As this is my first actual post on this blog, please forgive me for any grammatical or syntax error exist!

Have you ever wished to install a new Linux distribution, but you cannot find any empty CD to burn the image? Oh, wait! Your laptop does not have any CD-ROM drive at all! What should we do now? I occasionally observe that when it comes to Linux installation, one must have an empty CD-ROM or a USB stick to burn/copy the image respectively. In the latter case, when your USB stick is not empty, you have to make a copy of them, prior flashing the image to the stick. Otherwise, your data would be lost! In this post, I would like to present you an alternative installation method for any Linux installation! That means, no more CDs that become obsolete after 6 months (the period between two successive Ubuntu versions) or lost data in your USB stick. The only thing you should have is a working USB stick. The size does not matter actually. As long as the size is greater that 8 MB, it suits for the job! And of course, network connectivity to the machine you are going to perform the installation.


The term PXE stands for Preboot eXecution Environment. The majority of people may have seen this term when they inadvertently selected the "Network Boot" option after their PC has started. Upon Network Boot selection, the execution is diverted on an executable lied on the NIC firmware that is capable of communicating with a PXE server, and download the image to be booted. More information about PXE can be found in the respective Wikipedia article. PXE offers a primitive environment to download and run an image. Moreover, its requisite is to have a PXE server. Moreover PXE is embedded on network card`s firmware, thus cannot change so easily, not to mention that the whole firmware is proprietary. Hopefully some developers created an open source boot firmware called iPXE).

OK. How can I install iPXE on my PC

If you just want to install a distro quick and easy you just want to download the iPXE ISO and burn it to a CD-ROM or put it on your favorite USB stick and you are ready. The iPXE page provides more information on that.

How to run it

Just boot your computer and be sure you chose the correct medium to boot from. If everything go well you will see a screen like this one! Quickly press Ctrl+B to get to the command line

Boot Ubuntu at last

Just type the following
set 209:string pxelinux.cfg/default
set 210:string<codename>/installer-amd64/current/images/netboot
chain ${210:string}pxelinux.0
You can change architecture from amd64 to i386 if you wish to install the 32bit version. That's all!