Archive for August, 2013

Aug 25 2013

Installing ubuntu from USB stick on a Via EPIA M System

Published by under general

I recently purchased a VIA EPIA M 10000 motherboard and a micro-ATX case to build my home server. There was not a CD drive and hence the installation of OS was not straight forward.

I wanted to install Ubuntu 8.10 ( Interpid Ibex) on this system and I had to install from a USB stick. Instalation from USB stick is not straight forward either. Hence, I thought of sharing how I installed the OS. Please follow the steps below:

My System Configuration

Via EPIA M 1000 motherboard ,1 GHz Fan cooled x386 Processor

160 GB harddisk and 512 MB PC3200 RAM

  1. Get a USB thumdrive with atleast 1 GB freespace.
  2. Format the drive using Windos Format tool
  3. Download syslinux . Syslinux utility is avilable for both Linux and WIndows. I downloaded Windows version. Follow this link to learn more about SysLinux. Syslinux is used to install the bootloader on the USB Drive
  4. Insert the thumbdrive into your Windows machine and open a command window
  5. Execute  syslinux.exe -m -a -d e: ( Here e: is assumed to be the Drive letter for the USB thumbdrive. ). After this command, you should see syslinux.cfg in the root dir of the thumdrive.
  6. Download Ubuntu 8.04 ISO image to your local drive. ( Please note, the kernel is  i386 compatible for these set of processors. I know for sure Ubuntu 8.04 and below are i383 compatible. VIA EPIA M 10000 instruction sets are not fully i686 compatible. So any OS kernel that is compiled for i686 instruction set will not boot on these systems. I learnt it the hardway. Ubuntu 8.10 did not work for me. Whenever I try to boot, the bootloader threw a warning ” ……”)
  7. Using “Winrar” extract the ISO image on to your harddisk. This is needed to copy some files into the USB thumbdrive.
  8. Download initrd.gz and vmlinuz files  for Ubuntu 8.04 ( Hardy ) from this link. These files are required for installing from USB Thumbdrive.
  9. Copy the following into USB thumdrive root folder
    1. copy the contents of isolinux into the root dir of USB thumbdrive. (To be unambigious:  isolinux is a folder you get when you extract the 8.04 iso image  )
    2. create a directory named “install” and copy “initrd.gz” and “vmlinuz”  into this folder.
    3. copy the whole 8.04 iso image into the USB thumdrive. ( To be unambiguous: You need to copy the whole ISO image and NOT the extracted files )
  10. Rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
  11. Power your EPIA M based system  and hold the DEL key to enter the bootloader menu.
  12. In the “Advanced” option select the boot drive to be USB Drive
  13. Then plug in your USB thumbdrive and restart the system
  14. Ubuntu install screen will be presented and follow the instructions to complete Ubuntu 8.04 Instalation

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