Chapter 2 : System Requirements | 4. Installation Media
This section will help you determine which different media types you can use to
install Ubuntu. For example, if you have a floppy disk drive on your machine,
it can be used to install Ubuntu. There is a whole chapter devoted to media,
Chapter 4, Obtaining System Installation Media, which lists the advantages and
disadvantages of each media type. You may want to refer back to this page once
you reach that section.
Whenever you see "CD-ROM” in this manual, it applies to both
CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs, because both technologies are really
the same from the operating system's point of view, except for some very
old nonstandard CD-ROM drives which are neither SCSI nor IDE/ATAPI.
CD-ROM based installation is supported for some architectures.
On machines which support bootable CD-ROMs, you should be able to do a
installation. Even if your system doesn't
support booting from a CD-ROM, you can use the CD-ROM in conjunction
with the other techniques to install your system, once you've booted
up by other means; see Chapter 5, Booting the Installation System.
SCSI, SATA and IDE/ATAPI CD-ROMs are supported. The Linux CD-ROM HOWTO contains in-depth information
on using CD-ROMs with Linux.
USB CD-ROM drives are also supported, as are FireWire devices that
are supported by the ohci1394 and sbp2 drivers.
Booting the installation system directly from a hard disk is another option
for many architectures. This will require some other operating system
to load the installer onto the hard disk.
USB Memory Stick
Many Ubuntu boxes need their floppy and/or CD-ROM drives only for
setting up the system and for rescue purposes. If you operate some
servers, you will probably already have thought about omitting those
drives and using an USB memory stick for installing and (when
necessary) for recovering the system. This is also useful for small
systems which have no room for unnecessary drives.
The network can be used during the installation to retrieve files needed
for the installation. Whether the network is used or not depends on the
installation method you choose and your answers to certain questions that
will be asked during the installation. The installation system supports
most types of network connections (including PPPoE, but not ISDN or PPP),
via either HTTP or FTP. After the installation is completed, you can also
configure your system to use ISDN and PPP.
You can also boot the installation system over the
Diskless installation, using network booting from a local area network
and NFS-mounting of all local filesystems, is another option.
Un*x or GNU system
If you are running another Unix-like system, you could use it to install
Ubuntu without using the debian-installer described in the rest of this
manual. This kind of install may be useful for users with otherwise
unsupported hardware or on hosts which can't afford downtime. If you
are interested in this technique, skip to the the section called "Installing Ubuntu from a Unix/Linux System”.
Supported Storage Systems
The Ubuntu boot disks contain a kernel which is built to maximize the
number of systems it runs on. Unfortunately, this makes for a larger
kernel, which includes many drivers that won't be used for your
machine (see the section called "Compiling a New Kernel” to learn how to
build your own kernel). Support for the widest possible range of
devices is desirable in general, to ensure that Ubuntu can be
installed on the widest array of hardware.
Generally, the Ubuntu installation system includes support for floppies,
IDE (also known as PATA) drives, IDE floppies, parallel port IDE devices, SATA
and SCSI controllers and drives, USB, and FireWire. The supported file systems
include FAT, Win-32 FAT extensions (VFAT) and NTFS.
Disk interfaces that emulate the "AT” hard disk interface
— often called MFM, RLL, IDE, or PATA — are supported. SATA and
SCSI disk controllers from many different manufacturers are supported. See the
Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO
for more details.