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Thread: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

  1. #1

    Cool Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    Greetings openSUSErs,

    I wanted to avoid having to use my CDs, DVDs weren't an option, and I didn't have very large usb sticks. It seemed my only option for installing openSUSE onto my laptop was with some sort of network install/boot.

    I ended up finding this really cool service, netboot.me. What you can do is download a very small image (<1MB) for a floppy, USB stick, or CD, and then boot off of it. Then you can either install pre-defined distros over the network (straight from the distro's servers), or you can make an account (by connecting your google account), and then make your own configuration. I managed to make a configuration for openSUSE 11.4, and I was able to completely install it, via only using one floppy disk and the internet!

    My first step in the process was to download the floppy image. Since I was on a windows computer, I then downloaded rawwrite for windows, and I wrote the image straight to the floppy. After that, I restarted the computer and booted from the floppy. It loaded the image, then asked me to press a key or wait for 3 seconds. In order to boot from my configuration, this was the point where I had to press a key, and then choose the option of loading the custom configuration. The configuration I made has an ID of 434001 (which anyone is free to use). Unfortunately, according to their community, the gPXE "network stack" isn't very optimizied, so the initial two downloads took awhile (my speed was locked at 65 kB/s.)

    It then began booting in the installation environment, which took about 15 minutes, although download speeds were now back at normal, faster speeds. I configured my installation, and let the package downloading begin!

    Although this may not have been the fastest or most efficient method of installing openSUSE, it definitely is a method, and it works for me. I hope this can, in some way, help other users who would like to put openSUSE on an older machine like mine!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    sounds like a really great thing..

    but, i do have one question: how does one make sure that the install is
    not delivered with a root kit built in?

    --
    dd CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
    via NNTP openSUSE 11.4 [2.6.37.6-0.5] + KDE 4.6.0 + Thunderbird 3.1.10
    Acer Aspire One D255, 1.66 GHz Atom, 1 GB RAM, Intel Pineview graphics
    * When your gecko is broken you have a reptile dysfunction! *

  3. #3

    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    sounds like a really great thing..

    but, i do have one question: how does one make sure that the install is
    not delivered with a root kit built in?

    --
    dd CAVEAT: C A V E A T
    via NNTP openSUSE 11.4 [2.6.37.6-0.5] + KDE 4.6.0 + Thunderbird 3.1.10
    Acer Aspire One D255, 1.66 GHz Atom, 1 GB RAM, Intel Pineview graphics
    * When your gecko is broken you have a reptile dysfunction! *
    Very good point, that's one of the major flaws pointed out in netboot.me.

    Although, unless the software that hosts the download does this (I believe it is open source), the installation files come straight from openSUSE's servers, or the servers of the distribution of your choice.

    I admit, I am giving netboot.me more credit then it really should have, with a major safety hole like that. So it really does come down to if you're willing to take the risk. I'll make a note of this in the op.

    EDIT: Darn, I can't edit the OP. I'll try and find a moderator.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    On 06/10/2011 08:06 PM, tgp1994 wrote:
    >
    > Although, unless the software that hosts the download does this (I
    > believe it is open source), the installation files come straight from
    > openSUSE's servers


    yes, i understand that they _say_ the code is coming direct from
    openSUSE servers, but how do i know that _for_certain_ ?

    for all i know 99.9% of it comes untouched by netboot.me, but that other
    ..1% is plenty to all them to backdoor/root your machine at will..

    i see no visible means of support for the site...so, what is in it for
    Nick Johnson, there is not a tip jar or donation button in sight..

    i know that looking a gift horse in the mouth is not popular, but imo
    looking throughout a Trojan Horse is pretty smart..

    --
    dd CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
    via NNTP openSUSE 11.4 [2.6.37.6-0.5] + KDE 4.6.0 + Thunderbird 3.1.10
    Acer Aspire One D255, 1.66 GHz Atom, 1 GB RAM, Intel Pineview graphics
    * When your gecko is broken you have a reptile dysfunction! *

  5. #5

    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    yes, i understand that they _say_ the code is coming direct from
    openSUSE servers, but how do i know that _for_certain_ ?
    You could monitor the traffic moving through your NIC if you really wanted to, or as I was implying by saying open source, you could look through the source code, or compile it yourself if you're so inclined to do so. If you're concerned about how the remote configurations are stored, it would seem that your only option is to, again, scan the traffic moving over your NIC. I would imagine that VMWare, or some other OS virtualization software would be useful for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    for all i know 99.9% of it comes untouched by [openSUSE's CDN] (?), but that other
    ..1% is plenty to all them to backdoor/root your machine at will..
    Is that perhaps what you meant? Or could you be more specific when you say code?


    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    i see no visible means of support for the site...
    Help - netboot.me
    Help - netboot.me Group Discussions
    netboot.me discussion | Google Groups
    https://github.com/Arachnid/netboot.me

    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    so, what is in it for
    Nick Johnson, there is not a tip jar or donation button in sight..
    Hmm... perhaps he doesn't feel that his projects have gained enough popularity yet to begin asking for tips. But we could always ask him.

    Quote Originally Posted by DenverD View Post
    i know that looking a gift horse in the mouth is not popular, but imo
    looking throughout a Trojan Horse is pretty smart..
    Well put, and I agree with you. I'd like to continue reinforcing my later statement that this project should be used on an aware-of-the-risks basis only. I myself used it while I was still naive to the potential security risks involved, it never really occurred to me that someone would want to hurt the advancement of openSUSE or Linux distributions as a whole, although I guess there are always people in the world out to get you.

    But looking through Nick's various projects, it would seem that he has too much going for him to throw his public identity into the trash with a trojan-infected distribution downloader.

    Let me finish off this post by saying that I don't want to argue with you, DenverD. I fully encourage your questioning of the major possible exploits in this project, as what I should have been questioning when I made my original post. I'm still waiting for a moderator to append some disclaimer text to it, or otherwise allow me to edit it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    On 2011-06-10 22:36, tgp1994 wrote:
    > I'm still waiting for a moderator to append some
    > disclaimer text to it, or otherwise allow me to edit it.


    Not possible in this forum, it would break the nntp gateway side.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 2011-06-10 22:36, tgp1994 wrote:
    > I'm still waiting for a moderator to append some
    > disclaimer text to it, or otherwise allow me to edit it.


    Not possible in this forum, it would break the nntp gateway side.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)
    The nntp what now? I don't see how whatever this is could prevent me from editing my OP, it's more like a board-wide choice made by the administrator(s).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    nntp is a means of monitoring posts more directly more like a mailing list so you have a 10 min window to edit a post before it is sent out to the nntp users. So think of this more like a email list which you can't edit after you send.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    nntp is a means of monitoring posts more directly more like a mailing list so you have a 10 min window to edit a post before it is sent out to the nntp users. So think of this more like a email list which you can't edit after you send.
    Ahh, ok. Well, what should we do now... delete the topic? That seems like the best plan of action.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Install openSUSE with just one floppy and a good network connection

    On 2011-06-11 01:36, tgp1994 wrote:

    > Ahh, ok. Well, what should we do now... delete the topic? That seems
    > like the best plan of action.


    Neither. Once posted, after 10 minutes, it is committed for eternity. The
    nntp side can not do changes once posted, so you can't either.

    If you need to modify what you said, you have to add new posts with what
    you wish to add. All the posts are for ever.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

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