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Feature: Linux

Multiple live CDs in one DVD

By Mayank Sharma on March 23, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

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Live CDs do a great job of advertising Linux distributions. In addition to general-purpose live CD distributions, there are lots of task-oriented live CDs. Wouldn't it be great if you could carry multiple live CDs on one DVD disc? has put up a script that you can use to make a custom DVD to boot multiple live CDs.

The Nautopia script currently supports Knoppix, Kanotix, Kurumin, Livux, MEPIS, ProMEPIS, Slax, Aurox, BerryLinux, Basilisk, Adios, PCLinuxOS, MandrakeMove, Gnoppix, RiP, SystemRescueCD, Ultimate Boot CD, and INSERT distributions. Grab a couple of live CDs of any of the above listed distributions, download the script, and let's get started.

Exploding the zip archive reveals a shell script named dvd_iso and a directory named dvd wherein lies all the magic. Let's put MandrakeMove, Knoppix, and SystemRescueCD in the DVD. All we need to do is copy the boot-related files, such as initrd.gz, vmlinuz, and isolinux*, into the respective distributions' /dvd/boot/ directories. The rest of the distros' files sits under the /dvd directory or in its own directory under /dvd.

From the MandrakeMove live CD copy the contents of the isolinux directory into the target /dvd/boot/mdkmove. Then copy the rest of the CD to /dvd. Moving on to Knoppix, copy the contents of /isolinux into /dvd/boot/knoppix. Then create a KNOPPIX/ directory under /dvd and copy the contents of the /KNOPPIX directory from the live CD into the newly created /dvd/KNOPPIX. Finally, with SystemRescueCD, copy the contents of /isolinux to /dvd/boot/sysrescd/ and copy the sysrcd.dat file to /dvd.

Once the directories have been prepared, execute the dvd_iso shell script, which simply creates a bootable ISO image, dvd_boot.iso, using mkisofs, and places it in the same directory as the script itself. To test the ISO image you can either burn it onto a DVD or run it through QEMU, a free and fast processor emulator. You can apt-get install qemu, download precompiled packages, or compile it from source.

Upon bootup you will be greeted by a GRUB menu that lists all the distributions supported. Selecting one will take you to that distribution's GRUB menu. Make a selection in this menu and you're off.

Right now the options file of all the distributions are in the developer's native language, Spanish. If you run into any problems or want a little help placing the files in the DVD, refer to the developer's article in Spanish. The author promises an English version soon. Until then, use Google's translation tools.

When you are done playing with one distro, simply restart the computer and select another one from the DVD's GRUB menu.

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on Multiple live CDs in one DVD

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Iso of a DVD would be better then a script

Posted by: Moulinneuf on March 24, 2006 12:24 AM
A working DVD solution would be better then a script for most people.


Re:Iso of a DVD would be better then a script

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 27, 2006 05:12 PM
I agree, now that the author of that script already have a working dvd, it'll be much easier for me to just download the ISO of THAT dvd.


Very handy

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 24, 2006 12:42 PM
I think this is very handy, it can quickly, efficiently and easy get you access to many different Linux distributions and you can try out all if you are unsure which one is right for you, and after trying all those Linux distributions and comparing, you can quickly learn alot of stuff about Linux by having experience with many different Linux systems.


relief joint

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 30, 2006 01:17 AM
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[URL=<nobr>k<wbr></nobr> pain.htm] Low back pain [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>b<wbr></nobr> ackpainrelief.htm] Back pain relief [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> es/kneepainrelief.htm] Knee pain relief [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>e<wbr></nobr> lief.html] Pain relief [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>i<wbr></nobr> nrelief/painreliefpreved.htm] Pain relief [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>t<wbr></nobr> ion-Pain-Relief.html] Medication pain relief [/URL]
[URL=<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> -Pain-Relief.html] Natural pain relief [/URL]

[URL=] Pain relief [/URL]
[URL=] Back Pain [/URL]
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english version

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 24, 2006 06:28 PM
<a href="" title=""><nobr>u<wbr></nobr> ciones/custom/livecd_collection.php</a>


multisession CD/DVD with the right bootloader...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 24, 2006 06:32 PM
Instead of extracting part of the content of each bootable CD/DVD, you can create a multisession CD/DVD: Some bootloader will enable you to select which session of the CDROM you want to boot.

  A quick test is to install the Gujin bootloader either on a bootable USB stick, your hard disk or a floppy, then write your CD/DVD with the "-multi" and "-tao" (track at once) like:
cdrecord -tao -multi knoppix.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi dsl.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi puppy.iso
keeping the same CDROM/DVD in the drive. CDROM have a maximum of 99 tracks.

