Installing Mandriva Linux
From Mandriva Community Wiki
Main supported installation methods
These are the most commonly used and tested installation methods. You can expect these methods to work
1.) Installation from CD / DVD
The most common method for installing Mandriva Linux is from CD or DVD, either bought in a box set from
the Mandriva Store, or created from images downloaded from a Mandriva mirror site
(http://www.mandriva.com/download) . For instructions on writing the downloaded image to disc, see here. In
most cases, starting an install from CD or DVD is as simple as putting the disc (the first disc, in the case of
multi-disc sets) into the drive and rebooting.
Mandriva Linux installation does not start when system is booted with CD or DVD in the drive
If you place the disc in the drive, reboot, and the system simply boots up as normal into whatever operating
system is already installed, the problem is that your system is not configured to try booting from the CD / DVD
drive before booting from the hard drive. To fix this you must enter the system (BIOS) setup utility. This is
usually achieved by pressing a special key at the very start of the boot process, while the system is checking the
memory. The key is often a function key, or the Delete key. The key will be displayed on the initial boot up
screen and / or listed in your system manual. The exact process to change the boot device order will vary
depending on the BIOS used by your system; if you cannot find the setting, please refer to your system manual.
For one commonly used BIOS - Phoenix / Award - you should go to the 'Advanced BIOS Features' page and set
the first boot device to be CD-ROM. Make the hard disk the second boot device.
Installation from Mandriva Linux One
Mandriva Linux One is a combined Live / installation CD edition of Mandriva Linux. When you boot from a
Mandriva Linux One CD (by placing it in the drive and rebooting the system), Mandriva Linux One will run in
live mode: it will run directly from the CD without installing anything to the hard disk. There is an icon on the
default desktop which can be used to install Mandriva Linux One to the hard disk.
Installation from a USB stick
The latest Mandriva ISO's (called 'hybrids') can be dumped straight onto a USB stick. There is a handy script to
help with this called Mandriva Seed (http://www2.mandriva.com/downloads/?p=seed) . Note that the image will
overwrite the entire stick, not just a single partition. The script itself is mostly just to help you find the correct
device to write to, and dd the image to the whole device and not attempt to use just a partition. Take care to
make sure you write to the correct device, as everything on it already will be lost.
Installation from a local mirror, hard disk, local network, or the Internet
To install by using any of these methods, you should create a boot CD or a boot USB storage device. You do
this by downloading an image file from a Mandriva mirror site and writing it to the disc or USB storage device.
These files are located in the /i586/install/images (or /x86_64/install/images) directory for
the release you wish to install. The boot CD image is named boot.iso, and the USB storage device image is
So, for example, the CD image file for the i586 edition of Mandriva Linux 2009 can be found as
/MandrivaLinux/official/2009.0/i586/install/images/boot.iso on any Mandriva
To boot from the CD image, write it as an image (not as a file) to a CD or DVD recordable / rewriteable disc
using your preferred CD / DVD writing software, then reboot with the disc in the drive. If the installation
process does not start, refer to #Mandriva Linux installation does not start when system is booted with CD or
DVD in the drive above.
To boot from a USB storage device, use the dd command (in Linux) to write the image to a USB storage
device. You need to know the correct device node for the USB storage device - usually /dev/sda, but it may
be a different letter if you have other USB storage, SCSI or SATA devices in your system. The image is written
to the raw drive (sda) not the partition (sda1). Be very careful, as copying the image to a SCSI or SATA hard
disk will render it unbootable and destroy some data. The command to use is dd if=all.img
of=/dev/sda, adjusting the device node as appropriate. After writing the image, reboot the system with the
USB storage device attached. To write the image file to a USB storage device in Windows, use WinImage
(http://www.winimage.com) . If the installation process does not start, refer to #Mandriva Linux installation
does not start when system is booted with CD or DVD in the drive above, and set the first boot device to be
USB storage. Please note that many systems are not capable of booting directly from USB storage devices, and
the USB floppy boot device is not the same as the USB storage boot device. If your system is not capable of
booting from a USB storage device, you must use another installation method.
In all cases, you will now enter the Mandriva Linux installation process and be given a choice
of the installation method to use.
Installation from hard disk
There are two major ways of doing a hard disk installation: you can either install from a local mirror of the
Mandriva Linux tree (which you have previously created by downloading the entire tree from a public mirror
using, for e.g., rsync), or you can install directly from the .ISO format images of the Mandriva Linux CDs /
DVDs without burning them to disc. This does not work with the One CD. To install from a local mirror, select
the hard disk installation method. Then select the drive and partition where the local mirror is stored. Finally,
enter the path to the correct directory for the version of Mandriva Linux you wish to install. The path to enter is
the path to the correct architecture for the correct edition: for instance, if you wish to install the i586 version of
Mandriva Linux 2009, enter the path to /MandrivaLinux/official/2009.0/i586.
To install from .ISO images on a local hard disk, select the hard disk installation method. Then select the drive
and partition where the ISO image(s) is / are stored. Then enter either the path to the ISO image (if you have
just one) or the path to the directory where the ISO images are stored (if you have a multi-disc set).
