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How To: Fix “Unknown keyword in configuration file.” Ubuntu USB Boot

Attempting Boot From USB Device

SYSLINUX 3.63 Debian-2008-07-15 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2008 H. Peter Anvin
Unknown keyword in configuration file.
boot:
_

After creating a USB bootable version of Ubuntu from the Startup Disk Creator (or usb-creator-gtk) and attempting to boot, I was greeted by the error above. It might look a bit scary but it’s really easy to fix, just plug the USB flash drive into a computer (windows or linux, mac too probably but I haven’t tried that.)

Solution 1:
  1. Open the the syslinux folder in the root of the flash drive.
  2. Inside is a file called syslinux.cfg you’ll want to edit that.
  3. Find the line “ui gfxboot bootlogo” and simply remove the “ui “.
  4. Save and try booting again.

Below is how my syslinux.cfg file looks after editing:

# D-I config version 2.0
include menu.cfg
default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 50
gfxboot bootlogo


Solution 2

Alternatively it looks as though there is another way of fixing this issue if there is no “ui” in the file, this is to do as followed (as pointed out in the comments below):

  1. Type “help” and press enter
  2. Hit Enter again

This should boot correctly and shouldn’t need to be done every time.

75 replies on “How To: Fix “Unknown keyword in configuration file.” Ubuntu USB Boot”

Sorry Guys … I used to work with Lycid (10.04) and got the Problem from above. My syslinux.cfg don’t containes any line with “ui” so i tryed solution two. Also doesn’t work. typing ‘help’, pressing Enter, nothing, pressing enter again, nothing. After all there is a beep by typing something.

HELP

Sorry Folks, Like Nils I opened syslinux/syslinux.cfg with GEDIT and my unbootable USB does not contain “ui gfxboot. bootlogo”
Also WHERE do I type “Help” ?
Sorry if I am a dummy
Thanks

Thanks a million. Such a simple fix.

Don’t know how this problem lived long enough to make it into Precise Pangolin… hmm.
Wonder if I could modify the iso. That’ll be an interesting exercise. Something I’ve never done before.

ELIO: Type “help” at “boot:” (but this might not work if the other .cfg files are not correct.

Shariq: your problem might be resolved by adding “syslinux/” before “include” of “xyz.CFG”

Thank you for this! I edited out the UI, but it still did not work. I tried solution #2, and at first I thought that did not solve the problem – but I realized that I waited to long before typing in “help”. So – to those who did not have luck with solution #2 – make sure you type in “help” while the cursor is still at the boot prompt. Once the cursor moves down to the next line (which it will do after a few seconds), you won’t be able to type “help”.

I am currently having a slight variation of this problem.

Let me elaborate the steps that I have taken.

I have a 2gb USB stick.
I formatted it for fat32.
Using unetbootin I put the ubuntu-12.10.iso on my USB drive creating a bootable drive.

I plugged my usb into a different laptop.(an Acer Aspire One kav10)
Turned on the laptop and set it to boot from USB

this is what happens.

my computer boots and I get this message

“SYSLINUX 3.63 Debian-2008-07-15 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2008 H. Peter Anvin et al”

this is not exactly the same message you display above. for instance i do not get the message
“attempting to boot from USB device” or “unknown keyword in configuration file.
boot:” again…these do not appear.

When accessing my bootable USB on my windows computer there is no syslinux folder.
instead the syslinux.cfg file is in the root directory of the drive. When I open the syslinux.cfg in notepad it displays as follows.


default menu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

label ubnentry0
menu label rescue64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz

label ubnentry1
menu label altker32
kernel /isolinux/altker32
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry2
menu label altker64
kernel /isolinux/altker64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry3
menu label vmlinuz2
kernel /isolinux/altker32
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry4
menu label vesa
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz forcevesa

label ubnentry5
menu label fr
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=fr

label ubnentry6
menu label uk32
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=uk

label ubnentry7
menu label uk64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=uk

label ubnentry8
menu label us
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=us

label ubnentry9
menu label nokeymap
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=us

label ubnentry10
menu label minishell
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz minishell=/bin/ash

label ubnentry11
menu label rescuehd
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry12
menu label reschd32
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry13
menu label reschd64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry14
menu label memtest
kernel /bootdisk/memtestp
append initrd=/ubninit –

label ubnentry15
menu label freedos
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/freedos.img floppy

label ubnentry16
menu label ranish
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/ranish.img floppy

label ubnentry17
menu label aida
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/aida.img floppy

label ubnentry18
menu label hdt
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/hdt.img floppy

label ubnentry19
menu label ntpass
kernel /ntpasswd/vmlinuz
append initrd=/ubninit rw vga=1

label ubnentry20
menu label ntpasswd
kernel /ntpasswd/vmlinuz
append initrd=/ubninit rw vga=1

label ubnentry21
menu label gag
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/gag.img floppy

label ubnentry22
menu label dban
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/dban.img floppy

label ubnentry23
menu label mhdd
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/mhdd.img floppy

label ubnentry24
menu label grubdisk
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/grubdisk.img floppy

label ubnentry25
menu label netboot
kernel /isolinux/netboot
append initrd=/ubninit –

label ubnentry26
menu label nextboot
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

as you can see, the suggested line you indicate to edit is not present. I have tried to do this with 2 different thumb drives and two different distributions of Ububtu (12.04 and 12.10).

