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How To Create An IFL Optical Restore Disc From Existing Image Files


This article covers creating a bootable Image for Linux (IFL) restore disc using existing image files that were previously created by IFL, IFD, or IFW.  As of IFL 2.89 and later, this can be done with a menu-driven interface in the 'iflbuild' script, which is available to be run from either the IFL Boot Disk, or an installed Linux distribution. The 'iflbuild' script uses the Linux 'growisofs' utility to burn the IFL restore disc files (to make the disc bootable), and a specified list of TBI image files to optical media.

The 'growisofs' utility is capable of burning one or more TBI image file(s) to a bootable iso9660 file system on optical disc, without first creating an ISO file. Before burning the disc, it will verify that the file(s) specified on the command line will fit on the disc. It supports DVD media (all common types), as well as Blu-ray optical discs. However, please note that CD-R and CD-RW media are not supported.

The next 2 sections describe how to run 'iflbuild' from either a Linux distribution or from the IFL boot disk, and then the following section outlines the procedure to configure and burn the restore disc using the menu interface.

How to run 'iflbuild' from a Linux distribution (IFL 2.89 or later):

1. Extract an IFL zip file to a directory. The zip file used can be either (CUI), or ifl_en_gui,zip (GUI). You will create either CUI or GUI restore discs, depending on which zip file you use.

2. Open a terminal window, and change to the extracted IFL directory.

3. As root (or using 'sudo'), and run the command './setup'

4. As root (or using 'sudo'), run the command './iflbuild'

5. From the 'iflbuild' main menu, select "Burn optical restore disc with existing image files" to get to the "Burn Restore Disc" menu.

Note: If additional help is needed in getting IFL set up on a Linux distribution (steps 1 through 3 above), please see the tutorial at the link below:

How to run 'iflbuild' from the IFL boot disk (IFL 2.89 or later):

1. Do one of the following to start the 'iflbuild' script (whichever is most convenient):

  • From an IFL (CUI) command prompt, run 'iflbuild'
  • From the IFL (CUI) main menu, select "Auxilary Menu", then select "Create IFL Boot Media"  
  • From an IFL (GUI) terminal window, run .'iflbuild'
  • From the IFL (GUI) desktop, right-click the desktop and select "Create IFL Boot Media"

2. Select "Boot Disk Mode" from the initial menu

3. Select "Burn optical restore disc with existing image files" to get to the "Burn Restore Disc" menu.

Restore Disc Procedure (starting at "Burn Restore Disc" menu in 'iflbuild'):

1. Select Optical Drive: Choose "Select optical drive" from the menu, and select the optical drive you will be using from the list of available drives.

2. Mount image file location (if necessary): If necessary, mount the partition or network share where the TBI image files to burn are located. If running from the IFL Boot Disk, you will see menu items available to "Mount network shares" or to "Mount drive or partition". If running from a Linux distribution, the network share or partition may already be mounted. If not, you will need to mount the location using available means.

3. Specify file(s) to burn: Choose "Specify file(s) to burn" from the menu, and then press <Enter> to open the file burnfiles.txt in the 'nano' text editor. In that file, enter the path to each image file to be burned, one file path per line. For example, the file could consist of 2 lines as follows:


The path to each file must be relative to either the root directory (/), or the current directory. For example, while the files above are relative to root (/), an image file located in the current directory could be specified with just the filename.

Also, as the example file paths above imply, images that are divided into 2 or more files will have the first file named with the ".tbi" extension, the 2nd file named with a ".1" extension, and so on. In these cases, each individual filename must be specified on it's own line.

Note that the maximum individual file size supported by the burn utility is 4 GiB. Any file larger than that will cause an error condition before the burn starts. Also, if the total size of the files specified in burnfiles.txt exceeds the capacity of the optical media being used, that will also cause a failure before the burn starts. Please see item 2 in the Additional Information section below for information about maximizing the use of the optical disc capacity.

If preferred, the burnfiles.txt file can be created manually with any text editor, and then saved to the current directory, which will be /tbu if using the IFL boot disk, or the extracted IFL directory if using a Linux distribution.

4. Set Volume Name (optional): If desired, select "Volume Name" from the menu to customize the volume name (label) for the restore disc. Otherwise, the default volume name will be "TBI_Backup". The maximum length supported is 32 characters.

5. Customize Restore Disc Settings (optional): If desired, certain settings on the restore disc can be customized by selecting "Restore Disc Settings" from the menu. These settings include video mode, keyboard map, restore disc command lines/menu, and others. Note that If running from a Linux distribution, this menu item will run the 'setup' script, which will take you to the "Restore Disc Settings" menu if you follow the steps. If preferred, the 'setup' script can be run separately to do this, before running 'iflbuild'.

6. Start the burn operation: Choose "Burn restore disc" from the menu. At this point, the script runs a check on each file path listed in burnfiles.txt. If one or more files are not found, the missing file(s) will be listed, and pressing <Enter> will take you back to the previous menu to correct the problem. If all files are found, it will prompt you to press <Enter> to continue, which will take you to the next step.

7. Insert optical disc: At this screen, the drive tray will be opened. Insert the optical disc to be burned, and then close the tray (if not motorized). Press <Enter> when ready. If motorized, the tray will be pulled in. Please note that the optical disc inserted will be overwritten without further prompting. Any data currently on the optical disc will be lost.

8. Burn the disc: Once the drive comes ready, the burn operation will start unless it finds a problem, such as no media in the tray, invalid media in the tray, or the combined size of the files to be burned is too large to fit on the media being used. In these cases, the drive tray will be opened, and the problem will be apparent. Once the actual burn operation gets started, 'growisofs' will show the progress of the burn, along with an estimated completion time. When the burn completes, the optical disc will be ejected.

Additional Information:

1. Additional packages by distribution: If using a Linux distribution, certain packages may need to be installed in order to burn restore discs with 'iflbuild'. While the script will detect any missing items and make you aware of what needs to be done, you can also do this ahead of time. The most common missing items will be 'dialog', 'growisofs', and 'sdparm'. Below are the command lines to install these items for some common distributions.

Note:  These commands need to be run as root, or by using 'sudo':

Debian based (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint): apt-get install dialog growisofs sdparm

Redhat based (Redhat, Fedora, CentOS): yum install dialog dvd+rw-tools sdparm

OpenSuse: zypper install dialog dvd+rw-tools sdparm

Arch Linux: pacman -Sy dialog dvd+rw-tools sdparm

2. Maximum file size and optical disc capacity: The maximum individual file size supported when burning the restore discs is 4 GiB. If desired, the max  file size can be set in IFW/IFD/IFL when creating the images so as to better utilize the full capacity of the optical disc(s) being used as much as possible. For example, if using 4.37 GiB DVD discs, the max file size can be set to 2 GiB (or slightly higher if desired), so that 2 image files would utilize the entire space available.

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