Inserisci Infobox

Installing Linux

Overview of Linux Installation on different distributions.

Slackware - Installation
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-14 21:25:08 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-14 21:25:08
Tipo Infobox: DISTRO - Skill: 2- JUNIOR

Installing Slackware requires basic skills that are averagely superior to the ones necessary for other distributions.
The minimal hardware requirements for a text based system are quite limited: 386 processor, 16MB RAM, 50 megabytes of hard disk space, 3.5" floppy drive.

If you boot the system via floppy you have at disposal various different boot images in order to recognize different hardware (mostly older non ATAPI CDROMS and SCSI adapters).
The installation procedure is semi manual and its most critical part, the disk partitioning phase, is done with the command line tool fdisk which, even if widely used in Linux, is not the easiest choice for a beginner.
The rest of the installation procedure is handled via the setup menu, where the user can choose the keymap, the installation source, the destination directory, what programs have to be installed (with the program pkgtool), some system configuration settings as network parameters (tool netconfig), windows managers (xwmconfig), where to placed the Linux loader.

If you want to install Slack via the console port (ie via modem o terminal server) you have to write something like ramdisk console=ttyS0 at the boot prompt (assuming you are using COM 1 - ttyS0).

Fedora - Installation
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-14 21:19:31 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-14 21:19:31
Tipo Infobox: DISTRO - Skill: 2- JUNIOR

Red Hat Fedora 2's installation procedure is very similar to the one used in every recent Red Hat Linux. Anaconda is the historic installer used by Red Hat and, even if not the best of the bunch around, does well its work and proves to be quite easy to manage.

This release's highlights are a 2.6 kernel with SELinux support (disabled by default, type selinux at the first prompt in order to activate it), KDE 3.2.2, Gnome 2.6, X.Org instead of XFree86 as X window manager.

Hardware requirements for Fedora Core 2
MINIMUM - Pentium-class CPU, 620MB disk space, 64MB RAM (text mode) or 192MB RAM (graphical mode)
RECCOMENDED - 400 MHz Pentium II CPU or better, 6 GB disk space or more, 256MB RAM (graphical mode)

The Installation procedure follows the usual steps:
- Media Check (it takes a long time to check the installation CDs, use it only to be use about the integrity of file or if you've had problems during the installation of packages)
- Welcome Page, Language Selection, Keyboard Configuration, Mouse Configuration, Monitor Configuration
- Installation Type can be: Custom Installation (Minimal): 620MB; Server: 1.1GB; Personal Desktop: 2.3GB; Workstation: 3.0GB; Custom Installation (Everything): 6.9GB or Custom Installation with user selected packages.
- Disk Partitioning Setup uses the tool Druid which is good but does not let you resize existing partitions without deleting data (necessary when installing Linux on a box with Windows and no spare partitions)
- Boot Loader Installation uses Grub by default. Lilo can be chosen as alternative but is going to be removed in future versions.
- Network configuration with a good hardware recognition range.
- Firewall configuration with a quite basic graphic interface adequate mostly for a desktop system.
- Set root password
- Authentication configuration with the ability to check credentials against Kerberos, LDAP, NT or Active Directory domain (Winbind), Hesiod, NIS.
- Package group selection

The installation logs are placed in /root/install.log, /root/install.log.syslog and a ready to use kickstart configuration file with the used settings is stored /root/anaconda-ks.cfg.

Suse - Installation
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2005-02-11 23:38:49 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-14 21:16:46
Tipo Infobox: DISTRO - Skill: 2- JUNIOR

SuSE's installation procedure has always been quite user friendly leaving, at the same time, the option for advanced customization for experienced users.
YaST obviously makes the difference and gives the opportunity to choose a graphical or a text based front end.

Before launching YaST it is possible to load additional kernel drivers, set various basic parameters (keyboard, language, monitor), obtain basic information about the local hardware and decide the installation medium (CDROM, NFS, FTP, hard disk) with linuxrc.
The installation procedure is similar to the one of other modern Linux distribution with support for software RAID, LVM, crypted file systems and, very useful when you haven't already free partitions, the possibility of changing the size of the current partitions (it tries to do it also on NTFS partitions).
If you find problems, at boot time you can select a memory test, disable functions that might give problems with your hardware (ACPI support, for example) or try to boot with the second CDROM with a different booting ISO.
Since YaST is used both for installation and configuration of the system, it is possible to decide a remarkable amount of settings during installation, from the network device on your system (NIC, modem, ISDN card, ADSL) to the authentication method (NIS, NIS+, LDAP), from the recognition of audio, video and tv cards to the configuration of printers. At the end it's possible to launch immediately a network update of the installed software, decide the updates policies and, remarkably, choose to download external software (MS core fonts or NVIDIA 3d drivers) that can't be included in the package.

Installing the Penguin
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-14 21:14:56 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-14 21:14:56
Tipo Infobox: DESCRIPTION - Skill: 2- JUNIOR

Installing Linux can be extremely simple and automated or more complex and manual.

Whatever the distro used the general process follows common steps:
- A Linux kernel is booted from the installation medium (CDROM/Floppy/Network/USB) and starts a limited Linux system (the Installer program, one or to terminals with a shell, some logging output on virtual consoles)
- The Installer program starts and guides the user to the definition of common parameters: language to be used, time and timezone, password of root user, network parameters, packages to be installed, login and password of normal users...
- A critical part of the installation process is disk space partitioning. There's usually a graphical front end which permits to create new partitions (and in some case resize current ones without deleting data). The partitions selected for installation are created, formatted and mounted in a subdirectory of the current system.
- The system is chrooted on the newly created partitions and the selected packages are installed (alternatively packages are installed using as root directory the mount point of the new system)
- Hardware devices are recognized and configured. Generally a multi-purpose modular kernel, able to recognize different hardware and sometimes optimized for the underlining processor, is installed as default
- A Linux Loader (lilo or grub) is installed on the selected device/partition, usually the Master Boot Record.

