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Automatic process

  • UNetbootin is an installer that can do the following automatically. It is available for download at http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/.

  • Instlux is an installer that does all of the following for you, however it only supports older versions of Ubuntu. You can download it from http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/instlux.

  • Wubi is an installer that uses a process similar to what described in this page, but the installation takes place within a file inside Windows, and hence, differently from the other approaches, it does not require to modify the partitions. In any case, if you later want install it to a dedicated partition, you can do it. See http://wubi-installer.org.

Manual process

The netboot approach

This page will guide you through obtaining the files necessary to boot the Ubuntu installation from a FAT or NTFS partition, thus allowing you to install Ubuntu without any sort of removeable media. This guide assumes that you are running either some NT-based Windows(NT, 2000, XP) or Windows 9x (95, 98, ME).

The following steps depend on which version of Windows you are using:

Windows 95/98/ME (using Loadlin)

  • Download loadlin.exe.gz from https://passechambre.appspot.com/show/indexothers.html and unpack it to boot (If your default compression/archive program doesn't like *.tar.gz files, try 7-Zip from http://www.7-zip.org)

  • Choose Reboot in MS-DOS mode in the shutdown menu or press F8 (Ctrl for Win98/ME) during boot and choose command prompt only in order to start Windows in DOS mode

  • Get into the boot directory and run loadlin:

cd c:\boot
loadlin linux initrd=initrd.gz vga=normal ramdisk_size=14972 root=/dev/rd/0 rw --

Now you should have a network installation going Smile :)

Note: On some computers the installer has problems with the video card and you may get a "melting screen". I replaced vga=normal with vga=771 and it worked on my laptop Stjepan Stamenkovic

Windows NT/2000/XP (using Grub)

To view and edit the Boot.ini file on WindowsXP:
 1. Right-click on My Computer, and then click Properties.
 2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
 3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

Note: Eventhough c:\boot.ini is not shown by the explorer, this file exists and can be also opened in the notepad. Just write the path c:\Boot.ini at the open dialog.

  • Open menu.lst in a text editor and paste the following text in the file:

    title Install Ubuntu
    kernel   (hd0,0)/boot/linux vga=normal ramdisk_size=14972 root=/dev/rd/0 rw --
    initrd   (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.gz
  • Save menu.lst, reboot, and select "Install Ubuntu" in the windows OS chooser then in GRUB. You now have a network installation of Ubuntu going.

This procedure should be possible using a disk image, but it may be necessary to use a different kernel and pass some special argument in menu.lst to tell it to boot from the CD image (Has been achieved using Knoppix).

It would be nice if someone could automate this process. InstallationUbuntuFromWindows outlines how such an installation system might work.

The CD approach

This approach is documented in the Installation notes, however it seemed appropiate to put a reference to it here.

Note: This method only works with the Alternate Ubuntu install CD.

If you can't boot from the CD-ROM directly it is possible to use the above approach to boot the kernel from the HDD and have the installation follow through on the CD-ROM.

  • Create a directory called ubuntu in the root directory of the first primary partition of your hard drive (usually drive c:\, which it will be referred to as from now on).

  • Download the ALTERNATE ubuntu-installer CD from http://www.ubuntulinux.org/download/ and burn the CD, then copy the contents of the CD to ubuntu.

Note: If you can't/don't want to burn a cd you can also mount the iso with a program like Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120% or simply open the iso file using 7-Zip

To view and edit the Boot.ini file on WindowsXP:
1. Right-click on My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

Note: Eventhough c:\boot.ini is not shown by the explorer, this file exists and can be also opened in the notepad. Just write the path c:\Boot.ini at the open dialog.

  • Create a new text file called menu.lst and save it to the first primary partition of your hard drive.

  • Open menu.lst in a text editor and paste the following text in the file:

    title Install Ubuntu
    kernel   (hd0,0)/ubuntu/install/vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 devfs=mount,dall ramdisk_size=17000
    initrd   (hd0,0)/ubuntu/install/initrd.gz
  • Save menu.lst, reboot with the Ubuntu installer CD in the drive, and select "Install Ubuntu" twice. You now have a CD installation of Ubuntu going.

The CD image approach

Note: This method only works with the Alternate Ubuntu install CD.

If for some reason you can not (do not want to) write the CD it is possible to use the ISO image to do the installation from hard disk.

To view and edit the Boot.ini file on WindowsXP:
1. Right-click on My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

Note: Eventhough C:\boot.ini is not shown (by default) by Windows Explorer, this file exists and can be also opened in the notepad. Just write the path C:\boot.ini at the open dialog.

  • Create a new text file called menu.lst and save it to the first primary partition of your hard drive.

  • Open menu.lst in a text editor and paste the following text in the file:

    title Install Ubuntu
    find --set-root /ubuntu/initrd.gz
    kernel /ubuntu/vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=128000
    initrd /ubuntu/initrd.gz
  • Save menu.lst, reboot, select "Install Ubuntu" twice. You now have a CD image installation of Ubuntu going.

If you are installing onto the disk that is hosting the installer, and during partitioning the installer says that the kernel cannot read the new partition table, and that you should reboot your system, don't. The partitioner has already flagged the new Linux partition as the boot partition, so the system will be unbootable. If you're dealing with a system with no floppy or CD drive, you will be stuck. Instead, use Alt-F2, Enter to open a console and use cfdisk to set the boot partition back to the partition which hosts the installer, then go back to the installer using Alt-F1, <Go Back> as many times as needed to get to the menu, then select "Abort Installation" to reboot.


This page is an adaptation of Marc Herbert's how-to.
Related projects: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe

CategoryInstallation CategorySystem

Installation/FromWindows (last edited 2012-10-01 01:17:42 by bobbib)