Alternate Installation procedure possible?

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WHVW
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Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by WHVW » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:45 pm

Hi,

I know that this seems like a bunch of yes or no questions; please bear with me:
Is it possible to download install files (LM 18 in this instance) to dev/sda, to effect an install of the OS to another physical hard drive, (for example) dev/sdb? Is this method of installation possible? If so, is it provided for in the installation procedures or are there special instructions?

Thanks.

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jimallyn
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by jimallyn » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:59 am

It is possible to boot to an iso on a hard drive, so I assume you could do the install from there. I don't remember how it's done, but it's been described on the forums a time or two. Seems like maybe Cosmo (?) has posted the procedure. Any reason why you can't burn the iso to a DVD or a USB stick and do the install from there?
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by jimallyn » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:07 am

Ah, not Cosmo. It was austin.texas:

viewtopic.php?t=212632

viewtopic.php?t=215170
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by fabien85 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:44 am

Another option from a Unix-based OS (Linux, macOS..) is to create a new partition on the drive and copy the ISO to it with dd if=/path/to/iso of=/path/to/partition bs=1M status=progress, then install refind as your boot manager and reboot to it, it will provide an option to boot the ISO. (there is maybe another possibility with refind where you can just keep the ISO on the drive, I have to check)

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by MtnDewManiac » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:03 am

jimallyn wrote:Ah, not Cosmo. It was austin.texas:
Someone helped me set things up here so that I could download the .ISO and place it into my grub menu as if it were a regularly-installed distro. I believe that might have been austin.texas, too. It worked great - and I left the .ISOs (one Mint 18 series and one of the 17 ones, I forget the specific version numbers) intact afterwards in case of emergency (if I ever pooch the actual installed setups, I can boot back into one of the live .ISOs and hopefully get online to ask for help).

The above is the only way I can do a fresh installation on this laptop; the optical drive doesn't work and it has no option for booting to USB or memory card media.

As an added bonus, installing from the .ISO, when it is actually on my hard drive instead of the more traditional methods, is FAST.

Regards,
MDM
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WHVW
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by WHVW » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:26 pm

Jumallyn:

The reason I want to do it that way is that I would like to get this done quickly, I have no DVD' s (when I went into town yesterday to get some, I discovered that no one there sold them (or memory sticks)). Rather than drive 40 additional miles (now we are having a blizzard) I thought there might be an alternative, such as the HD method. Perhaps there is a sequential CD method?

MtnDewManiac: I' ll be starting out with a fresh, blank drive, so nothing else to worry about or protect. That's why I wanted (originally) to use the USB fetch and install method, but I've been told that that is not an option for LM18. So, you are saying that I could place the install files on the HD so that it would boot up and install?

Thanks

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by Mute Ant » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:57 pm

You can't un-zip a Mint distribution into smaller pieces, no. You can write the ISO directly to another hard drive, just like you would to a USB stick...
cat linuxmint.iso > /dev/sdB
...so you don't even need a full OS, just enough linux-gnu to get to a shell...
o Write an ISO to drive sdB.
o Boot sdB.
o Install to drive sdA.
o Boot sdA.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by MtnDewManiac » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:44 pm

WHVW wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:26 pm
MtnDewManiac: I' ll be starting out with a fresh, blank drive, so nothing else to worry about or protect. That's why I wanted (originally) to use the USB fetch and install method, but I've been told that that is not an option for LM18. So, you are saying that I could place the install files on the HD so that it would boot up and install?
That's the way I've installed two versions of Mint (so far). I think my method used the GRML(?) method, although I am not positive; as I mentioned, someone else provided all the know-how. The threads are still here but, unfortunately, I do not seem to have bookmarked them. Or, more likely, I did not think to use a good name for the bookmarks and just cannot find them again.

I had a linux OS already installed at the time instead of a blank hard drive, but the message above this one seems to explain that a full distro installation is not necessary. I only have one hard drive, but it has multiple partitions.

Regards,
MDM
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by Mute Ant » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:53 pm

"GRML(?)" Yes the package is grml-rescueboot which uses an existing grub installation as the host boot-loader for a guest ISO in the folder /boot/grml/
That can be a problem if your have no room in /boot/ for a 2GB ISO file of course.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by fabien85 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:03 am

Mute Ant wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:57 pm
You can write the ISO directly to another hard drive, just like you would to a USB stick...
cat linuxmint.iso > /dev/sdB
...so you don't even need a full OS, just enough linux-gnu to get to a shell...
o Write an ISO to drive sdB.
o Boot sdB.
o Install to drive sdA.
o Boot sdA.
That's the simplest and most elegant solution indeed :!:
You just need sdb to be blank (or wipable). You dont need any bootloader (neither grub nor refind), the firmware/BIOS will directly boot it, be it in Legacy or UEFI mode.
This might even be doable from windows, using cygwin or the new win10 bash shell. (just an idea, I dont know if these shells have sufficient authorization for it)
The only possible issue I can think of is in Legacy mode for computers where you cant choose the boot drive (e.g. macs) ; still though it may be forcable by disconnecting sda before boot and reconnecting after.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by Mute Ant » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am

With at least 3GB RAM you can be extra-sneaky and manage with one drive...
o Write an ISO to drive sdA.
o Boot sdA 'toram'.
o Make and install to sdA4.
o Boot sdA and start sdA4.
It's a bit more awkward cold-booting the machine, but I think the uncorrupted-live-session-whenever-you-want aspect is worth the trouble.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by WHVW » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 pm

You guys have given me an idea, somewhere in the old CD collection is a copy of Puppy Linux (and perhaps a couple of other run-from-CV versions, so.....

