Change in behaviour of livecd-tools: Testing required

Dan Mashal dan.mashal at
Thu Apr 19 07:28:08 UTC 2012

Hey Francisco, 

Why don’t we schedule a test day for this?


-----Original Message-----
From: test-bounces at [mailto:test-bounces at] On Behalf Of Ankur Sinha
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:22 AM
To: test at
Subject: Change in behaviour of livecd-tools: Testing required

Hi folks,

There has been a change in the way livecd-iso-to-disk works when using a DVD image. In the past, you had to have one bootable partition on the USB media you chose to use, and livecd-iso-to-disk would use it to set up the media. It would copy the required files and the ISO image to this partition that the user specified. 

Due to some changes in anaconda in F17, anaconda can no longer read the ISO from the same partition. Therefore, upstream has made changes to livecd-iso-to-disk. It is now necessary to use the --format option while creating USB media from DVD ISO images. This *formats* the *entire* USB media (don't use a HDD you use for backups!) and creates two partitions:
"LIVE" and "LIVE-REPO". The ISO image is copied to the "LIVE-REPO"

The earlier command was:
$ livecd-iso-to-disk <path to iso> /dev/sdb1 #(the attachment point of the *partition*)

The new command is:
$ livecd-iso-to-disk --format --reset-mbr <path to iso> /dev/sdb #(the attachment point of the *device*)

I personally feel this is a usability failure, as it restricts the usage of USB media for installation. One will now have to keep aside a special USB stick for installations. One cannot use one partition from an already in-use external HDD. I've filed a bug here[1] as a proposed F17Blocker. 

In the mean time, livecd-tools needs testing. I've updated the docs on how to use it[2], but there are areas in there that I'm not well versed with, such as the part about the media not being bootable, and the use of "askmethod". I do not know if this method works for boot and netinst ISO images either since I don't use them regularly. I'm not even sure if --reset-mbr is necessary.

I'd be grateful if you folks could please test this method of installation, and file relevant bugs, or update the documentation as needed. 

I'd like to stress why it is imperative to test this. Since the documentation was not up to date, users didn't use the --format option.
This resulted in *no* DVD ISO image being copied at all (It got copied to / instead, something upstream has fixed now). Therefore, after the disk partitioning step in anaconda (after it wipes the drives you select), users were completely caught off-guard when Anaconda popped up saying, "I need network to continue installation. I can't find any packages to install on this USB media!". Since the disks had been wiped, no OS remained, broken system, clear usability #fail. (I was fortunate enough to have another system to burn a DVD off of, but I personally know folks who don't have DVD drives in their systems any more, and were without working systems for a while.)


Ankur: "FranciscoD"

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