4.2. Preparing for a Hard Drive Installation

download PDF


Hard drive installations only work from ext2, ext3, ext4, or FAT file systems. You cannot use a hard drives formatted for any other file system as an installation source for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
To check the file system of a hard drive partition on a Windows operating system, use the Disk Management tool. To check the file system of a hard drive partition on a Linux operating system, use the fdisk tool.


You cannot use ISO files on partitions controlled by LVM (Logical Volume Management).
Use this option to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on systems without a DVD drive or network connection.
Hard drive installations use the following files:
  • an ISO image of the installation DVD. An ISO image is a file that contains an exact copy of the content of a DVD.
  • an install.img file extracted from the ISO image.
  • optionally, a product.img file extracted from the ISO image.
With these files present on a hard drive, you can choose Hard drive as the installation source when you boot the installation program (refer to Section 8.3, “Installation Method”).
Ensure that you have boot media available on CD, DVD, or a USB storage device such as a flash drive.
To prepare a hard drive as an installation source, follow these steps:
  1. Obtain an ISO image of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation DVD (refer to Chapter 1, Obtaining Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Alternatively, if you have the DVD on physical media, you can create an image of it with the following command on a Linux system:
    dd if=/dev/dvd of=/path_to_image/name_of_image.iso
    where dvd is your DVD drive device, name_of_image is the name you give to the resulting ISO image file, and path_to_image is the path to the location on your system where the resulting ISO image will be stored.
  2. Transfer the ISO image to the hard drive.
    The ISO image must be located on a hard drive that is either internal to the computer on which you will install Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or on a hard drive that is attached to that computer by USB.
  3. Use a SHA256 checksum program to verify that the ISO image that you copied is intact. Many SHA256 checksum programs are available for various operating systems. On a Linux system, run:
    $ sha256sum name_of_image.iso
    where name_of_image is the name of the ISO image file. The SHA256 checksum program displays a string of 64 characters called a hash. Compare this hash to the hash displayed for this particular image on the Downloads page in the Red Hat Customer Portal (refer to Chapter 1, Obtaining Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The two hashes should be identical.
  4. Copy the images/ directory from inside the ISO image to the same directory in which you stored the ISO image file itself. Enter the following commands:
    mount -t iso9660 /path_to_image/name_of_image.iso /mount_point -o loop,ro
    cp -pr /mount_point/images /publicly_available_directory/
    umount /mount_point
    where path_to_image is the path to the ISO image file, name_of_image is the name of the ISO image file, and mount_point is a mount point on which to mount the image while you copy files from the image. For example:
    mount -t iso9660 /var/isos/RHEL6.iso /mnt/tmp -o loop,ro
    cp -pr /mnt/tmp/images /var/isos/
    umount /mnt/tmp
    The ISO image file and an images/ directory are now present, side-by-side, in the same directory.
  5. Verify that the images/ directory contains at least the install.img file, without which installation cannot proceed. Optionally, the images/ directory should contain the product.img file, without which only the packages for a Minimal installation will be available during the package group selection stage (refer to Section 9.17, “Package Group Selection”).


    install.img and product.img must be the only files in the images/ directory.


anaconda has the ability to test the integrity of the installation media. It works with the DVD, hard drive ISO, and NFS ISO installation methods. We recommend that you test all installation media before starting the installation process, and before reporting any installation-related bugs (many of the bugs reported are actually due to improperly-burned DVDs). To use this test, type the following command at the boot: prompt:
linux mediacheck
Red Hat logoGithubRedditYoutubeTwitter


Try, buy, & sell


About Red Hat Documentation

We help Red Hat users innovate and achieve their goals with our products and services with content they can trust.

Making open source more inclusive

Red Hat is committed to replacing problematic language in our code, documentation, and web properties. For more details, see the Red Hat Blog.

About Red Hat

We deliver hardened solutions that make it easier for enterprises to work across platforms and environments, from the core datacenter to the network edge.

© 2024 Red Hat, Inc.