Main » 2012 » February » 8 » Chapter 5 : Booting the Installation System | 1. Booting the Installer on Intel x86
Chapter 5 : Booting the Installation System | 1. Booting the Installer on Intel x86
Booting the Installer on Intel x86
If you have any other operating systems on your system that you wish to
keep (dual boot setup), you should make sure that they have been properly
shut down before you boot the installer.
Installing an operating system while another operating system is in
hibernation (has been suspended to disk) could result in loss of, or damage
to the state of the suspended operating system which could cause problems
when it is rebooted.
The easiest route for most people will be to use an Ubuntu CD.
If you have a CD, and if your machine supports booting directly off
the CD, great! Simply
configure your system for booting off a CD as described in
the section called "Boot Device Selection”,
insert your CD, reboot, and proceed to the next chapter.
Note that certain CD drives may require special drivers, and thus be
inaccessible in the early installation stages. If it turns out the
standard way of booting off a CD doesn't work for your hardware,
revisit this chapter and read about alternate kernels and installation
methods which may work for you.
If you intend to use the hard drive only for booting and then
download everything over the network, you should download the
netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz file and its
netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/linux. This will allow you
to repartition the hard disk from which you boot the installer, although you
should do so with care.
For LILO, you will need to configure two
essential things in /etc/lilo.conf:
to load the initrd.gz installer at boot time;
have the vmlinuz kernel use a RAM disk as
its root partition.
For more details, refer to the
lilo.conf(5) man pages. Now run
lilo and reboot.
The procedure for GRUB is quite similar. Locate your
menu.lst in the /boot/grub/
directory (or sometimes /boot/boot/grub/) and add an
entry for the installer, for example (assuming /boot
is on the first partition of the first disk in the system):
title New Install
From here on, there should be no difference between GRUB
It could be that your Network Interface Card or Motherboard provides
PXE boot functionality.
This is a Intel™ re-implementation
of TFTP boot. If so, you may be able to configure your BIOS to boot from the
NIC with Network BootROM
It could be that your Network Interface Card provides
TFTP boot functionality.
When the installer boots, you should be presented with a friendly graphical
screen showing the Ubuntu logo and a menu:
Installer boot menu
Advanced options >
Press ENTER to boot or TAB to edit a menu entry
Depending on the installation method you are using, the "Graphical
install” option may not be available.
For a normal installation, select either the "Install” or
the "Graphical install” entry — using either the
arrow keys on your keyboard or by typing the first (highlighted) letter
— and press Enter to boot the installer.
The "Advanced options” entry gives access to a second menu
that allows to boot the installer in expert mode, in rescue mode and for
If you wish or need to add any boot parameters for either the installer
or the kernel, press Tab. This will display the default boot command
for the selected menu entry and allow to add additional options. The help
screens (see below) list some common possible options. Press Enter to
boot the installer with your options; pressing Esc will return you
to the boot menu and undo any changes you made.
Choosing the "Help” entry will result in the first help screen
being displayed which gives an overview of all available help screens.
Note that it is not possible to return to the boot menu after the help
screens have been displayed. However, the F3 and F4 help screens list
commands that are equivalent to the boot methods listed in the menu. All
help screens have a boot prompt at which the boot command can be typed:
Press F1 for the help index, or ENTER to boot:
At this boot prompt you can either just press Enter to boot the
installer with default options or enter a specific boot command and,
optionally, boot parameters. A number of boot parameters which might be
useful can be found on the various help screens. If you do add any
parameters to the boot command line, be sure to first type the boot method
(the default is install) and a space before the
first parameter (e.g., install fb=false).
The keyboard is assumed to have a default American English layout at this
point. This means that if your keyboard has a different (language-specific)
layout, the characters that appear on the screen may be different from what
you'd expect when you type parameters. Wikipedia has a
schema of the US keyboard layout which
can be used as a reference to find the correct keys to use.
If you are using a system that has the BIOS configured to use serial console,
you may not be able to see the initial graphical splash screen upon booting
the installer; you may even not see the boot menu. The same can happen if
you are installing the system via a remote management device that provides a
text interface to the VGA console. Examples of these devices include the text
console of Compaq's "integrated Lights Out” (iLO) and HP's
"Integrated Remote Assistant” (IRA).
To bypass the graphical boot screen you can either blindly press Esc
to get a text boot prompt, or (equally blindly) press "H”
followed by Enter to select the "Help” option described
above. After that your keystrokes should be echoed at the prompt.
To prevent the installer from using the framebuffer for the rest of the
installation, you will also want to add vga=normal fb=false
to the boot prompt, as described in the help text.