
Found out you can download the gui from sourceforge, which I did.

Last edited by Ron (2018-12-16 17:45:55)

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#4 2018-12-16 18:55:59

fsmithred
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Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,064  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

I didn't put refractsnapshot-gui in the ascii repo because it wasn't working well with gtk3. You might get off-screen buttons in some of the windows. If so, just use the cli version. They are the same. The latest version (10.2.0) at sourceforge (and soon to be in unstable repo) doesn't have this problem. That version also has the fix for isos larger than 4GB. Nevertheless, you should exclude your data if there's any significant amount and use a different method for the data backup.

If you want to make a bootable backup of a non-uefi system, you can ignore the warnings about grub-efi. If you want your iso to be bootable on bios or uefi (in case you want to install on a uefi system) you need to do a few simple things:
- install grub-efi-amd64 and grub-efi-amd64-bin but don't let grub install the bootloader. Tell it NO when it asks.
- include the grub-pc package in the iso. Put it in the root of your filesystem before you make the snapshot. When you get around to installing the system, if you boot on bios, the installer will find the grub-pc iso and install the package. It will also ask if you want the bootloader installed. Most likely, you will want to say YES here.
Note: It's also possible to do the opposite of the above. Keep grub-pc installed, include grub-efi-amd64 and grub-efi-amd64-bin packages, set force_efi=yes in the config file, and make the snapshot. If you boot on a uefi system, the installer will find the grub-efi packages and install them.

If you know you will only install on a bios system, you can do nothing and just ignore the warning. Your iso will not boot on uefi systems.

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#5 2018-12-17 16:59:11

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

According to this website here, I'm not using uefi, which surprised me because I thought I was. Is the info at this site correct?

fsmithred wrote:
Nevertheless, you should exclude your data if there's any significant amount and use a different method for the data backup.

When you say different method, do you mean an app other than refractsnapshot? Or do you mean another method with refractsnapshot?

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#6 2018-12-17 17:04:43

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,603  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Ron wrote:

When you say different method, do you mean an app other than refractsnapshot? Or do you mean another method with refractsnapshot?

I use rsync for data backup.

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#7 2018-12-17 19:29:22

GNUser
Member
Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 457  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Ron, I use refractasnapshot -> bootable USB to create installer for other people. To backup/restore my own system for my own use (on same or different computer) I use partclone. It is much easier to recreate a system by cloning than via an installer. BTW, partclone supports ext4 and does not backup empty space. 

To create a backup, boot into any live USB on your source machine and plugin a storage device. Then, while in the live environment, create your backup (this example assumes the partition containing your Devuan installation is /dev/sda1):

sudo apt install partclone
sudo partclone.extfs -c -s /dev/sda1 -o /media/ron/some-storage-device/devuan_backup.partclone

Now you have a backup for your day of need. When that day comes:

To restore the backup on same or different computer, boot into any live USB on that computer and plugin the storage device containing the backup. If a target partition does not yet exist, use GParted or similar partitioning tool to create it (it must be of same size or larger than the source partition). Here is the command to write the backup to the target partition (it assumes your target partition also happens to be /dev/sda1):

sudo apt install partclone
sudo partclone.extfs -r -s /media/ron/some_storage_device/devuan_backup.partclone -o /dev/sda1

I've been using partclone on at least a monthly basis for years and it has never let me down. I actually keep the (tiny) partclone.extfs executable on my storage device, which eliminates the need for the installation steps in my guide above.

Last edited by GNUser (2018-12-18 13:45:34)

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#8 2018-12-17 19:38:56

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,603  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Ron wrote:

I just tried to make a backup, but the file is not where the app said it would be. It said the file would be in /home/snapshot, but after saying it was finished, there is no snapshot folder in home.

Maybe you're looking in /home/<user> instead of /home (which is a root directory)?  Or maybe it failed.  Check /var/log/refractasnapshot_errors.log.

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#9 2018-12-17 19:39:51

GNUser
Member
Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 457  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Yes, partclone needs to run in live environment because you cannot clone a running partition.

refractasnapshot is a totally different approach with opposite requirement: it must be run while booted in your source installation.

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#10 2018-12-17 23:09:46

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

golinux wrote:
Maybe you're looking in /home/<user> instead of /home (which is a root directory)?

Yeah, that was it. I found it, that's why I deleted my post. I just now burned it to a DVD, so after I'm done with this post I'm going to reboot and see if it works.

@GNUser: Thanks for the additional info!

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#11 2018-12-18 02:30:38

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Well, it seems to have worked. However, there is no Install button on the desktop. How would I install if I had to? Would I use the refracta installer from the menu?

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#12 2018-12-18 02:46:25

MiyoLinux
Member
Registered: 2016-12-05
Posts: 880  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Ron wrote:

Well, it seems to have worked. However, there is no Install button on the desktop. How would I install if I had to? Would I use the refracta installer from the menu?

Yes. smile

If you want it to have the installer on the desktop, then you would need to copy the installer from...

/usr/share/applications

...to...

your Desktop folder in the file manager.


I have been Devuanated, and my practice in the art of Devuanism shall continue until my Devuanization is complete. Until then, I will strive to continue in my understanding of Devuanchology, Devuanprocity, and Devuanivity.

Veni, vidi, vici vdevuaned. I came, I saw, I Devuaned. wink

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#13 2018-12-18 02:53:39

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 190  

Re: [SOLVED] Creating a bootable iso file

Thanks MiyoLinux. I guess I can mark this now as "solved."

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