How To: Install Fedora without CD or DVD

Note: If you are new to Fedora/Linux, I highly recommend the book “Fedora Linux Toolbox

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Use Case

  1. When you don’t have CD / DVD drive on your system.
  2. You have Fedora DVD but your system has only a CD Drive.
  3. You don’t want to waste time and resources in burning iso on optical media.

Pre-requisites

  1. You have a Fedora DVD iso or rescue cd iso.
  2. You have a Linux installation on your system.
  3. You have a partition (FAT32, ext2, ext3) which you will not format while installing the new OS.

How to proceed

Let us assume you want to install Fedora 9 on your system and you have a Linux distro already installed on your system. You have downloaded the Fedora DVD iso (Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso). And you have a FAT32/ext2/ext3 partition /stuff/ which you will not format during installation.

Step 1 : Move the Fedora DVD iso to /stuff/ directory.

[root@saini saini]# mv Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso /stuff/ [Enter]

Step 2 : Mount Fedora DVD iso on /mnt/

[root@saini saini]# mount /stuff/Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso /mnt/ -ro loop [Enter] (do as root)

Step 3 : Copy the initrd.img and vmlinuz to /boot/ partition

[root@saini saini]# cd /mnt/isolinux/ [Enter]
[root@saini isolinux]# cp initrd.img vmlinuz /boot/ [Enter] (do as root)

Step 4 : Create grub entry for booting into Fedora 9

Add these lines at the end of your /boot/grub/grub.conf file.

title Fedora 9 (New installation)
    kernel /vmlinuz
    initrd /initrd.img

Step 5 : Note the device having Fedora DVD iso

[root@saini saini]# df -h [Enter]
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3              15G  9.5G  4.1G  70% /
/dev/sda8             135G  116G   13G  91% /stuff
/dev/sda5             4.8G  1.2G  3.4G  26% /home
/dev/sda1              99M   12M   82M  13% /boot

In this case /dev/sda8 contains Fedora DVD iso. Note this down as you need it later.

Step 6 : Reboot

Reboot your system and boot into the Fedora 9 (New installation) grub entry.

Step 7 : Install from hard disk

While in installation wizard, select “Hard drive” as installation method and choose /dev/sda8 as it contains the Fedora DVD iso. And rest is damn easy.

 

29 thoughts on “How To: Install Fedora without CD or DVD

  1. You forget to mention two things –

    1. The iso should be in root of the partition in which you put it (because some distros don’t allow to enter directory path eg. Ubuntu )
    2. The file system type should be readable by the distro you are installing. eg. Ubuntu reads NTFS but Fedora doesn’t .

  2. @W1zaRd
    1. I never used ubuntu. So was not aware about it. Thanks for mentioning.
    2. Again the same excuse 😛 But the mentioned filesystems (FAT32/ext2/ext3) are readable by all distros.

  3. Hey , I tried to install openSUSE 11.1 from harddisk. As the size of iso is 4.3GB I can not store it on a FAT32 partition. So I tried to install it from NTFS partition. In the installation wizard, I selected the partition in which the iso resides and then the folder path. But it is unable to find the iso. Can u help me??

  4. Hi!

    I think it would be difficult. The only escape is that make a ext3 partition in your hard disk by connecting it to some other computer and then store the ISO in that partition.

    Thank You!

  5. Hey, Thanks for the help. I created the 5 GB ext3 partition in my harddisk and placed my ISO there. After that everything went fine.

  6. im tryin to intall fedora on on my xp but i dont have andy media drives. i tryed mounting it on alcohol 120%. it brings up three folders ;EFI, Iso Linux, Live os. and GRl

  7. Hi, very nice trick!

    But it is incomplete! in case of Fedora 10 & Fedora 11. a file /images/install.img from DVD iso must be copied to the same directory as the iso. hope it will help!

    Thank you!

