While the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program is loading, a screen may
appear asking you for driver media. The driver media screen is
most often seen in the following scenarios:
If you need to perform an installation from a network
If you need to perform an installation from a block
If you need to perform an installation from a PCMCIA
If you run the installation program by entering linux
dd at the installation boot prompt (Itanium
users should enter elilo linux
If you run the installation program on a computer which does not
have any PCI devices
Driver media can add support for hardware that may or may not be
supported by the installation program. Driver media could include a
driver diskette or image produced by Red Hat, it could be a diskette or
CD-ROM you make yourself from driver images found on the Internet, or
it could be a diskette or CD-ROM that a hardware vendor includes with
a piece of hardware.
Driver media is used if you need access to a particular device to
install Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Drivers can be used for network (NFS) installations,
installations using a PCMCIA or block device, non-standard or very new
CD-ROM drives, SCSI adapters, NICs, and other uncommon devices.
If an unsupported device is not needed to
install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on your system, continue with the installation and add
support for the new piece of hardware once the installation is
Driver images can be obtained from several sources. They may be
included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or they may be available from a hardware or
software vendor's website. If you suspect that your system may require
one of these drivers, you should create a driver diskette or CD-ROM
before beginning your Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation.
For users with x86-based systems, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD #1
includes driver images (including images/drvnet.img
— network card drivers and
images/drvblock.img — drivers for SCSI
controllers) containing many drivers (both common and obscure).
It is also possible to use a driver image via a
network file. Instead of using the linux dd boot
command, use the linux
dd=url command, where
url is replaced by an HTTP, FTP, or NFS
address of the driver image to be used.
Another option for finding specialized driver information is on
Red Hat's website at
under the section called Bug
Fixes. Occasionally, popular hardware may be made
available after a release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that does not work with drivers
already in the installation program or included on the driver images
on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD #1. In such cases, the Red Hat website may contain
a link to a driver image.
To create a driver diskette from a driver diskette image using
Red Hat Enterprise Linux:
Insert a blank, formatted diskette (or LS-120 diskette for
Itanium system users) into
the first diskette (or LS-120) drive.
From the same directory containing the driver diskette image,
such as drvnet.img,
type dd if=drvnet.img
of=/dev/fd0 as root.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux supports using a USB pen drive as a way to add driver
images during the installation process. The best way to do this is
to mount the USB pen drive and copy the desired
driverdisk.img onto the USB pen drive. For
dd if=driverdisk.img of=/dev/sda
You are then prompted during the installation to select the
partition and specify the file to be used.
If you need to use a driver image, such as during a PCMCIA device
or NFS installation, the installation program prompts you to insert
the driver (as a diskette, CD-ROM, or file name) when it is
However, there are some cases where you must specifically tell the
Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program to load that driver diskette and use it during
the installation process.
For example, to specifically load a driver diskette that you have
created, begin the installation process by booting from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD
#1 (or using boot media you have created). For x86-based
systems, at the boot: prompt, enter linux
dd if using an x86 or x86-64 system. Refer to Section 4.3.1 Booting the Installation Program on x86, AMD64, and
Intel® EM64T Systems for details on booting the
installation program. For Itanium systems, at the
Shell> prompt, type elilo linux
dd. Refer to Section 4.3.2 Booting the Installation Program on Itanium Systems for
details on booting the installation program.
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program asks you to insert the driver
diskette. Once the driver diskette is read by the installation
program, it can apply those drivers to hardware discovered on your
system later in the installation process.