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-   -   Is it possible to boot an .iso from Grub? (

rollo 03-03-2006 07:11 PM

Is it possible to boot an .iso from Grub?
I just can't find a straight answer to this question.

I'm going thru an ordeal trying to get Linux on to a new laptop. Network installs are ruled out by an issue with my network card, and Knoppix won't give access to the CD writer to make intallation disks. (And there's no floppy.)

I've read and re-read the Suse CD-less installation guide at and this seems to show how to boot an .iso directly from Grub. But everywhere else, the line is "that's impossible".

Anyone have a definitive answer on this?

pljvaldez 03-03-2006 07:27 PM

Debian can do this. It looks like the trick is to install a small initrd to load a ramdisk vmlinuz, then you can point the installer to an .iso file on the hard disk. The debian install guide covers this option. Not sure about Suse or other distro's installers, but it sounds like Debian can search for an iso on the hard drive if you ask it to...

rollo 03-04-2006 06:44 AM

Thanks for that, pljvaldez.

Your hint pushed me in the direction of a couple of pages where I found the exact answer to this question. I.e., yes! It's possible but sometimes a bit tricky because so few people want to do it. Strange, if you ask me. Here are the pages:

Thanks again.

syg00 03-04-2006 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by rollo
...and Knoppix won't give access to the CD writer to make intallation disks.

If you have enough memory, try running knoppix with "toram". Takes a little longer to load, but runs from memory, and frees up the CD drive.

An alternative to the Debian option ...

rollo 03-07-2006 06:40 PM

Yep thanks for that suggestion syg00.

Unfortunately I don't have enough memory. It needs somewhere around 300Mb I think, and I only have 256.

In the end I made a tactical retreat from the HD install plan, and installed Kanotix from CD instead. What an impressive distro, incidentally. All hardware was detected and configured smoothly and the whole thing was installed within 10 minutes.

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