Boot Openfiler 2.99 from a USB flash drive

Install and Boot Openfiler 2.99 from a USB Flash Drive

I have been playing around with ESXi server lately and needed to set up iSCSI shared storage to take advantage of the more complex features.  Openfiler 2.99 has received a lot of good reviews so that seemed like a good start and a nice way to set up shared storage.

I wanted to boot Openfiler 2.99 from a USB flash drive but had some problems finding documentation how to get this done.  There seem to be a lot of good guides out there but most are for version 2.3 which was very complicated to set up as the USB device was not properly detected and required to manually install the drivers.  I couldn’t find any good 2.99 guides on the net so I decided to write my own.

Why would I want to Boot Openfiler 2.99 from a USB Flash drive?

  • Free up an extra hard drive that could be used for shared storage.
  • No need to permanently install it on a hard drive.
  • Uses flash memory instead of a spindle disk.
  • Use shared storage on your laptop that has a single hard drive.
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Let’s get started

1. Download the Openfiler 2.99 installation image. You will need to burn it to a CD by using ImgBurn (link to my other post about top 10 windows app, imgburn is #7 on the list).  You can also boot directly from the .iso file in VMware Player. In the below example I’m using VMware Player and I connected my removable USB Flash Drive directly to the Virtual Machine.

  • Press Enter

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb

3. Click Next.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb

4. Start from the bottom of this screen.

  • What drive would you like to boot this installation from – select your USB
  • Place a checkmark beside your USB drive
  • Choose Create custom layout
  • Click Next.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb

5. If you don’t see the “Free” space underneath sdb,  select /dev/sdb and then click on DELETE, now you should see free space right under /dev/sdb as shown in screenshot.

  • Create 4 partitions on the USB drive (/boot,swap,/var/log,/)

Partition 1 – /boot,ext2,100MB,Primary

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb

Partition 2 – swap,1024, Primary

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb-1

Partition 3 – /var/log,ext3,512MB,NOT Primary

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb-1-1

Partition 4 – /,ext3,Primary, Size: “Fill to maximum allowable size”

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb-1-1-1

6. Select the root / partition to install Openfiler and click on Next.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb-1-1-1-1

5. The default bootloader is fine, just click on Next.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb-1-1-1-1

6. I’ll skip a few screens where you basically have to click Next (networking,time zone, set admin user/password) and you should get to the below screen and the installation will begin.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb

7. The installation has finished.

boot openfiler 2.99 from usb


 
8. Don’t forget to go into BIOS and set the boot order to boot from the USB. I just tested it on my system here and I was able to boot from USB.

 

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2 Responses to Boot Openfiler 2.99 from a USB flash drive

  1. bob K says:

    Great article – thank you! The only issue was that on reboot I got “bootmgr is missing”

  2. Shyam says:

    very useful article

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