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Installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Without a Bootable CD

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Ashish Kumar

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Posted: 30 Aug 2007

If you want to install SLES on a machine that has Linux (boot loaded GRUB) already installed, this tip is very useful. [For Testers]

As I am a system test engineer, I need to install SLES 10 SP1 on many machines in parallel. We have the web server for SLES installation, but for starting up the SLES installation we needed the 1st CD of SLES10SP1. With this tip it is not needed.


  1. Copy the following lines in file /boot/grub/menu.lst in last and change the parameters for your machine.
  2. ###Boot parameters
    title SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 INSTALL
    kernel /boot/linux.install vga=0x314 install=<Installation Source Path>
    hostip=<Your machine's IP> netmask=<Your machine's Subnet Mask>
    gateway=<Your machine's Gateway> nameserver=<name server's IP>
    initrd /boot/initrd.install

    For example:

    ###Boot parameters
    title SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 INSTALL
    kernel /boot/linux.install vga=0x314 
    hostip= netmask= gateway=
    initrd /boot/initrd.install

  3. Now copy files "linux" and "initrd" from installation source as follows.
  4. wget <Install source/boot/i386/loader/linux> 
    cp linux /boot/linux.install
    wget <Install source/boot/i386/loader/initrd>
    cp initrd /boot/initrd.install

    For example:

    cp linux /boot/linux.install
    cp initrd /boot/initrd.install

  5. Reboot using command <reboot>

  6. After rebooting, you will see your title (as mentioned above) in grub menu, . Select that and press enter. Installation will get started.

Limitations: The machines should have GRUB loader.

Note: This tip is useful for test engineers, who keep on installing different builds of SLES10SP1 for their testing, and they have a previous SLES build already installed.


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