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.