How to Create Bootable Linux CD

Posted on in Categories , , , last updated December 20, 2007

Q. I’m using CentOS Linux and I’d like to create bootable Linux CD for the same. How do I create an installation boot disk?

A. You need to find images/ directory located on CentOS / Fedora / RHEL or any other Linux distribution. This directory contains image files that can be used to create media capable of starting the Linux installation process.

More about images

  • boot.iso – The boot.iso file is an ISO 9660 image of a bootable CD-ROM. It is useful in cases where the CD-ROM installation method is not desired, but the CD-ROM’s boot speed would be an advantage. To use this image file, burn the file onto CD-R (or CD-RW) media as you normally would.
  • diskboot.img – The diskboot.img file is a VFAT filesystem image that can be written to a USB pendrive or other bootable media larger than a floppy. Note that booting via USB is dependent on your BIOS supporting this. It should be written to the device using dd.

Step # 1: Copy boot.iso to /tmp

Type the following command,
# cp boot.iso /tmp
Unmount cdrom
# cd; eject

Step # 2: Insert blank CD R/RW media

Find device name:
# cdrecord -scanbus
Write /tmp/boot.iso to blank cd, enter:
# cdrecord -v -dao dev=1,0,0 /tmp/boot.iso
Replace 1,0,0 with your actual device name obtained using cdrecord -scanbus command. See how to burn ISO images to Cds and CD-RWs under Linux for more information.

Write diskboot.img to floppy

This is optional and use the dd command to copy the image to the floppy / usb pen:
# dd if=diskboot.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

2 comment

Leave a Comment