This will allow you to create a USB Bootable installation stick. The drive will retain the ability to be used as a standard USB stick as well (ie: it will still work under a mac/windows/*nix) while focusing on doing it efficiently while maintainga reasonable level of "user friendliness".
I found myself in the position of not being able to burn a reliable ISO of Vector 6.0 Light to a CD but I needed install VL on some other machines I had lying around. After some trial and error this is what I came up with. It works wonderfully for me and I hope it does for you as well should the need arise. I have not tested these with any other Vector versions... but it should work for them (at least theoretically).
UPDATE: 9/20/11. VL 6.0 KDE Classic ISO instructions as well as Light.
UPDATE: 1/27/12 Fixed some errors. New instructions on VL 7.0 STANDARD install.
* Recommended 2+ GB Standard USB Drive
* BIOS access to a PC/Mac that supports bootable USB devices
* root on a working Linux box
* ISO image of Vector Linux
First things first. Make sure you have a PC/MAC that can boot from USB Hard Disks and that it is in fact set up to boot from them before your hard disks.
Insert your flash drive and let's begin. After inserting the drive you may want to check it mounted correctly with df -hT. This is also good for scouting your device name for the USB device. Mine was /dev/sdb. Unmount any/all partitions from the USB device.
Use cfdisk or fdisk to create a primary Win95 LBA partition ( code 0C ). Subtract these suggested partition sizes to follow from your total space that cfdisk reports. Also make sure that you make set the BOOT flag for this partition.
VERSION: VL 6 KDE Classic
VERSION: VL 6 Lite
VERSION: VL 7.0 STANDARD
Create a second Win95 LBA primary partition with the remainder of space. Write the partition table and Quit cfdisk.
dd if=[ PATH TO VECTOR ISO ] of= [ DEVICE PATH TO SMALL PARTITION ]
dd if=~/VL6.0-Light-Final.iso of=/dev/sdb2
This writes the iso9660 image of Vector to our smaller partition. The partition still remains a 0C to cfdisk... but is mounted as iso9660 in Linux as a working CD. Each version has it's own LABEL for the "CD." Please be aware of this as you will need to make note of the one you are installing as it will become part of the commands you issue.
Now we prep the other partition for usage. It is a good idea to LABEL the large partition.
mkfs.vfat -vn [ DISK NAME ] [ DEVICE NAME TO LARGE PARTITION ]
mkfs.vfat -vn VBOOT /dev/sdb1
This should create a healthy FAT32 file system for portability. At this point you should check to see if any partitions from your USB device have been mounted. Note that VBOOT is my label I used. It is up to you what you choose but make note of it. Also make note of the CD Label (VL-LIGHT, VL-KDE3 etc). unmount any USB mounts. Remove the USB stick and plug it back in. I know it sounds redundant but trust me.
From the shell: df -hT
At this point you should see TWO new partitions in /mnt/vl-hot. One will be an iso9660 type and the other is one of your choosing. For the sake of instruction I will use my example of VBOOT from here on out. If you used a different label then substitute when needed.
We have to prep the large partition with some data from the CD Image...
cp -vr /mnt/vl-hot-VL-LIGHT/*s*linux /mnt/vl-hot/VBOOT
cp /mnt/vl-hot/VBOOT/isolinux/initrd.bin /mnt/vl-hot/VBOOT/isolinux/init.gz
cd /mnt/vl-hot/[ CD IMAGE NAME ]/syslinux
We must now edit the syslinux.cfg file.
The use of vim is subjective. If you use emacs, pico, elvis etc that is fine. Your goal is to replace 2 instances of init.gz with initrd.lz
Also near the end you should replace an instance of initrd.img with initrd.lz. Save the file and exit the editor.
cd /mnt/vl-hot/[ CD IMAGE NAME ]/syslinux
WARNING WARNING WARNING!
TYPOS BEYOND THIS POINT WILL FORCE YOU TO START OVER!
ALL COMMANDS ISSUED BEYOND THIS POINT ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL VERSIONS OF VL INSTALLS
It's time to prepare the USB stick to be bootable! These commands come from the bootinst.sh script that is on the root directory of the CD. However this script ( as is ) does not meet our needs. Unfortunately I'm a horrible shell script hacker... so I had to extract and use manual commands.
lilo -S /dev/null -M [ DEV NAME OF USB ] ext
lilo -S /dev/null -M /dev/sdb ext
lilo -S /dev/null -A [ DEV NAME OF USB ] [ NUMERICAL NUMBER OF THE LARGE PARTITION ]
lilo -S /dev/null -A /dev/sdb 1
cat mbr.bin > [ DEV NAME OF USB ]
cat mbr.bin > /dev/sdb
syslinux -d syslinux [ DEV NAME OF THE LARGE PARTITION ]
syslinux -d syslinux /dev/sdb1
You are done! You should now have a bootable USB stick that will allow you to install Vector Linux as well as a functional USB hot swappable storage device. Happy Vectoring!
uelsk8s : clearing up questions about initrd
pierce.jason : for validating and appreciation of the project