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Old 12-07-2003, 10:02 AM   #1
sfzombie13
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installing linux without cd's


i am new to the linux experience and need some advice. i downloaded some iso images of redhat and debian, but my laptop is down right now and this box doesn't have a burner. i took the hard drive i am going to use for the linux box i got from a friend and hooked it to the xp system i'm running on this one as a slave and was wondering if i couldn't just download what i need and install it directly onto this slave drive?? my computer programming experience is limited to a working knowledge of basic, pascal, and cobal from the 80's, but windows has me pampered. i have a cable modem, so if i knew what files i needed, it wouldn't take very long to get them. all of the things i have been reading seem to be very general, and they all insist on cd installation. also, do i need to partition the hard drive if i am just going to run linux, or is that just for dual boot systems?? thanx for any help.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 10:13 AM   #2
dkaplowitz
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A lot of distros have support for a floppy boot that will allow you to download the needed files from FTP. My experience with this is primarily with OpenBSD....and it works great (and fast on a cable modem). Your chosen distro's documentation should have the info for an FTP install.

Also, you can download the needed files, save them to a disk on the machine and install from that directory....but I've not done this personally, so I can't help you there.

Good luck,

Dave
 
Old 12-07-2003, 10:48 AM   #3
ac1980
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well, you need some physical medium o boot from.
if you don't have a cd you would need several floppies (usually 2-3).
The real problem is usually get you cable modem to run under linux.
If you have a computer acting as gateway or a router, it will be painless, otherways it may be difficult, 'cause you can't consult web for help!
If you dare to try, i'm sure debian and suse allow ftp installation, probably others too.
Note that once you get a minimum system, you can mount a cdrom image via
mkdir /mnt/loop
mount -o loopback /pathtofile /mnt/loop
 
Old 12-07-2003, 10:52 AM   #4
ac1980
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i forgot, about partitioning: you may do tabula rasa of winxp, if you want, but you will at least need 2 partitions: a / (root) and a swap (say 256M). I'd also suggest having a different partition for /home, so you can easily backup data and will save personal settings/files if you someday choose to move to another distro.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 11:32 AM   #5
dkaplowitz
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Re: installing linux without cd's

Quote:
Originally posted by sfzombie13
also, do i need to partition the hard drive if i am just going to run linux, or is that just for dual boot systems?? thanx for any help.
Short answer is "yes". Linux needs at bare minimum 2 partitions (swap and / ). Some distros allow you to let them partition the drive for you. This is good for new users who want to try Linux out but don't necessarily want to set up a system for maximum security or optimal use. Letting the distro partition it for you is bad b/c it's usually just a swap and a giant / partition. This is bad b/c if you hose your / partition, you hose it all, whereas if you have separate partitions for /, /usr, /var, /boot, etc... you can recover from a corrupt file system or something catastrophic. You can also retain a separate /data partition where all your important files go, this way if you choose to re-install Linux (even another distro), you can keep that data partition and the new install will read it. You can't do that if / is the only partition other than swap.

Good luck,

Dave
 
Old 12-07-2003, 06:11 PM   #6
sfzombie13
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can i do all of this on my d drive while running xp on c? the main thing i need help wit is someone to point me in the right direction so that i can learn how to do it. i have been reading and downloading tutorials and how tos out the ass, but none of them have the kind of specific info i'm looking for, like what are the file names and where can i download them. then when i get them, how do i install them, if it's even possible, or do i have to put this drive in the other box and wait till i get my cd burner running and boot like that.
i was trained by the army to use pascal and cobal on ibm mainframes back in the 80's when it was in two tractor trailers. now the 30 lb desktop i'm on now is more powerful.
thanx for all the help.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 06:37 PM   #7
Shachaf
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Red Hat 9 has the option of installing from hard-disk images (I think you have to boot with linux expert). I'm not sure about debian, because the only time I installed it was a network install. What I'd do is copy the .iso files of Red Hat 9 to the slave drive (a FAT32 partition should work fine), and then boot from the floppy(ies) with linux expert, and choose to install with CD images. If you want to have the CD images on a partition you can use and access later, try booting with a floppy that has fdisk and mke2fs (such as tomsrtbt, at http://www.toms.net/rb/), and make all the partitions you need, including one that's big enough to hold 3 CD images (you could have it be a /data partition, like dkaplowitz suggested, or in /home (which could be a separate partition or not)). Then copy the CD images to there, and boot to the install floppy and tell it to read the CD images from there.

P.S. Remember the path you saved the CD images on! The installer will ask for it.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 06:42 PM   #8
ac1980
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> can i do all of this on my d drive while running xp on c?
yes, you only will be asked to put a bootloader (lilo or grub) in mbr (which is on first disk. It's a different concept from 'c' (i.e. partition /dev/hda1) but you don't have to worry about it now).
> what are the file names and where can i download them
You have to choose what distribution to use. If you are a newbie, I would recommend Suse rather than Debian or *BSD, 'cause it's not guru-oriented.
http://www.suse.de/en/private/downlo...nux/index.html

--------------------------
Pascalem cobolemque in pacem requiescere liceat. Hodie iuvenem C-em omnia shelles usant.

Last edited by ac1980; 12-07-2003 at 06:43 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 09:44 PM   #9
sfzombie13
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that is really helpful. now, i think i'll try it to see what happens. thanx a bunch.
 
  


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