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There are several methods that can be used to install Red Hat Linux.
Installing from a CD-ROM requires that you have purchased a Red Hat Linux 9 product, or you have a Red Hat Linux CD-ROM, and you have a CD-ROM drive. Most new computers will allow booting from the CD-ROM. If your system will support booting from the CD-ROM, it is an easy way to begin a local CD-ROM installation.
Your BIOS may need to be changed to allow booting from your CD-ROM drive. For more information about changing your BIOS, see Section 3.3.1 Booting the Installation Program.
If you can boot using the CD-ROM drive, you can create your own CD-ROM to boot the installation program. This may be useful, for example, if you are performing an installation over a network or from a hard drive. See Section 1.4.2 Making an Installation Boot CD-ROM for further instructions.
If you choose to create a boot CD-ROM, it will not be necessary to create a driver diskette.
If you cannot boot from the CD-ROM drive, the following alternative boot method is available:
If you need a boot diskette, you must create it. A boot diskette will be needed if you cannot boot from the CD-ROM. It can be used to boot from a network, block, or PCMCIA device (you will also need the corresponding driver diskette for your booting scenario).
The boot diskette image file, bootdisk.img, is located in the images directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM. Refer to Section 1.4.3 Making an Installation Boot Diskette, for more information on making a boot diskette.
If you choose to create a boot diskette, you must also create the appropriate driver diskette if you are installing over a network or from a hard drive.
If you are performing anything other than a IDE CD-ROM or hard disk installation and are using a boot diskette, you will need at least one driver diskette that you must make in advance. You will be prompted by the installation program to insert the driver diskette at the correct time.
For more information on driver diskettes, refer to Appendix F Driver Diskettes.
During your installation of Red Hat Linux, the following driver diskettes may be required:
If you need a network device drivers diskette to boot from a network, you must create it. The network device driver diskette image file, drvnet.img, is located in the images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM. Refer to Section 1.4.3 Making an Installation Boot Diskette or Appendix F Driver Diskettes, for more information on making a diskette.
If you need a block device driver diskette to boot from a block device (for example, a SCSI CD-ROM drive), you must create it. The block device driver diskette image file, drvblock.img, is located in the images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM. Refer to Section 1.4.3 Making an Installation Boot Diskette or Appendix F Driver Diskettes, for more information on making a diskette.
You may need a PCMCIA device driver diskette if you are using a PCMCIA device to install Red Hat Linux. If you need a PCMCIA device driver diskette, you must create it.
The following checklist can help you determine if you must create a PCMCIA device driver diskette:
You will install Red Hat Linux from a CD-ROM, and your CD-ROM drive is attached to your computer through a PCMCIA card.
You will use a PCMCIA network adapter during the installation.
The PCMCIA device driver diskette image file, pcmciadd.img, is located in the images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM. Refer to Section 1.4.3 Making an Installation Boot Diskette or Appendix F Driver Diskettes, for more information on making a diskette.
USB Diskette Drive — You can also boot the installation program using a boot diskette in a USB diskette drive (if your system supports booting from a USB diskette drive).
isolinux is now used for booting the Red Hat Linux installation CD. To create your own CD-ROM to boot the installation program, use the following instructions:
Copy the isolinux/ directory from the first Red Hat Linux CD-ROM into a temporary directory (referred to here as <path-to-workspace>) using the following command:
cp -r <path-to-cd>/isolinux/ <path-to-workspace>
Change directories to the <path-to-workspace> directory you have created:
Make sure the files you have copied have appropriate permissions:
chmod u+w isolinux/*
Finally, issue the following command to create the ISO image file:
mkisofs -o file.iso -b isolinux.bin -c boot.cat -no-emul-boot \ -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -R -J -v -T isolinux/
The above command was split into two lines for printing purposes only. When you execute this command, be sure to type it as a single command, all on the same line.
Burn the resulting ISO image (named file.iso and located in <path-to-workspace>) to a CD-ROM as you normally would.
isolinux is now used for booting the Red Hat Linux installation CD. If you have problems booting from the Red Hat Linux CD, you can write the images/bootdisk.img image to a diskette.
You may need to create a diskette from an image file; for example, you may need to use updated diskette images obtained from the Red Hat Linux errata page:
An image file contains an exact copy (or image) of a diskette's contents. Since a diskette contains file system information in addition to the data contained in files, the contents of the image file are not usable until they have been written to a diskette.
To start, you need a blank, formatted, high-density (1.44MB), 3.5-inch diskette. You need access to a computer with a 3.5-inch diskette drive. The computer must be able to run either an MS-DOS program or the dd utility found on most Linux-like operating systems.
The images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM contains boot images. Once you have selected the proper image (bootdisk.img), transfer the image file onto a diskette using one of the following methods.
To make a diskette using MS-DOS, use the rawrite utility included on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM in the dosutils directory. First, label a blank, formatted 3.5-inch diskette appropriately (such as "Boot Disk" or "Updates Disk"). Insert it into the diskette drive. Then, use the following commands (assuming your CD-ROM is drive D:):
C:\> d: D:\> cd \dosutils D:\dosutils> rawrite Enter disk image source file name: ..\images\bootdisk.img Enter target diskette drive: a: Please insert a formatted diskette into drive A: and press --ENTER-- :
First, rawrite asks you for the filename of a
diskette image; enter the directory and name of the image you wish to
write (for example,
Then rawrite asks for a diskette drive to write the
image to; enter a:.
Finally, rawrite asks for confirmation that a
formatted diskette is in the drive you have selected. After pressing
To make a diskette under Linux (or any other Linux-like operating system), you must have permission to write to the device representing a 3.5-inch diskette drive (known as /dev/fd0 under Linux).
First, label a blank, formatted diskette appropriately (such as "Boot Diskette" or "Updates Diskette"). Insert it into the diskette drive (but do not mount the diskette). After mounting the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM, change to the directory containing the desired image file, and use the following command (changing the name of the image file and diskette device as appropriate):
dd if=bootdisk.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k
To make another diskette, label that diskette, and run dd again, specifying the appropriate image file.
A boot diskette can be a diskette you created to boot (or start) the installation program, or it can be a diskette you create during the installation process that can later be used to boot the operating system. Normally, your computer boots from a hard disk, but if the hard disk is damaged, you can boot the computer from a bootable diskette.
The 8.3-type file name originates from the naming convention of eight characters, a period, and three characters for a file name extension. This naming convention supports file names between 1 and 8 characters, which cannot have spaces, and may not contain ? or _ characters at the start of the name.
When you mount a diskette or CD-ROM, you make that device's contents available to you. See the Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide for more information.