  8. Nasir is correct, I had to create the directory images/ next to the iso file and copy the images/install.img into that directory – THanks to the author and everyone’s comments. A piece of cake I was looking for :)

  9. CAUTION:
    You are missing the following points (this is for fedora-11) :
    –>
    01. specify ‘kernel /boot/vmlinuz’ and ‘initrd /boot/initrd.img’ in the grub.conf;
    02. create a directory ‘/images’ in the /stuff and copy the ‘/stuff/Fedora-11-dvd.iso/images/install.img’ onto there;
    <–

    hope this helps.

  10. I have followed the instructions including placing the images directory in /stuff. For me /stuff is on /dev/sda2
    I reboot and get the choice of media to install from, i chose /dev/sda2 and place /stuff/images/ in the path to install image
    text box. Then the installer complains that it cannot find the image. What am I doing wrong.

    from /etc/fstab:
    /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 / ext3 defaults 1 1
    LABEL=/boot /boot ext3 defaults 1 2
    tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
    devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
    sysfs /sys sysfs defaults 0 0
    proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
    /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01 swap swap defaults 0 0
    ~
    [root@localhost boot]# df -h
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00
    48G 8.5G 37G 19% /
    /dev/sda1 99M 49M 46M 52% /boot
    tmpfs 117M 0 117M 0% /dev/shm

    [root@localhost boot]# fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 14 9729 78043770 8e Linux LVM
    [root@localhost boot]#

    [root@localhost stuff]# ls -l
    total 3601016
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 3683829760 2009-07-09 04:39 Fedora-11-i386-DVD.iso
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2009-07-09 05:12 images
    [root@localhost stuff]# ls -l images
    total 136432
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 704512 2009-07-09 05:10 efiboot.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 22800384 2009-07-09 05:10 efidisk.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 116039680 2009-07-09 05:12 install.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 400 2009-07-09 05:12 README
    -r–r–r– 1 root root 1106 2009-07-09 05:12 TRANS.TBL[root@localhost stuff]# ls -l
    total 3601016
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 3683829760 2009-07-09 04:39 Fedora-11-i386-DVD.iso
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2009-07-09 05:12 images
    [root@localhost stuff]# ls -l images
    total 136432
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 704512 2009-07-09 05:10 efiboot.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 22800384 2009-07-09 05:10 efidisk.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 116039680 2009-07-09 05:12 install.img
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 400 2009-07-09 05:12 README
    -r–r–r– 1 root root 1106 2009-07-09 05:12 TRANS.TBL
    [root@localhost stuff]#

    Any help would be appreciated -:)

  11. Thats great Hack…. Thanx for this…
    I was searching for this… But I already installed Fedora 11 by burning the ISO to a DVD…
    Next time I will follow these instructions…

    Thanx again….

  12. hi kulbir,
    i want a help from u . i want to configure wi-fi settings in rhel 5 to access wi-fi at my college. i have a compaq v3070TU laptop. i found that i have intel (R) pro/wireless 3945ABG card.plz help me.

  13. If you don’t have an existing install of Linux to ‘boot-strap’ the install of Fedora then you can use ‘grub4dos’ from Windows to start it off. You need to add an entry to your boot.ini in Windows for grub4dos then create a menu.lst file as explained above.
    You also need to make sure you’ve got a partition available to install it. You can use Parted Magic to resize/repartition your drive. This can be installed to a USB stick so you don’t have to mess around with CD’s.

  14. Hi,

    could you please tell me why its not working for Fedora 16.
    Do we need to copy any extra files for fedora 16 or wat?

    thanks,
    Vivek.

  15. Dear vivek, It sould work for any favour of Linux and any version.
    If you explain what exactly your error It help to solve.

  16. With FC17 the installation wizard doesn’t appear, just some error messages from dracut. I think this trick finished working when LVM support was added to Fedora, perhaps at some point after FC9. Still unsolved as of today! There is some workaround among comments of https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=650672 . I was able to install FC17 onto FC12 by installing grub2 first, then playing with some of its commands during boot (search for “rd.break=pre-udev” there).

    Still thanks to you, Kulbir! This post led me to the right path.

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