Installation from a local network or the Internet
We do not recommend that you attempt to perform a network installation using a wireless connection. It is very
unlikely to work. Wired connections should always be used for performing network installations. You should
also note that, to install from a private server on your local network, the server must have a tree laid out in the
same fashion as the Mandriva public mirrors, containing at least the installer files and the /main section for the
release you wish to install. You cannot perform a network installation from a server which contains a Mandriva
Linux disc or ISO image.
When installing from a server on your local network select the appropriate method for the type of server you
wish to install from: NFS, HTTP, FTP or KA. When installing from the internet select either FTP or HTTP. For
all methods, you must now enter your network configuration information to bring up your Ethernet interface
(for a typical home user, select DHCP and all default settings; other users should know their settings, or consult
your network manager).
For the HTTP and FTP methods, you will now be asked to configure a proxy, if
appropriate. If like most people you are not behind a proxy server simply leave the boxes
blank. For the HTTP and FTP methods, you will now be asked to specify a mirror or to
select from a list of available editions of Mandriva. If you are installing from the internet
choose the appropriate edition. If you are installing from a local network or from a public Select the
server not known by Mandriva, select the "Specify the mirror manually" option. At the next edition
step, either pick the public mirror you wish to use, or enter the path to the mirror as
appropriate. The path to enter is the path to the correct architecture for the correct edition:
for instance, if you wish to install the i586 version of Mandriva Linux 2009, enter the path
For the NFS method, after configuring networking, you will be asked to enter the hostname
or IP address of the NFS server, and the path containing the Mandriva Linux installation Choose your
files. The path to enter is the path to the correct architecture for the correct edition: for mirror
instance, if you wish to install the i586 version of Mandriva Linux 2009, enter the path to
For all network installation methods if the install server has been correctly selected you will
see a progress bar saying 'Loading' followed by the standard Mandriva installation screen.
From here the installation proceeds exactly the same as if you were installing from the
'Free' DVD. All packages will be downloaded from the internet or the local server.
When installing from the internet any updated packages released by Mandriva after the Install continues
release of the distribution will automatically be selected during the network install.
Advanced installation methods
These are less commonly used installation methods which may require more user expertise or which may
sometimes have problems. Only use them if you are sure they are the best method for your situation, or none of
the regular installation methods work.
Hard disk install from a floppy disk boot
There is a way to install from hard disk on a machine with no CD / DVD drive and no USB storage boot option,
by using a boot floppy. You must use a local mirror with this method, not an ISO image. To do this, download
the hd_grub.img floppy image file from the /install/images directory on a Mandriva mirror (as
described above). To boot from the floppy image, use the dd command (in Linux) to write the image to a floppy
disk. You need to know the correct device node for your floppy disk drive: this will usually be /dev/fd0, but
if you use a USB floppy drive, it will be /dev/sda or another letter if you have other USB storage, SCSI or
SATA devices in your system. Be very careful, as copying the image to a SCSI or SATA hard disk will render it
unbootable and destroy some data. The command to use is dd if=hd_grub.img of=/dev/fd0,
adjusting the device node as appropriate. After writing the image, you must create an appropriate grub
(bootloader) configuration file so the floppy can find the installation files. You can use this script
(http://qa.mandriva.com/hd_grub.cgi) to generate the configuration file: select the appropriate drive, partition
and path, and then click Go. The file will be generated. Save it as menu.lst and copy it to the floppy disk you
just created, overwriting the original. Now reboot the system with the floppy disk in the drive. To write the
image file to a floppy disk in Windows, use WinImage (http://www.winimage.com) . If the installation process
does not start, refer to #Mandriva Linux installation does not start when system is booted with CD or DVD in
the drive above, and set the first boot device to be the floppy disk drive (or USB floppy if you use a USB floppy
Booting the installer directly from a hard disk - Linux method
If you already have a Linux distribution installed on your system, it is possible to copy the Mandriva Linux
installer to the hard disk and then configure the bootloader - lilo or grub - to give you the choice to boot directly
into the installer. To do this, you must first get a copy of the installer kernel and initrd images. You can either
download these from a mirror, or copy them from a Mandriva ISO image by loopback mounting it. On the
Mandriva mirrors, you will find the files in the /isolinux/alt0 subdirectory of the release you wish to
install - for example, /MandrivaLinux/official/2009.0/i586/isolinux/alt0. The files are
named all.rdz and vmlinuz. To retrieve the files from a Mandriva ISO image, first mount it:
mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop CD1.iso /mnt/iso
Next, locate and copy the files. They will be in either /mnt/iso/i586/isolinux/alt0 or /mnt/iso
/x86_64/isolinux/alt0, depending on whether you have an x86-32 or an x86-64 ISO. Again, the files
are named all.rdz and vmlinuz.
Note that if you copy vmlinuz to grub that it will overwrite any vmlinuz that you have for existing linux system.
Better to rename it before copying to grub ... if you want to keep existing system(s).
