Boot Linux from the ISO file

AIO Boot supports booting most Linux distributions from ISO files. Just copy the ISO file to a folder and boot it from Grub2.

AIO Boot

AIO Boot can automatically detect the ISO files that support loopback.cfg to boot. And it can also boot many other ISOs. You just copied all the ISO files into the /AIO/Files/PartIMG folder. Then from the main menu of Grub2, press the j key to access the Boot Linux from ISO menu, the supported ISO files will be listed. Or use PartIMG Mapper, which supports most ISO files of Linux.

Boot Linux from ISO file

However, some machines can not boot Linux from the ISO file, it needs to extract. Use AIOCreator.exe to integrate, this tool always uses extraction method if possible. It also supports creating persistent mode for supported Linux distributions. Only use ISO when you can not run AIOCreator.exe, which is useful if you are using a Linux environment.

loopback.cfg

If your ISO file contains the file /boot/grub/loopback.cfg, this ISO file is designed to allow it to boot from an ISO file.

What is a loopback.cfg? A loopback.cfg is basically just a grub.cfg that’s designed to be used to boot a live distribution from an iso file on a filesystem rather than an actual physical CD.

Read more about loopback.cfg here.

How to boot Linux from ISO file using loopback.cfg?

There are many Linux distributions that support loopback.cfg to use Grub2 to boot itself through an ISO file. The most popular are Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions such as Linux Mint … recently, Debian 9 and Manjaro 17 also supported. All of these distributions can use the following menu:

menuentry "TITLE" {
	iso_path=PATH
	export iso_path
	search --set=root --file $iso_path
	loopback loop $iso_path
	root=(loop)
	configfile /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
	loopback --delete loop
}
  • TITLE: Grub2 menu name.
  • PATH: the path to your ISO file.
  • /boot/grub/loopback.cfg: the path to the loopback.cfg file in the ISO file.

You can add this menu to Grub2 of AIO Boot or Ubuntu, Linux Mint… The Grub2 menu of AIO Boot is located at /AIO/Menu/Main.cfg. Here are some Linux distributions that support loopback.cfg.

Ubuntu

Includes Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu, UbuntuStudio, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu Budgie. And the distributions are based on Ubuntu.

menuentry "Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit" {
	iso_path="/ubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso"
	export iso_path
	search --set=root --file $iso_path
	loopback loop $iso_path
	root=(loop)
	configfile /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
	loopback --delete loop
}

Linux Mint

menuentry "Linux Mint 18.2 64-bit" {
	iso_path="/linuxmint-18.2-cinnamon-64bit.iso"
	export iso_path
	search --set=root --file $iso_path
	loopback loop $iso_path
	root=(loop)
	configfile /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
	loopback --delete loop
}

Debian 9

menuentry "Debian 9.2.0 XFCE 64-bit" {
	iso_path="/debian-live-9.2.0-amd64-xfce.iso"
	export iso_path
	search --set=root --file $iso_path
	loopback loop $iso_path
	root=(loop)
	configfile /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
	loopback --delete loop
}

Manjaro 17

Starting from Manjaro 17.0.6, I have reported the issue of previous versions here. Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, you need to specify the partition that contains the ISO file.

menuentry "Manjaro XFCE 17.0.6 64-bit" {
	iso_path="/manjaro-xfce-17.0.6-stable-x86_64.iso"
	export iso_path
	search --set=root --file $iso_path
	probe -u -s rootuuid $root
	export rootuuid
	loopback loop $iso_path
	root=(loop)
	configfile /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
	loopback --delete loop
}
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