Boot Parabola LiveISO from GRUB

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If GRUB is already the boot-loader on your PC, it is possible to boot a Parabola LiveISO file directly from hard disk without the need to burn it to removable DVD or USB media. The only caveats are that the disk partition containing the ISO file must have a volume label and it will not be writable while the live system is running. For that reason, partitioning may be required prior to booting the ISO when using this boot method to install parabola to disk; in order to ensure that there is a free partition for the new install without clobbering or resizing the existing partition that contains the ISO.

To enable this, add the following clause to /etc/grub.d/40_custom:

menuentry "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Live" {
  set HOST_PARTITION="(hd0,2)"
  set ISO_FILE="/parabola-systemd-cli-i686-netinstall-2018.06.11.iso"
  set ARCH="i686"
  set ISO_FS_LABEL="PARA_201806"
  set HOST_FS_LABEL="my-isos"

  loopback loop $HOST_PARTITION $ISO_FILE
  linux (loop)/parabola/boot/$ARCH/vmlinuz parabolaisolabel=$ISO_FS_LABEL img_label=$HOST_FS_LABEL img_loop=$ISO_FILE
  initrd (loop)/parabola/boot/$ARCH/parabolaiso.img

The values of 'HOST_PARTITION', 'ISO_FILE', 'ARCH', 'ISO_FS_LABEL', and 'HOST_FS_LABEL' will need to be adjusted to each specific ISO release and your partition layout; where:

  • 'HOST_PARTITION' is the standard GRUB partition specifier of the partition containing the ISO file
  • 'ISO_FILE' is the full path to the ISO file to boot, relative to the partition root
  • 'ARCH' is the CPU architecture of the live system to boot
  • 'ISO_FS_LABEL' is the volume label of the ISO (PARA-YYYYMM - where YYYYMM matches the ISO filename)
  • 'HOST_FS_LABEL' is the volume label of the partition containing the ISO file

Then re-create the GRUB boot menu with the following command:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg