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Old 10-02-2008, 03:55 PM
Loc Minier
Default Workaround to install USB images in kvm/qemu (and perhaps others)


Ubuntu Mobile and Ubuntu MID images are provided as .img files aimed at
USB sticks. They also boot fine in kvm/qemu/vbox etc. with "-hda
blah.img", but if you try to install on a second hard disk, grub will
be installed on the first hard disk (containing your image); this wont
boot and will corrupt your downloaded .img.

Because grub installs on the first hard disk, you would think you can
setup the .img as the second hard disk and install on the first disk,
but this isn't possible because the BIOS used in qemu/KVM, bochs,
doesn't allow booting on the second hard disk.

As a workaround, we provide a small (< 400 kB) ISO image from which you
can boot on the second hard disk.

Boot kvm with:
kvm -m 512 -cdrom isolinux.iso -hda hda.img -hdb ubuntu-mobile.img
(hda.img being qemu-img create hda.img 4G)

Because hda.img is blank, it will boot from cdrom.

isolinux.iso will offer to boot from second hard disk with "2". Do the
install on the default (first hard disk), grub gets installed there as
well automatically.

Reboot, kvm will start from the now installed hda.img.

(You can drop -cdrom and -hdb flags from cmdline after install if you

The script to generate the above iso is available via bzr at:

Loc Minier

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