Fedora Telnet install

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Wed Aug 10 01:50:54 UTC 2005

Ah, you do know this all archived and accessible via the web, right?
Please pardon the resend of this message, but this has been a much asked
about issue recently. So, I am again addressing this in order to add a
few key points. Given that the Speakup Modified is still not ready,
telnet installation of stock Fedora Core 4 is a viable option--but there
are issues people should know about.

So, in an effort to get the essential facts into a single message, I'm
resending this note with a few key additions:

How To Do A Telnet INstall Of FC4

1.)	Follow the guidance in the Speakup Modified Installation HOWTO for FC3
up to the point where it talks about what to type at the Boot> prompt.
The guidance provided to that point is still accurate and relevant.

2.)	At the Boot> prompt issue a command like the following. You will
not have speech feedback during this process, so backspace the entire
line off if you think you have made a mistake, and retype it. It's a lot
of typing, but you need to get all these details in.

This command must be issued on one line, even though it has probably
been wrapped into at least two lines in this message.

text telnet ip=[ip.address] netmask=[netmask] gateway=[gateway.address]


text telnet ip= netmask=
gateway= ksdevice=/dev/eth1

All on one line, of course.

In the above ksdevice refers to your ethernet device designation. You
can leave this part out if the machine you're installing on has only one
ethernet device (namely /dev/eth0). But, if you're installing on a
computer with multiple devices, e.g. a portable computer with a wired
ethernet port and builtin wireless ethernet, you will be prompted
inaccessibly on screen for the ethernet device the Fedora installer
should use if you don't just tell the installer up front which one to
use with the ksdevice designation. So, be sure to include it. If in
doubt, use it and try ksdevice=/dev/eth0.

3.)	Then, ping the ip address you provided with your command. When you get a response, telnet to it.

TIP: If you are on Linux, use alarm ping, e.g.:

ping -a

When your ping starts singing, it's time to telnet to the installation.


Be aware that it takes some time for the telnet server to get loaded and
become available. The installation must first load its various drivers
and this will take some time--perhaps a few minutes.

4.)	Once you make a telnet connection, the installation will proceed
precisely as described in the HOWTO. However, there is one important
difference that must be considered. You will not be able to switch
consoles when performing a telnet installation, so you will need a
different strategy for dealing with the inaccessible firstboot
application that Fedora will launch when you reboot after a successful

Without a strategy for what to do about first boot, you'll find yourself
wondering what happened. You'll think you've done an installation
without error, and rebooted just as instructed, and you'll be correct.
Firstboot doesn't talk, and there's no way to escape out of it once it's
running. Without sighted assistance, you can only force a reboot--not a
pretty scenario.

Fortunately, there are good ways to handle firstboot. One of these is
described in the HOWTO. It involves going to single user mode when you
boot your completed Fedora installation for the first time.
Fortunately, there's an easy way to insure that your system will go
directly to single user mode when you reboot following your telnet
installation. Here's how to make that happen:

IMPORTANT: When you get the installation screen that asks you if you
want to pass any options to the grub boot loader, put a single char in
the provided field:


That's all. One letter, 's' which stands for "single user mode."

NOTE: You can, of course, get to single mode directly from the grub
prompt as described in the HOWTO. The advantage of adding this argument
is that you avoid the rather inaccessible grub prompt. The disadvantage
is that you must then remove this char (see #6 below) to enable standard

5.)	Once you've completed your installation and rebooted to single
user mode, follow the steps to remove firstboot as described in the

NOTE: Since you've rebooted, there's no need to do a "cd /mnt/sysimage'
or 'chroot .' command. These are no longer pertinent--because you have
passed that point by virtue of having rebooted.

6.)	Lastly, you must now remove that letter s from the line that
begins with the word "kernel" near the bottom of your /boot/grub.conf
file. Use any text editor to do this.

PS: This message would be half this long except for the inaccessible
firstboot application. May I suggest complaints to Redhat are in order?
I find it outrageous that there is no way to just tell the computer to
"skip this firstboot thing." There certainly could be and should be such
an option.

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