Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Installing from a Hard Drive

Simple method:

1. Download Debian 5.0 Lenny GNU/Linux ISO from ( Please do not change downloaded ISO file name. If you change ISO file name it doen't work in some cases).

2. Make a directory

e.g. mkdir Debian-Lenny-ISO

and saved the downloaded ISO file into it ( you can save it in Linux or Windows system both)

3. Boot from live cd

4. You will get a command line interface window.

5. If you are installing from other than CDs/DVDs, that is, if you are installing from files on the local hard disk or from files on another system using FTP, NFS, or HTTP, give the following command in response to the boot: prompt:

boot: linux askmethod

6. In case of Hard Drive,

If you have copied the Linux ISO images to a local hard drive, you can use this method. You need a boot diskette or a boot CD-ROM (use the linux askmethod boot option).

7. Will ask - What type of installation method do you wish to use?

The following installation methods are available: CD-ROM, Hard Drive, NFS, FTP, HTTP.

Hard drive installations require the use of the ISO (or CD-ROM) images. An ISO image is a file containing an exact copy of a CD-ROM disk image. After placing the required ISO images (the binary Linux CD-ROMs) in a directory,

8. Choose to install from the hard drive. You can then point the installation program at that directory to perform the installation.

Hard drive installations only work from ext2, ext3, or FAT file systems. If you have a file system other than those listed here, such as reiserfs, you will not be able to perform a hard drive installation.

Verifying that the ISO images are intact before you attempt an installation will help to avoid problems that are often encountered during a hard drive installation. To verify the ISO images are intact prior to performing an installation, use an md5sum program (many md5sum programs are available for various operating systems). An md5sum program should be available on the same server as the ISO images.

ISO images have an md5sum embedded in them. To test the checksum integrity of an ISO image, at the installation boot prompt, type:

linux mediacheck

Itanium users should use the elilo linux mediacheck command.

9. The Select Partition screen applies only if you are installing from a disk partition (that is, if you selected Hard Drive in the Installation Method dialog). This dialog allows you to name the disk partition and directory from which you are installing Linux.

Enter the device name of the partition containing the Linux ISO images. There is also a field labeled Directory holding images.

If the ISO images are in the root (top-level) directory of that partition, enter the path to the ISO images (for example, if the partition on which the ISO images are located is normally mounted as /home/, and the images are in /home/new/, you would enter new).

If the ISO images are not in the root (top-level) directory of that partition, enter the full path to the ISO images (for example, if the ISO images are located in /test/new/, you would enter /test/new/).

After you have identified the disk partition, the Welcome dialog appears.

After this s, follow the same procedure as the standard installation (CD/DVD-ROM).

Enjoy! :)


Canute said...

3. Boot from live cd

which live cd?

Rakesh Kumar said...

Hello Canute,

It depends on which specific Linux Distribution you are using.

You can also build a Live CD for that particular Linux you are interested in.

Please see this for building a Debian Live CD:

Thanks and regards,

Canute said...

From the title and the first line of the post I would assume you are installing Lenny from a iso on the hdd.

Second question is about the livecd - do you have to burn a live cd first to install Lenny from the hdd?

Rakesh Kumar said...

Well, with a live boot CD would be able to boot up the operating system. If you don't have a Live CD then you need to burn it.

But it's not required to burn Lenny Live CD to install Lenny from the hdd.

You just need a live cd of an existing operating system on which you want to install Debian Lenny.


Canute said...

So boot: linux askmethod needs to be entered for the live cd?

What if we have a exisiting linux install? will that work instead of live cd?

Rakesh Kumar said...

Please go to

for the instructions if Linux flavor operating system is already installed on your computer.

Canute said...

Is the "linux askmethod" parameter is supposed to be passed to the live cd?

Rakesh said...

Yes, while booting with a Live CD and installing Lenny (supposed to be copied/downloaded Lenny ISO on your hard drive) you need to be type/enter command: "linux askmethod" command.

Once you have entered this command it will ask you: Do want to install from hard disk or other sources?

You enter the Path where Lenny ISO is stored on your computer. After this step, you need to follow same steps as you follow with DVD/CD.

Canute said...

you've been a great help. Thanks.