Installing Ubuntu or Fedora via PXE Netboot

If you plan to install without burning CDs or DVDs or using boot disks, then this could be what you want. This post will show you how I installed Fedora 7 on Dell Inspiron 6400 via PXE Netboot, and Fedora 7 installing data from a HTTP server which is run by Fedora Core 6. Since I was planning installing Ubuntu Feisty, therefore I will also mention the steps for Ubuntu Feisty. I won’t explain the detail steps of installing those services but I will provide links.

Requirements

Says

  • All services are on 192.168.1.1, and it is Fedora Core 6.
  • TFTP root directory is /tftproot/.
  • Install disc image is mounted onto /media/iso.
  • Installed computer with MAC address 00:11:22:33:44:55 and will be assigned IP 192.168.1.2.

Note: Once you boot with Fedora’s netboot installing method, you will be able to use local or external(USB) disk, FTP, HTTP or NFS to retrieve installing data. Therefore, you can choose one of them to install Fedora.

Steps on 192.168.1.1

Setting the redirecting

Insert the following into correct subnet of /etc/dhcpd.conf

host pxeinstall {
hardware ethernet 00:11:22:33:44:55;
fixed-address 192.168.1.2;
next-server 192.168.1.1;
filename "pxelinux.0";
}

Note: next-server points to the IP of TFTP server.

Preparing Network Bootstrap Program pxelinux.0

Fedora

cp /usr/lib/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftproot/

Ubuntu

wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/feisty/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz. Other versions of Ubuntu.
tar zxvf netboot.tar.gz /tftproot/.

Preparing vmlinuz and initrd

Fedora

cp /media/iso/pxeboot/vmlinuz /tftproot/
cp /media/iso/pxeboot/initrd.img /tftproot/

Ubuntu

cp /media/iso/casper/vmlinuz /tftproot/
cp /media/iso/casper/initrd.gz /tftproot/

default configuration of pxeboot

Fedora

mkdir /tftproot/pxelinux.cfg
vi /tftproot/pxelinux.cfg/default with

default install

label install
kernel vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.img clocksource=acpi_pm

Note: clocksource=acpi_pm is necessary on my computer. You might be able to install without it.

Ubuntu

vi /tftproot/pxelinux.cfg/default. Modify label install as

LABEL install
kernel vmlinuz
append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot=192.168.1.1:/media/iso/ --

Preparing installing data

Depends on the method that you will take, make /media/iso can be access through the method.

Restart

Restart all services.

Steps on 192.168.1.2

Booting up with PXE

Fedora

If everything is ok, vmlinuz and initrd.img will be loaded automatically. Once loaded, you will be prompted to choose the language.
Note: If you plan to use external disk, please plug it in before vmlinuz and initrd.img being loaded and don’t put the image iso in NTFS partition.

Ubuntu

If everything is ok, you will see the Ubuntu logo. Press “Enter” to start installation.

Notice

If something doesn’t work, check out /var/log/messages or Google.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 7, 2008 at 2:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    On Fedora, pxelinux.0 is in the package syslinux:

    http://rpmfind.net//linux/RPM/fedora/10/i386/syslinux-3.61-3.fc10.i386.html

    If you don’t have Fedora installed already, it’s also available in

    http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/

    This helps resolve a chicken-and-egg problem: relevant if you are setting up netboot and do not have access to a Fedora machine until you have set up netboot.

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