USB Parrot With UEFI Boot

OBJECTIVE: To boot Parrot-security-4.11.3_amd64 installed on USB flash memory with GPT-UEFI format.

I am using an ASUS GX701LWS (Zephyrus S17) notebook with Windows 11 Pro installed. Secure boot is disabled.

The Parrot Linux iso was burned to a suitable USB flash memory and I used that to install Parrot onto a second USB flash memory. The native Calamares installer was used for the installation which, of course, did not create an ESP boot partition.

The Windows 11 boot manager being what it is does not recognize the boot partition created by Calamares. The OS will boot, however, if I bypass the Windows boot manager and Grub by using rEFInd in their stead. I tried reformatting the boot partition to EFI and added the appropriate flags, but then Calamares crashes and will not install Grub.

NOTE: I am not asking for dual boot nor secure booting instructions. The Windows boot manager recognizes Parrot on the USB, but it will not boot from whatever Calamares puts in there.

Is it possible to install Parrot-secure with an EFI version of Grub?

USB drive has no disk controller
So, afaik it’s not a good idea installing OS on your USB

Th3Director` Thank you for your reply, but I do not fully understand what you are telling me. I have installed Parrot on USB flash memory and managed to boot it using rEFInd. After Parrot is running I can view and mount the other disk drives on my system and the operating systems installed upon them. I don’t understand what controller is missing from the USB installation.

Be that all as it may, my question is in regard to the boot process. I don’t see any options in Calamares to create a GPT/EFI formatted installation. Is there a workaround of some sort, or is Parrot doomed to MBR and btrfs?

/boot mountpoint is used for mbr
And /boot/efi for got or efi.

From the previous message I said about installing the os on the usb (bootable USB to another USB),
not if USB is used for installing the os on his or ssd.

From the previous message I said about installing the os on the usb (bootable USB to another USB),
not if USB is used for installing the os on his or ssd.

I have many times successfully installed a working Linux OS to a USB flash memory by using another USB stick with the iso burned in
+. That is not my preferred method but it is exactly what I did this evening when I finally got Parrot to boot on the Windows notebook.

And I can’t thank you enough for explaining how to manually set up the mountpoint for MBR or UEFI. Calamare is not exactly clear on that point and I guess I’ve been doing it incorrectly. Most of the time I simply erased the target disc and let the Parrot installer do what it thought was best. I also have pre-formatted the target USB using gparted, but even in that case it didn’t install grub properly. I know about the partition flags that can be set, but the terminology in Calamare isn’t the same as it is in gparted.

Parrot documentation has multiple pages just about installation process.
Fyi, just go through the docs once before attempting something you ain’t sure about.
or if you cannot find anything here (as some parrot docs are being updated), you’ll obviously get some other documentation on the internet, (just includes the use of search engines)

I have indeed looked into the documentation and the examples in there are for creating an MBR formatted disk. There are no instructions regarding how to choose EFI or MBR. when creating a USB flash drive.
How To Install to USB
In all fairness I will note that there are more detailed explanations in the section regarding dual boot with Windows. That is not what I wanted to do which is why I did not look there earlier.

My bad, I suppose. I do appreciate the help you have given me here.

Parrot docs are according to efi
And though if go for mbr when bios is on Uefi, you’ll get error msg to create ego partition before installation starts


No worries:)

I’m new to Parrot and just followed the installer instruction to do what I thought was right. The installer created MBR partitioning which is why my UEFI Windows boot manager could not read it. I did not get any error messages while burning the iso.
All I can add is that I’ve done this many times with OS’s such as Kali, NST, Tails, and varioius other Linux distros. Parrot was a challenge to install, to say the least.
I guess it’s all a moot point now that I have it working. Thank you again for your help.

Yes, I understand the difficulty, at the time I also had some problems but with the distros in general. However, since you are installing the OS via USB, for the next few times I recommend that you consult this document: How to create a Parrot USB drive - Parrot Documentation

With Balena Etcher you would not have these problems, however, an alternative and manual way would be to delete all the partitions of the USB, create a GPT partition table, format it in fat32 (you can do these first steps with GParted, even from a distro in live mode) and then use DD (as in the guide).

danterolle ~ Thank you for your interest and suggestions. I guess I cannot be absolutely positive at this point where the original problem(s) were. I can say that I favor using Etcher to create a USB installer disk. That part of the process is a no brainer. The USB memory with the Parrot installer booted regardless of how it was created.

My issues and concerns are about what happens afterwards when using Calamares to install Parrot on a target device. The Parrot Documentation you cite has a section called “Install Parrot” which is what I tried to follow. Clearly that is for an MBR formatted target with no instructions I could find for how to change it to UEFI. Apparently the instructions I needed are in the “Dualboot with Windows” section of the documentation. I did not look there because that is not what I wanted to accomplish.

The Parrot Documentation is very well written with excellent examples. I can’t point fingers here, but the location of the Parrot Documentation instructions I needed was not intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

But instead of installing on to a USB, why not just use persistence?
Less time - less headache I guess…!

I like the USB installations because they are portable and don’t leave a trail on the hosting machine. They probably have a shorter life expectancy than SSD or HDD, but flash memory is pretty cheap these days.

I have a copy of Tails that incorporates an encrypted persistence. Burning the installation iso and installing it to some memory device is pretty much the same process as Parrot, sans btrfs. Plus I have to use a key to access the persistence. I guess I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but I can’t see the advantage.

My favorite method is to use a virtual machine for the installation. In that instance there is no need to burn an iso. Just attach it to the machine and install to an attached USB memory stick. Talk about quick and easy.

No huge difference with persistence

My first msg on this topic meant the same… Butyeah In certain situations USB kinda come handy.