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Creating a bootcd.iso for a huge ZENworks Image (on RedHat machine)

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jim Webb

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Posted: 16 Jun 2005

(Note: This tip will only be of use to you if you use a RedHat environment instead of Windows. But if you're one of those, this might be exactly what you're looking for.)

PROBLEM: When I tried to create a custom bootcd.iso that contained a large ZENworks image, the resulting ISO file exceeded the 2GB file size limit on the Linux (RedHat 7.1) machine I use for ZENworks Imaging customization.

SOLUTION: My solution was to create the ISO on a Windows machine using NTFS (this avoids the filesize limit). By following these instructions you can make an unlimited number of changes and create a new bootcd.iso.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Download cdrtools from here, this includes mkisofs.exe.
  2. Extract and copy mkisofs.exe and cygwin1.dll to your windows\system32 directory.
  3. Create a directory called zencd to store the files from the ZENworks Bootcd.iso.
  4. Inside zencd create a directory called work and a directory called out.
  5. Extract all of the files from the bootcd.iso into the work directory. You can use a program like Winimage or Ultraiso to do this or just burn the bootcd.iso and copy the files from it.
  6. Make any changes to the files in the work directory.
    NOTE: This is the place to add your custom settings.txt file.
  7. From the zencd directory run the following command:
    mkisofs -o out/bootcd.iso -b isolinux.bin -c boot.catalog -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table work/
  8. Your new bootcd.iso should be in the out directory.
  9. Burn the bootcd.iso with your favorite CD-burning program.

Before you comment, I know you can accomplish the same end result by using a CD-burning program to add custom files and then creating a multisession CD, however, some computers don't support multisession CDs. Also, I have found that when using a program such as Winiso or Ultraiso you can only make a minimum number of changes before the ISO becomes unbootable.

If you have any questions you may contact Jim at Jim is working on a site called that will contain more of his excellent tips. Check it out sometime.

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