This tutorial using openSUSE 11.1 KDE 4 LiveCD. You may try with another iso (Gnome as an example) or build a brand new iso by using KIWI.

Although it was not using GUI application, making openSUSE 11.1 LiveUSB is not too difficult to do. Below is a step by step tutorial about “how to make openSUSE 11.1 LiveUSB” :


  1. Preparing USB Flash Disk, 1 GB or more
  2. If using Windows for making LiveCD, download latest version of syslinux
  3. Download modified initrd – called initrdud – from my uploads folder. I try to modified initrd instead of using default initrd because I always got this message using default initrd :

    Mounting Live boot device…..
    Couldn’t find Live image configuration file..

    Related article : Thread on openSUSE forum regarding same problem


  1. Run your Windows OS
  2. Plug in USB Flash Disk
  3. Extract syslinux on Windows folder
  4. Open DOS Prompt (Command Prompt)
  5. Navigate into win32 folder on syslinux folder
  6. Run syslinux -ma driver-letter-of-flash-disk, eg :
    syslinux -ma F: 

    if F is your USB Flash Disk.

    1. Find your USB disk with
      df -h

      on konsole.

    2. Install syslinux and run syslinux /dev/sdx from konsole where /dev/sdx is your USB device
    3. If the above process failed for making bootable USB disk, try another tips


  1. Plug in bootable USB disk
  2. Create temporary folder for mounting LiveCD ISO and then mount the iso
    mkdir /mnt/liveiso
    mount -o loop openSUSE-11.1-KDE4-LiveCD-i686.iso /mnt/liveiso/

    (I’m currently using openSUSE 11.1 KDE. Make a proper changes to your ISO image if you used another iso image)

  3. Copying all of liveiso content (mounted ISO content) into USB disk
  4. Copying all of content on boot/i386/loader folder into root folder of USB disk
  5. Rename isolinux.cfg on root folder of USB disk into syslinux.cfg
  6. Copying initrdud into root folder of usb disk
  7. Make a few modification into syslinux.cfg, so, USB live will boot with initrdud. Make a change to this line :
    append initrd=initrd ramdisk_size=512000 ramdisk_blocksize=4096 splash=silent showopts


    append initrd=initrdud kiwidebug=1 ramdisk_size=512000 ramdisk_blocksize=4096 splash=silent showopts

    kiwidebug=1 option will log any error while booting LiveUSB


  1. Boot your computer with USB HDD as top of boot device priority or make a hot boot change by pressing F12, F8, F9 or any key according to your computer
  2. While booting, just press ENTER on boot option. Typing Live-System as mentioned on boot message will failed :-) regarding kernel image


  1. If you get an error :

    VFS: Cannot open root device “<NULL>” or unknown-block(8,9)
    Please append a correct “root=” boot option; here are the available partitions:
    Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,9)

    Please check if you have syslinux.cfg as mentioned at step 5 on “Processing the Image” stage

  2. If you get an error :

    Mounting Live boot device…..
    Couldn’t find Live image configuration file..

    Check is there a file named as initrdud and you have change syslinux.cfg configuration to used initrdud instead of initrd as mentioned on step 7 of “Processing the Image” stage

  3. Don’t forget to mark the partition on your USB drive as active
  4. Thread on openSUSE forum as noticed above said that I must be copied config.kde.isoclient (or config.gnome.isoclient if you used gnome) to config.isoclient, but I found I  already have config.isoclint as symlink for config.kde.isoclient

54 Thoughts on “How to Make openSUSE 11.1 LiveUSB

  1. Muhammed Uluyol on January 2, 2009 at 08:25 said:

    Almost none of this is required, the only steps need is the syslinux one then another to copy config.(gnome/kde4).isoclient to config.isoclient

  2. Vavai on January 2, 2009 at 13:17 said:

    @Muhammed Uluyol,

    If I used default initrd, I always keep get the message :

    “Mounting Live boot device…..
    Couldn’t find Live image configuration file..”

