The usual Linux install process is as follows:
- put install iso onto DVD or USB stick boot machine using DVD or USB
- boot machine using DVD or USB
- install What I am wondering about is, given a working Linux machine, to what extent is it currently possible, on the running Linux machine, to install onto a local drive, which can then serve as a system drive for another machine. One option is via kvm, that is, running the install in a vm, with the target drive made available as a /dev/vda.
Essentially, one needs to set up the bootloader on the device, partition and create filesystems, and copy/install the relevant files. (This would also be very useful when it comes to creating VM disk images.)