Help with Installing Linux (No CD-ROM writer) - Questions

This is a discussion on Help with Installing Linux (No CD-ROM writer) - Questions ; ray wrote: [...] >SUSE has an install from ftp option - it normally starts with burning a >small CD which is basically a boot loader - check on the SUSE web pages >whether that can be initiated from a floppy. ...

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Thread: Help with Installing Linux (No CD-ROM writer)

  1. Help with Installing Linux (No CD-ROM writer)

    ray wrote:
    [...]
    >SUSE has an install from ftp option - it normally starts with burning a
    >small CD which is basically a boot loader - check on the SUSE web pages
    >whether that can be initiated from a floppy.


    I need the kernel source and the drivers for the modem need to
    be compiled. It hardly seems likely that I will be able to do that
    before the OS has been installed. That rules out the FTP option,
    which may be tedious and unreliable anyway.

    See: http://www.sagem.com/support/site/li...u_linux_en.doc

    What I want to do is download the Linux installation files onto a
    a hard disk and and install from that. Currently there is a single
    partition where Windows XP resides.

    I don't want to get rid of Windows XP, because I need something
    I can rely on to provide access to the net if anything goes wrong
    with the Linux installation - and having read many news articles I
    am inclined to think that something is very likely to go wrong.

    All that means I probably need to repartition my hard disk.

    It may be best not to let a Linux installer repartition the disk.
    Doing it manually, so to speak, may be a better option. The
    reason for partitioning manually is to avoid certain problems
    that may afflict the partitioning software that comes with some
    distros. See the July 9 news here:

    http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html

    I have a win32 version of ntfsresize that may be dependable.
    I'm not sure if I can run this from within XP. Perhaps I need to run
    it from a DOS boot disk for safety. That is, run it from a system
    that is not sitting on the file system to be altered.

    That program will resize the file system, but not the partition. For
    that I need, apparently, a program called fdisk. But it does not seem
    to be available to run under Windows. So, it would seem, I need a
    Linux boot disk with fdisk on it, or some way of accessing fdisk on
    my hard drive. But that's just guesswork.

    If all this can be done, I will be in a position to download a Linux
    distro to install. But which one?

    I have found few references in the patchy documentation of many
    distros to installing from a hard disk. But I was able to verify that
    the fedora core comes with a floppy boot image will allow such
    an installation. Or, at least, it offered that kind of installation as
    an alternative when I ran it. Can it read the fedora core installation
    files from my XP filesystem?

    Now, the fedora "core" seems to be absolutely huge. Do I really
    have to download all four CD ISOs? They may contain stuff that
    I will never use. I just want a basic installation in which I can
    compile the drivers for my modem and test the connection to the
    internet, and do a few other things. A GUI would be nice, but I
    don't need Firefox etc. intially. I would like to download additional
    programs later if all goes well. I have heard so much about how
    configurable Linux is. I would like to think that the installation
    process is equally configurable.

    Regarding the ISO images: do I have to unpack them? And can
    I avoid having the fedora installation mucking about with my MBR?
    And if I have repartitioned my drive manually, will it use a partition
    I make available, or do I have to leave unallocated space for the
    installer to format and use?

    The questions go on and on and bleeding on. I'm sorry to ask
    about so many things, but I've found it difficult to find the
    information by other means.

    And please don't say I should upgrade the hardware, buy a
    CD-writer, blah blah blah. I just want to give Linux a spin and
    see what it's like. There's little pointing in making the investment
    if I find Linux not to my taste. The hardware I use works perfectly
    well under the Windows XP, the currently installed OS.

    I just want to get this sorted out as quickly as possible now. I've
    already spent a not inconsiderable amount of time reading around
    the fragmented online documentation. I've thrown in a lot of
    questions and any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    R.

  2. Re: Help with Installing Linux (No CD-ROM writer)

    Rolleston wrote:
    > I have found few references in the patchy documentation of many
    > distros to installing from a hard disk. But I was able to verify that
    > the fedora core comes with a floppy boot image will allow such
    > an installation.


    Only FC1, but not FC2 or later versions.

    > Or, at least, it offered that kind of installation as
    > an alternative when I ran it. Can it read the fedora core installation
    > files from my XP filesystem?


    Yes, if it's a FAT32 filesystem but not from NTFS.

    > Now, the fedora "core" seems to be absolutely huge. Do I really
    > have to download all four CD ISOs?


    A minimal installation should be possible just from CD1.

    > They may contain stuff that
    > I will never use. I just want a basic installation in which I can
    > compile the drivers for my modem and test the connection to the
    > internet,


    That's not a minimal installation anymore, you need software development
    tools (possibly kernel development) and text-based Internet at least.
    You need the whole CD set.

    > Regarding the ISO images: do I have to unpack them?


    No, you _must not_ unpack them for HD install.

    > And can
    > I avoid having the fedora installation mucking about with my MBR?


    Yes, you can choose to store the boot loader in the boot sector of Linux
    partition.

    > And if I have repartitioned my drive manually, will it use a partition
    > I make available, or do I have to leave unallocated space for the
    > installer to format and use?


    You can install in preallocated partitions.

    > The questions go on and on and bleeding on. I'm sorry to ask
    > about so many things, but I've found it difficult to find the
    > information by other means.


    Read the Red Hat Linux 9 Installation Guide:
    http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/l...install-guide/
    Fedora uses a later version of the same installation program, and most
    of the information still applies.

    --
    Markku Kolkka
    markku.kolkka@iki.fi

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