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Old 06-23-2006, 05:08 PM   #1
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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Install kubuntu without cd


How can I install Kubuntu without the cd? I was given an old gateway computer. The cd rom drive will not read the Kubuntu cd. The CD is good, it loads on another pc. The drive does not read most burnt cds. It has a floppy drive and a network connection. The hard drive is completely wiped (Dariks boot and nuke). The computer has a 400Mhz processor and 96MB of ram. It will require the special install because of the ram. I have the special cd burnt, but it wont boot it. I wan't to do this without removing/replacing any hardware, even if temporary, if possible. The point is to not tear anything apart, and learn.

PS -- I'm fairly new to linux.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-23-2006 at 05:15 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2006, 08:22 PM   #2
RobertP
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Assuming you have the BIOS set to boot from CD, you need to try to boot from floppy and install from the CD or over the network.

You could try this procedure: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SmartBootManagerHowto

That uses a boot floppy with suitable drivers to handle the reading of the installation CD.

I have looked high and low and cannot find a netboot floppy for Ubuntu. There is a procedure to install over a local area network if you have Linux installed on another machine. You set up the target machine to boot from the other by PXE. This requires more knowledge than a newbie may tolerate. You could try this wierd use of a Windows boot CD:
http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-29358.html

On the Ubuntu CD is a manual: doc/install/manual/en/index.html that gives two other possibilities: copying the net install kernel image and initrd to the hard drive using KNOPPIX or something similar or copying the disc install files to the hard drive and booting them there. This is not too useful if you cannot boot from the CD.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 01:16 AM   #3
jerrybailey
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The cd drive refuses to read the cd, period. I tried the disk and hit boot from cd, it dont work. I think the cd-rom drive is bad period.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-24-2006 at 01:20 AM.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 06:47 AM   #4
RobertP
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If you cannot fix the CDROM drive then I think your only method is to boot the machine via PXE (Pre Execution Environment). Most machines built since 1998 and having LAN on motherboard can do this from the BIOS. Can you enter the BIOS configuration by pushing F2 or Del keys when booting? Look for boot choices to see whether network is an option. If PXE is not available, you can still do it by getting a floppy image of an etherboot loader from http://www.rom-o-matic.net. You boot from the floppy that you make from that image by using dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/fd0 on most Linux systems or rawrite.exe on DOS systems.

When you can get your machine to be looking for a PXE host on the LAN, you need a second machine running Linux (KNOPPIX live CD will do) and set up both a DHCP and TFTP server on that machine to answer your target machine with files to load over the network. The procedure is well documented at http://halisway.blogspot.com/2006/06...k-install.html. If I remember being a newbie, that would have turned me pale...

The last option may be to try LTSP (Linux Terminal Servier Protocol). It often happens that one has an old machine like yours that lacks power/CDROM/memory and you want to run a full power system. If you have another decent system running Linux on the same LAN as the target machine, you can install an LTSP server on the more capable machine and log into it from the older machine. To try this out easily, use a live CD such as EdUbuntu on the powerful machine. Selecting the LTSP option, the newer machine will answer your old machine booting via PXE. You will get a log in screen on the old machine and can log into an account on the new machine. It takes just a few seconds. Typically, a new machine with 512 MB or so of RAM can handle five or more client machines. I use this technique all the time in schools and labs where we can only afford a few new machines but have lots of older models.

A simple way to set up an LTSP server using the Edubuntu installation CD is at http://www.edubuntu.org/GettingStarted. As a newbie, do not feel intimidated by this. After all, it is designed for teachers, those who cannot do, so they teach ;-) You may be able to do this from the Edubuntu live CD, but I am not sure.

Alternative LTSP setups are k12ltsp distro, and KNOPPIX or ClusterKnoppix. Edubuntu is absolutely the easiest since the default option does everything except make the etherboot floppy for you.

I know Ubuntu is a sweet distro, but it is not easily installed from floppy as you have discovered. Other distros still respect the floppy. You could try Debian, for example. see http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...h04s03.html.en. You may need three floppies:
  • floppy/boot.img -- boot floppy for network, CD, or USB installs
  • floppy/net-drivers.img -- network drivers, including PCMCIA and wireless
  • floppy/root.img -- second floppy for network or CD installs

This may be why Ubuntu does not lend itself to floppy installation, Ubuntu would need about six floppies to hold everything it normally boots from the CD. The floppy images for Debian are at http://ftp.egr.msu.edu/debian/dists/...rrent//images/. The whole documentation for Debian is at http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl.../index.html.en

Clearly, there is quite a barrier to you for installation of Linux. At least, with Linux there are options, unlike that other OS. The effort will be worthwhile. In seven years, I have not met any PC on which I could not install Linux and I would not consider going back.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 01:27 PM   #5
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
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I do have slackware 10.2 as well, but I was trying to get Kubuntu. I tried installing slackware on this machine but i couldn't get kde to work. it said problems communicating with x. Perhaps my hardware isnt supported on this machine. It was built april last year.

