HOWTO: Install ZeroShell on HDD

Forums Network Management ZeroShell HOWTO: Install ZeroShell on HDD

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    If you already have an existing Zeroshell server that is running over a live cd then I would recommend you should backup your database. This database backup can later be restored to the hard drive of your new zeroshell box.

    First you need to download the compact flash image of zeroshell.
    Goto and download the latest ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img.gz file.

    Copy that onto a 128MB USB Flash Drive.

    You will also need to download a Live Linux distro. I used Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop.

    Burn the image to a disk and boot your Zeroshell Server with it.

    Once you get to the desktop simply plug in your USB Flash Drive. Make sure that it is recognized and mounted properly. To ensure that you can check your desktop and you should find a new drive icon.

    Copy over ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img.gz from the Flash Drive to the Desktop.

    Use a Partition Manager e.g. Gparted or your favorite partition manager to completely format your hard drive. Make sure you delete all partitions on that drive. I recommend Gparted because it is much more graphical and then again it gives you the actual drive path of your hard drive. For most users with a single hard drive in box it would be “/dev/hda”.

    Goto System –> Administration –> GNOME Partition Editor

    Once Format is completed. You will need to continue with these steps:

    Start “Terminal” (command line prompt for Linux). Applications –> Accessories –> Terminal

    At prompt type in these commands:
    sudo -s

    This will give you root privileges.
    cd /Desktop

    Now we are going to unzip ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img.gz

    gunzip ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img.gz Where “x” is the distro version

    this will unzip the file “ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img”

    Now all we need to do is burn this image to our hard drive.

    dd < ZeroShell-1.0.x-CompactFlash512.img > /dev/hda Where “x” is the distro version & /dev/hda is path to your hard drive

    this process is not going to display any status. Once it is complete the control will return to prompt.

    Now reboot and make sure to eject your Live cd.

    The system will immediately boot to ZeroShell.

    Login to your new ZeroShell box from another pc. Using the default username and password.

    In setup goto storage and you should see a portion of your hard drive being used for ZeroShell. This is where you can use your previous backup to restore your settings to the new box.

    Select the left over part of the hard drive and restore the database to it. Now simply activate the newly restored database and you are set. You can delete the other database to free up space on the zeroshell partition and then again it would avoid confusion too. If you do not want to restore your previous database then you should backup the database that shows on the ZeroShell server and then restore it to the left over free space of the hard drive and then activate it.

    U r DONE…… enJoy


    No matter what I do, I still get GRUB when booting up.

    Does nobody else get it?


    does the system boot to ZeroShell.
    If you donot want to see the grub list then you can set the grub timeout to 0 by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst using your favorite editor.
    after system boot goto shell and edit the above file.
    However i found that the “menu.lst” file is read only. tried changing permissions and then did a chmod on it but it is still readonly. I cant seem to figure this one out even though i am logged in as root.

    if your system is not booting to ZeroShell then let me know and i will go over with the steps and help you as much as possible.



    It does not boot to any list at all.

    For some reason it is not picking up the boot sector as it should.

    I only get a command line saying:

    GRUB _

    That is it.

    You cannot type any command or do anything, it just sits there loking at you.

    Has anybody ever tested the flash image on a pc?

    What kind of pc did you use for this install?

    What Harddrive did you use.

    I have a 4.3 GB hard drive installed, and a CD rom, on a P3 pc, with 2 network cards in it.

    No matter what I try, it will never boot up.

    I was about to order an ide to flash convertor, and thought that may not work either, as I cannot even boot from a harddrive.

    the root folder has vmlinuz in it, but it will not run anything, when we tried to bot with other tools available on a cd.

    Nothing will work.

    If I boot up with a livecd, I can mount the partitions that the image created perfectly, and see the files on it, but still no boot.

    I cannot have a device running the cd all the time, as it slows down the system evertime I connect to it, as it has to wait for the cd to speed up first.

    Can you send me a hard drive image on cd with a working version on it?

    Then I can write the image from the cd onto the hard drive, and see if it will boot up.



    Can you install the system onto a 2 – 3Gb hardrive, and then make sure it works.

    Then Clone the harddrive, and I willl give you an FTP site, where you can upload the image to, where everybody can download it from?

