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How to install OpenSuse 11.4 through an ISO without burning it to a DVD?

Installation needs to be done on hardware, not on some virtual machine.

anisha@linux-dopx:~/tarBalls> uname -a && cat /etc/issue
Linux linux-dopx 3.2.1-12-desktop #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Jan 19 16:02:50 IST 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Welcome to openSUSE 11.3 "Teal" - Kernel \r (\l).
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Install where? A VM of some kind (if so, which)? Some particular hardware (again, which? does it have some kind of RAC? if so, which and what version?) –  geekosaur Apr 27 '12 at 8:23
    
@geekosaur sorry, edited the question. –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 27 '12 at 8:36
    
Still not really enough; do you have any external media you could use (as with the existing answer)? Does the hardware have a virtual console/remote access manager that has the ability to present an ISO as a device? The problem being, most BIOSes do not have any ability to talk to anything other than hardware. –  geekosaur Apr 27 '12 at 8:38
    
@geekosaur Actually I can arrange a CD writer, I have installed virtualbox. I don't want to use CD and USB/floppy. Have I still missed some of your questions? –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 27 '12 at 8:51
    
See the last sentence of my previous response; if you are installing on hardware, either you must install from hardware or that hardware must have a DRAC or etc. that can make an ISO look like hardware. Or you have to be able to install from an already-installed OS, which as the other respondent noted is complex and depends on what OS you're installing and what OS you're installing from. –  geekosaur Apr 27 '12 at 8:54
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2 Answers 2

You can use a USB stick instead. See the instructions here.

Alternatively, there are ways to install a secondary (dual-boot) OS without any external media, depending on what OS you already have, but they're a bit hairy. The CD/USB method allows you to completely wipe the machine and install afresh. The alternative method only lets you install alongside the old one.

First, you need to make space on your disk. That might meaning shrinking some partitions, or maybe you have one you can just delete. You can't usually do that if you're running from the disk at the time, so you might be stuck at this point already. You may have more luck doing this if you boot the OS in "recovery mode" (Ubuntu has such a thing, but I don't know about SUSE). You'll need at least one primary partition remaining as you can't install anything bootable in the extended partition.

Once you've prepared your disk, you'll need some VM software. I've done this using kvm/qemu in the past, but I think VMWare and maybe VirtualBox should work also. The VM is only a temporary step. If your hareware doesn't support virtualization you'll need VM software with a fall-back emulation mode (the installer will run slowly, but should still work).

You need to create a new VM that boots from your ISO image, and has your real hard drive as it's disk (i.e. not a virtual disk like you would normally use for a VM). You normally need to be running as root user to have access to the bare disk device. It will be called something like /dev/sda or /dev/hda. Use the device without the partition number (i.e. not /dev/sda1).

You can test if you've got the disks right by configuring it to boot from the hard disk; if it's working it'll try to boot you existing OS inside the VM. Don't let it boot very far though - you should interrupt it before it has time to interfere with anything.

When you've booted your VM, you should see the normal LiveCD boot process. Run the installer and tell it to install alongside the existing OS. Do not let it overwrite any part of your existing OS or else Bad Things will happen very quickly (it's very not good to delete an OS as it's running).

Hopefully the install process will continue exactly as normal, and install everything in the right place. Once it's complete, you can reboot the new OS inside the VM to test it, if you wish. The boot screen should allow you to choose between the old OS and the new. Be sure to choose the new.

Once your happy the new OS installed OK, you can shut down the VM, and reboot the machine. It should come up with the new boot menu and you should be able to choose between the old and new OS.

If you're happy with the new install, you can always delete the old one by reformatting its partitions, and deleting it from your Grub config. You'll probably be stuck with an odd partition table for the life of the machine though.

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sorry for not clarifying, edited the que. –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 27 '12 at 8:37
    
My answer has nothing to do with virtual machines. –  ams Apr 27 '12 at 8:39
    
yeah, but you are talking about usb. I have specified clearly that I want it through the ISO. I know about pendrivelinux kind of sites. –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 27 '12 at 8:50
    
Did you click on my link? You install the ISO on a USB stick exactly as you would burn it to a CD. Then you install it to the PC in the same way as you would with the CD. As an added bonus, the LiveCD boots faster from USB also. –  ams Apr 27 '12 at 8:52
    
I didn't click the link since I don't have a USB right now with me. I have specified clearly "from ISO" in the question –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 27 '12 at 8:55
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This works for me (from one openSUSE to the next, root on the first partition on the first hd):

#!/bin/bash

opensuse_version=12.1
version=121_64
arch=x86_64

mount /data/iso/openSUSE_${version}.iso /mnt/ -o loop 

cp /mnt/boot/${arch}/loader/initrd /boot/initrd-install
cp /mnt/boot/${arch}/loader/linux /boot/vmlinuz-install

umount /mnt

echo "
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: install###
title openSUSE ${opensuse_version} - install
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-install
    initrd /boot/initrd-install 
" >> /boot/grub/menu.lst

perl -pi -e 's/^\s*timeout\s*\d+/timeout 8/' /boot/grub/menu.lst

init 6

After rebooting I choose the "install"-entry from the grubmenu. When apears "Make sure that CD number 1 is in your drive." I go back and on some place I choose the harddisk and the path to to iso-file.

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