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Linux installation at CERN



Using PXE network boot

All modern PCs purchased at CERN (since 2002/2003) are capable of remote booting from the network server using Preboot Execution Environment (PXE): this method can be used on CERN site in order to install all CERN supported Linux distributions without the need for additional boot media: CD/DVD,floppy or USB key.

In order to use PXE for installation:

1. Go to http://network.cern.ch (Network Connection Request Form) and update the information about your computer using Update Information or New Connection menu. In order to be able to install Linux over network your system must be setup as LINUX in the Operating System field and Obtain an IP address automatically checkbox must be checked.

NOTE: It may take up to 15 minutes before change in the information above becomes active.

2. While powering on your computer F12 key should be pressed to initiate the network boot. (On some computers Esc must be pressed instead and network adapter boot selected with arrow keys).

NOTE: Make sure that network boot is enabled in your computer BIOS settings.

3. After a short while an installation menu will allow you to choose with Arrow and Enter keys which version of Linux you would like to install on your computer. For detailed instructions on installation and setup of supported Linux versions please visit:

For more information, see AIMS description.


Using boot media (CD/floppy/USB key)

If your computer is not capable of PXE network boot you will need to prepare installation media first. For detailed instruction on installation and setup of supported Linux versions please visit:


Using Automated Installation Management Service (AIMS)

This installation method is mostly of interest for Computer Center system managers (or any other system managers performing massive automated installations). It is based on PXE booting and Kickstart automated installation method. See AIMS description for more information.


Linux distributions available on Linux Installation Service

The full list of available Linux distributions can be found here.