This is my first installation of linux on a computer and I am really not having fun with it. I would like to make this transition to linux on my unused acer laptop and any help in this would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Pano

I am currently having a slight variation of this problem.

Let me elaborate the steps that I have taken.

I have a 2gb USB stick.
I formatted it for fat32.
Using unetbootin I put the ubuntu-12.10.iso on my USB drive creating a bootable drive.

I plugged my usb into a different laptop.(an Acer Aspire One kav10)
Turned on the laptop and set it to boot from USB

this is what happens.

my computer boots and I get this message

“SYSLINUX 3.63 Debian-2008-07-15 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2008 H. Peter Anvin et al”

this is not exactly the same message you display above. for instance i do not get the message
“attempting to boot from USB device” or “unknown keyword in configuration file.
boot:” again…these do not appear.

When accessing my bootable USB on my windows computer there is no syslinux folder.
instead the syslinux.cfg file is in the root directory of the drive. When I open the syslinux.cfg in notepad it displays as follows.


default menu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

label ubnentry0
menu label rescue64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz

label ubnentry1
menu label altker32
kernel /isolinux/altker32
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry2
menu label altker64
kernel /isolinux/altker64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry3
menu label vmlinuz2
kernel /isolinux/altker32
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly

label ubnentry4
menu label vesa
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz forcevesa

label ubnentry5
menu label fr
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=fr

label ubnentry6
menu label uk32
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=uk

label ubnentry7
menu label uk64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=uk

label ubnentry8
menu label us
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=us

label ubnentry9
menu label nokeymap
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz setkmap=us

label ubnentry10
menu label minishell
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz minishell=/bin/ash

label ubnentry11
menu label rescuehd
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry12
menu label reschd32
kernel /isolinux/rescuecd
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry13
menu label reschd64
kernel /isolinux/rescue64
append initrd=/ubninit init=/sbin/init

label ubnentry14
menu label memtest
kernel /bootdisk/memtestp
append initrd=/ubninit –

label ubnentry15
menu label freedos
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/freedos.img floppy

label ubnentry16
menu label ranish
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/ranish.img floppy

label ubnentry17
menu label aida
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/aida.img floppy

label ubnentry18
menu label hdt
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/hdt.img floppy

label ubnentry19
menu label ntpass
kernel /ntpasswd/vmlinuz
append initrd=/ubninit rw vga=1

label ubnentry20
menu label ntpasswd
kernel /ntpasswd/vmlinuz
append initrd=/ubninit rw vga=1

label ubnentry21
menu label gag
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/gag.img floppy

label ubnentry22
menu label dban
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/dban.img floppy

label ubnentry23
menu label mhdd
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/mhdd.img floppy

label ubnentry24
menu label grubdisk
kernel /isolinux/memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/grubdisk.img floppy

label ubnentry25
menu label netboot
kernel /isolinux/netboot
append initrd=/ubninit –

label ubnentry26
menu label nextboot
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

as you can see, the suggested line you indicate to edit is not present. I have tried to do this with 2 different thumb drives and two different distributions of Ububtu (12.04 and 12.10).

This is my first installation of linux on a computer and I am really not having fun with it. I would like to make this transition to linux on my unused acer laptop and any help in this would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Pano

Update your version to syslinux 4.05. In general, the tool (p.ex. Startup Disk Creator) that is burning the ISO into USB stick is putting the old one (3.63).

After burn the USB you have to type the command below to ensure the version 4.05 into USB.

sudo syslinux –directory /syslinux –install /dev/sdb1

This way you don’t need remove the “ui”.

regards,
mauro

First step will not working but the second step is worked for me but when i stut down the pc it remains the old ubuntu

i wan to install backtrack and facing same error of unknown keyword in configuration file
but when i open isolinux.cfg for editing it have coding contains symbols out of my understanding
what should i do??

Was trying to install Zorin OS 9 Core on a P4,facing the above problem.Method 1 didn’t work , method 2 did work but half of it.By that I mean that it didn’t let me type anything.So,I figured out that you gotta be fast and NOT LET IT GET TO SECOND LINE because it won’t let you type.So get ready ,hands on keyboard and by the time it gets there type live or at least the first letter l and then the rest(thanks to resero for the “live” method: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1773709 and also thanks to this site).

I stuck with this problem can anyone help me please.
I stuck with this problem what to do i can not be sort this out.
i have try to remove UI and all this but not working.

“SYSLINUX 3.63 Debian-2008-07-15 CBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2008 H.Peter Anvin
boot:”

Ubuntu 10.04(Lucid)
Kernel Linux 2.6.32-74-generic
GNOME 2.30.2

Hardware
Memory 2.0 GIB

Processor 0: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T5200 @1.60GHz
Processor 1: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T5200 @1.60GHz

Thanks for reading

Regards
Amandeep

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