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Installing Fedora Core w/Two Floppies

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This is a howto on installing Fedora Core using only two 1.44MB floppies. Also, one 2.8MB floppy may be used. This final goal to this howto is to build a one floppy auto installer to get a Fedora Install started.


This doc should be considered a work in progress. It is a BETA, DO NOT USE! even though you should still be able to get up and running with this.

Step 1. Get Needed Floppies

    Get the images you want to use. In this howto I will be using two(2) 1.44MB floppies.

Offical Download Link:

Images Used in this HowTo:

mkdir /tmp/fedorainstall

Step 2. Write Images to Disk

    This is just a snip from the original site:

"Please replace X.Y.Z with the current version number (eg: 0.4.1)...

For writing the first floppy image type in the following at the command line:

  • on Unix/Linux systems:   dd if=rescue-X.Y.Z-1.img of=/dev/fd0
  • on DOS/Windows systems:   fdimage rescue-X.Y.Z-1.img a:

For writing the second floppy type:

  • on Unix/Linux systems:   dd if=rescue-X.Y.Z-2.img of=/dev/fd0
  • on DOS/Windows systems:   fdimage rescue-X.Y.Z-2.img a:

For writing the optional Freedos BOOT floppy type:

  • on Unix/Linux systems:   zcat | dd of=/dev/fd0
  • on DOS/Windows systems after extracting   fdimage rescuefd.img a:

More Updated/Info...

To build the floppies:

    To build the floppies you should have two (2) floppies on hand. If you only have one, you will need another running system to write the second floppy during boot.

fdformat /dev/fd0u1440
dd if=/tmp/fedorainstall/rescue-0.4.1-1.img of=/dev/fd0

Insert second floppy.

fdformat /dev/fd0u1440
dd if=/tmp/fedorainstall/rescue-0.4.1-2.img of=/dev/fd0

Step 3. Boot Floppies

    Boot the computer using the floppy disks you have just created. You will be prompted for options. Select what applies. If everything works, you will have a prompt:


From here you may install the new system.

Step 4. Prepare Hardware For Images

    You must setup a device to handle the boot and store the Images. I make the assumption your main HDD has been detected as 'hda'. Check the output of 'dmesg' to find what yours was detected as and/or to find the drive you want to use. Use 'fdisk' to setup the drive:

For help with fdisk, check this link:

fdisk /dev/hda

delete all partitions if you are going to be using the whole drive:


create a new parition and set to be primary, partition one (1), 'default' for first and 100MB for size:

(or whatever the default is for you)

set new partition bootable; partition one (1):


check config:


write to disk:


format partition:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda1

Step 5. Setup Network

    This howto assumes you have working network hardware and DHCP is setup. Also, you will need to check what your hardware was detected as. In this example, I use eth0. Adjust as needed. Check the output of 'dmesg' to find if and what the card is detected as.

ifconfig eth0 up
dhclient eth0

Step 6. Mount Drive, Install PXE Images

    The goal of the floppies are to install PXE images to boot on the next restart. This assumes you have working hardware to install Fedora on. In this example /dev/hda is mounted at /mnt/newsystem. The following is the way I have installed the images:

Note: Make changes to the arch as needed.

mkdir /boot
mount /dev/hda1 /boot
cd /boot

or for Fedora Core 5:

mkdir /boot
mount /dev/hda1 /boot
cd /boot


Step 6. Configure Boot Loader

    Setup the lilo boot loader and set it to load the PXE images you have installed in the last step. The following is how it might be done:

vi /etc/lilo.conf

update/add the following line to configure for the initrd; remove lines 18-23 (everything below append):

image = /boot/vmlinuz
initrd = /boot/initrd.img

Help with config...

Step 7. Update LILO Configuration

    Install the LILO config:



    Added linux *

Step 8. Double Check, Reboot

    Double check your boot loader and make sure it is set to load the PXE images. Check my 'Examples' against your settings. On boot: If you would like to run the text mode installer, type 'linux text' at the 'boot:'.

Step 9. Run Install

    If you made it this far, you should be able to get everything up and running. Select your install type, etc. I recommend doing an 'minimal install' and then installing everything else later. This just help make sure the 'netinstall' has less of a chance to fail and force you to start over. After the system is installed and running on it's own, installing stuff with yum is easy enough.

Note: You will need a mirror. You can setup your own or use a public one.

Fedora Core Mirrors:

An example full path to the mirror for an i386 Fedora Core 4 install is:

So the protocol would be 'FTP', the server would be '' and the path would be '/pub/fedora/linux/core/4/i386/os/'. You may use whatever source you would like... this is just the first server on the mirror list at the time of writing.

Step 10. Run Update; Install Software

    At this point, you may install whatever you would like. I would run an update as the first order of business. This will get you the most recent kernel and other needed updates. The following command will get you started:

yum update

After the update, you should reboot to load up the new kernel. After the reboot, install whatever you would like. The following command will get you started:

yum grouplist

Pick what you want and install. If you want a GUI right away, you could use something like the following to do so:

Please note: This is based on the thought you have done a 'minimal' install.

yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop Environment"

Want KDE?:

yum groupinstall "KDE (K Desktop Environment)"


    Retry the whole howto. Do a netinstall using the rescue, boot or CD1.



image = /boot/vmlinuz
initrd = /boot/initrd.img

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