Linux Install options in Fedora

June 23, 2006

A commonly asked question among new users and some experienced users is how do I do get this or that during the installation of Fedora Core Linux. Below is a list of command line options that can be used when you first boot from your Fedora distro media–taken from Anaconda-10.0:


Boot time command args:

expert          Turns on special features:
- allows partitioning of removable media
- prompts for driver disk

noshell         Do not put a shell on tty2 during install.

lowres          Force GUI installer to run at 640x480.

resolution=<mode> Run installer in mode specified, '1024x768' for example.

nousb           Do not load USB support (helps if install hangs
early sometimes).

nofb            Do not load the VGA16 framebuffer required for doing
text-mode installation in some languages

nofirewire      Do not load support for firewire devices

askmethod       Do not automatically use the CD-ROM as the install
source if we detect a Red Hat Linux CD in your CD-ROM drive.

nousbstorage    Do not load usbstorage module in loader.  May help with
device ordering on SCSI systems.

noparport       Do not attempt to load support for parallel ports

noprobe         Do not attempt to detect hw, prompts user instead.

nopcmcia        Ignore PCMCIA controller in system.

skipddc         Skips DDC probe of monitor, may help if its handing system.

graphical       Force graphical install. Required to have ftp/http use GUI.

text            Force text mode install.

vnc             Enable vnc-based installation. You will need to connect
to the machine using a vnc client application.

vncpassword=<password>  Enable a password for the vnc connection. This will
prevent someone from inadvertantly connecting to the
vnc-based installation.

Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.

vncconnect=<host>[:<port>]   Once installation is up and running, connect to
the vnc client named <host>, and optionally use port <port>.

Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.

updates         Prompt for floppy containing updates (bug fixes).

isa             Prompt user for ISA devices configuration.

dd              Use a driver disk.

driverdisk      Same as 'dd'.

mediacheck      Activates loader code to give user option of testing integrity
of install source (if an ISO-based method).

rescue          Run rescue environment.

nomount         Don't automatically mount any installed Linux partitions
in rescue mode.

nopass          Don't pass keyboard/mouse info to stage 2 installer, good for
testing keyboard and mouse config screens in stage2 installer
during network installs.

serial          Turns on serial console support.

ksdevice        Takes an argument like 'eth0', tells install what network
device to use for kickstart from network.

ks              Kickstart over NFS.

ks=cdrom:       Kickstart from CDROM

ks=nfs:<path>   Kickstart from NFS.

ks=<url>        Kickstart via HTTP.

ks=hd:<dev>     Kickstart via harddrive (dev = 'hda1', for example)

ks=file:<path>  Kickstart from a file (path = 'fd0/ks.cfg')

ks=ftp://<path> Kickstart from FTP.

ks=http://<path> Kickstart from HTTP.

kssendmac       Adds HTTP headers to ks=http:// request that can be helpful
for provisioning systems.  Includes MAC address of all nics in
a CGI environment variable of the form
all nics.

dhcpclass=<class> Sends a custom DHCP vendor class identifier. ISC's dhcpcd can
inspect this value using "option vendor-class-identifier".

upgradeany      Don't require an /etc/redhat-release that matches the
expected syntax to upgrade.

lang=<lang>     Language to use for the installation.  This should be a
language which is valid to be used with the 'lang' kickstart

keymap=<keymap> Keyboard layout to use.  Valid values are those which can be
used for the 'keyboard' kickstart command.

ip=<ip>         IP to use for a network installation, use 'dhcp' for DHCP.

netmask=<nm>    Netmask to use for a network installation.

gateway=<gw>    Gateway to use for a network installation.

dns=<dns>       Comma separated list of nameservers to use for a network

method=nfs:<path> Use <path> for an NFS installation.

method=http://<path> Use <path> for an HTTP installation

method=ftp://<path> Use <path> for an FTP installation

method=hd://<dev>/<path> Use <path> on <dev> for a hard drive installation

method=cdrom    Do a CDROM based installation.

vnc             Do graphical installation via VNC.  Instead of
starting a normal X server, vncserver will be started
and you can then connect remotely to do the

vncpassword=<password>  Set a password for the vnc session.

vncconnect=<host>[:<port>]   Once installation is up and running, connect to
the vnc client named <host>, and optionally, on port <port>.
Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.

Below is a list of undocumented commands that I found contained in the anaconda source:


debug           Start up pdb immediately
nofallback      If GUI fails exit
rootpath=       Where to install packages (default /mnt/sysimage)
pcic=           Specify pcmcia controller
overhead=       Override LVM overhead calculation
traceonly       Don't run, just list modules we use
kickstart=      Set serial install and kickstart file
kbdtype=        Set the type of keyboard
module=         Load additional kernel modules
class=          Choose install class to use
autostep        Make kickstart non-interactive
noselinux       Disable Security Enhanced Linux
selinux         Enable Security Enhanced Linux
cmdline         Use command line installer
headless        Automate install for machines with no display
xfs             Allows the creation of a xfs filesystem
reiserfs        Allows the creation of a reiserfs filesystem
jfs             Allows the creation of a jfs filesystem




  1. Some additional option is required to specify the location of an existing installation. On a system with two disks, hda1 is /boot, hda2 is /, hdb1 is swap, and hdb2 is /home, anaconda only checks the first Linux partition on each drive, hda1 and hdb2, and fails to find the existing installation. Or anaconda should be smarter.

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