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#1 2017-09-07 15:53:54

heart1010
Member
Registered: 2015-10-16
Posts: 20

Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

Hi,

I found my oooold laptop and thought I could bring it back to life for my little daughter (5 years). But the first problem is what I see in BIOS there is no usb boot option to install any linux distro image (and the cd rom in this laptop looks damaged, it doesn't work anymore).

I can boot it to WinXP. Is there a chance I get a linux distro installed without usb boot/cd rom hmm?

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#2 2017-09-07 16:00:31

Bearded_Blunder
Member
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 381

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

PLOP should get you booting via USB damaged optical drive or not.


Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed...

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#3 2017-09-07 16:01:23

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,229

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

The common way to work in such environments (and really not uncommon when you are provisioning system images to a server farm) is to boot the setup routines using PXE.

Check if your laptop's BIOS supports it. You'll also need a second computer on the same network to serve as the DHCP+TFTP server. Follow the very explicit PXEBootInstall article on the Debian wiki.

Note that BL does not provide netboot images. You'd need to install a plain Debian first, then install the Debian packages from our repositories as an overlay, and then create a bunsenfied user account (which is totally supported).

Alternatively, and technically easier would be disassembling the laptop, plugging the hard disk into another computer, and use the drive as the hard disk of a virtual machine in which you'd install BL. Then plug the disk back into the laptop.


Im grünen Wald, dort wo die Drossel singt…

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#4 2017-09-07 16:02:25

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,229

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

Bearded_Blunder wrote:

PLOP should get you booting via USB damaged optical drive or not.

Woah, I didn't know about PLOP at all. Maybe it's workable…


Im grünen Wald, dort wo die Drossel singt…

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#5 2017-09-07 16:06:12

Bearded_Blunder
Member
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 381

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

It's a godsend.. I'm the eeejit who loves seeing just HOW OLD a system I can get BL onto.. some I have don't support USB boot at all and only have CD .. no DVD big_smile

I currently have BL-Helium-Dev on a pentium II (which struggles.. but I have it there)


Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed...

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#6 2017-09-07 18:13:15

beaker
Member
Registered: 2016-03-06
Posts: 84

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

I've used plop in the past. It works well.

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#7 2017-09-09 06:39:22

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,197
Website

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

i used plop on an old, old machine that wouldn't boot from usb.
https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=3697

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#8 2017-09-10 15:19:35

DeepDayze
Member
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 541

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

PLOP is a good tool for booting from USB on some real old machines that have no USB boot support or that it is buggy. I keep PLOP around for those use-cases.


Real Men Use Linux

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#9 2017-12-18 19:08:36

heart1010
Member
Registered: 2015-10-16
Posts: 20

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

Got Bunsenlabs installed with the help of PLOP, thank you.

Is there a way I can "install" PLOP now with the running bunsenlab so it's a new entry in the bunsenlab grub manager when I start this old laptop?

Thanks

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#10 2018-05-19 18:09:59

ghorvath
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 130

Re: Install bunsenlabs without usb boot support and no cd/dvd

I realize this is an old thread, but maybe this will come in handy for someone else.

No need to install plop. GRUB does the job. There are some guides on the internet (like https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot sorry for not giving a Debian version) about how to use grub to load from an iso file.

But in reality, grub only needs the linux image and the initramfs. So if you copy them from the iso to your /boot (either the install or the live versions, whichever you want to boot), and set up a menuentry for it in grub, then you will be able to load the install or the live system when you plug in your usb disk. Not even the iso is needed on your disk. As an example, my first partition is /boot, I copied the install versions of vmlinuz and initrd.gz from the iso to the install directory in /boot, and added the following menuentry (as custom.cfg, but you can load it somehow)

menuentry 'Crunchbang Install (USB disk is needed)' {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
linux /install/vmlinuz
initrd /install/initrd.gz
}

I have successfully used this method for years now with a 20 year old laptop (700 MHz Celeron CPU, 512MB RAM). Previously I had Crunchbang on it, but now migrated to Bunsenlabs Helium, since debian wheezy is not going to be supported after May.

It is incredibly slow, though, so I guess I will only use the terminal, and not the graphical interface. Anyway, this should go into another thread.

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