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Remote installation over NFS

At the outset I would like to tell you that this article is aimed at those

who have had previous installation experience on any distribution of

Linux. Even if you don't fall into that category, it still doesn't hurt to know a

little bit more about the OS of your choice. Now roll up your sleeves and

let's get started.

It was most likely that you installed your first Linux box from a bootable

CDROM. Maybe your motherboard didn't support booting from the

CDROM and you had to make a bootable floppy instead. Now that wasn't all

you knew about the methods of installing Linux locally. You even knew that

Linux could be installed over a network but could never get yourself to do

it. In this article I will take you through one method of remote

installation -- over NFS.

This article does not cover installation of Linux but only

a method of remote installing Linux. Therefore problems regarding Installation

are out of the scope of this article.

Just as the choice for various architectures exists, Linux also provides you

the choice over the method of installation. If your machine lacks

a CDROM drive, you could always install Linux from another machine that

does have one. You can also install over FTP or via HTTP.

I'm using Red Hat here but using SuSE isn't much different either.

Installing Linux over an NFS share

I'm describing the method of installing Linux over a local LAN using NFS

because it's the easiest to setup and use.

So here goes: Take hold of a blank floppy and your RedHat installation CDROM. Insert

your Red Hat CDROM into the drive and mount it with the following command.

bash#mount /mnt/cdrom

Now check if you have a NFS server installed with the following command:

bash#rpm -qa | grep nfs

If the output of the command is something like this ...


... you have a NFS server installed on your Linux box. If this command

doesn't produce any output but you know you have a different NFS server

installed, just skip the following step.

Su to root and enter into the directory /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS with the

following command.

bash#su -

bash#cd /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS

Having changed into the directory issue the following command to install

the NFS server.

bash#rpm -ivh nfs-utils-0.1.6-2.i386.rpm.

Now let's configure the shares in the /etc/exports file. The /etc/exports

file contains a list of the directories that you would want to export over