Howto make a homebrew bootable RedHat Linux 5.2 CD-ROM

With these instructions you’ll be able to create a homebrew bootable RedHat Linux 5.2 GPL CD-ROM with all the Errata updates and some other favourite add-on software. Procedure requires you to be running Linux on that download host. If automatic Errata installation is not needed (see step 3), you can do all the rest on any unix having needed tools (ncftp, mkisofs).Perhaps you can use the same procedure downloading the software with WS_FTP LE , pre-mastering the ISO9660 image with mkisofs + mkhybrid for Win32 and burning the image with EasyCD or Gear on a Win9x/NT, but I cannot confim it to work for you.


  1. Get the distributionncftp is a great tool to recursively download RedHat Linux distribution:To get it from RedHat:
    cd /tmp ncftp -r -R &

    To get it from Funet:

    cd /tmp ncftp -r -R &

    For other RedHat mirrors, just refer RedHat MIRRORS document

    ncftp sources are available from

  2. Get Errata updatesTo get it from RedHat:
    # Errata documents and i386 updates first: mkdir /tmp/updates cd /tmp/updates lynx  -source  > rh52-errata-general.html lynx -source  > rh52-errata-intel.html ncftp -r -R & # # Then updated boot images: mkdir /tmp/updates/images cd /tmp/updates/images & # # And finally optional updates required by kernel-2.2.x: mkdir /tmp/updates/kernel-2.2 cd /tmp/updates/kernel-2.2 &

    To get it from Funet:

    # Errata documents and i386 updates first: mkdir /tmp/updates cd /tmp/updates lynx  -source  > rh52-errata-general.html lynx -source  > rh52-errata-intel.html ncftp -r -R & # # Then updated boot images: mkdir /tmp/updates/images cd /tmp/updates/images & # # And finally optional updates required by kernel-2.2.x: mkdir /tmp/updates/kernel-2.2 cd /tmp/updates/kernel-2.2 &

  3. Patch the distribution to install all Errata updates automatically This part is only for guru usage ! If you think you’re not ready for this, just ignore this section and go to the next step. You’ve just included all the Errata updates into the CD-ROM, so you can install those updates manually later. Just follow instructions saved in HTML format under directory /updatesYou must do the following under Linux, because we’re running genhdlist utility by RedHat under the OS.It’s possible to include all the Errata updates into the distribution. After installing the distribution you’ll have all the Errata updates installed automatically. Here’s how to do this.
    • Copy all those Errata rpm’s into /tmp/RedHat/RPMS directory:
      cd /tmp/i386/RedHat/RPMS cp -p /tmp/i386/updates/i386/*.rpm .
    • Remove duplicates (original rpms’s of those Errata fixes) from the directory /tmp/i386/RedHat/RPMS
    • Update RedHat/base/hdlist install database with misc/src/install/genhdlist utility. For some completely new rpm’s you must declare them into file /tmp/i386/RedHat/base/comps. I don’t know, when this is necessary and under which section of the file the rpm must be declared. If you’ve some information to tell me, please do so.And finally:
      cd /tmp/i386 chmod 755 misc/src/install/genhdlist misc/src/install/genhdlist /tmp/i386

      As a result RedHat/base/hdlist database will be updated:

      ls -l /tmp/i386/RedHat/base/hdlist

  4. Set proper user rights for the downloaded files
    chmod -R 755 /tmp/i386 chown -R root:root /tmp/i386

    Note: if you don’t need GNOME sources, you can leave the off now:

    rm -Rf /tmp/i386/gnome/SRPMS

    Instead you might want to collect some other goodies into the same CD-ROM: KDE 1.1, StarOffice 5.0, WordPerfect 8, Oracle 8, CA Ingres II, contrib binaries + sources, … whatever. Read carefully license information of those packages. Some of them might not allow you to burn the software on a CD-ROM even it’s just for your personal use. :(

  5. Update your mkisofs to version 1.12b4mkisofs sources are available from you’re using RedHat 5.x, you can update mkisofs from glibc2 based RedHat 5.2 distribution that you just downloaded:
    rpm -Uvh /tmp/i386/RedHat/RPMS/mkisofs-1.12b4-1.i386.rpm

  6. Create a bootable ISO9660 cdrom image file with Joliet + Rock Ridge support Note: we’re using updated boot image from Errata updates:
    cd /tmp/i386 mkisofs -b updates/images/i386/boot.img -c boot.catalog  -o /tmp/rh52img.iso  -J -r -T  -p RedHat_Linux  -P  -A RedHat_Linux_5.2_GPL_version  -V RH52GPL  .

    Note: if you collect some extra software (as KDE, contrib src/bin, …) into the same directory structure to have them on the same CD-ROM as well, don’t let the image file to grow bigger than 332500 blocks (each 2048 bytes – makes 680960000 bytes). Some CD-R programs and/or CD-R disks doesn’t allow bigger images. It just depends.

  7. Mount the image into Linux filesystem with loopback support of the kernel
    mkdir /mnt/redhat-5.2 mount -t iso9660 -o loop /tmp/rh52img.iso /mnt/redhat-5.2 ls -l /mnt/redhat-5.2 umount /mnt/redhat-5.2

  8. If the image seems to be ok, burn itYou can use Linux or Win32 based CD-R applications to do it. For example Adaptec EasyCD v3.5b and Gear v4.2 does the job fine.Note: EasyCD v3.0x -> v3.5b patch is freely available from Adaptec (actually here)The CD-ROM has long filename support for Win32 (Joliet) and unix (Rock Ridge). Linux itself supports both of those ISO-9660 extensions since 2.0.3x (who remembers ?) kernel.

  9. InstallationCD-ROM you just made, is bootable one. If you pc can boot from the CD-ROM drive, just setup bios boot parameters to allow that, insert CD-ROM into the drive and reboot to install.If your CD-ROM is not bootable, you must make install disks as described in /doc/rhmanual/manual/doc091.htm#sB document on the CD-ROM.For a FTP, NFS or SMB network installation you can mount the CD-ROM into some other unix system. HP-UX supports Rock Ridge via PFS (Portable File System – see ‘man pfs_mount’). Digital Unix supports it directly (see ‘man mount’) just like Linux. Perhaps some other unix variants do the same – I cannot say more.

Other similar pages I’ve found around the net: 

Other useful documents:


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