Fedora notes

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Install Fedora from ISO images

The idea is just to let the computer boot from new kernel and ramdisk for installation, which will let you specify the specific way for installation including local CD-ROM, Hard Drive, FTP, NFS image, FTP, and HTTP. Although the post title mainly means for installing from hard drive, other ways are same with the following methods. Furthermore, if you can find a fast mirror of ISO images, FTP would be a great option.

Prepare Files Beforehand
1. download kernel and ramdisk files: vmlinuz and initrd.img
If you are in singapore, you can download here: ftp://ftp.oss.eznetsols.org/linux/fedora/3/i386/os/isolinux/

Using NTLDR for NT/XP
If the preexisting system is windows, then you need a program called GRUB for DOS/NT which includes file "grldr" and directory "/boot". "/boot" includes the /boot/grub/menu.lst that will be used by grldr. You put vmlinuz and initrd.img in /boot/, and move the whole directory and grldr to the root of first partition where NTLDR is, usually C:\. So far, we have C:\boot\grub\menu.lst, C:\boot\vmlinuz, C:\boot\initrd.img, C:\grldr. Then we need to modify C:\boot.ini (disable read-only temporily). Add the following line:
C:\grldr="Start Grub ..."
This lets NTLDR to insert a menu option when startup, you will be able to choose this option to start grub for installing linux. Another file to modify is menu.lst, add following lines:
title Install Fedora
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.img

This lets GRUB add a menu option "Install Fedora", after you select "Start Grub" in NTLDR menu list.
Done! Reboot to select "Start Grub..." and "Install Fedora", the installer will be activated. You can install from ISO images. I provide a link here for downloading the grub for nt.

Using existing GRUB of a linux system
It's much easier. Reconfig grub by editing grub.conf to add one more menu option for installation. Store vmlinuz and initrd.img at a partition where grub can load with, i.e. matching what has been specified in grub.conf. For syntax of grub.conf, check manual of grub.


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