Last change on 2020-06-05 • Created on 2020-05-18

installimage Script

The installimage script provided by Hetzner offers an easy and fast method of installing various Linux distributions.

Installimage can be run directly from the Rescue System on your server. It offers a menu driven interface where you can select a Linux distribution of your choice. You have full control over the partitioning of your drive(s) and can activate the use of sofware RAID as well as LVM using a simple editor.

Running installimage

To use installimage you first need to activate and then boot into the Rescue System.

Once logged into the Rescue System as "root" using the password displayed in the Robot, type installimage to start the installimage script:

root@rescue ~ #installimage

The following menu will be shown:

Example of the images menu

After choosing an image, you will receive a note that the editor will be started, which opens the configuration file.

Midnight Commander (mcedit) is used as editor.

OS Choices

We offer a number of standard images that you can use. These are typically the latest version of the particular distribution.

Advanced users can also install older versions of these distributions, by going to the old\_images folder. Please note that we don't offer any support for these older images.

In addition, advanced users can also create their own OS images and install them. Please check the guide on how to install your own OS images for information on how this is possible and for a list of the requirements.


If installimage finds an /autosetup file in the Rescue System, it will automatically use this as the configuration file. No menu and no editor are displayed unless there are errors in the file.


The following variables can be adjusted to customize the installation.


The drives that are present in the server are identified in the first row with the variable DRIVE. Above each line you can see the type of drive.

Here you can select on which drives you want the OS to be installed. The drives will be completely wiped, and all data currently on them will be lost.

If you want to leave a drive in its current state and not make any changes to it you can leave it out (remove it) by placing a # before it. Please note that doing so means that the number after the next DRIVE variable must be properly adjusted.


#DRIVE1 /dev/sda
DRIVE1 /dev/sdb


When the server has multiple drives the variables SWRAID and SWRAIDLEVEL can be used to create different software RAID levels. Any software RAID levels are always applied to all (marked with DRIVE, as discussed above) drives. If you don't want a software RAID on a particular drive, you'll need to remove it accordingly.

The script can create software RAID with levels 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10.


The bootloader Grub is pre-configured (in the past we also offered Lilo). Depending on the operating system GRUB2 or GRUB1 (legacy Grub) is installed.


The variable HOSTNAME sets the corresponding host name in the system.

Partitions / File systems

The installimage also supports the adjustment of the partitioning scheme (including the use of LVM). The designated syntax can be found in the examples in the editor.

Operating System Image

This is the full path to the operating system image, and only needs to be specified if a custom image is being installed.


After leaving the editor with F10 (save and quit), the syntax of the config file is checked. Should it contain errors, you will be returned to the editor.

Installimage done.png

If you see this output after 1-5 minutes (depends on the image and partitioning used), the system is ready and bootable.

The root password is set to the current password of the Rescue System.

After a reboot in the Rescue System

root@rescue ~ # reboot

the newly installed system is booted and you can login with the previous Rescue System password.


When installing Debian or Ubuntu using the installimage script, the times for the cronjob in /etc/cron.d/mdadm are set randomly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I create partitions larger than 2 TiB?

The creation of partitions larger than 2TiB is only possible with a GUID Partition table (GPT). Thus only operating systems which include GRUB2 that supports booting from GPT drives can be installed

The installation script shows one or more errors. What should I do?

Re-run the installation. Should you get the same error again, please send the complete screen output and the contents of the file /root/debug.txt to

Do I have to put "all" at the end of the partition table or can I put this line further at the top?

The size all in the config file means use the rest of the available space on the drive. Since partitions are created one after another, the partition table will end after using all because there will be no space available afterwards. Of course, it is also possible not to use "all" at all.

Pressing F10 does not work. Instead ~21 (or something similar) is displayed.

Press Escape and then 0. In most cases this has the same effect as F10.

Who is the author of the script? Can I use it freely?

The scripts were written by developers of Hetzner Online GmbH and are maintained and extended by them. The scripts are written in bash and are available in the rescue system. They can be used and modified freely. Hetzner Online GmbH assumes no liability for any damage caused by changing the scripts and excludes any support for guides that include changes to the script.

What is the MySQL Root password when LAMP has been installed?

The MySQL Root password on a LAMP Image can be found in the /password.txt file.

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