How do I install Linux over the network , using ftp, http....

  • 4
    Did you try searching a little before posting. There are plenty of howtos and documentation on the distibutions websites for doing that. Also could you give more informations about what you want to achieve?
    – Maxwell
    Dec 3, 2009 at 9:00

5 Answers 5


The keyword you need to search for is pxeboot.

If you're wanting to install lots of machines over the network you should also investigate kickstart.

  • +1 pxeboot is the solution and works very well.
    – pjc50
    Dec 3, 2009 at 10:13

I think what you're searching is TFTP. Many BIOSes allow you to boot via TFTP. All you need to do is setup a TFTP Server and provide and image of your distribution. Once you boot your PC/Notebook it should fetch the image over the network and boot from it.

Best wishes, Fabian


Look into PXEBoot as the others have mentioned, but if you're looking to do the network installs on a larger scale and a good system to maintain all those machines (updates, installs, etc.) then take a look into XCAT (http://xcat.sourceforge.net/).



Does your server support remote ISO mounting such as HP's iLO? if so then I believe that'll be the simplest method, otherwise a PXE/kickstart is the the way to go.


I'll recommend to you an alternative that I'm aware of if you want a Debian based linux.

FAI (Fully automatic installation) for "large" unattended installations. A little setup has to be done, but worth it. FAI uses PXEBoot with DHCP, TFTP, NFS on a debian/ubuntu system. You can customize the install for every machine in the network using a class concept. It also integrates with CFEngine (and possible with toher management tools like puppet. I didn't try it yet).

Best regards, Humber