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installing linux without network/optical drives

P: 32
hi,

Anyone have advice on installing a linux distro on a new computer with
no optical drive or network connection? I have heard you can put the live CDs
onto a USB key and boot from that ... is this easy? Is this the only way to do it?

Thanks
Jul 1 '08 #1
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7 Replies

100+
P: 256
There are several options, think of all the devices that connect through usb. You could install from an external hard drive or optical drive if you have one.

As you mentioned, you can also put linux onto a thumb drive - I have one with Ubuntu on it and it was pretty easy to set up. I've read that you can use any linux distro you want. You can just search google for "linux usb bootable" or something like that to find instructions on how to do it.
Jul 1 '08 #2

P: 32
There are several options, think of all the devices that connect through usb. You could install from an external hard drive or optical drive if you have one.

As you mentioned, you can also put linux onto a thumb drive - I have one with Ubuntu on it and it was pretty easy to set up. I've read that you can use any linux distro you want. You can just search google for "linux usb bootable" or something like that to find instructions on how to do it.

Hi mac11,

Thanks for the reply ... I have an external usb cd/dvd drive but I did'nt think
that it would work without proper drivers etc.?? Can I just plug it in before booting
and there will be an option in the bios booting order? Sorry if that sounds like a
real stupid question but I have never installed an OS on a system without an
inbuilt optical drive!!

Thanks again,
Jul 1 '08 #3

100+
P: 256
Hi mac11,

Thanks for the reply ... I have an external usb cd/dvd drive but I did'nt think
that it would work without proper drivers etc.?? Can I just plug it in before booting
and there will be an option in the bios booting order? Sorry if that sounds like a
real stupid question but I have never installed an OS on a system without an
inbuilt optical drive!!

Thanks again,
Not a dumb question, I don't think I've ever seen a computer with no optical drive and no network card and I'm sure they aren't common (I obviously haven't been into computers as long as others).

Some computers may not be able to boot from an external drive but you won't know until you just try it and see if it works. I guess the test would be to plug it in and see if the bios lets you use it as a bootable device.

If that fails you can still try making a bootable usb flash drive. Here is a good link I found for it: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
Jul 1 '08 #4

Nepomuk
Expert 2.5K+
P: 3,112
Hi!

Does that Computer have any drives apart from a hard drive? Or to put it in other words: Do you have a floppy drive?

If so, you can check out tomsrtbt (which is short for "Tom's Root Boot Disk") which should hopefully be able to mount an external drive.

I haven't ever done this myself, but I know it's possible to basically create a Linux system on one computer and copy it to an other via tomsrtbt. There must be instructions on how to do this online - search for them, if you wish.

Greetings,
Nepomuk
Jul 1 '08 #5

P: 32
Hi,

No there is no floppy drive .... its mini-ITX system and I guess to even
make it smaller there is no place for an optical drive.

I guess the best thing is to this bootable USB drive option.

It does have a network card but I didn't think this could be used as an install
option if there was not some sort of OS already installed??

Cheers,
Jul 2 '08 #6

Nepomuk
Expert 2.5K+
P: 3,112
Hi,

No there is no floppy drive .... its mini-ITX system and I guess to even
make it smaller there is no place for an optical drive.

I guess the best thing is to this bootable USB drive option.

It does have a network card but I didn't think this could be used as an install
option if there was not some sort of OS already installed??

Cheers,
Hi fordie1000!
If it doesn't have any optical drives or floppy drive, it will most certainly be able to boot from USB. As it has a network connection, I'd suggest using it - there are netinstall CD's around and with instructions like this you can make netinstall USB images from them. (This is an example with Debian Linux, but I guess there will be similar options with other distributions.)

The advantages of a netinstall disk (or USB drive) are, that you download what you need - not more and not less - and the system is totally up to date right from the beginning.

Greetings
Nepomuk
Jul 2 '08 #7

P: 32
Hi fordie1000!
If it doesn't have any optical drives or floppy drive, it will most certainly be able to boot from USB. As it has a network connection, I'd suggest using it - there are netinstall CD's around and with instructions like this you can make netinstall USB images from them. (This is an example with Debian Linux, but I guess there will be similar options with other distributions.)

The advantages of a netinstall disk (or USB drive) are, that you download what you need - not more and not less - and the system is totally up to date right from the beginning.

Greetings
Nepomuk
Thanks Nepomuk ... I think this is the method I will try.
I will post back here when I have it done to let people know how it went.

Thanks again,
Jul 3 '08 #8

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