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Installing Ubuntu without external media

The below method is only applicable if you alread have Linux (any) running, here I am using OpenSuSe 11.1 to install ubuntu-9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) also you need a seperate partition to install ubuntu. you can also use gparted to create some space for ubuntu.

The benefits of installing without external media are that it can save you time if you are already familiar with the process, and you get a very usable system upon booting into the installer because it is running from a hard drive rather than a CD.

Note: you need to be root on your existing Linux system to use any of the below mentioned command

1) Download ubuntu iso - here

Note: I got my OpenSuSe 11.1 installed on /dev/sda2 and I want to install ubuntu on /dev/sda6, so check you device and move on.

2) Copy the iso contents using the command :
mkdir /tmp/iso
mount ubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso -o loop /tmp/iso
mkdir /installer
mount /dev/sda6 /installer
cp -r /tmp/iso/* /installer
cp -r /tmp/iso/.disk /installer
umount /tmp/iso
3) Edit your grub configuration file (/etc/grub.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst) to boot ubuntu.

title           Ubuntu installer
root            (hd0,5)
kernel        /casper/vmlinuz boot=casper root=/dev/ram ramdisk_size=1048576 rw
initrd          /casper/initrd.gz

The first line after the title tells grub which partition contains the installer. hd0 stands for "first hard disk," and the 5 following it standards for sixth partition. You will need to change this if your installer partition is different from /dev/sda6.

4) Reboot, and choose "Ubuntu installer" from the grub boot menu, and continue as if you were installing from CD.


Dan.Serban said...

Is this method going to work universally for any distro (with corresponding adaptations of course), or is it only for distros that use casper for booting into the live environment?

Sarah Hazel said...

Did this really work for you? It's not working for me. Grub cannot negotiate it. I followed the instructions "to the T" with the one exception that I was using /dev/sda8 (hd0,7) ... I only get the following:

Booting 'ubuntu installer

root (ha0,7)
Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
kernel /casper/vmlinuz boot=casper root=/dev/ram ramdisk_size=1048576 rw
[Linux-bzImage, setup=0x3400, size=0x3b26e0]
initrd /casper/initrd.gz

Error 15: File not found

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