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Old 07-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Installing linux without a CD or USB drive

I'm currently running crunchbang linux 9.04.01 on an Eee PC 900HD netbook and I want to install crunchbang 10 statler

but I won't have a usb drive for a few weeks and my netbook has no cd drive...

I'm looking for a way to install the iso directly onto my hard drive without any installation media

Is this possible?
Old 07-19-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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So you're just wanting to upgrade to the newest version of the same distro then? If so a lot of distros allow for such things through whatever sort of update manager they use. I'm not at all familiar with crunch bang linux though, so I honestly don't know if this is at all the case. Maybe someone else familiar with this distro will know a way for sure.
Old 07-19-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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Well CrunchBang 10 is still in alpha, so it may not be officially released on the update manager. But it is apparently stable and the version I'm running right now is over a year old, which is why I want to upgrade.

And also, CrunchBang 10 is based on debian where as Crunchbang 9 was based on Ubuntu. I don't know if that makes much of difference though

Last edited by Kygha; 07-19-2010 at 05:24 PM.
Old 07-19-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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In that case (with Crunchbangs base having changed from Ubuntu to Debian) it is not a good idea to simply "upgrade". I don't say it doesn't work at all, but it might be a lot of work and you might run into trouble in the long run.

If it was me i would wait for the new usb-stick. (Or, as a dirty workaround, install crunchbang to a free partition and rsync the whole shebang over ssh to the netbook. Chroot into it and install grub, edit /etc/fstab and /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules. Assuming you are able to ssh into your netbook in your local-network. If that goes south you still might use the stick-option later).

From what i think to know the Debian-based Crunchbang uses the Debian-installer. If that is correct have a look here:
You might also have a look at crosshurd and debootstrap.
None of the last three options i have done yet (not in a way you are asking for here). I wouldn't know if that works.

Have a look here:
Once again: you need to be able to ssh into the netbook (I think this option is really akward in your case, but you might want to think about it)

Like said: i for one would wait for the stick...
Old 07-19-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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I'm just curious how you intend to install it? It's always easier if you have linux installed on some "other" machine. Tar up a copy, untar it locally, install boot loader, game on. But without CD or USB or ??? how did you intend to install "ANY" OS?
Old 07-19-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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You have to have some bootable media. You can use your current OS to load the OS. It is not easy. See how to's on knoppix installs and other that do that. I will say again it is not easy.

The other way is to pxe boot your system. That is pretty easy but will still take some time.

Might be a whole lot easier to ask around and see if someone would lend you a flash drive or a usb cdrom drive.
Old 07-20-2010, 02:49 AM   #8
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Pxe booting?...Hey Jef...How is PXE booting possible on a linux (RHEL) server?
Old 07-20-2010, 03:44 AM   #9
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If you have an iso you can mount it on a loop back device or some desktops can open it as archive.

You then copy the contents onto a temp directory.

An iso is boot (95% approx) by isolinux which cannot be used in a hard disk.

You can use isolinux.cfg and convert it into booting instructions for Grub.

Thereafter you can boot up the iso (inside a temporary directory) using any Grub. This thread has a few pointers in general and Sytep2 and Step 4 in particular on how to mount an iso on a loop back device and converting isolinux to Grub respectively.

Pxeboot is another way to do it but not all distros offer it though.

Think there is a free program, designed for installing Linux in a pen drive, that does the downloading and conversion of isolinux for you too. A pen drive is just a hard disk to Linux.

Last edited by saikee; 07-20-2010 at 03:48 AM.
Old 07-20-2010, 06:14 AM   #10
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You could try HD-Media Installation. I've done this on Debian in the past, i dont know much about CrunchBang. What it does it it boots up into the installer and then looks for the ISO image on the harddisk(HD) and continues from there.

You'll have to find HD-Media image of the version you are trying to install, and edit GRUB so as to display the hd-media kernel.On pre-GRUB2 versions this would involve editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. It would be something like this:
#this is what you'll see on the GRUB prompt
title		CrunchBang 10 - HDMedia installer
#this is the partition where the hd-media kernel image & initrd is stored
root		(hd0,1)
#this is the location of the kernel image & the initrd within the partition
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz
initrd		/boot/initrd
I've not used GRUB2 much, click here for a how-to on GRUB2.

You'll need to place the iso image in another partition in your harddisk, place it on the root folder of the harddisk.

Boot into the installer from GRUB and if all goes well it would search for the iso image and the installation would continue from there.

If you have trouble finding crunchbang's hd-media images, you could try Debian's hd-media images. Keep in mind that the hd-media image will have to have to same kernel version as the kernel used on the version of Crunchbang to be installed.

Good luck.


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