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Installer Kernels#

Ubuntu maintains installer kernels that are lightweight way to load the Ubuntu installer and then stream packages over the network as needed. The installer kernels are located at:

# or other ubuntu mirrors## (${version} == xenial, bionic, etc)# (${arch} == amd64, i386)
# original release directory: # ubuntu/dists/${version}/main/installer-${arch}/current/images/netboot/# # updated release directory which contain newer kernels and updates:# ubuntu/dists/${version}-updates/main/installer-${arch}/current/images/netboot/## kernel filename: linux# initrd filename: initrd.gz

In order to load them, you'll need use a boot snippet in iPXE similar to:

set install_params auto=true priority=criticalset mirror http://archive.ubuntu.comset base_dir ubuntuset ubuntu_version bionicset arch amd64set mirrorcfg mirror/suite=${ubuntu_version}set dir ${mirror}/${base_dir}/dists/${version}/main/installer-${arch}/current/images/netboot
kernel ${dir}/linux ${install_params} ${mirrorcfg} -- quiet initrd=initrd.gzinitrd ${dir}/initrd.gzboot

If you want to use a preseed url for automation, you can add this to the kernel line:

set preseedurl${preseedurl}

For more examples you can view the configuration for Ubuntu here.

Live Boot#

Ubuntu also provides a number of Live Boot ISOs that will boot an OS directly into memory and can be used immediately without doing an install or modifying the hard drive. The Live OS will also include the installer as well. These are great for evaluating other desktops that you might want to try out without doing a full install.

Ubuntu Budgie
Ubuntu Kylin
Ubuntu Mate
Ubuntu Studio