Subject: [summary] Installing Linux newbie
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (James F Hall)
Date: 30 Sep 93 20:30:17 -0600
Since I had so much help from the readers of the net on how to install
my Linux system, and since there is not much documentation on the
subject for non-computer-geniuses (like myself), I thought I would
summarize how to install Linux for first-time Linux users. This
should repay at least part of my debt to you all! :-)
Now, if only I can get X to work... :-)
=================================< cut here >============================
FIRST-TIME LINUX USERS -- INSTALLING LINUX, STEP-BY-STEP:
James F. Hall
If this is received well, I will make a habit of regularly posting this
to the net. Errors should be reported to: <James.F.Hall@uwrf.edu>.
Please redirect other questions to the readers of the net.
What You Need:
1. A blank 1Mb floppy, that is the same size (3-1/2" or 5-1/4") as the
boot floppy drive. Format this under DOS first.
2. Paper and pencil.
3. All of your old data backup up. Just in case...
I had a lot of trouble when I first installed Linux, and I thought it
would be better if someone wrote a step-by-step installation guide for
first-time Linux users.
That is what this is all about.
I will assume that you are trying to install Linux without keeping
another operating system on your machine at the same time you have
Linux. This is probably the easiest way to go at first. If you
decide later on to add another operating system, you can take those
steps when you are ready.
I will also presume that you do not use two hard drives at the same
time. This is not easy, so it would be best if you waited until you
gain more experience with Linux.
This is written with the SLS disks in mind.
Following this document will give you a complete Linux system, with
just Linux and whatever programs you choose to install on your
When better help can be easily obtained from the programs involved
with the installation, I let you find it out. That should help keep
this document as short as it can be without putting you in the dark.
1. Make sure that the computer is turned off. This assures that the
memory is purged, and that we are all on equal ground.
2. Boot the computer using the disk "a1" from the SLS release. When
the "login:" prompt appears, enter "root" and hit return. Don't use
the menu program, as some problems have been reported with this.
3. Enter the command that enters the fdisk program:
# fdisk /dev/hda
4. Using the help found in fdisk, delete all of the old partitions.
Then, ask for a new partition, which will be a primary partition,
called #1, and use the full number of cylinders of your hard drive.
The program will tell you how many cylinders you have.
** The fdisk program may complain about a few things here. (1) That
you are using an odd number of sectors on the disk. (2) That Linux
cannot access __ sectors of the disk. You can safely ignore these
warnings, as we will fix them in a minute.
5. Use the fdisk help to print a list of the available partition
types. Write down the number of the Linux ext2 type. I'll call it
"xx" for use in step 6.
6. Use the fdisk help to change the partition type. It will ask for
the new type. Enter the value of "xx" that you found in step 5.
7. Using the help found in fdisk, print a list of that partitions that
are on the disk. You should get something like this (where "nnn" is
the number of cylinders on your hard drive, "xxxx" is the size of the
/dev/hda1 1 1 nnn xxxx 83 Linux ext
8. Write down the "xxxx" size of the hard disk, as you will need it in
step 11. Use the fdisk help to save the partition table data, and
9. Prepare your computer for rebooting by entering the command:
10. Reboot the computer using the "a1" disk from the SLS release.
When the "login:" prompt appears, enter "root" and press return.
Don't use the menu.
11. Tell Linux that you want to use the new partition by entering the
command (where "xxxx" is the size of the hard drive, which you found
in step 7):
# mke2fs -c /dev/hda1 xxxx
** The mke2fs command takes a little while to run, and it will print
out a lot of diagnostic information. Just sit back a wait until you
get a prompt again.
12. Enter the command to install the Linux system:
# doinstall /dev/hda1
13. Follow the prompts given in the installation program to select
which software you want on your hard drive. I recommend using just
the base Linux system, without installing X. The reason for this is
that X is not easy to get going, and it would probably be a little
better to get used to Linux before you started experimenting with X.
14. Enter the command to prepare the computer for rebooting:
15. Reboot your computer using the boot disk that you make during the
installation. When the "login:" prompt appears, enter "root" (you
will always do this when you use Linux) and press return. Now begin
From: email@example.com (Mark A. Horton)
Subject: Re: [summary] Installing Linux newbie
Date: 1 Oct 1993 14:06:46 -0700
James F Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
: Since I had so much help from the readers of the net on how to install
: my Linux system, and since there is not much documentation on the
: subject for non-computer-geniuses (like myself), I thought I would
: summarize how to install Linux for first-time Linux users. This
: should repay at least part of my debt to you all! :-)
: Now, if only I can get X to work... :-)
[bunch of stuff deleted ]
There is a wealth of information regarding this topic in
the Installation-HOWTO (as well as the other -HOWTO files
in /pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO at sunsite.unc.edu as well as in
/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO at tsx-11.mit.edu (just wish I had
known about it when I struggled getting everything running!
-- but then, some suffering is good for the soul, no?)
Mark A. Horton email@example.com (or here)
P.O.Box 747 Decatur GA US 30031-0747 ICBM: 33 45 N / 084 16 W
+1.404.371.0291 Cruise: 33 45 30 N / 084 16 50 W
"We may note that, for the purposes of these experiments, the symbol
"=" has the meaning "may be confused with."