installing via network boot


I have an oldish 64-bit xeon-machine. which does not have a CD-rom drive. I would like to install SUSE on it. When it starts it tries to boot from network.

Could someone give me general quidelines how to set this up. I figure I must have a dhcp server up and running. And then a tftp-server - maybe? How?

Best Regards
Kari Laine

IIRC the last time I did this all I had to do was setup a DHCP server to serve the pxelinux bootloader and then setup a TFTP server with the kernel and initrd files extracted from any boot medium in the directory that pxelinux loads from. Boot parameters can be passed via pxelinux. It’s quite similar to booting thin clients with LTSP so you could use their setup instructions for the DHCP and TFTP server.

When the kernel and initrd have loaded you get a standard installer and then you can choose one of the network install methods like NFS, over the Internet or perhaps even from a flash key, if your computer has USB and it’s fast enough.

Hi Kari,

To add to Ken’s advice there is also the option to install from other non-DVD/CD media like usb devices.
If your system does support boot by USB device you could try that. Might save some hassle of setting up the PXE environment.

Easier would be if you could get/borrow a USB CD/DVD drive to do your install?

Check out this page for other ideas : Installation without CD - openSUSE
A bit more down to the middle there is a bit ’ Internet/Network install using USB Stick '.

It’s a shame it’s not live yet but SUSE Studio, as one thing it does is to build alternate install media for you: Welcome – SUSE Studio

As last option to add, you could also boot the kernel from floppy… not sure if this is possible anymore with the newer releases. Once booted and having the kernel boot options presented, specify to install from a network (http / nfs / cifs) location, like the openSUSE OSS repository.

Good luck,

Thank you for help.

I will try that network install first and if it doesn’t work for me I will try to install cd-rom drive.

Best Regards
Kari Laine