I happen to have a box without HDD (or CD for that matter), but with four (now clean) USB sticks, no display, on wired LAN without DHCP server (i.e. static network configuration).

I want to install latest Ubuntu Server on this box.

Is there an installation guide that would cover all of the above points? Alternatively, please point to guides that I can mash together to figure out what I need :-)

  • Can you add an display/keyboard for the purpose of installing? – Oli Feb 29 '12 at 16:59
  • No, or I wouldn't be asking this :-) – Alexander Gladysh Feb 29 '12 at 17:20
  • This seems like an astronomical corner case. Have you tried installing on another computer referencing all your disks by UUID/label then just moving them across? – RobotHumans Feb 29 '12 at 17:44
  • ...But I can put anything on the sticks (and have a spare one handy) – Alexander Gladysh Feb 29 '12 at 17:45
  • @aking1012: No, I have not. I do not have a 4-usb hub, but I can fix that. Care to point to a guide? – Alexander Gladysh Feb 29 '12 at 17:47

This seems like an astronomical corner case. Have you tried installing on another computer referencing all your disks by label then just moving them across?

'No, but I can try that'

At that point it becomes a really normal install. I'ld start here and tack on the caveat that you might have some issues with sound or video...but it doesn't sound like those are really relevant to your situation.

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  • Something that I think bears noting is that I've never set up HotPlugRaid, which is what it seems like you're trying to do for an entire system(given the USB requirement). Not sure how just yanking a USB raid member would effect the situation. – RobotHumans Feb 29 '12 at 18:29
  • Finally managed to install the thing (based on this, actually: help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SoftwareRAID). – Alexander Gladysh Mar 6 '12 at 9:44
  • Hard parts: (1) find something with 4 USB ports that would not shut them down when all are in use; (2) set up boot with tftp for the thing, for Ubuntu network install /not so hard, actually/; (3) tell BIOS on the device to boot from the correct USB stick /hardest, had to borrow a display for that/. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 6 '12 at 9:46
  • I have to note RAID6 is a bit on a slower side. If I'd do that again, I'll probably try to RAID5. I get a nice 32 MB/s write speed, but from time to time writing process just freezes in D. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 6 '12 at 9:47
  • Improved performance/power reliability can be had when using a large number of usb devices like that by putting them on separate controllers. At least on my desktop, one controller is preferred over the others, so that's where you put usb media if more than one is bootable – RobotHumans Mar 6 '12 at 10:02

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