Installing CentOS 6.2 from the net installer ISO on a 1 GB Kingston DataTraver USB stick

What is nice about CentOS 6.2 is the ability to install the OS from a USB stick. Here is how I performed my installation.

  1. The USB stick had been used before, so I reformatted it to NTFS to simulate the file system when it was first acquired. I plugged it into my Windows 7 system and reformatted the stick.
  2. On another Linux system I downloaded the ISO at
  3. I mounted the USB stick on the Linux system. You will need to install the ntfs-3g package if you want to see the memory stick. With CentOS 6.2 the package is fuse-nfts-3g. You can mount it anywhere because we are more concerned with the device name than the mount point. Once it is mounted run a `df` command to see the device name.
  4. The command to run is:
    `dd if=/path/to/iso/CentOS-6.2-i386-netinstall.iso of=/dev/sdb (or the device name for your USB stick as found with the `df` command) bs=1M`
  5. It will return to a command prompt when finished.
  6. Un-mount the USB stick: `umount /dev/sdb`
  7. ENSURE your machine is set to boot from a USB device. Re-mount the USB stick and restart the machine.
  8. The machine should boot into the install mode.
  9. I found it is better to select “Install with minimal video drivers” instead of shooting for the Gnome installation.
  10. The URL I used for the installation was Your URL will vary by the platform you are building.
  11. NOTE: Since you are using the Internet for the installation, download and there for installation times will vary.
  12. You can perform the default partitioning. It will basically divide the hard drive into 1 primary partition /boot and three logical partitions swap, / , and /home. If you have a large hard drive you might not like that, because now you have lost the ability to use the space for other projects unless you want to perform and lvmresize. The default file system is ext4.
  13. How you configure the software is up to you. If you are running on an x86 machine, KVM will not longer be supported with CentOS 6. Seems like a shame to just drop the platform, but the business side won. So you will need to compile another virtual environment or by-pass the whole CentOS installation and install VMWare ESX, which is free.

These directions also work for the LiveCD installation on a 1GB Memory stick.


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