Tiny Core Linux

Tiny Core Extensions => TCE Tips & Tricks => Topic started by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 02:20:38 PM

Title: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 02:20:38 PM
Who this is for:
Anyone who seemingly has trouble getting TinyCore to boot despite using all normal means.  Especially those that *may* be fighting UEFI hardware quirks and manufacturer deviations.

It is a bootloader that uses Syslinux initially, and then relies on grub 2.x to finish the job.  Designed primarily for booting multiple o/s' and utilies in a convenient menu structure, however I use it solely to boot just ONE system - TinyCore.  Specifically tinycorepure64 on uefi-only machines.

The combinations of bootloaders seems to get around a number of quirks my uefi-only hardware is presenting to TinyCorepure64 in this environment.

Consider it "training wheels", or perhaps a time-saving utility that lets you get to Tinycore itself without becoming a boot-guru if you run into problems - especially on low end consumer Windows hardware.  Your choice.

Where to get it:
I'm specifically interested in the UEFI version.  I have not tested the legacy non-uefi version.  Be sure to download the right one.


The UEFI version (0.0.16) as of this writing, is down the page past the legacy.

I'll discuss some installations, and pros and cons of using this utility to burn a bootable TinyCore stick in a followup...
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 02:33:43 PM
Quick install for the impatient:

1) Start off on the right foot.  Have a properly formatted fat32 usb stick on hand.  There are many utilities to accomplish this, all I am saying is not to pull out some piece of junk from the bottom of your desk drawer 10 years ago.

2) Manually download your desired tinycore iso.  Do NOT use the YUMI download feature.  The hardcoded links in the utility are stale, even though the utility itself is up to date.

3) Fire up Yumi (or yumi-uefi for 64 bit), and basically follow instructions and point it to your downloaded tinycore iso.  Basically two steps - use the pull-down to tell YUMI you are choosing TinyCore as the distro, and then point the utility to your local tc iso.

4) *NICELY* eject the drive to finish the job when done.  Don't just yank it out before doing this.

5) With "Secure-boot" disabled in your bios/setup routing, and also perhaps changing your option of which o/s to support (changing it from Windows to say Linux, or Ubuntu, or whatever other o/s choice you have), reboot with this new stick.

YES!  It boots.  Tap through the multiple menus and tada!

Uh-oh.  Bummer - doesn't look like I have anything going on now other than a commandline.

Now we'll tackle some YUMI-specific configurations to get back to normal.  But hey, at least it boots!...

Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 03:01:08 PM
Fix the location of the cde to tce directory:

Get back into windows with drive inserted.  Open up the file manager and mount the drive.  If it is not automatically mounted so that you can see the drives contents, double or right click or do what you have to do to be able to see the contents inside.

Wow - that's a lot of grub and syslinux going on.  Don't worry.  Shield your eyes for now. :)

In YUMI, it places most of the distro configurations in the multiboot directory.

Copy and paste the cde directory from


to the root directory of the D: drive.  (or whatever windows drive designator your stick actually is.)

Next, RENAME this new cde directory in the root of the drive to tce

Now when you reboot, and choose tcw as the last menu choice, TinyCorepure64 should come up graphically.

Note that this is just the *easiest*, and perhaps not the most ideal way to handle TC depending on need and skill level.

Next we'll talk about some refinements and pros and cons.

Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 03:12:47 PM
Changing bootcodes and other things:

Where the grub.cfg configuration file for TinyCore lives in the YUMI-UEFI environment can be found at:


(Your intial path may differ from /mnt/sda1 depending on your setup.)

THIS is the grub.cfg you can edit for any permanent bootcode changes.  Don't muck-around with any other grub or syslinux configs you may see when trawling through the files on the drive.
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 02, 2019, 03:20:46 PM

Unlike other burning methods that may produce a "read-only" filesystem, YUMI by nature creates an entirely *writeable* installation.

For some, unlike emulating a read-only CD type of install, this may be a security issue.  Or at the very least a way to blow out your install of TC with fat-fingers.

I operate TC in a secure environment, and am willing to learn from fat-fingering something.  You may not be.

Just wanted to let you know up front.

