|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3: Installation Guide for the x86, Itanium™, and AMD64 Architectures|
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 device
If you need to perform an installation from a block device
If you need to perform an installation from a PCMCIA device
If you run the installation program by entering linux dd at the installation boot prompt (Itanium users should enter elilo linux dd)
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 drivers 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 complete.
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.
If you have a driver image that you need to write to a diskette, this can be done from within DOS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. On an Itanium system, the diskette must be an LS-120.
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.
To create a driver diskette from a driver diskette image using DOS:
Insert a blank, formatted diskette (or LS-120 diskette for Itanium system users) into the diskette drive.
From the same directory containing the driver diskette image, such as drvnet.img, type d:\dosutils\rawrite drvnet.img a: at the command line, where d: is the drive letter for the CD-ROM device.
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 needed.
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 the installation boot diskette). For x86-based systems, at the boot: prompt, enter linux dd if using an x86 or AMD64 system. Refer to Section 4.3.1 Booting the Installation Program on x86 and AMD64 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.