Easy Ubuntu 8.04 install without a CD

Even though I have already written, UNetbootin – Installing Linux without a CD, I hope that others can benefit from UNetbootin when installing Ubuntu 8.04. I never do upgrades but always fresh installs as I like to do some house-cleaning when upgrading to a new version of a OS. As I have a separate /home partition this doesn’t affect any of my settings and only takes 2 hours which is comparable to the upgrade option from within 7.10. The process is also made easy since I have a TODO list to install all the programs I use all the time: Favorite programs – Linux

What does UNetbootin do?
UNetbootin creates a boot option in GRUB or the Windows bootloader that will download the installation files directly from the internet and start the installation. I find the very attractive since I don’t have to download or burn any CD’s. It works from within both Windows and Linux and there is a lot of distributions which can be installs this way beside Ubuntu 8.04. The process is also ideal with my IBM Thinkpad X30 subnotebook which doesn’t have any optical drives.

The first thing to install is the dependencies of UNetbootin:

root@dirac:/home/tjansson# aptitude install ms-sys syslinux p7zip-full libqt4-gui

Download the program from:
The next step is to make downloaded program executable and afterwards run it with administrative rights:

tjansson@dirac:~$chmod +x unetbootin-linux-191
tjansson@dirac:~$sudo ./unetbootin-linux-191

The next thing to do is to select the distribution to install and where to install it on the hard disk or on a USB-pen.

After selection the program will downloaded the needed boot files from the internet.

Finally you are asked to reboot to start the installation process of the Ubuntu 8.04.

Grub or the Windows bootloader now has a a special boot option called “UNetbootin”.

When “UNetbootin” is selected a text based (ncurses) installer starts.
I guess this would intimidate some newcomers but it is really as easy as everything else.

The standard questions are then answered and the partition setup part is done. One thing I did before I ran the installer was to check the current partition layout by writing:

root@bohr:~# df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3       9,7G  6,7G  2,5G  73% /
varrun          1014M 112K 1014M   1% /var/run
varlock         1014M  12K 1014M   1% /var/lock
udev            1014M  96K 1014M   1% /dev
devshm          1014M    0 1014M   0% /dev/shm
lrm             1014M  33M  981M   4% /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/volatile
/dev/sda6       186G  125G   53G  71% /home

Which tells me that /dev/sda6 is the partition the holds my /home folders. With this knowledge I can chose to only install wipe the current / partition and keep all my user files and settings. 🙂

The rest of the install is quite straight forward and there is only one real caveat – remember to chose either Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Xubuntu desktop during the “Software selection”. Otherwise the installer will not install a graphical interface which is easily fixed but somewhat intimidating for new users.

Final words
I think this is a amazing piece of software. I have been wanting software that did just this for many years now and I am really happy to get rid of the floppy disks and CDs. For newcomers the option install UNetbootin from Windows is really something – since it saves the user of the hassle of burning CD.

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11 Responses to Easy Ubuntu 8.04 install without a CD

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  2. Daeng Bo says:

    This is great to know and pretty easy for new users. It’s much better to do a net install if you can because you don’t waste bandwidth downloading a CD (with stuff you don’t need) then immediately downloading updates. I prefer to do mine manually at the GRub command line.. I wrote up a howto here: http://www.ibeentoubuntu.com/2008/04/reinstalling-without-iso-image.html

  3. Kanon artikel – jeg har smidt et link til den på http://ubuntu-news.net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4441

    Sig til hvis du laver flere Ubuntu-artikler, så linker jeg gerne.

  4. hartvig60 says:

    Excellent guide. I also needed the package libqt4-gui for things to work. Which mirror do you recommend? Are the all equally fast?

  5. Hartvig60: Yes I guess you need that library when not running KDE as I. I will update the article. Thanks for the help. 🙂

    The german (de) and danish (dk) mirrors are overloaded today at least – so I went for the swedish (se) which was really fast – I got 8.0Mb/s this morning when installing on friends computer.

  6. Nikolaj Bligaard says:

    Hmm – Jeg har et problem, kan ikke få sudo ./unetbootin-linux-191
    til at virke ? Den siger Command not found ?

  7. Nikolaj: Har du hentet unetbooting-191 fra hjemmesiden og er du i samme folder som filen du hentede fra nettet? Hvis man prøver at kører et program som ikke eksistere, så vil Linux svare på den måde som du så:

    tjansson@dirac:~$sudo ./fil-der-ikke-eksisterere.sh
    sudo: ./fil-der-ikke-eksisterere.sh: command not found

    Så check endnu en gang at filen unetbooting-191 er i den folder du står.

  8. Stoffer says:

    Hi. I had a really hard time making this work on Ubuntu 6.06 so I just wanted to post the solution. When I tried to run unetbootin I got: “symbol lookup error: ./unetbootin-linux-191: undefined symbol: _ZN12QApplicationC1ERiPPcbi”
    This means that unetbootin have some symbolic links which taget can’t be found. For some reason my Qt4 libraries were bad and could not be updated further. Could not compile unetbootin source code either. Solution was to download and compile Qt4 manually (~3h) and make links to the needed libaries (as root):

    ln -s /usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.4.0/lib/libQtGui.so.4.4.0 /usr/lib/libQtGui.so.4
    ln -s /usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.4.0/lib/libQtNetwork.so.4.4.0 /usr/lib/libQtNetwork.so.4
    ln -s /usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.4.0/lib/libQtCore.so.4.4.0 /usr/lib/libQtCore.so.4

    So now I’m 2 versions happier 🙂

  9. AoOs says:

    Hep, jeg skal til at installere Ubuntu på min maskine. Men vil have at det skal ligge på sit helt eget drev (som lige pt. er helt nyformateret og uden andre filer på).

    Kan dét også lade sig gøre at vælge den metode under installationen?

    Alle guides på nettet snakker om at man skal partitionere etc etc, men kan jeg ikke bare have det på hver sin hdd ?

  10. AoOs: Du kan sagens lægge Linux på en harddisk og Windows på en anden. Ubuntu installeren vil dog skrive en boot-loader i starten af din primære hardisk, som giver dig muligheden for at vælge mellem Linux og Windows under opstart.

    Jeg ville dog anbefale dig at se lidt på partionering. Det kan virkeligt godt betale sig at lægge /home partion på sin egen partion, da man på den måde kan bevare alle sine brugerelaterede filer under geninstalleringener uden nogen for besvær.

  11. Pingback: Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 x86_64 | tjansson.dk

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