Installing Fedora 12 and saving the environment

If you’re like me, chances are you have a system or three with DVD / CD burners in them.  Aside from their use for backups, I have tended to use my burners to create Linux install DVDs, done my install, and then given it to someone else, or (ashamedly) thrown it away.  What a waste.

I also prefer to do network-based installs, where I don’t have to download a whole 4GB DVD image, or even 700MB CD image, and burn it.  Instead, I download the 160MB “netinst” network install ISO, burn that to a CD, boot that CD, and point the installer at a Fedora mirror to grab all the packages.  This works great, but still, I’m left with a netinst CD when I’m done that I may no longer need.

Enter isohybrid, new in Fedora 12 (Beta).  I’ve got a few USB keys of various sizes, most larger than 160MB.  Instead of burning a CD (which I can still do, the process is unchanged), I can write the netinst ISO file directly to a USB key, and boot it.  Amazing!

Give it a try when you install Fedora 12 Beta, and save one more CD from becoming landfill.

$ wget http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/test/12-Beta/Fedora/x86_64/iso/Fedora-12-Beta-x86_64-netinst.iso

$ sudo dd if=Fedora-12-Beta-x86_64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=1M

$ eject /dev/sdc

Replace /dev/sdc with the actual device name of your USB key. You will want to unmount any file systems that are mounted on that key before writing to it.

Then boot that USB key, and you’re off to the races. When prompted for which local file system contains your install image, simply click “Back”, select the “URL” install method, and use a URL of your favorite mirror.

Special thanks to H. Peter Anvin for writing isohybrid and including it in syslinux.

11 comments on this post.
  1. Scott Baker:

    Is this new to Fedora 12? I didn’t think you could dd an .iso on to a USB stick.

  2. Rahul Sundaram:

    Scott Baker,

    Yes, it is a new feature in Fedora 12 (Beta)

  3. kashyap chamarthy:

    thanks for the tip. I’ll try that out for sure.

  4. Matt Domsch: Installing Fedora 12 and saving the environment | TuxWire : The Linux Blog:

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  6. Yan-Fa Li:

    Or you could use a CDRW…

  7. Rahul Sundaram:

    Yan-Fa li,

    CD-RW has limited writes and much slower speed than USB keys.

  8. Anonymous:

    CD-RW disks also occasionally fail in some drives, while CD-ROMs don’t.

  9. Ajamison:

    My computer is retarded really it claims to support usb booting but allways gives error 17 when trying to boot from it oh well

  10. david:

    actually im using f12 live cd through a usb bootable created through imagewriter in ubuntu xD it’s awesome

  11. David Legg:

    Anybody seen a tutorial on how to use the Fedora-12-Beta-i386-netinst.iso file from the stage after you have booted it from either a CD or a USB stick?