Install Hardy on a HEADLESS (no video, keyboard or mouse) system - ideas and/or hints

Brian McKee brian.mckee at
Sat Jul 5 13:48:17 UTC 2008

On Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 5:03 PM, Jay Ridgley <jridgley2 at> wrote:
> Folks,
> I have one last system to move to Ubuntu. My firewall which is currently
> running Red Hat 7.3 (Valhalla).
> The system is a plain vanilla Dell Optiplex G1. As I said it is
> headless, I do have physical access to the system so I could add the
> devices for the install but it would not be convenient... is there any
> way of doing the install without these devices?

I don't think there's a way that doesn't use more gear.
There's no 'upgrade' path from RH7.3 to Ubuntu that makes any sense.
Either a real or virtual keyboard and display would be the easiest way.
I'm not sure what your issue is in hooking them up (no room?)

If you are feeling expermental (in other words, I dunno how much fun
this would be)
1 - install ubuntu on a second machine that's roughly the same hardware
2 - free up some space on the target machine and repartition
3 - use tar and netcat or rsync or whatever you like to copy the
ubuntu install onto the new partition
4 - add the ubuntu installation to the RH boot loader and reboot into
the ubuntu install
5 - assuming 4 worked, remove the red hat install

You have physical access, so as long as the default boot is still RH
all you'd need is the reset switch to get back to RH

If I had a choice I bet keyboard and video is faster....


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