  3. Alwin on January 3, 2009 at 01:55 said:

    I have a plan to buy a new acer one netbook, can I implement this live usb technique for openSuse 11.1 installation? thanks Mr. Vavai.

  4. Pingback: HowtoMatrix » How to Make openSUSE 11.1 LiveUSB

  5. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on January 4, 2009 at 12:20 said:

    1. Can you re-post the link for instructions on how to create “initrdud” from “initrd”? I had the link at one point but I lost it?

    2. Can you install software on the USB stick after it’s booted?

    3. Have you tried to make a bootable USB stick using Kiwi?

  6. Mike on January 4, 2009 at 14:10 said:

    Hello & thanks a lot for this how-to. Unfortunately I get the following error message in the section “Loading KIWI CD Boot-System”:

    cddev /dev/sda1
    –> Mounting live boot drive…
    –> Mounting compressed unified tree…
    –> Failed to mount read only filesystem
    –> Failed to mount root filesystem
    –> shellExeption: provding shell…
    (none):/ #

    I have a 4-GB-stick which is formated with FAT32 (with HP format tool). I currently work under WinXP. In addition to the steps above I copied (in a 2nd try) the content of config.gnome.isoclient to config.isoclient, but that didn’t help, too.

    Thanks a lot for any hint.

  7. Masim "Vavai" Sugianto on January 4, 2009 at 18:01 said:

    Hi Mike,

    I have tried the Gnome ISO yet, I’ll be updated after building Gnome LiveUSB.

  8. Masim "Vavai" Sugianto on January 4, 2009 at 18:02 said:


    Yes, you would be. There is a yast2 live installer icon on the desktop that can be used for installing the liveusb image.

  9. Masim "Vavai" Sugianto on January 4, 2009 at 18:07 said:

    @Edward :

    1. Building modified initrd : http://lizards.opensuse.org/2008/06/20/how-to-makeopensuse-110-gm-version-live-usb/

    2. I’ve not tried this yet, but I have do the same thing on 11.0. The only problem I have on 11.0 LiveUSB is about bootloader installation. The live installer installing bootloader on LiveUSB, so I must repair bootloader on first login.

    3. Yes, I have. I’ll be updated with new article regarding your question.

  10. Mike on January 5, 2009 at 02:59 said:

    Hello Masim,

    thank you for your reply. I have tried openSUSE 11.1 KDE as well with a similar result:

    cddev /dev/sda1
    –> Mounting live boot drive…
    –> Failed to mount RW root filesystem
    –> shellExeption: providing shell…
    (none):/ #

  11. Pingback: Tutorial: Cómo hacer un openSuSE 11.1 LiveUSB | KDE Blog

  12. Hi Masim,

    After performing all steps above I got similar results as Mike:

    –> Mounting live boot drive…
    –> Mounting compressed unified tree…
    –> Failed to mount read only filesystem
    –> Failed to mount root filesystem
    –> shellExeption: providing shell…
    (none):/ #

    Any clue on how to get rid of that?

    I tried both KDE and Gnome versions.

    Thanks a lot.


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  14. ineedme on January 9, 2009 at 05:39 said:

    This is my error screen

    –> Mounting live boot drive…
    –> Failed to mount RW root filesystem
    –> shellExeption: providing shell…
    (none):/ #

  15. Guys, I gave up already with Suse installation, it raped to much from my time. Just switch to Ubuntu, it took only 20 minutes to install it and not a single problem.

  16. Masim "Vavai" Sugianto on January 10, 2009 at 20:19 said:


    Sorry, but I’m not interesting with distro war or something like that. I’m an Ubuntu user in the past (5.04 to 6.04) and after 1 years I migrate to openSUSE until now.

    I occasionally used Ubuntu for my reference.

    If openSUSE ‘raped’ you much time, it probably better to describe what’s your problem. If you decided to use Ubuntu, well, it’s your choice as well as my choice to migrate to openSUSE

    Both Ubuntu and openSUSE are Linux and open source application. I love them and even I migrate from Ubuntu to openSUSE, I always appreciate what the Ubuntu guys done until now, and appreciate their hard work to make better Ubuntu.

