Wednesday 25 August 2010

Install Smoothwall from bootable USB memory stick

Today I wanted to install Smoothwall on a fan-less device, Lex Light LG8302.

There is the tool UNetbootin, but it does not support the Smoothwall iso image, and even if it copies to iso file to USB, when you boot from it you get the UNetbootin default option, but that does not do anything.

I used 7zip to extract the iso image of Smoothwall, which gives me the [Boot] directory.
It seems that UNetbootin is not able to extract the boot files from the iso image, from Bootable_2.88M.img, even though it does attempt it.

I used RawWrite for Windows ( to extract the files from Bootable_2.88M.img. The partition size of the USB stick will be only 2 MB, but that is ok for the moment. Copy the files initrd.img, vmlinuz und syslinux.cfg to your local harddrive. Change the names from capital to lower case letters. Reformat the USB stick to its normal size. Then run again UNetbootin, and use the Smoothwall iso image as the source. Then copy the 3 files initrd.img, vmlinuz und syslinux.cfg to the USB stick, you will need to overwrite the existing syslinux.cfg.

To test the USB stick with VMWare, I followed the instructions at

Then on the fan-less device, I first was not sure how to get it to boot from the usb stick. Then the hint was on where it tells that you have to change the boot order to use USB-ZIP which will boot from the USB stick.


it seems I rejoiced too early...

The installer does start from the USB stick, and does format the harddrive, but then it does not seem to find the file smoothwall.tgz and does not install all the network card drivers. So even the network install does not work.

The function findharddiskorcdrom looks for CDROM or harddrive, but I could not figure out why it does not find the USB stick. It only seems to check /dev/scd0, but no other device.