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I haven't installed Ubuntu from a disc/usb in ages. At least 2 LTS versions. I have always just upgraded my server in place. I purchased new hardware that will replace that older server and instead of just moving the LVM over from the old server I've decided to start fresh.

My normal procedure for fresh server installs is:

  1. Install from CD/USB without network connection
  2. Log in, attach network, install some base packages that are not there by default
  3. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade to kick off the massive download
  4. Continue to setup server while (3) completes

This normally results in about 15 minutes of me waiting for the server to install offline, followed by a much longer period where the updates download and install but at least by that point I can start using the server.

With the 13.10 server image that I just pulled down via torrent I cannot seem to find a way to install without a functional network connection. I've attempted Normal. Minimal, and OEM install modes and in each one I cannot get past the network setup. When autoconfiguration fails because no network is present, I select configure network later and it still prompts me for an Ubuntu mirror server. Until it can connect to that server it will not progress.

This disrupts my workflow and makes isolated network installs impossible. What gives?

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You need to ignore the DHCP discovery and continue with the installation. You can also press Esc and skips procedures. The mini.iso will be most likely give you problems since it's the most basic of the basics package that it includes.

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That's the thing, there's no way to ignore it. I wait for DHCP to fail and then select 'do not configure a network at this time'. That should be the installer's hint to not bother trying to connect to an Ubuntu mirror. Yet I cannot continue past that step, even if I manually select a later step in the installer menu. It just brings me back to the select a mirror step. – Huckle Feb 16 '14 at 20:45

On a working box with internet and Ubuntu installed, you can install aptoncd or one of the many other options available to put apt repositories on cd or usb drive. See similar question here How can I install software or packages without Internet (offline)?

Also, I believe you can purchase dvds from ubuntu here although, as a single dvd it doesn't look like a complete repository image.

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The only other option is debian, which has full dvd and cd images available as a set or series – mchid Mar 14 '15 at 18:02

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