(1) What if I used the Puppy Linux CD to navigate the internet and place the LM18 install files on a blank, ext4 formatted, one partition drive, we'll call it "Hard Drive 1"
(2) told it to install to "Hard Drive 1"
(3) ran the install.

From what you all have said, I surmise that the install might have to go from "Hard Drive 1" to another, such as "Hard Drive 2". Is that so? Or, could the install proceed to the same drive on which the install files are located? (I think not, but I just had to ask).

I would also presume, that if I would need two drives, that the install files could go to an extra partition, which I could later delete. Am I correct?

Thanks.

Also, the post

You can use Rescatux/SuperGrub2 to boot .iso files from a USB drive or hard drive.
Boot multiple ISO's with Rescatux
by austin.texas (linked from viewtopic.php?t=212632, above
does not exist

Mute Ant
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by Mute Ant » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:39 am

"Alternate Installation procedure possible?" Yes. Already I can see...

o Use the ISO without modification. (+) That's how it's supposed to be used. (+) Malicious tampering with the OS is unfeasible.
oo Write the ISO to a DVD. (+) It boots itself.
oo Write the ISO to a USB. (+) It boots itself. (+) Faster than DVD. (-) Locks the whole drive as 'mounted'.
oo Write the ISO to a HDD. (+) It boots itself. (+) Faster than USB. (-) Locks the whole drive as 'mounted'

o Copy the ISO whole, as a single file, into a formatted partition and use an external boot system like grub or refind to start it.

o Unpack the ISO as files into a posix-formatted partition and use an external boot system like extlinux or grub4dos to start it.

You can't install into or over a volume that's being used as the Live-Session root file-system. If you boot the live-session system 'toram' it unmounts the boot drive. Puppy (208MB ISO) does this automatically if it can. I use gparted-live (307MB ISO) because it's debian-inside. Booting a whole Mint 'toram' needs your machine to have at least 3GiB RAM installed.

"Am I correct?" You will have to try it yourself, I think.

Advanced Extra
It is possible to work-around the 'whole-drive-is-mounted' feature and use just one drive without needing 'toram'. You invent a fake-drive /dev/sdx and use a loop-mount so the spare space (/dev/sda4) looks like a partition on a different drive (/dev/sdx1). Now you can run the standard Mint install to /dev/sdx1 and it actually gets written to /dev/sda4.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by MtnDewManiac » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:50 am

WHVW wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 pm
place the LM18 install files on a blank, ext4 formatted, one partition drive, we'll call it "Hard Drive 1"
(2) told it to install to "Hard Drive 1"
(3) ran the install.

From what you all have said, I surmise that the install might have to go from "Hard Drive 1" to another, such as "Hard Drive 2". Is that so? Or, could the install proceed to the same drive on which the install files are located? (I think not, but I just had to ask).
The problem I foresee with what you wish to do is when the live Mint you'd be running (in order to actually install it) - which would be on your hard drive - gets overwritten partway through the installation process. At that point, I'd guess it would fail.

If you want it to be the only OS on your hard drive, you only want one installation of it, and you only have the one drive... Just partition it ahead of time, however you would want the actual installed setup to be (e.g., some people place everything on one partition, while others place things - such as the Home directory - on a separate one) - but reserve a small amount of space at the end of your drive-space, and create a partition there to hold the Mint .ISO. You'll have to figure out how to set things up so that you can boot to it; I'd have to search to figure that one out, and could screw up the instructions I'd find when trying to pass them along to you). But that should work, I'd think. Afterwards, you could just use a partitioning/drive tool to delete that temporary partition and then extend your other one to fill your drive.

Experts, please confirm whether or not my idea would work.

Regards,
MDM
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

WHVW
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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by WHVW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi,
Well, it seems that you actually can install that way, (from an other HD) but from what you all have said, it is a process fraught with potential traps, failure and frustration, a good experiment to try someday just to find out if, and if it doesn't work, just re-format the drive and forget it, but not when you are setting up drives for friends and you need to get it right.
Thanks for the input, I am going to try that experiment; I'll post the results here when I do.

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Re: Alternate Installation procedure possible?

Post by MtnDewManiac » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:24 pm

WHVW wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:43 pm
Well, it seems that you actually can install that way, (from an other HD) but from what you all have said, it is a process fraught with potential traps, failure and frustration
I got the feeling that it was more analogous to baking a cake, lol. If one is no cook, it would be very much a good idea to go get a "cake in a box" from the grocery store (IOW, use the basic, traditional installation method). If, OTOH, one happens to be reasonably proficient in the kitchen, then one has a basic understanding of one's tools - and how to use them - and should be able to follow a recipe (other people's (peer-vetted) how-to instructions) to bake a cake in a somewhat different manner than usual.

And if one is a chef, well, then one simply wakes up one morning wanting a cake, walks into one's kitchen, and bakes... Gentoo :lol: (or Source Mage, which I've read not only compiles software locally at the time of installation, but also downloads the source code from the developers' own websites instead of from the distro's own repository so that the user can be one of the very first to get to experience the newest bugs ;) )?

Regards,
MDM
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

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