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Each flavor of Linux has its own installer with its strong and weak points. If you installing from DVD that you burned yourself, please check media before installation: it helps to prevent many nasty problems.  It is important to understand that if you have problems with installing from one source (for example DVD) it make sense to try another source. On modern computers you can always use a USB disk or stick instead of DVD.

Installation of Red Hat  is using Anaconda and is covered in multiple documents on the Web

Installation of Suse using Yast is covered at:

In this page we will limit ourselves to Red Hat installation.

Here is some information about anakonda adapted from Mark Sobell's book (Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux®: Fedora™ Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A, 2nd Edition  2005 edition):

The boot: Prompt  You can give many different Anaconda commands at a boot: prompt. If you are installing from DVD or CD, you can press RETURN  without entering a command to start the installation. Or you can just wait; if you do not type anything for a minute, the installation proceeds as though you pressed RETURN.

Display problems If you have problems with the display during installation, give the following command, which turns off video memory, in response to the boot: prompt:

boot: linux nofb

Non-CD installations If you are installing from media other than DVD or CD and that means  using FTP, NFS, or HTTP, give the following command in response to the boot: prompt:

boot: linux askmethod

Booting As the system boots, text scrolls on the monitor, pausing occasionally. After a while (up to a few minutes, depending on the speed of the system), the installer displays a graphical or pseudographical display, depending on the system you are installing and the commands you gave at the boot: prompt.

Anaconda Boot Commands

All the commands should be types at the boot: prompt like. The fist word of the command is always linux. It can be followed by one of more augments  passed to Anaconda. Arguments can be combined. For example, to install Linux in text mode using a terminal running at 115,200 baud, no parity, 8 bits, connected to the first serial device, give the following command (the ,115200n8 is optional):

   boot: linux text console=ttyS0,115200n8

The next command installs Red Hat Linux in graphical mode (by default) on a monitor with a resolution of 1024x768, and get the prompt to specify the source of the installation data (CD, FTP  site, or other).

   boot: linux resolution=1024x768 askmethod
To specify an installation source, use the linux repo=  option. For example:
linux repo=cdrom:device
linux repo=ftp://username:password@URL
linux repo=http://URLlinux repo=hd:device
linux repo=nfs:options:server:/path
linux repo=nfsiso:options:server:/path
In these examples, cdrom  refers to a CD or DVD drive, ftp  refers to a location accessible by FTP, http  refers to a location accessible by HTTP, hd  refers to an ISO image file accessible on a hard drive partition, nfs  refers to an expanded tree of installation files accessible by NFS, and nfsiso  refers to an ISO image file accessible by NFS.

ISO images have an SHA256 checksum embedded in them. To test the checksum integrity of an ISO image, at the installation boot prompt, type: linux mediacheck

Following are some of the commands you can give at the boot: prompt.

For more information see Anaconda Boot Options - FedoraProject

Red Hat has well defined remote installation process using Kickstart.

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Old News ;-)

[May 20, 2005] Red Hat Linux Step-by-Step Installation by Mark G. Sobell

May 20, 2005 | InformIT

This chapter steps through the process of installing either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Core. Frequently, the installation is quite simple, especially if you have done a good job of planning. Sometimes you may run into a problem or have a special circumstance; this chapter gives you the tools to use in these cases.


Chapter 2 covered planning the installation: requirements, an upgrade versus a clean installation, classes of installations, planning the layout of the hard disk, how to obtain the files you need for the installation including how to download and burn ISO (CD) images, and collecting the information about the system you will need during installation. This chapter steps through the process of installing either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Core. Frequently, the installation is quite simple, especially if you have done a good job of planning. Sometimes you may run into a problem or have a special circumstance; this chapter gives you the tools to use in these cases.

[Jan 7, 2000] Linux Article -- Kickstart

  • Your company just bought 30 new machines, and it’s your job to install Linux on them. If you’re using Red Hat Linux, the kickstart install process can save you a lot of time.

    Kickstart automates the install process, so that it becomes as simple as putting the floppy in, turning the machine on, and coming back 15 minutes later. Kickstart is especially useful if you have a number of machines with similar configurations. In the simplest case, all you need is an up-to-date boot floppy, a kickstart config file, and an installation CD-ROM. For trickier installs, you might also need a DHCP or bootp server, an NFS server, and a DNS server.

    A kickstart installation requires that you predefine all necessary installation data in a kickstart config file. The kickstart config file can be split into three parts — the preinstall, the packages, and the post-install.

    The preinstall section of the config file is used to answer the questions that are usually asked before the install starts. The options, which will be described below, are: lang, network, {nfs|cdrom|url|harddrive}, {device|noprobe}, keyboard, zerombr, clearpart, part, {install|upgrade}, mouse, timezone, {xconfig|skipx}, rootpw, auth, lilo. See “Configuration Options” for a description of the preinstall section options.

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    Josh's Linux Guide -- contains several useful essays

    1. Configuring and Troubleshooting X
    2. Linux Commands
    3. Installing Software Packages
    4. Introduction
    5. Linux Basics and Tips
    6. Modifying Your Partitions and Help on LILO
    7. Using 'chmod'
    8. Using RPM

    Linux Notes by

    Linux Installation and operation



    Crypto and security

    Other notes





    Setting Up Ethernet -- very good. The site Josh's Linux Guide contains other useful documents. Highly recommended.

    Linux at CESDIS -- by Donald Becker

    Ethernet HOWTO, by Paul Gortmaker <[email protected]>. Information on Ethernet hardware compatibility for Linux. Updated 6 July 1998.

    Linux NET-3-HOWTO

    IP Masquerading mini-HOWTO

    Kernel HOWTO, by Brian Ward <[email protected]>. Upgrading and compiling the Linux kernel. Updated 26 May 1997.


    Keyboard and Shell

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    Home Server with Linux - document that explains how to share a modem and printer with a Windows 95 machine



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