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  1. #1
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    HowTo Install Fedora 10/11/12 DVD from a 4GB USB stick

    UPDATE:

    The DVD.iso images for F12 aren't hybrid (At least my machines won't boot anyway), and unetbootin/fusbi images I created fail with "can't find image" type error.

    So, this procedure also applies to F12.


    UPDATE: F11 DVD has no boot.iso image, instead you can just run livecd-iso-to-disk on the dvd iso image itself, after that the rest of the steps below are the same (copy across images/install.img and then the full dvd iso image) step-by-step for F11 DVD from existing F9/F10 session (same steps for x86_64, but you must edit the DVD iso image to reduce its size, see post #2)

    Windows users can use liveusb-creator, see post #9

    If you don't have an optical drive (eg on the recent batch of netbooks) then it is useful to be able to install the Fedora 10 DVD from a usb stick. You can just use the live image and transfer to a 1GB usb but that doesn't allow any package selection, Development Tools, Desktop choice (Gnome or KDE)

    If you have a 4gb usb stick then you can use a little trick to turn it into a dvd installer. Basically you use the livecd-iso-to-disk script from an existing Fedora installation (or even a livecd session) to install the boot.iso image (rather than the livecd image)


    You need a working Fedora session with access to the Fedora 10 DVD iso image (can even be on ntfs). I am using the 32bit image here since most netbooks won't run 64bit. Also, space is tight on 4gb and I'm not sure if the X86_64 DVD iso image will fit (if someone tests please post results) EDIT for x86_64 see post #2

    I'll assume the usb stick is formatted with fat32 (can also use ext2, but run 'tune2fs -m0' on the partition to free reserved blocks) and has one partition /dev/sdb1. Ensure you unmount the stick first

    Code:
    su -
    yum install livecd-tools syslinux
    mkdir /mnt/iso
    mount -o loop <path to>/Fedora-10-i386-DVD.iso /mnt/iso
    livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr /mnt/iso/images/boot.iso /dev/sdb1
    For F11 the last command should be livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr <path to>/Fedora-11-i386-DVD.iso /dev/sdb1

    Now you must mount the usb stick (eg remove and reinsert) and copy install.img to directory 'images' and then copy the dvd iso image to the root dir (takes a long time)

    Code:
    mkdir /media/<usb disk>/images
    cp /mnt/iso/images/install.img  /media/<usb disk>/images/
    cp <path to>/Fedora-10-i386-DVD.iso /media/<usb disk>/
    And that's it. Boot from the usb stick and follow the instructions as usual but select Install Media from 'Hard Drive' and select the usb stick (probably /dev/sdb1) as the location of the image. You can enter '/' for the directory or leave it blank.


    You can also use SDHC cards, but many netbooks won't boot from them (depends whether the card reader is on a usb bus or pci express bus), in that case buy a dirt cheap SDHC to usb converter (they're a couple of pounds in the uk)

    Note, I would recommend resizing the netbook hard drive first using a livecd to free space for the install if you intend to dual boot (not that I don't trust anaconda to do it, just that it's clearer in a full livecd session)

    EDIT: If you have one of the older 7" screen eeepc netbooks then press escape at the installer boot screen and type 'linux text', the gui installer window is too big for the screen and you won't see the buttons at the bottom otherwise
    Last edited by scottro; 21st November 2009 at 01:36 AM. Reason: Added notes about F12 DVD

  2. #2
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    The x86_64 DVD iso doesn't fit on a 4GB usb disk using this method, However you can use isomaster to remove some files and then it works fine

    (After editing the iso image run livecd-iso-to-disk against it and copy install.img across as above)

    Code:
    yum install isomaster
    isomaster <path to>/Fedora-10-x86_64-DVD.iso &
    This is a non-destructive edit of the iso image, since the new iso is saved eleswhere.

    You can remove all the files in the images directory except install.img, that must stay. You'll need to delete a few more files, I deleted several openoffice.org-langpack*.rpm files from the Packages directory to get the iso size down to 3.6G. (Order the packages by name/size, use shift+click and ctrl+click to make multiple selections, removing all language packs except en will reduce size to ~3.3G which is more than enough)

    I then chose 'save as' Fedora-10-x86_64-DVD.iso directly to the usb disk, it takes 20-30 mins depending on the usb disk transfer speed (For F11 you will have to save the new iso image somewhere else, since you can not copy it to the usb stick until after running livecd-iso-to-disk)

    All of this can be done from a livecd session even on a windows machine with just ntfs partitions (the iso image can still be read). Obviously if you have >4GB usb sticks then it's not a problem, just that 4gb sticks are really cheap.

    btw, thanks for all the feedback
    Last edited by sideways; 1st July 2009 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks sideways
    thats a pretty kool and useful guide, and will save me from writing dvds, just one question, im assuming you need to make the usb drive bootable as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangermouse
    Thanks sideways
    thats a pretty kool and useful guide, and will save me from writing dvds, just one question, im assuming you need to make the usb drive bootable as well.
    yeah, the --reset-mbr flag does that in livecd-iso-to-disk.

    cheers for the feedback, I wasn't moaning or anything, just surprised that no one responded after one week.

    I'm sure there's a neater solution to this, I'm just surprised it's not a method covered in the release notes, especially with the proliferation of netbooks etc. It really just needs an additional script in the livecd-tools package which basically follows the simple steps in post #1, the x86_64 is more troublesome, at least if we're talking budget usb sticks.