    I will also need to know what tool to use to clone the image back to a hardrive again.

    This may save allot of people many hours and late nights.

    People with kids cannot spend hours on these things to try and make it work – our families will selfishly not allow us!

    Whished someone warned me about getting kids!


    i can can clone the hdd and create the image tomorrow.
    if you can send me info on a ftp location or alternatively i can let everyone download it from my office server.

    I can also make a PDF with screen shot images on howto install the whole thing. trust me it is easier than you think. The whole concept is to dump the iso image to a unpartitioned drive and after the iso burning is completed you should see 1 partition that would be 512MB (Holding the base linux files) and the rest as usable space where you would put the database.

    will help the mass anyway i can. Since i got this software for free, the least i can do is provide everyone with some helping hand towards its progress.

    the pc i used for my install is a eMachine eTower 633i. I real piece of junk but it works!!!



    I will appreciate it.

    I have web server with lot of bandwdth traffic available for downloads.

    usernid: zeroshell
    passwd: zeroshell

    Please upload to this one, as soon as it is active.

    Not sure when that happens, or I can download from your office server, and put it on there.


    When I did the dd command from the flash image, I ended up with 3 partitions.

    1 4mb partition, 1 100mb+ partition, and a 400mb partition.

    I never got only one partition from the image. Why is that?


    something possibly went wrong with your image burn. are your sure you are using the 512mb compact flash image.
    make sure that the hdd is formatted completely. No partitions.
    i was also thinking if we could possibly make a autorun cd that would burn the image to hdd using dd command as a shell executable script.
    do you guys have any other ideas that we can work around.

    PS:/ leaving for office now. will be uploading the iso in a couple of hours.



    i am uploading the ghost image of my drive rt now.
    i tried making a iso for the image but that didnt work.
    i successfully made a installer cd using ghost where the pc would boot off the cd into ghost and then you follow simple steps and burn the image to drive. worked like charm for me but cant seem to make a iso that works.
    so i am finally uploading the GHO file. burn the file to a disk. Just a data cd nothing fancy. All you need to do is get Norton Ghost and make a bootable floppy out of it and then start your pc with it and burn the GHO image to disk from cd and you are done.
    i was trying to get the ghost bootable floppy files so that everyone could make ghost floppy but that didnt work either.
    however i will keep on trying to get a bootable image iso for you all.
    if you guys have any other good HDD backup program that i can use then please do suggest.

    Please goto
    usernid: zeroshell
    passwd: zeroshell

    and download the GHO image.



    Thanks for that.

    The http download link is supposed to be something like:

    Not sure why it is not working.

    Thanks again.
    Will try it out tonight, NZ time.


    I finally got the image restored after figuring out a way to boot ghost.

    Brilliant utility from these guys:

    I restored the image and got “GRUB _”, and then the machine hangs.

    This is impossible. aaaaargh!

    Have you tried it on a clean machine?

    Why is your ghost image so small? Just compressed allot?
    Do you have a bootloader that boots from another partition?

    I could see the files being created as it created the image, including the default database, still … no boot.

    this is driving me nuts!!!

    I give up with running zershell from a hard drive.
    I have tried 5 different ways, and always get the same thing.

    Should one of the partitions be set active?
    Should the image be restored to a partition?

    The image created 4 partitions:
    1 7 MB
    2 109 MB
    3 384 MB
    4 rest of available space.

    There must be some stupid detail we are missing out somewhere!

    Email me at, so that we can discuss more details and not clutter the forum.

    Any body else tried the solution?


    download a disk management utility like gparted
    completely delete all partitions. Do not format hdd after deletion. Do not create any partition. Make sure your hardware is ok.
    and then try this solution. trust me i have done this so many times now and it works perfectly.
    after the image burn is complete, your hdd should show one 512mb partition. You should see another extended partition with the left over space.

    the GHO image is highly compressed so as to save upload and download time but i dont think that it should change anything because i burned the ghost image to another cd and then burned it onto my hdd and the system booted just fine.



    As far as I understand it, you can format partitions, but you cannot format a drive without partitions, right?


    sorry for the confusion. what i mean to say is delete all partitions on the hdd.

    have you tried installing zeroshell on a different pc? does it still get stuck on grub?

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