Is YUMI the best solution?  Depends on who and what your needs are.  It is however a quick way to get up and running from the Windows environment.  Later, if your hardware issues are fixed, or learning skill has improved, you may not need it.

Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 03, 2019, 02:22:19 PM
For FAQ readers:

The author of our very own faq provides supremely useful information, and I thank him for that very much.  It's gotten me out of a jam a few times.

It is also apparent that he is aware of YUMI, but perhaps wasn't aware of the simple fix for finding the extensions.  (placing the cde directory into the root of the drive, and renaming that directory to tce).  In those days, perhaps there was no automatic search for tce in the root of drives.

So no disrespect - BUT he brings up a good point about using UUID's and LABELS to "anchor" to the boot drive we just made.

If you have followed the above, but STILL arrive at just the command prompt, you may have another sdx device in the system - perhaps necessary or permanently part of the device.

If that is the case, and if TinyCore still can't find the tce directory in the root of the drive, we can force it to be recognized.

YUMI by default labels the drive it creates with the label name of MULTIBOOT.  Let's use that to our advantage by editing this grub.cfg file again:


In the tc and tcw area (I just use tcw all the time since it has the necessary delay factor), edit the word




In fact, you'll see in our faq that the author has used this label name as a demonstration for using labels.  Most will gravitate to using UUID's, but for now, this is the simplest solution as it is unlikely you already have a device labeled MULTIBOOT.

Note that I've tried the LABEL= both with and without quotation marks, and it still seems to work.
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 07, 2019, 01:03:28 AM
Quotation marks around the label name?

Only necessary if you have a space in the name.  Don't use a space and you won't have to use quotation marks.

And just to make sure grubs and whatnot stay happy, I try not to exceed 11 characters in the label name, but with the default of MULTIBOOT having only 9 characters, no problems.
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 08, 2019, 01:01:31 AM
Why I love YUMI-UEFI for uefi-only machines:

Because you can tell someone interested in TinyCore with a modern uefi-only machine how to install it *over the phone*.  And become their phone support for life? :)

Did you download the YUMI-UEFI specific utility?  Yep.

Did you download the latest TinyCorePure64 iso? Yep.

Did you follow YUMI's simple instructions and burn your usb stick with it?  Yep.

Did you copy-n-paste the cde directory to the root directory of the usb stick and rename it to tce?  Yep.

Did you reboot and have success?  Yep, but not on my friend's modern notebook - he's at the command line still.

Have your friend edit the grub.cfg file and change cde to tce=LABEL=MULTIBOOT.  Works!

And both you guys are using the 2nd menu option, "TCW" since that allows time for usb devices to wait and settle right?  Of course!

Be prepared to answer more general questions, since you are now the phone answer-man. :)
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 06, 2020, 02:46:26 PM
WARNING:  The latest version munges kernel filepaths in grub.cfg with redundant filepaths.

The problem looks something like this in the kernel filepath


See the problem?  Need to edit out that redundancy prior to multiboot.

That's why, if one actually needs to crank out a multiboot with a 3rd party tool, then give MultiBootUSB 9.2.0 a try instead, which doesn't munge these critical filepaths.

As always, it pays to be familiar with TC first to spot and correct 3rd party solutions on your own.  Multibooters are not recommended plug-n-play solutions for first-timers.
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: xor on July 22, 2020, 01:01:32 PM
unfortunately many people
motherboard bios settings; the old system does not know how to activate boot.
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on July 22, 2020, 03:45:58 PM
Heh, if you are a multibooter for whatever reason, you'll notice how I mount and move the cde directory to the root of the same of different filesystem, rename it to tce and so forth.

No need for all that hassle.

See this thread to simply put another copy of the iso on the disk, and use the


or boot: iso /dev/sdXx



Link is just in case the Yumi and this iso solution get separated over the years.  Or simply read the FAQ slowly. :)
Title: Re: YUMI and TinyCore usb creator guide
Post by: PDP-8 on October 19, 2021, 03:25:19 PM
UPDATE - It appears YUMU-UEFI no longer recognizes Tinycore as a supported distribution.  I don't want anyone fooling around with stale info.

This is *always* the risk you take with 3rd party tools.

Far better to do it yourself right here:


It's fun actually with the proper mindset.  And I learned a few things, which is even better.