Anaconda/Boot

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Contents

Introduction

There are many ways to boot and install a Fedora system with other means than a CD-ROM. The idea behind this page is to catalog various boot configurations. The goal of the Anaconda Boot page is to catalog these boot options, boot procedures, and the setup that is required to support these various boot configurations that will be discussed.

Topics Under Formulation

  • Point to the existing CD installation documentation.
  • Talk about the 'ISO install tree'.
  • One CD or other method must start of the 'ISO install tree' method.
  • Discuss the boot ISO that is available as a starter disk.
  • Talk about a 'regular install tree' for other boot methods or to refactor a Fedora image.
  • Talk about the missing ., dot, file that is not copied as part of creating an 'install tree'.
  • Point out the askmethod Linux boot option.
  • Install from USB stick and the issues involved https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2004-September/msg00016.html
  • Install from grub for example http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-May/msg05948.html and http://www.city-fan.org/tips/BootInstallerFromHardDisk
  • Is this the place to talk about creating a driver diskette should a boot option not have a supplied kernel driver?
  • Try to progress from simple boot options as far as setup or some other criteria to more advanced options.
  • Perhaps this page may be a seguay into anaconda scripting and first boot techniques.
  • Tools: mkisofs, cdrecord, syslinux, grub, the release of File Roller 2.14.0 in FC 5 can now open an ISO image as if it was a tar.gz or zip archive. Moreover, http://g-scripts.sourceforge.net/ can be adapted to refactor an ISO or create install trees.
  • Big question: Can a bigger and better contrib section of the anaconda rpm be developed by the community?
  • A graph may be useful. The graph would show the latency of the install method verses the benefits derived from not using a CD. For example, a USB 1.1 version install may be painfully slow compaired to a CD or an install from a hard drive method.
  • Setup issues: planning for an install from hard drive if installing to the same hard drive that may be an anaconda format target.
  • ISO install tree may be similar.
  • USB sticks now have capacity to hold all five ISOs.
  • How to on an extended or primary partition.
  • How to on an LVM logical volume that could grow over time.
  • Both how tos are similar in concept to leaving home on a separate partition.

Goals

  • Goal: Take the secrets out of anaconda so that some of my co-workers don't say, "I didn't know you could do that".
  • Secondary Goal: Diskettes used to be a pain. Now creating a CD from an ISO is a pain. How can physical CDs be avoided?

Notes

All are welcome to jump in an edit as they see fit. All good documents start when one doesn't stare at a blank page. Hence, this page may be rough for awhile.

USB Notes

Large drive issue. MS Windows 2000 would not create a FAT partition on a 400gig USB external hard drive. MS Manage computer utility used partition of fat 16 or fdisk ID = 6.

fdisk /dev/sda

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 48641.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
(e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 400.0 GB, 400088456704 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 48641 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1       48641   390708801    6  FAT16

What MS Windows 2000 left in the partition table.

Command (m for help): t
Selected partition 1
Hex code (type L to list codes): l

1  FAT12
4  FAT16 <32M
5  Extended
6  FAT16
b  W95 FAT32
c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
Hex code (type L to list codes): c
Changed system type of partition 1 to c (W95 FAT32 (LBA))

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 400.0 GB, 400088456704 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 48641 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1       48641   390708801    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Command (m for help): v
5164 unallocated sectors

How to correct a bad parition table on a large drive.

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e   extended
p   primary partition (1-4)
p
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-48641, default 1):
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-48641, default 48641):
Using default value 48641

Command (m for help): t
Selected partition 1
Hex code (type L to list codes): l

<snip>
Hex code (type L to list codes): c
Changed system type of partition 1 to c (W95 FAT32 (LBA))

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 400.0 GB, 400088456704 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 48641 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1       48641   390708801    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Command (m for help): v
5164 unallocated sectors

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.

WARNING: If you have created or modified any DOS 6.x
partitions, please see the fdisk manual page for additional
information.
Syncing disks.

Creating an USB partition from scratch.


A work around is to use fdisk and ID = c W95 FAT32 (LBA).

mkdosfs -F 32 -n sg_400gig -c /dev/sda1

Follow the fdisk command with an mkdosfs with a -F 32 as shown above.

mkdosfs -F 16 -n fc_pen_boot -c /dev/sda1

A 'normal' format for a pen/flash/usb drive may be an fdisk with ID = 6 and a mkdosfs with a -F 16 fat.