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The standard installation methods all describe booting off the CD to start the installation, but what happens if you have a machine that for whatever reason (BIOS, CD-ROM drive) can not boot from the CD? There are at least two solutions:

Option 1. Boot from a floppy

One answer is to boot from a special floppy, that loads a Boot manager that then allows you to select the CD to boot. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the floppy disk image of Smart Boot Manager (from Slackware).
  2. Write the image onto a floppy, as an image, use "rawwritewin" for windows, use "dd" command for *nix.
  3. Boot the target machine using the floppy and with the SUSE CD in the CD drive.
  4. From the Smart Boot Manager menu select to boot from CDROM.
  5. The computer continues to boot using the SUSE Linux CD.

This requires that the CD is visible to the system during boot.

Option 2. Boot with the basic files

The system files

Booting from floppy is made by what used to be called "linuxrc". Now linuxrc is located on two files easy to find on any SUSE Linux CD, somewhere under the "boot" folder, usually under a "loader" folder, but the actual page changes with the version.

These two files are "linux" (the kernel) and "initrd" (the root file).

So you must copy these two files anywhere Grub is able to find them. It works from any ext2 and reiser partitions, but was not tested of a FAT one.

The install files

If, oddly, this minimum system can't find the CD, the best way is to copy the entire cd (or better the DVD) on an ext2 partition (or reiser -- as these have been tested). Of course it needs a partition that will be untouched by the installation.

If the basic system can access the CD, copy only the two system files.

All these files can be copied anywhere in the file system, however the simpler the path the better.

Grub and Grub booting

Grub is unfriendly but very powerfull. The only thing we must to know now is that:

  • Grub has a mini console available by hitting ESC (from graphic start only) then "c" (the lower case letter c), to get an usual prompt (">").
  • Grub uses a QWERTY keyboard, be sure to have the conversion at hand if you don't use this one;
  • Grub names the hard drives and partition beginning by 0 (zero) when anywhere else they are named from 1. First disk is (hd0), third partiton of the second disk is (hd1,2).
  • with this and any Grub you can boot anything :-).


  • start any grub (your old install, any floppy - this works only at boot time);
  • to give the linux file, type:
> kernel (hd0,0)/boot/linux root=/dev/hda1
  • to give the initrd file type:
> initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd
  • boot:
> boot

Of course (hd0,0) must be your parameters and so must be the path. But Grub uses completion, so hitting <TAB> makes the work very easy (Grub can see the folders and files on the disk, and even shows you the content of the folders, try it).

Replace (hd0,0) and /dev/hda1 as necessary, depending from which drive and partition you are booting.

Then your are done, SUSE boots.

Boot from USB-stick

You can boot the installation from USB Drive with the hardware support. It is similar to using floppy drive with the required files are located in the USB drive and, of course, the boot files. This requires that the CD is visible to the system during boot.

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Eger yapacak birşeyler arıyorsanız articles that need expanding

Boot install-image using Etherboot

This is similar to booting from floppy, but does not even require a system with CDROM. (of course you have to have to installation source available elsewhere, e.g. NFS.)

[to be completed]