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[OCLUG-Tech] trying to install centos 6.5 on USB drive on UEFI-enabled laptop

  • Subject: [OCLUG-Tech] trying to install centos 6.5 on USB drive on UEFI-enabled laptop
  • From: "Robert P. J. Day" <rpjday [ at ] crashcourse [ dot ] ca>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:22:47 -0500 (EST)
  looking for advice on how i can make the following easier. i have a
class coming up in late january that involves me teaching RHEL 6.5
(actually, centos 6.5) admin stuff, and i have in front of me a sample
laptop that each student will have on which to install and mess with
centos 6.5 for the week, and herein lies the problem.

  it's an asus ultrabook, UEFI-enabled, running windows 8, and i've
first been told to try very very hard to not install centos over top
of the windows installation. no problem ... what i was thinking of
doing was installing centos onto 16G USB drives so that students can
mess with their install as much as they want, and take the drive with
them after the course is over to keep playing. so that part seems

  oh, and the ultrabook has no DVD drive, so i'm limited to 3 USB
ports (and the SD slot which i have no intention of using. onward.)

  first issue is that centos 6.5 is not UEFI-compatible, as explained


so i started with following that recipe, and creating a minimal,
UEFI-compatible, bootable USB drive. boot from that, drop into the
BIOS, select that USB drive as the boot device and ... yup, it boots,
so far, so good.

  however, that's a minimal USB drive, so it would be nice to install
full centos over the network, and early in the install process, i'm
given a choice of where the install image is, so i select "NFS
directory", at which point i see simply "Waiting for NetworkManager to
configure wlan0" ... and ... "There was an error configuring your
network interface."

  ok, fine, i'll fight with the network later. for now, i'll create a
*second* (8G) USB drive with the full centos 6.5 DVD ISO image "dd"ed
onto it, pop them *both* in the ultrabook, and reboot. oh, and i'll
put the final 16G USB drive in the superspeed USB port -- that will be
the installation target.

  reboot with all three USB drives. in the BIOS, i've disabled Secure
Boot Control (was that necessary?), and in the last BIOS menu, i can
see two USB devices, one of which i recognize as the minimal UEFI
drive so pick that as my boot device, linux starts to book, i get to
the point where i select where the installation image, and i select
"/dev/sde1" which corresponds to the USB drive with the full DVD ISO,
get to partitioning menu and select *only* the 16G USB drive as the
target install device and let it go, and it's installing as we speak.

  how difficult have i made this for myself? the obstacles are:

* ultrabook has no DVD drive
* ultrabook is UEFI boot so i can't boot a regular ISO image off of
USB drive
* if i make the required minimal UEFI boot USB device, i need to get
the full install image from elsewhere and, for now, the network
doesn't seem to activate (but i'll fight with that later)

  finally, once the install is finished (just starting right now),
will i even be able to boot that USB drive? or will UEFI once again
get in the way?




Robert P. J. Day                                 Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

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