Why this method ?

Because I wanted to have Edubuntu on a Fujitsu laptop that could boot neither from a PCMCIA Cd drive nor from a Floppy drive, but it did accept PXE protocol. However, as Edubuntu does not provide a netinstall image, we'll still use the image provided in the CD but just keep in mind this will give us a server-install (just beautiful terminals mode)

Hardware used

On the Client side

  • Fujitsu Lifebook B2175
  • Celeron 500 MHz
  • 256 MB of Ram
  • 20 GB of HD
  • PCMCIA CD drive
  • PXE capable network card

On the Server side

  • Celeron 1 GHz
  • 192 MB of Ram
  • 80 GB of HD
  • Apache2 running ok
  • Edubuntu previously installed (that means DHCP server and TFTP running)
  • Edubuntu install CD or Edubuntu ISO file somewhere in accessible in your harddisk

Editing dhcpd.conf

If you can get IP for your client at booting time (set PXE in BIOS), then you just have to edit /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf in the server side to look like this:


subnet netmask {
#  option domain-name "lacasa.org";
  option domain-name-servers,,,,;
  option broadcast-address;
  option routers;
  option subnet-mask;

#  filename "/ltsp/pxelinux.0";
#  option root-path "/opt/ltsp/i386";

  filename "/edubuntu/install/netboot/pxelinux.0";

Restart dhcp-server

$ etc/init.d/dhcp3-server restart

Making a couple of arrangements for the server CD drive

Change to /var/lib/tftpboot and mount the CD (in my case /dev/hdc/)

$ cd /var/lib/tftpboot
$ mkdir edubuntu
$ mount -o loop /dev/hdc /var/lib/tftpboot/edubuntu
  • Warning /!\ you could use your Edubuntu ISO file here instead of /dev/hdc/. Also, remember that depending on your hardware setup, the location on your CD drive may change and not be /dev/hdc.

Then, symlink Apache's root dir to where the Edubuntu CD is mounted

$ cd /var/www/
$ ln -s /var/lib/tftpboot/edubuntu/

Boot the client

Just that! boot up your client and let's see the magic Big Grin :)

Get the files from CD

Once you have booted the client, and hardware has been recognized by the installer, you will be promted/asked to set a mirror to get files from.

Usually, you will see a list of countries for you to choose. If you want to use the files in the CD (it will be lot faster than over internet), you will need to specify the IP to your server and a directory holding all files.

|-----------|  [?] ubuntu installer main menu  |-------------|

 This is the main menu for the Ubuntu installer.

 Choose the next step in the install process:

   Choose Language
   Select a keyboard layout
   Detect network hardware
   Configure network
  *Choose a mirror of the Ubuntu archive
   Download installer components
   etc, etc, etc

When you select choose a mirror of the Ubuntu archive, you will get to this screen:

|------|  [!] Choose a mirror of the Ubuntu archive  |--------|

 The goal is to find a mirror of the ubuntu archive  that ...

 Ubuntu archive mirror country:

  *enter information manually
   etc, etc...

Selecting enter information manually will ask you to provide hostname and mirror directory.

In my case, I used the IP of my homeserver (same used in the dhcpd.conf file aforementioned)


Ubuntu archive mirror hostname:

<Go Back>                             <Continue>


Ubuntu archive mirror directory:


<Go Back>                            <Continue>


  • Warning /!\ you'll want to enter this info later in the process (for APT) BUT for some reason I still ignore, IN BREEZY install, providing same info at that stage has always ended up in error after 5% of installation process, after rebooting. Solution: Choose a mirror nearby your area. I know it will take lot more but you will not get errors.

  • Dapper install works just perfectly with CD pointed as mirror. -- MauricioHernandez 2006-06-04 12:46:59

Rebooting and Installing Edubuntu

After you have had a successfull netboot install, reboot and install the edubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-server.

$ sudo apt-get install edubuntu-desktop edubuntu-server

EdubuntuViaNetBoot (last edited 2008-06-27 10:15:12 by localhost)