grab a .iso, put in a folder, boot it up.
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readme.md

[GRUB iso multiboot]

preview

  • Auto detect and create entries for .iso files in /iso/
  • Preserves its boot options!
  • Small and lean, few entries lots of images
  • For a new iso, same script. No need to tweak around.

Guide

  1. (as root) install grub into a usb stick
sudo mount /dev/sdX /mnt/multiboot
sudo grub-install --boot-directory=/mnt/multiboot/boot/ /dev/sdX # where X is your device
  1. substitute the boot/ folder created by grub for this one
rsync -a grub-iso-multiboot/boot/ /mnt/multiboot/boot/

Theme

This theme was adapted from https://github.com/Dacha204/grub2-themes-Ettery

Working ISOs (check todo file for distros)

  • Core-current.iso
  • Fedora-Workstation-Live-x86_64-25-1.3.iso
  • FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-bootonly.iso
  • FreeNAS-9.10.2-U2.iso
  • archlinux-2017.03.01-dual.iso
  • bodhi-4.1.0-64.iso
  • elementaryos-0.4-stable-amd64.20160921.iso
  • install-amd64-minimal-20170302.iso
  • linuxmint-18.1-xfce-64bit.iso
  • openSUSE-Tumbleweed-NET-x86_64-Snapshot20170308-Media.iso
  • systemrescuecd-x86-4.9.3.iso
  • systemrescuecd-x86-5.1.0.iso
works fine, but has a custom entry.
grub can't parse its isolinux.cfg.
  • ubuntu-16.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso
  • void-live-x86_64-musl-20170220.iso
  • debian-8.7.1-amd64-xfce-CD-1.iso
Requires grub edit in its entry.
change syslinux.cfg to one of:
   adgtk.cfg adtxt.cfg exithelp.cfg gtk.cfg isolinux.cfg menu.cfg prompt.cfg
   rqgtk.cfg rqtxt.cfg spkgtk.cfg stdmenu.cfg txt.cfg

The `include` from grub interpretation of syslinux has a different behavior than
the original.

NonWorking (come back to it later)

  • TrueOS-Server-2017-02-22-x64-DVD.iso
takes a while to load the iso,
but then seems to hang with a black screen (where vanilla BSD goes on), not sure
try again in verbose mode
  • manjaro-xfce-17.0-stable-x86_64.iso
# grub failed to parse isolinux.cfg with:
error: syntax error.
error: Incorrect command.
error: syntax error.
  • Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.iso
# loads isolinux.cfg ok
seems to hang after splash
  • GoboLinux-016-x86_64.iso
# Boots the kernel but fails to find the root inside the iso from kernel command line.
# memdisk would probably work here...
# You can still manually mount /Mount/CD-ROM if your iso is in a compatible disk
# but fat/vfat is not one of them. (so 1/2 working)

How

A modified autoiso.cfg (/boot/grub/scripts/autoiso.cfg) scans for .iso and .ISO files in /iso/ and creates an entry if it knows how to boot it by:

  • via loopback.cfg if present (grub loopback)
  • isolinux.cfg, the majority of linux ISOs use this
  • custom detection for FreeBSD

Notes