  Then you boot Gujin (depending where you have installed it) and it should automatically display a menu of all sessions present.

  For more fun, you can also install Gujin boot.bcd as the bootloader of the first session of the CDROM, so that you do not need a separate USB stick/disk/floppy.

  Note that some bootable session will have difficulties finding their own session to mount, so you may have to add an "session=" parameter to the right "mount" command inside the bootable CDROM scripts.

  More info and FAQ/HOWTO at <a href="" title=""></a>

  Gujin is a GPL software.


"Freedom Drive"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 02, 2006 07:55 AM
stretching the idea: the "Freedom Drive" (or "FD"): a (bootable) storage loaded with the FD has hardware detection, and a very smart list of different distributions to TRY LIVE or INSTALL. If available the actual distribution files on the storage itself are just a smart cache of the web. Next to distro's it could also have some OSS for non-open operating systems, for example Microsoft Windows.


Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on January 31, 2007 06:58 AM
Hi, nautopia is closed. Does some1 have the script for creating multiboot dvd ?
Pls, email me any info to ziobuda AT gmail DOT com


Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 15, 2007 04:47 AM
pls. if someone could mail me the script too i would be really happy. my mail : aranwe[at]seznam[dot]cz


Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 27, 2007 03:19 AM
1) Go to Enter website link, then select year. Download

2) If the zip file is corrupted, then use a zip repair program to repair file. (google)

Basically a mkisofs script, with required folder structure and files needed for boot (grub, menu.lst files).


Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 09, 2007 04:17 PM
Inspired by this script, I made my own. Get them from
<a href="" title=""></a>


Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 16, 2007 03:06 AM
I've updated the script based on feedback, current version is <a href="" title=""></a>.



Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 01, 2007 03:20 AM
Due to moving, my site will be down for few weeks. During that time, you can get the scripts from <a href="" title=""></a>


Re:Nautopia is closed

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on August 24, 2007 04:41 PM
Nicely done. I have been tooling around with this script for about a week now, and it seems to work for the most part. Although the README file suggests that Foresight Linux is supported, I have been unable to get it to boot from the DVD using GRUB. I will be sure to provide an update as soon as I can get the DVD to work with all the options I want. I am 95% of the way there, but could use some help Please post a menu.lst or grub.conf file with proper boot options for Foresight. Thanks!


dvd scripting

Posted by: Administrator on November 14, 2006 06:17 PM
this is excellent and it works well
but i am also looking for a similar script or way to install multiple cd's from a dvd for instance a microsoft product like office xp that has 3 discs or picture it that has 5 discs
any idea's unfortunately i install to xp as well and dvd's would make install time a lot shorter



re: dvd scripting

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on September 13, 2007 09:58 PM
respond to administrator.
There is a window software called daemon which emulate a CD/DVD reader (actually up to 4 virtual units). You just have to write your CD's iso files to a DVD. When an install is required, you can use daemon. You put the DVD in the system then you just mount each of these iso files instead of swapping disc (left click on daemon icon, select drive and its associated iso files).

Personnaly, I am looking for a way to put several CD's iso on a DVD and select to proper one to boot from.


Multiple live CDs in one DVD

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 01, 2007 04:32 PM
Quick question. Can this script ( be used to merge all the 5 linux iso files into a bootable single DVD?

Thank you!
[Modified by: Anonymous on December 11, 2007 02:16 AM]


Script creates a dvd_root directory

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 01, 2007 06:56 PM
I was testing this out. After running the script it creates two directories a dvd_root and an iso. To create a bootable DVD do you just burn the dvd_root folder?
Not too familiar how this is supposed to work. thanks.


did not create dvd_boot.iso file..... something is gone wrong. thanks.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 01, 2007 07:50 PM
Was running the script and in the last step it ran into this error.

* Mounting and unpacking 'iso/rhel-5-server-i386-disc5.iso' ...

* Config file for 'linux/isolinux/isolinux.cfg' found, converting ...

Bad Option '-nobak' (error -1 BADFLAG).

Usage: mkisofs [options] [-find] file... [find expression]


# Create image section had problems.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 01, 2007 08:27 PM
I was getting an error when it tried to create the image.iso file. I edited the following section and it worked.
# Create image:

if ($opt_b) {

print "Skipping ISO creation as directed by the command line.\n";

} else {

mkisofs("-o $opt_i -b boot/grub/stage2 -c boot/",

"-jcharset utf-8 -r -T", # deleted '-nobak -q' for it to work.

"-no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table",




Multiple live CDs in one DVD

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on February 06, 2008 09:55 AM
Both links do not lead to the script. May be is not what it used to be at the time of writing the article and people's comments.
Does anybody keep the script?


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