  17. Hi,

    Get a GRUB error 17 when booting.

    2 questions:
    (1) when copying files from the iso to the USB, should one use ‘CP -R -L’, because copy-paste in konqueror leads to complaints about symbolic links?
    (2) When copying contents of folder ‘loader’ to root on USB, should one overwrite directory.yast?

  18. Richard on January 12, 2009 at 04:05 said:


    I’ve followed your instructions to the letter but get the following on the final screen – similar to Mike:

    Using IPI No-Shortcut mode
    registered taskstats version 1
    Freeing unused kernel memory: 316k freed
    Write protecting the kernel text: 2344k
    Write protecting the kernel read-only data: 1768k
    Loading KIWI CD Boot-System...
    Creating device nodes with udev
    Boot logging started on /dev/tty1(dev/console) at Sun Jan 11 20:26:10 2009
    -----> Starting boot shell on /dev/tty2
    -----> Boot-Logging enabled on /dev/tty3
    -----> Kernel logging enabled on: /dev/tty4
    -----> Including required kernel modules...
    -----> Probing module: ata_piix
    -----> Probing module: uhci-hcd
    -----> Probing module: ehci-hcd
    cddevs /dev/sda /dev/sdb
    i /dev/sda1
    cddev /dev/sda1
    i /dev/sdb1
    cddev /dev/sda1:/dev/sdb1
    -----> Mounting live boot drive...
    -----> Failed to mount RW root filesystem
    -----> shellException: providing shell...
    (none):/ #

  19. Richard on January 14, 2009 at 06:42 said:


    No need for any of this. I’ve found a much simpler fix.

    To create a LiveUSB version of OpenSuSE 11.1, use unetbootin (opensource, available for Windows and Linux) to create a bootable OpenSuSE USB using the OpenSuSE 11.1 LiveCD iso.

    Then make the following changes in the root directory of the USB memory stick:

    1) Delete the existing empty config.isoclient

    2) Rename config.kde.isoclient or config.gnome.isoclient (depending on the version you’ve downloaded) to config.isoclient.

    That’s it. Reboot and it should load OpenSuSE just fine. At least that was my experience on a Samsung NC10 netbook using the Gnome version!

  20. Ramesh on January 14, 2009 at 17:51 said:

    I got it working….

    Download the latest unetbootin (i downloaded unetbootin-windows-304)

    replace the ubninitrd by initrdud that he gave…
    replace the line in syslinux.cfg by the line he gave…

    it is working….

  21. FINALLY …! :O)
    That was a difficult one.

    Thank’s a lot Richard and Ramesh and Vavai, of course!

    The summary for my Thinkpad laptop:

    1) Install the Linux to the usb stick with unetbootin.
    2) Delete the existing file “config.isoclient” from the usb stick.
    3) Rename “config.kde.isoclient”/”config.gnome.isoclient” to “config.isoclient”.
    4) Copy the “initurdud” from Preparation step 3 above to the usb stick.
    5) Replace the line in “syslinux.cfg” as in step 7 above.


  22. Richard on January 14, 2009 at 19:40 said:

    Hi Ramesh: Yeah, I tried that first but it didn’t work. Same error. I’m not sure what parameters determine success or failure.

    Hi Mike: A hybrid solution, eh? 😉 Would be interesting to know whether the initrd replacement was actually needed and map to different hardware…

    At least we’re all happy bunnies now, as we say here in the UK! :-)

    Only patch OpenSuSE seems to need in my case is support for the Atheros AR5007AG wireless network adaptor. Graphics support is there as is support for the wired network adaptor.

    I must admit I like Puppy tho… but this is not the place for advocacy. 😉

  23. Well, persistence would be nice.

  24. @Richard: Yes, I made several tests. The replacement of the initrd was necessary.

    Any idea about how to get the openSUSE stick peristent?


