[ILUG] Installing Fedora Core 2 from a hard drive.
eibhear.geo at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 1 22:09:27 IST 2004
I don't normally do this, but I had to solve a problem that's possible
for some to encounter. Any and all of the below can be contradicted or
improved upon. Feel free.
I downloaded Fedora Core 2 last week with the intention of installing it
on a desktop system I use here for experimentation. The system already
runs Fedora Core 1. Here is what I did to install FC1:
+ Downloaded isos and put them onto a hard drive partition of the
+ Mounted the first iso using the loop device:
# mount -o loop /opt/isos/yarrow-i386-disc1.iso /mnt/FC1.1
+ Put a floppy into the drive and created a boot disk:
# dd if=/mnt/FC1.1/images/bootdisk.img of=/dev/fd0
+ Rebooted the system and when asked, I chose to install from isos
on the hard drive. Side note: you specify the hardware partition,
in my case /dev/hda9 . The directory you say where the isos are
to be found is relative to the mount point of that partition and
not an absolute path. In my case, after saying what partition
the isos were on, I had to say they were in "/isos" and
This is a suitable way for me to install for a number of reasons:
+ I have access to high bandwidth and can download isos
+ I *don't* have access to a CD burner.
+ For as long as I have enough disk-space, I can continue to
download isos and install many different distros -- and chop
and change among them. Once the disk space starts to get full, I
can delete the less recent isos.
So, when Fedora Core 2 was announced, I decided the above would be an
effective way to see what it's like. However, and this is the point of
this story, I encountered a few problems. I also solved them:
+ As before, I downloaded the isos into the /opt/isos directory.
+ I mounted the first iso as above:
# mount -o loop /opt/isos/FC2-i386-disc1.iso /mnt/FC2.1
+ I put a floppy into the drive and went to create a boot disk:
# dd if=/mnt/FC2.1/images/diskboot.img of=/dev/fd0
And here is where I encountered my first problem. The listing of the
images directory is:
[root at localhost images]# ls -Fl
-rw-r--r-- 2 root root 4151296 May 13 10:24 boot.iso
-rw-r--r-- 2 root root 6291456 May 13 10:24 diskboot.img
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 2048 May 13 10:27 pxeboot/
-rw-r--r-- 2 root root 655 May 13 10:23 README
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 881 May 13 10:39 TRANS.TBL
Yes indeed. diskboot.img is 6MiB big. 4 floppies worth. Reading the
README, it appears the only options are to burn the boot.iso onto a CD
or to put the badly named diskboot.img onto a memory key-ring-thingy.
Neither is suitable as I don't have the former and I didn't want to go
messing around with the latter, risking my valuable data.
After some mucking around, here's what I came up with:
+ I mounted the bootdisk.img file using the loop device:
# mount -o loop /mnt/FC2.1/images/diskboot.img /mnt/image
+ I copied the contents into a subdirectory of /boot:
# mkdir /boot/FC2install
# cp -rv /mnt/image/* /boot/FC2install
+ I edited the file /boot/grub/grub.conf to include a new entry.
Essentially, it was a copied and hacked version of the default
title Fedora Core 2 install
I don't know whether grub expects configuration lines to be
preceded by a tab (^I) or if that's a convention, but what you
see above is verbatim what I added to the file.
+ I rebooted the system and when the grub menu was presented, I
chose "Fedora Core 2 install".
+ Things looked good until I realised that I wasn't being asked how
I wanted to install -- No option to go "text", how do I
"kickstart", what about my "lowres" monitor? I halted
the installation and sat back to think.
Looking in the file /boot/FC2install/syslinux.cfg you can see what
options are passed to the kernel in order to perform the different
options. I realised that grub just runs the kernel command that you put
into the entry. I toyed with trying to figure out how to get the options
presented to you as though the system was booting from an installation
floppy or a CD. Then I realised that I couldn't be bothered. I stuck
with the above grub entry which is the default, but if you prefer the
"text", "lowres" or "ks" options, or whatever, you can use
/boot/FC2install/syslinux.cfg to determine what options to specify.
Anyway, I started again...
+ I was asked the standard questions about installation
session language and keyboard.
+ I specified that I wanted to install from the hard drive
partition /dev/hda9 and that the isos were to be found in
the directory /isos .
+ I was presented with a message telling me that the isos it
found were not Fedora Code 2 isos and what the hell was I
talking about?! Sitting back time again.
Looking at the installation log that's accessible (during the
installation session) by pressing ALT-F3, I saw that the installer
mounted each of the isos in that directory and did some checking. The
contents of /opt/isos were:
[root at localhost isos]# ls -l
-rw------- 1 root root 667529216 May 21 14:52 FC2-i386-disc1.iso
-rw------- 1 root root 665802752 May 21 18:55 FC2-i386-disc2.iso
-rw------- 1 root root 669016064 May 26 15:13 FC2-i386-disc3.iso
-rw------- 1 root root 203737088 May 26 17:07 FC2-i386-disc4.iso
-rw------- 1 root root 732463104 Apr 22 18:30 freeduc-cd-1.4.1.iso
-rwx------ 1 root root 660340736 Apr 22 18:31 yarrow-i386-disc1.iso
-rwx------ 1 root root 667516928 Apr 22 18:32 yarrow-i386-disc2.iso
-rwx------ 1 root root 645464064 Apr 22 18:32 yarrow-i386-disc3.iso
First, the installer mounted the freeduc iso, wasn't happy with it and
then mounted yarrow-i386-disc1.iso . It seemed to be happy with this
one. It looked for a file called updates.img, and then a file
stage2.img. Here's where it complained. The installer was happy that the
iso was a Fedora Cora iso, but when it look in this file it noticed it
wasn't an FC2 iso. Easily resolved.
+ I created the directory /opt/isos/FC1 and put all the
yarrow*.iso files into it.
+ I rebooted the system again, chose the "Fedora Core 2 install"
grub option, answered the first questions and told the
installer that the isos were to be found on /dev/hda9 in
+ The installation continued without a hitch.
A lot of what I did was hunch work and I can't explain it thoroughly.
I'm especially confused as to why the sequence of mounting isos took the
freeduc iso first, then the yarrow isos, and presumably then the FC2
isos if it got that far.
However, if anyone is presented with a similar scenario: no CD burner,
no memory key-ring-thingy and a bootdisk image that's too large to fit
onto a floppy, the above might help.
Éibhear Ó hAnluain
My PGP/GPG public key can be downloaded from
Fingerprint: 59E6 6A2A F62D BE1E C19F DC6C 2E13 1321 1EA2 7144
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 256 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url : http://mail.linux.ie/pipermail/ilug/attachments/20040601/94a9b3c0/signature.pgp
More information about the ILUG