When you want to install Linux you usually have the following options:

But what if I want to make a separate partition on my HDD, mount the Linux installer ISO on it, select that partition in the bootloader and run it from there? How can I do that? If there are any reasons why I shouldn't install any OS like this, let me know why.

  • Do you already have a convenient boot loader installed on that machine? (the Windows one / Lilo / Grub ...) – golimar May 30 '13 at 13:43
  • I have Grub 2 installed – Wouter Dorgelo May 30 '13 at 13:57
  • 1
    Then you can copy the files inside the ISO to disk and configure Grub to boot with those files. Google "Install linux from hard disk" – golimar May 30 '13 at 14:42
  • possible duplicate of Can I install windows using a virtual disk drive? – Nifle May 30 '13 at 15:37

One reason you might not want to use this sort of configuration is a difference in filesystems; because while Linux can read and write to NTFS partitions, Windows cannot (without third-party software) read or write to any type of filesystem aside from FAT or NTFS. Additionally, while as I mentioned there IS a selection of third-party software out there which WILL allow you to access EXT2/3/4 partitions, that software is far from perfect and in many cases will only increase the risk of damaging the data on those partitions.

I know personal opinions are somewhat frowned upon by the moderators, but here's my $0.02 anyways. You would be much better served running Linux in a virtual machine.

  • Huh? The OP just wants to install Linux without using a USB or CD. That has nothing to do with whether or not the resulting system will be accessible from Windows. – terdon May 30 '13 at 14:48
  • @terdon is right, what does NTFS support have to do with the OP's question? As long as Grub or any other boot loader/manager can boot from the ISO (as-is or extracted), the files can be on an ext4 partition for all anyone cares. – Karan May 30 '13 at 23:19

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