Saturday, August 14, 2010

Installing linux without using cds or pen drives...

I have gotten all the info. from the following link:

All i have done is simplified the language and cut out the unnecessary details.(There may be a mixture of we's and you's that clearly indicate some of it has been typed and some of it has been simply copy pasted. i will not try to fool you guys into thinking i typed the whole thing).


This is mainly for installing linux on computers with windows already installed.

It's main use is if you want to constantly upgrade to a newer version of linux without wasting cds.
Almost all Linux installers uses two files to boot the computer: a Linux kernel(about which sir talked about recently in SM class), and an initial root file system containing a minimal set of directories that is mounted prior to when the real root file system is available. This initial root file system is also called Ram disk (initrd). We will use these two files to boot our PC.

1. First we need to copy the ISO file of Linux to our hard disk . Make sure that the partition is FAT32 unless the distro( you are installing has native NTFS read/write support. It's best to copy the iso to the root of the partition because otherwise, the setup might not be able to detect it.

2. Use Winrar to open the ISO file and extract the two files mentioned earlier(kernel and the root file system one). They are usually found inside a directory called isolinux. They are in different places depending on the distro so we need to search for them(it's not that difficult ;) ). btw they are also named differently depending on distro. The files that you will need to search and extract are: (the kernel file is shown in green and the Ram disk is shown in red)

Fedora: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Suse: linux and initrd

Mandriva: vmlinuz and all.rdz

Ubuntu: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

Gentoo: gentoo and gentoo.igz

Knoppix: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Slackware: bzImage and initrd.img

Debian: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

3. After you have extracted the two files, copy them to c:\boot (you will need to create the folder "boot")

4. Now download the file called grub4dos. The source from which i got this info. said the newer versions aren't working but version0.4.1 works. Direct download link Extract the folder "boot" and the file "grldr" from the downloaded zip file. Inside the folder "boot" is another folder called "grub"; copy the folder "grub" to c:\boot. Copy the file "grldr" to c:\

5. Open c:\boot\grub\menu.lst and add these following lines. (Notice that hd0 refers to the first hard drive. If you have more than one hard drive, they will be named hd1, hd2 etc. Replace hd0 with the proper hard drive number incase you have windows installed on another drive.) Replace Linux_kernel and Ram_disk with the appropriate file names below. (the ones you copied to c:\boot)

title Install Linux
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/Linux_kernel
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/Ram_disk

6. Now you have to add grub to your c:\boot.ini file. You can open boot.ini by clicking on Start>Run and typing c:\boot.ini. If Windows does not allow the file to be modified, then go to Control Panel>System and click on the Advanced tab. Now under Startup and Recovery click Settings and then under System Startup click Edit. Open boot.ini and add this line in the end.

C:\grldr=”Start GRUB”

7. You are now ready to install Linux. Restart your PC and from the boot screen select "Start GRUB". This will load GRUB. From the grub screen select "Install Linux". During the setup you will be asked the source of installation. Choose hard disk and then select the hard drive partition where you copied the ISO files. Sometimes you might have to type the whole path of the partition and the exact name of the ISO. So write it down before you begin.

Honestly I haven't personally tested anything but again the source from where i got this info said"I have personally tested this with Fedora, Suse and Mandriva and it works without problem. I have no doubt it will work for others too" so i think everything should be fine.

Hope you guys found it helpful. I tried my best.(First blog EVER!!)


:D :D :D


  1. i installed my ubuntu version without any pendrives or cd but through internet.i didnt have to do anything. i selected the download ubuntu button and after around 1 hr, it showed a screen saying 'reboot now' and when i selected the option, computer restarted and ubuntu was there installed without any partitioning or any complex procedure. can you just tell me what happened in my case?

  2. Have you tried this yourself? Can you comment on your experience? Specifically, what you had to do that wasn't mentioned in that page, or what was wrong etc. Also, please describe in brief what each command/code that you've given does.
    If you're just repeating what has already been said by somebody else on the internet, what is the point? You're supposed to figure it out yourself, with some help from the internet. You're not supposed to get everything from the internet and then put it together and call it your own work, without even trying it first.