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Transitioning to CentOS - a Minimal Installer methodology using Grub

Question: I currently have a Linux installation, which uses grub as its bootloader. How can I upgrade my system to Centos?

Answer: Download two files, add a stanza to one, reboot, and do a wire based installation.

It really is that simple. The combination of the Anaconda/Kickstart installation tool set, and the ease of adding an additional boot image set, make getting a minimal installer running as easy as 'one, two, three'.

One: Download vmlinuz and initrd.img from: http://vault.centos.org/4.2/os/i386/images/pxeboot/; the two files are under 5 Meg of content.
cd /boot/
wget -O upgrade-vmlinuz \
wget -O upgrade-initrd.img \

Two: Update the grub.conf [We assume in this example that you have an IDE hard drive; alter the root stanza to local circumstances]
cd /boot/grub/
cat - << END >> grub.conf
title Centos Install
	root (hd0,0) 
	kernel /boot/upgrade-vmlinuz 
	initrd /boot/upgrade-initrd.img
Three: Reboot, and select the Centos Install option.

At this point, you are running a ram based kernel which is well featured with drivers, and able to do a kickstart based wire install; a local installation repository(see a sample from our note at: PXE installation outline, or one across the general internet are equally useable, although a local one tends to be more reliable.

We have simplified the example to use the Centos 'vault', which is a well know and stable URL; Obviously, changing among the available architectures: alpha i386 ia64 ppc s390 s390x x86_64 is just a minor edit away.

See also:
Hands-off kickstart methods outline
rev 080102 RPH

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Last modified: Wed, 02 Jan 2008 12:38:40 -0500