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2.5. Preparing for a Network Installation

Ensure that you have boot media available on CD, DVD, or a USB storage device such as a flash drive.
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation media must be available for either a network installation (via NFS, FTP, or HTTP) or installation via local storage. Use the following steps if you are performing an NFS, FTP, or HTTP installation.
The NFS, FTP, or HTTP server to be used for installation over the network must be a separate machine which can provide the complete contents of the installation DVD-ROM or the installation CD-ROMs.


The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program has the ability to test the integrity of the installation media. It works with the CD, DVD, hard drive ISO, and NFS ISO installation methods. Red Hat recommends that you test all installation media before starting the installation process, and before reporting any installation-related bugs (many of the bugs reported are actually due to improperly-burned CDs). To use this test, type the following command at the boot: prompt (prepend with elilo for Itanium systems):
linux mediacheck


In the following examples, the directory on the installation staging server that will contain the installation files will be specified as /location/of/disk/space. The directory that will be made publicly available via FTP, NFS, or HTTP will be specified as /publicly/available/directory. For example, /location/of/disk/space may be a directory you create called /var/isos. /publicly/available/directory might be /var/www/html/rhel5, for an HTTP install.
To copy the files from the installation DVD or CD-ROMs to a Linux machine which acts as an installation staging server, perform the following steps:
  • Create an iso image from the installation disk(s) using the following command (for DVDs):
    dd if=/dev/dvd of=/location/of/disk/space/RHEL5.iso
    where dvd refers to your DVD drive device.

2.5.1. Preparing for FTP and HTTP installation

If you are setting up an installation tree for NFS, FTP, or HTTP installations, you must copy the RELEASE-NOTES files and all files from the RedHat directory on all operating systems ISO images. On Linux and UNIX systems, the following process will properly configure the target directory on your server (repeat for each CD-ROM/ISO image):
  1. Insert CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.
  2. mount /media/cdrom
  3. If you are installing the Server variant, run cp -a /media/cdrom/Server <target-directory>
    If you are installing the Client variant, run cp -a /media/cdrom/Client <target-directory>
  4. cp /media/cdrom/RELEASE-NOTES* <target-directory> (Installation CD 1 or DVD only)
  5. cp /media/cdrom/images <target-directory> (Installation CD 1 or DVD only)
  6. umount /media/cdrom
(Where <target-directory> represents the path to the directory to contain the installation tree.)


Do not copy the Supplementary ISO image, or any of the layered product ISO images, as this will overwrite files necessary for Anaconda's proper operation.
These ISO images must be installed after Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been installed.
Next make sure that the /publicly/available/directory directory is shared via FTP or HTTP, and verify client access. You can check to see whether the directory is accessible from the server itself, and then from another machine on the same subnet that you will be installing to.

2.5.2. Preparing for an NFS install

For NFS installation it is not necessary to mount the iso image. It is sufficient to make the iso image itself available via NFS. You can do this by moving the iso image or images to the NFS exported directory:
  • For DVD:
    mv /location/of/disk/space/RHEL5.iso /publicly/available/directory/
  • For CDROMs:
    mv /location/of/disk/space/disk*.iso /publicly/available/directory/
Ensure that the /publicly/available/directory directory is exported via NFS via an entry in /etc/exports.
To export to a specific system:
/publicly/available/directory client.ip.address
To export to all systems use an entry such as:
/publicly/available/directory *
Start the NFS daemon (on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, use /sbin/service nfs start). If NFS is already running, reload the configuration file (on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system use /sbin/service nfs reload).
Be sure to test the NFS share following the directions in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Deployment Guide.