Thursday, 27 March 2008

Installing Debian linux over internet / without cd-rom / netboot

I ordered my kubuntu cd copy, but I wasn't patient enough to wait for it 4-5 weeks so I googled around and found useful tutorials of how to install linux without a cd. Here's the link that explains everything: Large HOWTO

But I decided to write a shorten version mostly just to have my own little reminder if that link gets lost somewhere.
...Googled more around to find interesting distribution. Already had ubuntu installed so decided to go for Debian-sid.

Here are the steps:

1. Get "linux" installer kernel and "initrd.gz" ramdisk from here: Debian Sid netboot mirror and save those two files in c:\boot folder

2. Get Grub4Dos from sourceforge and unpack "menu.lst" and "gldr" files to c:\

3. Append this line at the end of your c:\boot.ini file:

C:\grldr="Start GRUB"

4. Open "menu.lst" file with text editor end append this at the end:

title Debian installer
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/linux ramdisk_size=10934 root=/dev/rd/0 devfs=mount,dall rw --
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.gz

5. Restart computer and instead booting windows select "Debian installer", and the installation starts.

Quite easy! This procedure can be done for many linux distros. You just need to put those two files (from step 1) of your favourite distro in c:\boot directory and that's it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is by far the easiest set of steps I've come across to get Debian installed.

Just one thing: Typo in the last line of the menu.lst file. It should read:

initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.gz

You're missing that 'z' at the end.