You can boot any ‘live’ Linux distro on Linode servers with some simple steps.

Table of Contents

Credit

This tutorial is based on https://www.linode.com/docs/guides/install-a-custom-distribution-on-a-linode/.

Create a new Linode

On your Linode Manager, go to ‘Linodes’ and click on ‘Create Linode’.

Create Linode button

You can leave default ‘Images’ option selected (Debian), select a region, a Linode Plan and a root password. Then, press on ‘Create Linode’.

Create Linode

Power off VPS and create two partitions

Power off the created Linode when creating process is finished. Then, click on the tree dots menu on the right side and select ‘Resize’.

Menu

Resize option

Uncheck ‘Auto Resize Disk’ option at the bottom and close this window (click ‘X’ button on the right).

Uncheck Auto Resize Disk

Go to ‘Storage’ tab and click on ‘Resize’ option on main disk partition. Change ‘Size’ to a lower capacity, so you have enough space for the ISO and a bit more for the boot process. Wait for the process to finish.

Resize Disk

Click on ‘Add a disk’ and fill the form:

  • Label: Installer
  • Filesystem: raw
  • Size: a bit bigger than the ISO file.

Add Installer Disk

After resizing process is finished, create another disk:

  • Label: Boot
  • Filesystem: raw
  • Size: you can leave the default (rest of available storage).

Add Boot Disk

Create two configurations

Go to ‘Configurations’ tab and select ‘Add Configuration’.

Add Configuration button

Add this info:

  • Label: Installer
  • Select a Kernel: Direct Disk
  • /dev/sda: Boot
  • /dev/sdb: Installer
  • Root device: /dev/sdb
  • Uncheck all ‘Filesystem/Boot Helpers’ options.

Click on ‘Add Configuration’ at the bottom.

Add Configuration profile

Add another configuration:

  • Label: Boot
  • Select a kernel: Direct Disk
  • /dev/sda: Boot
  • /dev/sdb: None
  • Root device: /dev/sda
  • Uncheck all ‘Filesystem/Boot Helpers’ options.

Click on ‘Add Configuration’ to confirm.

Boot in Rescue Mode

Click on the three dot menu and select ‘Rescue’. Under ‘/dev/sda’, select ‘Installer’. Select ‘None’ for the other partitions.

Rescue mode button

Rescue mode

Click on ‘Launch LISH Console’ and wait for the booting process to finish.

LISH console

Check ‘Installer’ disk is on the system with partition name /dev/sda. Type lsblk.

LISH console

Download ISO file and copy to /dev/sda

Use curl and dd to download ISO file and copy to /dev/sda partition. For example:

curl http://mirror.fsf.org/trisquel-images/trisquel-mini_10.0_amd64.iso | dd of=/dev/sda

When the process is over, type:

sync; echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

to empty the cache.

Power off and boot on Installer profile

Then, without closing LISH console, click on ‘Power off’ on Linode Manager window and go to LISH console to type Enter when confirm prompt appears. Close LISH console window.

LISH console

Finally, under ‘Configurations’ tab, click ‘Boot’ option next to ‘Installer’ profile and launch a new LISH console. Select ‘Glish’ at the top to open the graphical console.

Glish console