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Old 09-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
davep911
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Install Linux without console access?


I have a Windoze server at a remote location that is not easily physically accessible to me ... I can't get at its console screen.

I would like to convert it to Linux (FC4). Is that possible?

I consider myself to be a Linux Newbie, but I have installed FC4 and RH7 and RH9, many times, from FTP servers, from CD's and from CD ISO images. The installation appears always to require access to a local console screen.

I have access to my remote windows server via Terminal Services, FTP, etc., and I have another Linux (FC4) server and a Windows (2K server) on the same LAN as the remote server, and I have tons of local windows and linux PCs (but not one physically identical to the to-be-converted windows server).

Can I, for example, create a Linux bootable image on a local PC, upload it to the windows server, get windows to write it to a partition, reboot and get a remotely accessible (by SSH) Linux server?

I expect the answer is NO, but does anyone know for sure?

Dave
 
Old 09-11-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
ramram29
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You can remote control both Windows and Linux via SSH. What do you want to do?
 
Old 09-11-2006, 03:24 PM   #3
davep911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramram29
You can remote control both Windows and Linux via SSH. What do you want to do?
I'm sorry if I was not clear. I want to install Linux on the windows box. ie replace the OS. ie. eliminate windows .. but without getting to a point in the installation process that demands an answer from the console, because I cant get to the console until SSH is working on that server, which of course requires that the Linux is substantially installed.
 
Old 09-11-2006, 06:42 PM   #4
Lotharster
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This should be possible, although not easy, and if anything goes wrong you're stuck with the server not responding any more.

I'm not familiar with the necessary windows tools. I think you should install cygwin and some baic linux tools.
Then I'd try the following:

1.) create a new partition.
2.) take a working linux system (which should be able to work with the hardware of your server) and copy it to this partition. The best source for that would probably be a live distro, since these are usually configured to work with every hardware setting.
You should take care that a ssh server is configured and working.

3.) write a new master boot record (MBR) to the server's disk. This is probably the most tricky part, and I have just a vague idea of how to do that.
install-mbr (read the manpage here: http://manpages.debian.net/cgi-bin/d...8a&format=html ) should work for that. You must set your linux partition as the boot partition.

Then you're done. Reboot the server and pray that nothing went wrong.

If you really want to do that, you should be ready to read a lot of linux manpages and test it first on a local computer, so you can intervene if something goes wrong. However, it sounds like an interesting challenge.
 
Old 09-12-2006, 01:16 AM   #5
ramram29
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For unmanned installations you can use Kickstart. However, you'll need to become familiar with it first.
 
  


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