Can You Install Using the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM?

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 editing your BIOS and the installation process in general, see Chapter 2.

Alternative Boot Methods

If you cannot boot from the CD-ROM drive, you may need to use a boot diskette. 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 following two types of boot disks are available:

  • Local Boot Diskette — If you need a local boot diskette, you must create it. The local boot disk image file, boot.img, is located in the images directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM. See the next section for more information on making a boot diskette.

  • PCMCIA Boot Diskettes You may need PCMCIA boot diskettes if you are using a PCMCIA device to install Red Hat Linux. If you need PCMCIA boot diskettes, you must create them. The following checklist can help you determine if you will need to create PCMCIA boot diskettes:

    • 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 boot diskette image files, pcmcia.img and pcmciadd.img, are located in the images directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1.


Although it is not required to boot your installation, you may occasionally find that a driver diskette is needed to continue with the installation. The “Do I Need a Driver Disk?” section earlier in this chapter explains why a driver diskette may be necessary for your installation, and how to obtain one if needed.

Making Installation Diskettes

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. Because 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 will need the following:

  • A blank, formatted, high-density (1.44MB), 3.5-inch diskette.

  • A computer with a 3.5-inch diskette drive. The computer must be able to run either an MSDOS program or the dd utility found on most Linux-like operating systems.

The images directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1 contains the boot images for Red Hat Linux. After you select the proper image (such as boot.img for a CD-ROM-based installation or bootnet.img for a network installation), transfer the image file onto a diskette using one of the methods described in the following sections.

Using the rawrite Utility

To make a diskette using MS-DOS, use the rawrite utility included on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1 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\boot.img Enter target diskette drive: a: Please insert a formatted diskette into drive A: and press --ENTER-- : [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, ..\images\boot.img). 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 Enter to confirm, rawrite copies the image file onto the diskette. If you need to make another diskette, label that diskette, and run rawrite again, specifying the appropriate image file.


The rawrite utility only accepts 8.3-type file names, such as filename.img. 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. If you download an update image from named something similar to update-anaconda-03292002.img, you must rename it as updates.img before you run rawrite.

Using the dd Command

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 in Linux).

First, label a blank, formatted diskette appropriately (such as "Boot Disk" or "Updates Disk"). Insert it into the diskette drive, but do not mount the diskette (when you mount a floppy or CD-ROM, you make that device's contents available to you; see Chapter 8 for more information).

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=boot.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k

To make another diskette, label that diskette and run dd again, specifying the appropriate image file.

The Red Hat Documentation Team - Official Red Hat Linux User's Guide
The Red Hat Documentation Team - Official Red Hat Linux User's Guide
Year: 2002
Pages: 223 © 2008-2017.
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