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wiki:grub1_iso_remastering - Tiny Core Linux Wiki

Welcome to the Tiny Core Linux Wiki at!

Introduction and warnings

I am aussie so spell color as colour but commands by imagemagick must be US spelling.

Try at own risk.

This wiki shows how to build an iso using grub-legacy instead of isolinux.

Bonus material includes using splashimages. Hopefully you might see some merit, use isos to test out new splashimages instead of trying out on your hard drive to avoid borking your system.

Are you are persistent home user?

You could consider having the burn folder under /home/tc so its available to change if you are trying out different splashimages or re-mastering various things.



mkisofs command from mkisofs-tools.tcz

For graphic identification and conversion for optional splashimage


Remaster Tinycore using grub-legacy

You can do other things with remasters not covered here. This just shows you how to remaster with grub instead of isolinux. See forum and wiki for re-compiling kernels, intrds, and other stuff.

Bonus…I do show how to test splashimages if you are excited by this. If you want better graphics, you could always read the grub2 wiki?

Populate target-foldername=burn

burn is the name of special folder mkisofs will use for the isobuild process.

cd /tmp
mkdir -p burn/boot/grub
cp /mnt/sda1/boot/vmlinuz burn/boot
cp /mnt/sda1/boot/tinycore.gz burn/boot
cp /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/menu.lst burn/boot/grub
cp /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/stage2_eltorito burn/elt

Notice we change pathway and name of eltorito file to burn/elt

Please change /mnt/sda1 to where ever your tce persistent directory is please.

Basic menu.lst becomes (in a code box for wiki viewing reasons only)

title TC
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
initrd /boot/tinycore.gz

We leave off splashimage file at this stage of test.

Iso build command

mkisofs -r -b elt -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o a.iso burn/ 

See for explanations.

Why don't I show a snapshot of the iso/cd menu? Because its exactly the same as your hard drive menu.

Some Tips

1 We are at /tmp or if you like, /home/tc during the populate and Isobuild instructions.

2 elt…I find it easier to have under burn/ and we drop the forward slash. It is also easier to type. If you make a typo or add a slash etc….you will get a eltorito image not found type of error. ……..If you are feel like typing more characters change ” -b elt”to ”-b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito” …………..and change copy command to cp /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/stage2_eltorito burn/boot/grub

3 Change a.iso to a more descriptive name if interested.

4 Keep the trailing slash / after burn to show mkisofs that burn is the foldername please.


Before editting your menu.lst either create a splashimage or use commands to convert an image to xpm and then gunzip or use a graphics tool like mtpaint or gimp to convert.

Command mode needs imagemagick and are of 2 formats

First run identify in case your image is aleady suitable

identify imagefilename 
(response gives image details including canvas size, color information)

Conversion formula

convert rawfile.(imageformat) -resize 640x480! -colors 16 -depth 8 -normalize -verbose splash.xpm && gzip splash.xpm
(response is a file created called splash.xpm.gz)

You do not need the ! but might be useful to force change of size?

Change 640×480 to 640×480+offsetnumber+offsetnumber….if you want to offset image along x axis and/or the y axis

Tip re-run identify to check its ok.

Edit menu.lst to add above all titles

splashimage /boot/splash.xpm.gz

cp splash.xpm.gz burn/boot

-- Extra conservative setting

If you have problems with colors 16, you can always set colors to 14.


You can download a readymade splashimages such as

Suggest you unpack menu-sta or fiesta or CRW

Below I have taken menu-sta and renamed it splash.xpm.gz

-- Legal notice for above image is

 * Copyright 2004 Your Name <>
  * This xpm file image is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
  * modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
  * published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 
  * of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
  * This xpm file image is distributed in the hope that it will be
  * useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty
  * the GNU General Public License for more details.
  * You should have received a copy of the GNU General
  * Public License along with this image; if not, write to the Free
  * Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston,
  * MA  02111-1307  USA


You can take almost any image and convert it.

In below image I have taken grub2 tga format and converted it to xpm format from below package.

-- Legal notice for above image is

Copyright information is contained in the unpack but in particular to the image I chose it is

B-1B_over_the_pacific_ocean.tga USAF photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III public domain

Uploaded to

And its web page current license is

What makes a good image to convert

If you look at the jpeg of the plane from grub2 tga package,

A couple of things should be obvious?

a) There are only 4 or so main colors

b) Lots of stuff is bland meaning NOT highly detailed…although the plane itself has details

This means it was an ideal candidate to convert as not a lot of detail is lost.

Re-looking at our plane image we may like to try out offsets in our conversion forumla.

Offsets….means move the image vertically up or down and/or left or right.

Hard drive splashimage

If your iso test was successful, you could consider editting your hard drive menu.lst using root powers to same option to load your splashimage

eg….in a code box for wiki viewing purposes only

default 0
timeout 5

splashimage /boot/splash.xpm.gz

title TC
kernel /boot/vmlinuz tce=sda1
initrd /boot/tinycore.gz

and use root powers to copy working splash.xpm.gz under /mnt/somewhere/boot


My research to show color 16 is ok

You can google for readymade xpm images or gunzipped files