Installation:No CD

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Installing Lunar-Linux without a CD drive or other removable media isn't really that hard. There are several ways of emulating a cd-rom with linux. There's some easy ways and some hard ways. I'll try to discuss all of them.

Disclaimer: The methods below might destroy all your data and not work for you at all. Make backups! You yourself are responsible for your own data and system!


Booting the ISO from a hard disk partition

Yes, I'm not kidding. This is by far one of the easiest methods. The idea behind this method is that you can boot the ISO from any media, all you need to do is boot from it. If that means that the ISO is somehow written on your hard disk, and you have a bootloader capable of booting boot sectors (like lilo, grub, windows all can do), then you're in business.


  • Enough free disk space plus partition big enough for the iso image
  • Any installed operating system and tools that allow directly to write to a partition
  • A working boot loader like windows' bootloader, lilo or grub

Your best bet is to free some space at the end of your disk. Make sure this is larger than the lunar iso (somewhere around 350mb). Create a partition and copy the contents of the iso to that partition:

cat lunar-1.5.1-i686.iso > /dev/hda15

Once done, you should edit your bootloader (be it windows or grub or lilo) and make it boot the boot sector of the iso. Here's the lilo entry you would need:

other = /dev/hda15
    label = lunar-1.5.1

That's it! reboot and select the iso entry, and you're ready to go! The lunar installer should start and everything should work just as good as from a CD!

Chrooting into the ISO

Installing from 2.4 kernels with devfs support

If the above method fails, you can always manually chroot into the ISO and start the installer manually too.


  • A running linux installation with relatively new 2.4 kernel that has devfs support and allows chroot usage (must be root)

This method is a bit trickier since you will be repartitioning your hard disk from which you just have booted, so you should actually install a small linux installation somewhere near the end of your disk, losetup/loopmount the iso on there, and then install to partitions that are NOT active/mounted. This might even fail since the kernel doesn't like changing partitions when it's running.

So, start out by getting your 'tiny' linux running anf booting. Preferably install it at the end of your hard disk and re-partition the beginning of your hard disk already for the lunar installation. Reboot your system so the partitions are known by the kernel, and prepare to mount the ISO over loop:

losetup /dev/loop0 lunar-1.5.1-i686.iso
mount /dev/loop0 /mnt -o ro
chroot /mnt /sbin/lunar-install

that's it! The installer should run and you can perform all steps necessary for installing lunar on the remaining partitions. At the end, make sure you don't accidentally overwrite your bootstrap linux installation so you can fallback to it. Beware that you might want to add the bootstrap bootloader info too, in case you want to boot that installation if something goes wrong. Once lunar installs succesfully, you can remove this partition of course.

Installing from 2.6 kernels with udev support

This is something different

When the previous installation methods fail this is one you can ry as well:

A more up-to-date method for 2.6 kernels with udev was outlined on #lunar (for installing from Debian?):

root@rescue ~ # wget
root@rescue ~ # bunzip2 lunar-1.6.1-i686.iso.bz2 
root@rescue ~ # mkdir tmp
root@rescue ~ # mount lunar-1.6.1-i686.iso -o loop -t iso9660 tmp
root@rescue ~ # cp -R tmp/* /tmp/
root@rescue ~ # cp -R tmp/.packages /tmp/
root@rescue ~ # cp -R tmp/.lunar-cd /tmp/
root@rescue ~ # cd /tmp/
root@rescue /tmp # mkdir -p proc && mount -t proc proc ./proc
root@rescue /tmp # mkdir -p dev && mount -o bind /dev ./dev
root@rescue /tmp # mkdir -p dev/pts && mount -t devpts devpts ./dev/pts
root@rescue /tmp # cd dev
root@rescue /tmp/dev # ln -sf /proc/self/fd
root@rescue /tmp/dev # ln -sf fd/0 stdin
root@rescue /tmp/dev # ln -sf fd/1 stdout
root@rescue /tmp/dev # ln -sf fd/2 stderr
root@rescue /tmp/dev # rm null
root@rescue /tmp/dev # mknod null c 1 3
root@rescue /tmp/dev # cd
root@rescue ~ # chroot /tmp /sbin/lunar-install

Version numbers obviously change over time, so please check the steps above before you begin.

Usb bootable lunar

Starting from Lunar 1.6.5 the ISO support hybrid mode. To prepare your usb stick with the lunar iso this is all you have to do

dd if=lunar.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=8192k

or alternatively using cat

cat lunar.iso > /dev/sdb

Note: Make sure it's /dev/sdb and not /dev/sdb1. Replace sdb with the device representing the usb stick on your system.

Usb bootable lunar (old way, pre 1.6.5)

root@morholt ~ # mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/sda1
mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
root@morholt ~ # mkdir /mnt/stick
root@morholt ~ # mkdir /mnt/iso
root@morholt ~ # modprobe loop     
root@morholt ~ # mount lunar-1.6.4-beta1-i686.iso -o loop /mnt/iso
root@morholt ~ # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/stick
root@morholt ~ # cp -R /mnt/iso/isolinux /mnt/stick/syslinux
root@morholt ~ # rename isolinux syslinux /mnt/stick/syslinux/isolinux*
root@morholt ~ # ls /mnt/stick/syslinux/  f2.txt  f4.txt           initrd  memtest  safe          syslinux.cfg
f1.txt    f3.txt  linux   readme   syslinux.bin
root@morholt ~ # cp ~samuel/lunar-1.6.4-beta1-i686.iso /mnt/stick/
root@morholt ~ # syslinux /dev/sda1
root@morholt ~ # fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 1027 MB, 1027603456 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 124 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1         125     1003464    b  W95 FAT32
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(1023, 254, 63) logical=(124, 236, 63)
# following step installs an mbr on the usbstick. Pay attention you need the stick, not the partition on the stick!
root@morholt ~ # dd if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
# if you want you can install the module mbr to do the same for you (root@morholt ~ # install-mbr /dev/sda)  NOT NEEDED IF YOU DID THE DD!!
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