Can I run from command line (without GUI)?

Asked by David Barrett

Can I run unetbootin from a command-line on a server with with no video card? Unfortunately, I think the answer to this question is "no", but I'd like to confirm.

Basically, I'd like to use this as a more powerful version of "debtakeover" to wipe a server clean and install a new OS on it without ever physically touching it. (This is important because it's locked away in a remote datacenter.) Ideally it would work something like:

./unetbootin -distro Ubuntu -version 8.04 -arguments "interface=eth0;ip=x.y.z.w;gateway=x.y.z.w;netmask=x.y.z.w;seed=http://asdf/blah.seed"

Then it would download the standard Ubuntu 8.04 install ISO into RAM, boot it up and give the installer enough parameters to configure networking and download the "preseed" file with detailed instructions. The entire thing would install in a completely unattended manner (including setting some default user account), reboot, and then I could SSH in, change the password, and work from the clean server.

Am I dreamin? Is there any other tool that does this (or any good manual instructions for how to accomplish it myself?) Or can anybody familiar with the code give me a few pointers on how to add this?


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Geza Kovacs (gezakovacs) said :

My older version, located at (direct downloads still available at you want the .sh version of the package titled "UNetbootin Ubuntu 8.04") was actually capable of being run from command-line, though I scrapped that functionality since essentially all the users were using the GUI version. However, no I did not implement automatic installation for it, since that would mean different install mechanisms for each distro (preseed for debian-based, kickstart for redhat/fedora, etc). However, if all that's important for you is that you can do it remotely, wouldn't something like X tunneling over SSH or VNC do the job, or maybe virtualize your install environment via XEN or the like and SSH into that?

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Geza Kovacs (gezakovacs) said :

FYI, if you wanted to prepare your own script to automate this (shouldn't be that hard, all you need to do is add preseed generation functionality to my older .sh version) see you'll probably be most interested in the "tohost" install mode section. As for info on generating preseed files (which you can automate the installation and pass username/password/etc configuration with) see and

Also, since you're doing this on remote servers, I'd suggest simply setting up an FTP server and do a local FTP-install from that, rather than using an ISO file, you can find info about that at (you'll probably be most interested in the section titled "Advanced: Hands-Off, Preseeded Network Server Install")

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Manjusha (gopakumar-manjusha) said :

I do desperately want to use as I am using it part of a script .But I am unable to use and download the from .MD5 checksum never really matches .Am I doing something wrong ?

Can you help with this problem?

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