    I can get a 4gb usb stick in the uk for less than the price of a spindle of 10 dvd-rws for example

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx...avigationKey=0

  5. #5
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    Hi sideways
    yeah, the --reset-mbr flag does that in livecd-iso-to-disk.


    I can get a 4gb usb stick in the uk for less than the price of a spindle of 10 dvd-rws for example
    Plus its more enviroment friendly

    cheers for the feedback, I wasn't moaning or anything, just surprised that no one responded after one week.
    I never saw it before, or even thought of doing it, i think more people should be aware of this way, and with your permission would like to add it to my site

    EDIT have move this thread to installation help and made it sticky
    Last edited by Dangermouse; 4th December 2008 at 10:40 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangermouse
    Hi sideways

    I never saw it before, or even thought of doing it, i think more people should be aware of this way, and with your permission would like to add it to my site

    EDIT have move this thread to installation help and made it sticky
    Sure you can, anything I post on here, nonsense or otherwise is public domain, it's nice to know someone cares,

    Cheers for the sticky, that's 2 in a week, I'm on a roll man! Good call on moving it to the Installation help forum

  7. #7
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    Question Is it possible to install from a USB drive w/o having a running Redhat 1st?

    Back in the good ol days there was a tool to make the boot floppies.
    I haven't installed Redhat from removable media since, but now I have to install on two machines w/o network and all I have is a 1GB pen drive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tall Man
    Back in the good ol days there was a tool to make the boot floppies.
    I haven't installed Redhat from removable media since, but now I have to install on two machines w/o network and all I have is a 1GB pen drive.
    Then just do the first bit of this howto - ie create the bootable usb stick with boot.iso, that'll even fit on a 256mb usb stick, then you can boot from the usb stick and choose the network as the location of your install media when prompted

    you should be able to use the windows version of the liveusb installer, I'm waiting for confirmation

  9. #9
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    OK, I've confirmed myself that the windows version of the liveusb-creator works fine for the F10 DVD (For F11 there is no boot.iso so just select the DVD iso image as the target. When you boot and select to install it will generate lots of messages on the screen, just wait for them to stop and the "Choose a Language' menu will appear ). One problem was that winrar couldn't seem to extract the boot.iso image correctly from the DVD iso, in that case download the boot.iso image from a mirror (it's in the releases/10/Fedora/i386/os/images directory)

    http://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/publiclist/Fedora/10/

    Fedora liveusb-creator link here:

    https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/


    Just select the boot.iso image as the target and Fedora 9 as the fedora version if Fedora 10 isn't in the list (it doesn't matter)
    Last edited by sideways; 30th June 2009 at 06:22 PM.

  10. #10
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    dvd iso size problems

    thanks for this interesting guide, specially when using a ppc version, I don't seem to find the possibility to download the live version. Anyways I do have a slight problems with my fat32 formatted usb, that didn't like the 4gb iso, which is normal looking at the fact fat32 can support up to 2gb per file.

    So how did you manage to make this work? btw, I'm working on a 16 gb usb thumb drive here.

    Thanks in advance

    placidrage

  11. #11
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    Install from SD Card?

    I have a 4G Micro SD card and slot in my Laptop- Toshiba L305D - Bios has an option for USB Memory boot when POSTing, press F12.

    I have used Live-USB creator and I have F10-i686.iso downloaded as well as the Live.iso.

    Problem is, when I boot from the th SD card it says the boot loader is missing. I am stumped. I have recreated the Live iso several times and nothing works.

    Any ideas?

  12. #12
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    Your laptop bios probably doesn't support booting directly from the sd card slot, this will usually require that the sd card reader is on a usb bus (like in the Asus eeepcs) rather than a pci express bus

    You can buy sd card to usb converters very cheaply (eg like this)

    I know that's not ideal as it would be nice to have the card safely concealed and not sticking out on a converter, but if you just need it for the install stage it shouldn't be a problem

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by placidrage
    thanks for this interesting guide, specially when using a ppc version, I don't seem to find the possibility to download the live version. Anyways I do have a slight problems with my fat32 formatted usb, that didn't like the 4gb iso, which is normal looking at the fact fat32 can support up to 2gb per file.

    So how did you manage to make this work? btw, I'm working on a 16 gb usb thumb drive here.

    Thanks in advance

    placidrage
    format as ext2.

    but fat32 suppports up to 4gb (fat16 is up to 2gb) so you could try reducing the size of the iso (most of the images directory can be deleted except install.img) using isomaster as outlined in post #2 above.

    the ppc version is ~4.3gb so you'd need to get rid of just 300mb.

    But the best solution is to reformat as ext2 if possible

  14. #14
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    steps completed but still doesn't work

    Ok thanks, I followed the instructions, and was able to copy the iso to the usb drive by deleting all the exotic language files I don't know.

    But when I try booting it on my x86 based pc, the boot loader seems to run well, but then doesn't find any kernels on the disk, what am I missing?

    Otherwise I tried to boot an imac g3 from the usb drive by restarting while holding the ctrl key (or option key) and it doesn't seem to find my usb drive, does anybody know how those stupid macs work? I'm trying to make this piece of junk a bit more functional with linux,

    thanks in advance

    placidrage

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by placidrage
    But when I try booting it on my x86 based pc, the boot loader seems to run well, but then doesn't find any kernels on the disk, what am I missing?
    You can't install the ppc version on an x86 based pc.

    And unfortunately I don't think G3 macs can boot from USB, according to apple support that was introduced as a new feature on the G4
    Beginning with the Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) and the iMac (Slot-Loading), two new features to USB are most apparent: support for USB audio devices and booting from USB drives.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA25908?viewlocale=en_US

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