-edit-
the problem with communicating with x was due to the fact i did not have x running.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-25-2006 at 03:02 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 03:21 PM   #6
RobertP
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One of the few things that bugs newbies on installation is getting X to work on some systems. Did the X server start but KDE could not display? That is a new one for me. I have not used KDE for a while. I would suggest Googling for the exact phrase of the error message. If the message came during attempting to install, try installing text only. It is just as easy and you can fix the X configuration later. Slack is not known for ease of configuration but after you have configured it you will have solid performance.

Try installing Slack again. Maybe we can get that to work. If you can get Slack working in any shape, you may be able to use Slack to start Kubuntu. Just leave a partition for the Kubuntu installation when you install Slack and then install from the hard drive.

Create at least two extra partitions for your Slack installation: a small partition of 20 megabytes or so to hold the following files from the Ubuntu CD:
install/netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz
install/netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/linux

You can download these from the web from the Slack once it is installed. You can use wget if you cannot get the gui to run. see
http://ftp.interlegis.gov.br/pub/ubu...i386/initrd.gz and http://ftp.interlegis.gov.br/pub/ubu...i386/initrd.gz

The larger spare partition will be to hold the Ubuntu installation. When you are at that point, all you have to do is to modify the Slack boot loader menu to include your boot files for the installation. Then reboot, select the Ubuntu installation linux and you are off doing a network installation from the web. After that, you can re-edit the Slack menu or let Ubuntu replace the Slack loader.

We can do this!
 
Old 06-24-2006, 09:33 PM   #7
jerrybailey
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Okay, what if we just went with a slack install, and forget Kubuntu? I orignally wanted slack but gave up on configuration. I can install slackware, and I can get slackware to boot, but I get no GUI. I however looked about some things about it and noticed there was a command 'startx' that I did not know about. You do realize, we are talking about 2 different computers now, correct? I have never had linux on the gateway period. I removed the hard drive out of the gateway (40 gig ata 133 7200RPM... somebody did some upgrading???) and was going to toss the gateway out. I put the 40 gig on an ata133 cable and hooked it up to my monster computer and tried installing. I tried kubuntu live cd (latest), ubuntu install cd (hoary), and each time i get something about problems communicating with x server. I think it might be because of my video card. ATI Radeon X850XT is my video card.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 09:37 PM   #8
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
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Something I just realized... I have a digital camera and a 2GB secure digital card. I have an external USB card reader. Could I put the installation media on there, if so how would I go about that? If I put it on there, I will probably need to use the SBM floppy to boot the removable device, correct?

However, I'm just at the point where I'm about to pull the CD drive out and use one from another computer for the install... I mainly just wanted to see if it was possible to do it other ways, but lets not give up yet. Winners never quit and quitters never win!

I'm not up for the PXE stuff, I COULD do it but it seems time consuming.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-24-2006 at 09:46 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 09:49 PM   #9
RobertP
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X850XT sounds new. The radeon driver you have may not work with it. Try vesa. In a file /etc/X11/XF86... or xorg.conf, look for the "device". You could try radeon or vesa. The messages in /var/log/XF86... or whatever will tell you more. Does Slack use Xorg or XFree86? You may find more information in x.org or xfree86.org on the web.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 10:02 PM   #10
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
Posts: 23

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I dont understand half of what you just said. :/

I'm pretty sure I could navigate myself to the etc/x11/xf86 folder but as far as editing i forget how to do that.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-24-2006 at 10:17 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 10:03 PM   #11
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
Posts: 23

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Its not installed anymore, not right now. I deleted it (dariks boot and nuke) when it wouldnt work.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-24-2006 at 10:17 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 10:50 PM   #12
RobertP
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Well, when you get Slack back in, or Ubuntu installed, if you have trouble getting X to run, you can list the log files with less or more
less /var/log/XF86...log
q gets you out. Space bar advances /whatever looks for whatever, n looks again...

you can edit the X configuration files in /etc/X11 with vim
cd /etc/X11
ls
vim whatever
i goes to insert mode
<esc>: goes to command mode
q gets you out
w write the file as edited.
q! gets you out without saving

If you can change to vesa driver, you should get something to work.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 10:53 PM   #13
jerrybailey
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Well, I would really like to get slackware on the gateway. Is there some way to do it?
 
Old 06-24-2006, 10:54 PM   #14
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
From what you've already told me, Im guessing it would involve SBM then cd, but the drive refuses to read the cd. It won't even spin the cd up. It tries and it just makes a clicking sound.
 
Old 06-24-2006, 11:03 PM   #15
jerrybailey
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
The drive will read factory cds but it refuses burnt cds. It spun my slackware 10.2 disk 1 up to speed with the SBM floppy in, and I hit cd and it said there wasnt one in, then it wont spin it up anymore.

Last edited by jerrybailey; 06-24-2006 at 11:04 PM.
 
  


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