[lubuntu-devel] mkusb: new features in version 11.03

Nio Wiklund nio.wiklund at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 08:04:23 UTC 2016

Hi Lubuntu users,

Recently I made some changes to mkusb and mkusb-nox. They are available 
in version 11.0.3.

*1 - usb-pack-efi*

The usb-pack-efi is detached for the mkusb package, and should be 
installed separately from the PPA. The reason is that we hope to get 
mkusb into a standard Debian (or maybe Ubuntu) repository, and then 
there should be only scripts or executables with source code.

This usb-pack-efi was originally published by Andre Rodovalho, and it is 
very useful in order to boot live and persistent live systems in UEFI 
mode. I re-packaged it and use it to create persistent live drives that 
can boot in both UEFI and BIOS mode even with 32-bit kernels.

*2 - 'Download and install automatically' --> 'Display immediately'*

Automatic upgrades can cause severe problems in live and persistent live 
systems, and this feature helps the end user avoid those problems. The 
security upgrade action can be modified (the default action of the 
persistent live system when security upgrades are available). It works 
for Ubuntu family operating systems and some 're-spins'. The default 
setting for security upgrades is changed

- from 'Display immediately' in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

- to 'Download and install automatically' in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and newer 

Fortunately Lubuntu is not affected, but I think all the other flavours 
of Ubuntu are affected.

*3 - 'flash cards' seen as /dev/mmcblk0 /dev/mmcblk1 etc*

There is a fix to manage 'flash cards' seen as /dev/mmcblk0, 
/dev/mmcblk1, ... by built-in card readers in laptops.
flash cards are displayed among USB drives (while [s]ata drives are 
considered more important to protect from overwriting by mistake - you 
must toggle 'usb-only' to see also the ata drives.

I think we have a rather stable mkusb-nox now.

I am testing mkusb right now. The new version seems to work, but there 
are many places in the code, that needed tweaking, and we might find bugs.

*So please test at least mkusb, maybe also mkusb-nox*

It should work to

- create standard live drives,
- persistent live drives,
- installed systems from compressed images and
- wipe drives and create different partition tables.

I uploaded mkusb and mkusb-nox to Phill's server. You can get both files 
manually, and also get them installed into the correct places for normal 
usage. See the following link,


Download the shell-script file 'mkusb-installer' with the browser or do 
it directly from a terminal window with

wget http://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/mkusb/mkusb-installer

and run it from a terminal window with

bash mkusb-installer
[sudo] password:
Install via ppa or wget, uninstall or quit? (p/w/u/Q) w

The next step would be to upload it to the unstable PPA, and after weeks 
of testing to the stable PPA.

*Result from my tests so far*

1. mkusb works for me with and without usb-pack-efi. Use it if you find 
it useful, for example if you want a pendrive, that can boot in [almost] 
all computers - 32-bit, 64-bit, BIOS, UEFI. But if you must boot in 
secure mode, you need the boot system available in the 64-bit iso file, 
and should not use usb-pack-efi. (There is a dialogue to select it when 
the usb-pack-efi package is installed.)

2. I have tested overnight with and without changing 'Download and 
install automatically' --> 'Display immediately', and it works for me. 
It works only in persistent live drives, (and it is not necessary in 

3. I was able to boot my Intel NUC from a persistent live micro SD card 
(in an SD adapter) from the built-in slot. The card is recognized as 
/dev/mmcblk0. See the attached text file with a terminal window dialogue.

Although I had created the drive when in the corresponding built-in slot 
in a Lenovo X131e, I could not boot it from there (in that computer). 
However, I could boot it in that computer, and in other computers, when 
connected via USB, built-in as in my Toshiba or via an adapter. (Also 
USB 3 adapters work and I can reach 60 MB/s read and write speed with 
the right kind of card.)

Now it will also be easier and safer to install operating systems for 
Raspberry Pi and other small devices, that boot from flash cards :-)


I have tried to test and debug all actions by mkusb and mkusb-nox, and 
now I need your help to find new bugs. So when you have time, please 
test version 11.0.3 of mkusb and mkusb-nox, and report your result. Both 
good and bad test results are welcome ;-)

Best regards
-------------- next part --------------
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ sudo lshw -class bus|grep -A100 '*-core'|grep -v '*-core'|while true;do read ans;if [ "$ans" == "${ans/\*-}" ]; then echo "$ans"; else exit; fi;done
description: Motherboard  
product: NUC6i3SYB
vendor: Intel corporation
physical id: 0
version: H81132-502
serial: GESY5490011S
slot: Default string
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ sudo lsblk -fm /dev/mmcblk0
NAME        FSTYPE  LABEL                     UUID                                 MOUNTPOINT               NAME         SIZE OWNER GROUP MODE
mmcblk0                                                                                                     mmcblk0     29.7G root  disk  brw-rw----
??mmcblk0p1 ntfs    usbdata                   0CEAB56011020FF7                     /media/lubuntu/usbdata   ??mmcblk0p1  9.5G root  disk  brw-rw----
??mmcblk0p2                                                                                                 ??mmcblk0p2    1M root  disk  brw-rw----
??mmcblk0p3 vfat    lub1604164                0FA8-5C36                                                     ??mmcblk0p3  122M root  disk  brw-rw----
??mmcblk0p4 iso9660 Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS amd64 2016-07-20-12-16-02-00               /cdrom                   ??mmcblk0p4  874M root  disk  brw-rw----
??mmcblk0p5 ext4    casper-rw                 87cede8d-2eb6-495b-a882-b3e43c717288 /media/lubuntu/casper-rw ??mmcblk0p5 19.3G root  disk  brw-rw----
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ sudo parted /dev/mmcblk0 print
Model: SD SE32G (sd/mmc)
Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 31.9GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name     Flags
 2      1049kB  2097kB  1049kB               primary  bios_grub
 3      2097kB  130MB   128MB   fat32        primary  boot, esp
 4      130MB   1046MB  916MB                primary
 5      1046MB  21.7GB  20.7GB  ext2         primary
 1      21.7GB  31.9GB  10.2GB  ntfs         primary  msftdata

lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs           384M  6.2M  378M   2% /run
/dev/mmcblk0p4  855M  855M     0 100% /cdrom
/dev/loop0      809M  809M     0 100% /rofs
/cow             19G  125M   18G   1% /
tmpfs           1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
tmpfs           1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs           1.9G  4.0K  1.9G   1% /tmp
tmpfs           384M  4.0K  384M   1% /run/user/999
/dev/mmcblk0p5   19G  125M   18G   1% /media/lubuntu/casper-rw
/dev/mmcblk0p1  9.5G   50M  9.5G   1% /media/lubuntu/usbdata
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ uname -a
Linux lubuntu 4.4.0-31-generic #50-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jul 13 00:07:12 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Release:	16.04
Codename:	xenial
lubuntu at lubuntu:~$ 

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