  25. Walter on January 17, 2009 at 02:51 said:

    Thank you to everybody for its contributions.

    My results are:

    1. I used Gnome LIVE CD
    2. Original instructions resulted in errors
    3. With unetbootin I had success when starting the USB on a HP2133 (has no CD) Of course there many drivers missing.
    4. With unetbootin I had problems when starting the USB on a DELL 5000, however the LIve CD started without problems.

  26. Pingback: Tutorial : openSUSE Network Install over PXE-Boot Part I | Spirit of Change

  27. I managed to make a liveusb drive(initrdud in this post works for i686 version ONLY, trying to make it work on amd64 image gave me “Couldn’t find Live image configuration file.”) and it loads into console, no X.
    Any ideas?

  28. Pingback: E X T O N » Blog Archive » Kör openSUSE 11.1 frÃ¥n en USB-sticka

  29. When selecting the “default” option on the splash screen, the install begins but stops with the following error: Unpacking initramfs…Kernel panic – not syncing: input is encrypted

    Can anyone help. This is the closest I’ve gotten to booting from a USB stick.


  30. i used this:

    1) Install the Linux to the usb stick with unetbootin.
    2) Delete the existing file “config.isoclient” from the usb stick.
    3) Rename “config.kde.isoclient”/”config.gnome.isoclient” to “config.isoclient”.
    4) Copy the “initurdud” from Preparation step 3 above to the usb stick.
    5) Replace the line in “syslinux.cfg” as in step 7 above.

    but i keep getting: initramfs failure, then a kernel panic…

  31. hello. Sorry my english.
    Tell me, please how you edit initrd. I used your INITRDUD, it works. But i need boot from sdb6 (wish) not from sdb1. Or it is better from any Dir.


  32. Hi,

    I tested your workaround, but it don’t work with my requirements: the content of the image in the directory [/dev/sdb2]/oss111gnome (because I have many images on stick).

    Why do not use a grub option like install=hd://sda2/oss111 to find the things we need? Please, see also http://forums.opensuse.org/install-boot-login/410285-possibility-transfer-live-cd-gnome-usb-stick.html

    W. Laub

  33. I try this grub GNU menu-> Exit -> select “SuSE Live CD”, witch boot LiveCD content from directory /dev/sdb8/slcd. Selected item : kernel and entered that:
    kernel /slcd/boot/i386/loader/linux root=/dev/sdb8 install=hd:/dev/sdb8/slcd
    Didn’t work.
    I got error:Could’t find live image configuration file config.isoclient.

    The system searches for this file on the first section of all disks, but does not look other sections.

  34. asker on March 22, 2009 at 17:33 said:

    What changes were made in initrd?
    Will you continue modificating initrd in next opensuse versions?

  35. Hm. While it does boot, it still acts like a LiveCD and changes aren’t saved. I used UNetbootin and did the same things Vince did a month ago, and (unlike his results) it does start up, it just seems to be LiveCD behavior.

    Is this what Mike means by ‘persistent’, saving changes to the thumb drive?

  36. Frank on March 24, 2009 at 12:51 said:

    it is still not working – here’s the error message:

    cddev /dev/sda1:/dev/sdb1
    mounting live boot drive…
    failed to mount RW root filesystem
    shellException: providing shell…

    What do we must to do???

  37. Kiran Manandhar on April 7, 2009 at 13:25 said:

    I am using Grub to make bootable usb Drive. I have three partitions on USB key. Two are DOS partition of 60 MBs.
    1.First partition-syslinux configured for Offline Windows NT 2K XP password Administration
    2.Second Partition- Windwos 98 DOS systems for Ghost, Partition magic, DOS network boot
    3.Third Partition – the GRUB boot partition.

