Fedora LiveCD without CD drive

Yesterday I wanted to give the new Fedora 11 alpha a spin. Unfortunately it seems that Virtualbox doesn’t like Fedora – the system would always run unusably slow.
I started looking for a way to run the LiveCD without actually using a CD. Ubuntu has some good documentation on that, but I could not find anything similar for Fedora. So I had to figure it out myself and after a little tinkering I present to you the simple instructions on how to boot Fedora LiveCD’s from hard disk.

  1. Download the LiveCD
  2. Mount the CD Image and copy its contents to an unused partition (this *should* work with a in-use partition actually… but don’t blame me for lost data) like so:
    $ mkdir /tmp/fedora-cd
    $ mount -o loop F11-Alpha-i686-Live.iso /tmp/fedora-cd  # as root
    $ mkdir /tmp/installer
    $ mount /dev/sda4 /tmp/installer  # as root
  3. Now you have to edit your boot loader configuration. For grub this will typically be done in a file called /boot/grub/menu.lst or something like that. Add the following lines:
    # adjust these settings for the device you're actually using
    title Fedora 11 Alpha LiveCD
    root (hd0,3)
    kernel /isolinux/vmlinuz0 root=/dev/sda4 rootfstype=auto ro liveimg quiet rhgb
    initrd /isolinux/initrd0.img

Now you can boot into the LiveCD from the according Grub menu entry.


Alexander Gitter
contact at agitter net