Linux Blog

Ways to install Linux on a netbook

Filed under: General Linux,Linux for Newb's,Linux Hardware — at 9:30 am on Friday, December 16, 2011

With my new Acer Aspire Netbook, it occured to me that it had been a long time since I’d installed Linux on a system without a CDRom. This post outlines some methods you can use to get it installed

External CDRom install

The easiest method. Plug in the USB CDRom, and install as normal. Perhaps this is a no brainer but to be honest, I forgot about it when I first got my netbook so its worth a mention.

USB Install

If you don’t have an external CDRom drive laying around you can use a USB Stick. The easiest way to get Linux installed via a USB key is too use a handy tool called UNetBootin.

Network install

Network installs are actually easier than people may think thanks to PXE and open source software. Basically you set up a TFTP server, and a DHCP server. The machine wanting to boot gets an IP and downloads the install image from TFTP. There you continue as a normal installation except download the packages from a web server rather than installing from the CD/DVD.

Resize and install

Perhaps you don’t happen to have a USB Key, external drive and don’t feel like going through the hassle of a network boot. Not to worry it is possible to resize the partition of your currently booted system (Probably Windows) and either use a downloaded CD image mounted with something like Daemon Tools or copy the installer to the new partition in a fashion similar to the network boot. While this is possible, it could get tricky and I personally wouldn’t attempt it on any netbook that had data I cared about on it. But, hey, that’s just me.

Serial Port Install

This one doesn’t really count and I couldn’t recommend it at all since most netbooks aren’t equipped with serial ports, but it is possible to install via a serial port. Technically you need a floppy drive though. Here’s some really old documentation on this topic for the curious.

Random Man Pages:


Comment by micah

December 16, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

usb + unetbootin == cheap + easy

haven’t used anything else in years.

Comment by Owen

December 16, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

providing unetbootin works. It’s sometimes picky.

Comment by Innovative Web Provider

January 24, 2012 @ 5:10 am

I’ve been using usb install on installing different kind of OS. Simply because all computers have usb ports.

Comment by opensourcesidh

February 3, 2012 @ 2:36 am

hey thanks for post you save my day. Looking this for long time. I am a opensource lover and the information here is really useful.
Regards How to install linux

Comment by Ramjan Rao

February 24, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

i was looking for it.. now i can run linux on my netbook… keep it up..

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