    I have copied OpenSuse11.1 to the third partition and followed all changes including initrdud. I get
    thfollowing error:

    cddev /dev/sda1: /dev/sdb1
    —> Mounting live boot drive …
    —> Couldn’t find Live image configuration file
    —> ShellException: providing shell …

    The Grub menu.lst contains
    title OpenSuse 11.1 Live
    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/i386/loader/kernel kiwidebug=1 ramdisk_size=512000 ramdisk_blocksize=4096 splash=silent showopts
    initrd /boot/i386/loader/initrdud

    Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

  38. Pingback: openSUSE 11.1 GNOME LiveUSB « Kamu, Met ?

  39. Daemon on April 22, 2009 at 05:36 said:

    Hey there, there’s definitely a fix and I dont get this message (Failed to mount RW root filesystem) after doing the steps below, BUT still no joy :(

    1) Install the Linux to the usb stick with unetbootin.

    2) Delete the existing file “config.isoclient” from the usb stick.

    3) (I use/picked Gnome so) Rename ”config.gnome.isoclient” to “config.isoclient”.

    4) Copied the “initurdud” file from Preparation step 3 above to the usb stick.

    5) Commented the first line and Replaced the line in “syslinux.cfg” like so:

    label ubnentry0
    menu label openSUSE_Live_(GNOME)
    kernel /boot/i386/loader/linux
    # append initrd=/boot/i386/loader/initrd ramdisk_size=512000 ramdisk_blocksize=4096 splash=silent showopts
    append initrd=initrdud kiwidebug=1 ramdisk_size=512000 ramdisk_blocksize=4096 splash=silent showopts

    still :( no joy though I get stuck at message “Creating X Configuration…”

    Any help/ideas to fix this?

  40. Piyush Aggarwal on July 12, 2009 at 21:10 said:

    I am stuck with the following messages :

    Waiting for USB devices to appear ……

    Failed to Detect USB drive !

  41. JoseGustavo on August 11, 2009 at 00:44 said:

    hice todos los procedimientos pero obtuve el siguiente error:

    —> waiting for CD/DVD divice(s) to appear……………
    —> waiting for USB divice(s) to settle….
    —> Mouting live boot drive
    —> Failed to mount RW root filesystem
    —> Shell Exeption providing shell

    alguien tiene una idea de que esta fallando??

  42. Le Trape on August 16, 2009 at 02:36 said:

    Hi everyone , some intdrud file that works in a thoshiba satellite a205 without Cd/dvd unit i try all of files and version of intdrud modifyed file and i got many errors

    like :
    Failed to mount read only system
    failed to detect usb devices


    i knok that is the intrdud file but i cant get work it
    some idea ? file ? or link?

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  44. Mine boots until it says:
    No devices match MBR identifier

    What does that mean?

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  46. budijoi on December 29, 2009 at 05:12 said:

    since i was a newbie at this THINGS..i’ll try and TEST..thankyou!

  47. budijoi on December 29, 2009 at 07:49 said:

    and the result is…same like the others…and still can’t find answer..hmm..should i go or should i stay?

  48. budijoi on December 29, 2009 at 08:22 said:

    i’m trying again..and this time..it could show me OPEN SUSE LOGO..then it stop loading from my flashdisk..hmm..this mean..gogogogogo>>>>>>

  49. The above tutorial was written for openSUSE 11.1. You will need an update of initrdud if you wish to use the 11.2 iso LiveCD.

  50. budijoi on December 29, 2009 at 18:56 said:

    wah??iya gituh??pantesan..apa aja yang saya perlu Om?

  51. Pingback: Opensuse 11.2 liveusb - openSUSE Forums

  52. Hi Mas Vivian,
    Very nice post!!

    Btw, saya punya kesulitan dalam melakukan installasi openSUSE 11.2 dimana harddisk yang digunakan adalah SAS HD dengan adapter Adaptec ASC 1405.
    Bagaimana caranya agar driver yang telah di compile bisa diload oleh installer openSUSE 11.2 sehingga bisa mengenali HD SAS tersebut.
    Atas bantuannya terima kasih.

  53. maaf, koreksi
    Mas Vavai NOT Mas Vivian 😀

  54. nice share my friend.:D

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