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15-A.2: Installation: Methods and Preparation

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    Installation: Options

    In order to get Linux installed on a system there are a couple of different options. Again, most distributions have some sort of method to accomplish these options, and so it would be necessary to consult the distro's web site.

    Type of Boot Description
    PXE boot

    The Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE - pixie) specification describes a standardized client-server environment that boots a software assembly, retrieved from a network, on PXE-enabled clients. On the client side it requires only a PXE-capable network interface controller (NIC), and uses a small set of industry-standard network protocols such as DHCP and TFTP.

    The concept behind the PXE originated in the early days of protocols like BOOTP/DHCP/TFTP, and as of 2015 it forms part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard. In modern data centers, PXE is the most frequent choice for operating system booting, installation and deployment.

    Boot from ISO It is possible to download an ISO image of a Linux distribution onto an empty partition on the local disk, and configure GRUB2 to list that ISO image on the GRUB2 menu. This requires the editing of the GRUB files to ensure that the option shows on the boot menu.
    Boot from removable device Linux can be installed from a USB flash drive. This may be necessary for most new portable computers without DVD drives and is handy for others because a USB flash drive is so convenient. Also, you can configure Linux on the USB flash drive to save changes you make, unlike a read-only CD/DVD disk.

    So, there are a lot of pieces to consider PRIOR to actually installing Linux. Do not skip or short circuit any of the steps. Work through all the questions and make sure that you know what it is you are doing and that you have all the parts you need. Especially the first time you attempt an installation, pick an easy straight forward installation. As you gain experience you will gain confidence to take on more of the complex options.

    Here's a road map for the steps you will take during the installation process:

    1. Back up all existing data on the hard disk where the installation is planned.


    2. Make sure that you have all the information/documentation about your computer before starting the installation.


    3. Locate and/or download the installer software along with any drivers or firmware files the machine requires.


    4. Set up boot media I.E. CDs/DVDs/USB sticks or provide a network boot infrastructure from which the installer can be booted.


    5. Boot the installer software.


    6. Select the system's language setting.


    7. Activate the Ethernet network connection, if performing a network installation.


    8. If required, resize existing partitions on the target disk drive as determined prior to the install.


    9. Create and mount the partitions on which Linux will be installed.


    10. Monitor the automatic download/install/setup of the base system.


    11. Install a boot loader which can start up Linux on the system.


    12. Load the newly installed Linux system.


    This page titled 15-A.2: Installation: Methods and Preparation is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Patrick McClanahan.

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