How to repack iso so it is detected by finicky laptop?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

How to repack iso so it is detected by finicky laptop?

Postby kerryhall » 2017-12-07 00:25


I am trying to install debian on a macbook for a friend.

Using USB drive.

I have two versions of the Debian iso, the first is the live cd with firmware, which I boot up first to confirm wifi is working.

The second version is a repack of of netinst + firmware that has a preseed file I have generated that does the full install without any user input.

The macbook detects the live cd + firmware iso and boots from it fine.

My netinst repack iso is detected and bootable from half a dozen assorted laptops, but not from the macbook for some reason.

My guess is that I need to pass some specific param to xorriso, but not sure what param I need. How are the official Debian isos generated? What is the command that is used?

I'm currently doing:

xorriso -as mkisofs \
-r -J -V "Stretch Repack" \
-b isolinux/isolinux.bin \
-c isolinux/ \
-no-emul-boot \
-partition_offset 16 \
-boot-load-size 4 \
-boot-info-table \
-isohybrid-mbr "/usr/lib/ISOLINUX/isohdpfx.bin" \
-o "$DEST_ISO" \

As per a tutorial I followed years ago.

I tried generating the ISO without -r and -J, no luck, and also tried with just -J, still no luck.

Again, EVERY laptop I have tried EXCEPT the macbook can detect it. And the macbook can detect official ISOs fine.


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Re: How to repack iso so it is detected by finicky laptop?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-12-07 06:39

This works for me with BunsenLabs images (which are based on Debian): ... 229#p64229

EDIT: the first argument of the mkiso function is the name applied to the image label and the second is the name of the output image itself.
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Debian buster-backports ISO image: for new hardware support
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Re: How to repack iso so it is detected by finicky laptop?

Postby michapma » 2017-12-08 13:19

Hmm, but the macbook is not detecting the ISO, but the file system that results from "unpacking" the ISO. Is the macbook using BIOS or UEFI? Could there be differences between the partition table from the two images, and that is what the BIOS/UEFI is choking on?

For instance: ... Apple_Macs

P.S. I assume if your friend's macbook is a 2007+ model that you are using the amd64 flavor for both images?
P.P.S. If nothing works, I would humbly suggest using a normal install disc or the live cd that works and use a separate stick with the firmware in it. The installer supports this.
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