Whichever way you located the files, copy them to /boot on the running Linux distribution. Rename the file
vmlinuz to vmlinuz-all. Now, simply configure the bootloader - lilo or grub - to include this as an entry
on the boot menu. Some distributions, including Mandriva Linux, include a graphical configuration utility that
will allow you to do this. Alternatively, you can do it manually. For lilo, add an entry like this to
Then run the command lilo as root.
For grub, add an entry like this to /boot/grub/menu.lst:
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz-all root=/dev/ram3 ramdisk_size=32000 vga=791
If the grub entry above doesn't work and you have a separate /boot partition this should work.
kernel (hd0,0)/vmlinuz-all root=/dev/ram3 ramdisk_size=32000 vga=791
The next time the system is booted, a new entry labelled all-install will be available from the boot menu. This
will boot the Mandriva installer. You can then use any of the installation methods described earlier in this
document to complete the installation.
Booting the installer directly from a hard disk - Windows method
If you already have Microsoft Windows™ installed on your system, it is possible to copy the Mandriva Linux
installer to the hard disk and then use the Grub for DOS (http://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/) bootloader
to give you the choice to boot directly into the installer. To do this, you must first get a copy of the installer
kernel and initrd images. You can download these from a Mandriva mirror. On the Mandriva mirrors, you will
find the files in the /isolinux/alt0 subdirectory of the release you wish to install - for example,
/MandrivaLinux/official/2009.0/i586/isolinux/alt0. The files are named all.rdz and
vmlinuz. Now create a file named C:menu.lst with the following contents:
color black/cyan yellow/cyan
title Mandriva Install
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/ram3 vga=791
Now download Grub for DOS (https://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos) and place the file grldr (from the
archive) in C:. Edit the file C:boot.ini - it is marked as a hidden and system file, by default, so you may
have to edit some Windows settings to see and change it - and add the following line to the end of the file:
Now ensure your Windows system is configured to show the boot menu on startup, and reboot. Choose 'Start
GRUB' and then 'Mandriva Install', and the installer will load. You can then use any of the installation methods
described earlier in this document to complete the installation.
Installation via PXE
Installing via PXE is a somewhat complicated process but is useful on machines with no CD or floppy drive, or
in situations where you wish to install on many machines simultaneously. For instructions, see this page.
Installation does not work
If you have trouble with the installation process, the very first thing you should do is to check the integrity of
your installation media. If you are installing from ISO files or from discs created from ISO files, test that the
ISO files are correct. To do this you can use the md5sum utility in Linux. This analyzes a file and creates a
checksum which can be compared against the checksum of the original copy of the file.
To check the .iso file
To check the .iso file, download the original md5sum from the mirror where you downloaded the ISO. For
instance, if you downloaded mandriva-linux-free-2010-dvd-i586.iso, you will find the file
mandriva-linux-free-2010.0-dvd-i586.iso.md5.asc in the same directory on the mirror.
Download it and place it in the same directory as the ISO file. Then, from that directory, run this command in
terminal: md5sum -c mandriva-linux-free-2010-dvd-i586.iso.md5.asc
and it will let you know whether the checksum matches or not. If it does not, you must correct the download.
There are several ways of doing this:
You can use BitTorrent to correct the iso, by pointing it at the existing files (torrents are available here
(http://torrent.mandriva.com/public/) ). It should check the iso, find out where they are corrupt, and
download only the missing pieces.
You can also try correcting the download using Parchive2: see ISO Download recovery with Parchive2
Otherwise, you can simply delete the files and re-download them.
To check the md5sum in windows
To check the md5sum in windows you can use something like md5summer (http://www.md5summer.org/) ,
you'll need the .md5 file which can be found in the same directory containing the .iso on any of the mirrors.
If you are installing from burned CDs or DVDs
If you are installing from burned CDs or DVDs, first check the ISO file you used to burn the discs. If the
md5sum string of the .iso doesn't match the original one in the .md5 file then you must re-download the file and
burn the discs again.
If the md5sum string of the .iso matches the original one in the .md5 file but you still have installation
problems, the disc(s) may have been incorrectly burned. In this case, try burning the disc(s) again at a slower
speed. If you still experience problems, try with a different brand of blank discs, or a different drive, or use the
hard disk installation method described above to install directly from the ISO files.
If you are confident that your installation media are not corrupt
If you are confident that your installation media are not corrupt, but you still experience problems during
installation, then you are most likely either experiencing hardware problems or an installer bug. These can
sometimes be resolved by running the installer in a different way. If you are installing from CD / DVD, the very
first installer screen gives you several choices for different installation methods. If you are using one of the
other installation methods described above, the first installer screen describes how to choose other installation
methods. If you are experiencing graphical problems, try the vgalo, vgahi, vga16 or text install methods. If you
are experiencing other problems, try the Installation--ACPI Disabled install method. Problems not resolved in
this way are outside the scope of this document, but may be handled by the Errata page for the release you are
trying to install.
Retrieved from "http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Installing_Mandriva_Linux"
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