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Linux Install with iso image (without burning it)
Posted by jmary on Fri 25 Nov 2005 at 05:53
Tags: none.

These days I am experimenting some new ways (at leat for me) to install systems. Especially install a system whenever there is nothing in the computer, no cd player, no floppy, but a network card. If there is no network card, so there is also no chance and it’s dead.

So I did it with Debian “Testing version” and then with SuSE 9.3. The process for each of them is a little bit different but both are needing to touch my menu.lst file in my /boot partition and both are needing a vmlinuz and an initrd file. To know which one I have just followed instructions on respectives documentation.

For Debian I downloaded the business card sized iso file (38Mo) and stored it in the same partition as the vmlinuz and initrd image (which must be uncompressed, with initrd.gz it doesn’t work)

For SuSE they are suggesting to download the boot.iso file (56Mo), I am not sure this one is necessary but I am sure the root file is necessary. By the way the small initial system is going to download this file from the net. You must give the ip address of an ftp server and the directory path where you can find the distro. So I choosed HTTP method with 134.75.7.22 which is in South Korea, so it is fast from China.
It could have been the ip of any mirror, we just need to do ping thatgentleserver.com to get its ip.

What else ? I know that Debian is smart enough to have a pppoe system in the business card iso file, but I have no idea for SuSE and since I was behind my router which is connected to the net by itself, this was not a consideration for me.

For both new installs my menu.lst look like :
# Generated by grubconf-0.5.1
default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,1)/grub/robin.xpm.gz
color cyan/blue white/blue
title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.4.29
#:0 < -- type: 0 => linux, 1 => windows, 2 => other
root (hd0,1)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.29 root=/dev/hda1 ro
initrd /initrd.img-2.4.29
title New Install
kernel (hd0,12)/suse/inst_linux root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=128000 devfs=mount,dall
initrd (hd0,12)/suse/inst_initrd

The files were stored on my hda13 partition and then I installed the new system on hda9.