Hello, Debian has been installable from USB (or from any non-optical non-floppy mass storage device, to be exact, but I shall use the term “USB stick” for convenience) since some time.
Preparing installation optical disks or floppies is, or used to be easy, and involves two operations, depending on the case: wget cd.iso wodim dev=/dev/cdrom cd.iso wget floppy.img dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/floppy However, preparing an USB stick is not really easy: wget hd-media.img wget cd.iso dd if=hd-media.img of=/dev/stick mount /dev/stick /mnt cp cd.iso /mnt umount /mnt The installation manual explains that in a non-straightforward way, describing two methods, and giving only hints to find where to download the two needed images. In addition, this procedure depends on *nix tools, and is thus inapplicable for many user that start installing Debian from a foreign system, which is a common case. Because of this complication, I see many beginners failing at preparing USB images, if not failing to install Debian at all because they do not have an optical drive. Could we consider providing ready-to-use hd-media images? Something that would only need to be downloaded an written to a USB stick, as we do for optical media? I see two ways to implement that: * doing the copy of the CD image on the hd-media filesystem before making it available as an image; * using the recent hybrid boot feature of SYSLINUX, that allow to build single images that are bootable either as El Torito optical media or as MBR on-optical media, if applicable to the Debian installer. If there are specific reasons not to provide ready-to-use, but only pieces of hd-media images, as we currently do, these reasons might be worth being documented in the installation manual with a note such as: “Note: this procedure is not as easy as the CD one, because [blah].” That would avoid further messages such as this very one. :-) Cheers, and thanks for the great piece of software that the Debian installed is, by the way, to support so many architectures and media types. :-) -- ,--. : /` ) Tanguy Ortolo | `-' Debian maintainer \_
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