Ubuntu install from floppy/network

Raphaël Berbain raphael.berbain at free.fr
Fri Mar 18 10:18:31 UTC 2005


* Jeroen Janssen:

> Is it possible to boot the Ubuntu install from floppy? (and then retrieve
> the rest from the network).

I think it's not possible at the moment[1].  That is, there are no
official installation floppy images available.

> I have a system without a CD-drive and I would like to install
> Ubuntu on it.

Have a look at http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/InstallHowTos, and the
pages linked from there.  You might be able to find some method that
fits your situation.

Possible solutions:

- Install Debian from floppies+network, then dist-upgrade to Ubuntu.
  Downside: I don't know how far away you'll be from a pure Ubuntu
  install - I think Debian->Ubuntu upgrade is not supported, though
  some reports seem to indicate it's possible.

- Install from another distribution, either hard-drive installed or
  live.  In your case, since you can't use a CD, a live CD
  distribution won't help.  I am still looking for a floppy-based
  distribution suitable for this task (e.g. tomsrtbt+debootstrap).
  Downside:  You need to work a little bit harder to do it this way
  compared to a CD install (you'll need to partition/format your
  drives manually, and learn how to use debootstrap).

- Install from the network using PXE boot.  Google a mix of PXE,
  install, boot, linux, ubuntu and debian yields quite a handful of
  interesting pages[2].  Downside:  You need a PXE boot capable target
  machine[3] and another box that acts as a BOOTP/TFTP server.  Upside
  is once this works, you'll get to use the regular Ubuntu installer.

Footnotes: 
[1] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.ubuntu.user/13738

[2] http://wiki.koeln.ccc.de/index.php/Ubuntu_PXE_Install

[3] If the target box doesn't support PXE natively, it might be
    possible to boot it from a floppy crafted to setup PXE boot.  See
    http://www.etherboot.org.  One more step to get right in the
    chain, though, and I think for the time being it doesn't support
    PCMCIA NICs.  I also read somewhere something about Grub and PXE,
    but didn't investigate any further.  Yet another step in the
    chain.

-- 
Entropy isn't what it used to be.





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