You can boot the Debian installer from a USB stick and do a net install! A small (64MB) USB flash drive (and recent BIOS) eliminates the need for a CD-ROM drive or a floppy drive. A computer with fewer moving parts has many benefits, including reduced cost and lower energy consumption. This is ideal for servers, and great for small computers that don't have room for extra drives. Use an existing USB-capable Linux computer to prepare the USB stick. Download these files:
1) vmlinuz 2) initrd.gz 3) syslinux.cfg 4) debian-ver-i386-businesscard.iso
In this example, the USB stick is the SCSI device /dev/sda
Yours may be different!
Make sure to write to the correct device. You could destroy data!
# apt-get install mtools # apt-get install syslinux # apt-get install dosfstools # modprobe usb-storage # fdisk -l /dev/sda # mkdosfs -I /dev/sda # syslinux /dev/sda # mount /dev/sda /mnt # cp vmlinuz /mnt # cp initrd.gz /mnt # cp syslinux.cfg /mnt # cp debian-ver-i386-businesscard.iso /mnt # umount /mnt # fsck.msdos /dev/sda
Now, on the target machine,
set the first boot device in the BIOS to USB-ZIP,
insert your USB drive, and away you go!
debian install howto | debian usb manual
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