The installation can take from few minutes (a Linspire box, where almost nothing is asked to the user) to several hours (a Gentoo system, where everything can be compiled from scratch).
After the first reboot, the system is ready with plenty of installed software and the ability the update it automatically from the net.
Here is a general overview on the major distros:
RedHat: Anaconda Graphical Installer. Easy and standard procedure.
Debian: Debian Installer. Text based. Not particularly easy, can be quite verbose
Slackware: Text based. Not particularly easy. Requires user "consciousness".
Mandrake: Graphical installer. Complete, easy and versatile (allows partitions resize)
SUSE: Yast2 graphical installer. Complete, easy, and versatile (allows partitions resize)
Gentoo: User driven installation procedure. Complete documentation, completely manual.

Fedora - Installation log
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-19 21:19:34 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-19 21:19:34
Tipo Infobox: STDOUT - Skill: 3- INTERMEDIATE

In Fedora and generally all RedHat versions, Anaconda stores a log of all the installed packaged in /root/install.log.
Another log, summarizing the system activites triggered by packages installation (typically users added to the system) is /root/install.log.syslog.
Another interesting file is /root/anaconda-ks.cfg, a working configuration file for an unattended kickstart installation which uses the parameters and settings defined for the newly installed box.

[root@vagante /]# cat /root/install.log
Installing 728 packages

Installing fedora-logos-1.1.24-1.noarch.
Installing hwdata-0.118-1.noarch.
Follows the complete list of installed packages
The following packages were available in this version but NOT installed:

[root@vagante /]# cat /root/install.log.syslog
<86>May 19 21:34:24 groupadd[550]: new group: name=rpm, gid=37
<86>May 19 21:34:25 useradd[551]: new user: name=rpm, uid=37, gid=37, home=/var/lib/rpm, shell=/sbin/nologin
Operations on the system made during the installation of the packages
<86>May 19 21:50:19 useradd[7779]: new user: name=mysql, uid=27, gid=27, home=/var/lib/mysql, shell=/bin/bash
<13>May 19 21:51:22 kudzu: aliased  as pcnet_cs
<13>May 19 21:51:24 kudzu: ran mouseconfig for input/mice
<13>May 19 21:51:24 kudzu: aliased snd-card-0 as snd-intel8x0
<13>May 19 21:51:24 kudzu: aliased usb-controller as ehci-hcd
<13>May 19 21:51:24 kudzu: aliased usb-controller1 as uhci-hcd

[root@vagante /]# cat /root/anaconda-ks.cfg
This file has all the kickstart settings necessary for repeating the saem installation
# Kickstart file automatically generated by anaconda.
lang en_US.UTF-8
langsupport --default en_US.UTF-8 en_US.UTF-8
keyboard it
xconfig --card "NVIDIA GeForce FX (generic)" --videoram 65536 --hsync 31.5-100.0 --vsync 59.0-75.0 --resolution 1024x768 --depth 24 --startxonboot  --defaultdesktop gnome
network --device eth0 --bootproto dhcp
network --device eth1 --bootproto static --ip --netmask
rootpw --iscrypted $1$d6tTDN.c$wRaWx..s5R5QqFOEpuY7b.
firewall --disabled
selinux --disabled
authconfig --enableshadow --enablemd5
timezone Europe/Rome
bootloader --location=partition --append rhgb quiet
# The following is the partition information you requested
# Note that any partitions you deleted are not expressed
# here so unless you clear all partitions first, this is
# not guaranteed to work
#clearpart --linux
#part / --fstype ext3 --onpart hda2
#part swap --noformat --onpart hda5

@ office
@ kde-desktop
@ web-server
@ mail-server
@ dns-server
@ gnome-desktop
@ dialup
@ sql-server
@ editors
@ admin-tools
@ system-tools
@ emacs
@ smb-server
@ base-x
@ sound-and-video
@ printing
@ server-cfg
@ graphics
@ ftp-server
@ kernel-development
@ development-tools
@ engineering-and-scientific
@ text-internet
@ graphical-internet


Suse - Installation logs
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-19 20:59:45 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-19 20:59:45
Tipo Infobox: STDOUT - Skill: 3- INTERMEDIATE

All the informations relative top the installation procedure can be viewed checking Yast2's logs, which include all the activities made with Yast from installation to later general administration.
/var/log/YaST2/y2log stores detailed info about every Yest2 settings.
/var/log/YaST2/y2loggrub gives info on the grub installation commands.
/var/log/YaST2/y2logRPM contains info about the installed packages.

vagante:/root# cat /var/log/YaST2/y2loggrub
    GNU GRUB  version 0.94  (640K lower / 3072K upper memory)
grub> root (hd0,8)
Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
grub> install  --stage2=/boot/grub/stage2 /boot/grub/stage1 d (hd0,8) /boot/grub/stage2 0x8000 (hd0,8)/boot/grub/menu.lst
This is the command used to install grub on the system (here on the boot sector of /dev/hda9). Useful to reinstall it on a damaged or modified boot block
grub> quit

vagante:/root# cat /var/log/YaST2/y2logRPM
suse-release-9.1-0.i586.rpm installed ok
yast2-trans-en_US-2.9.5-5.noarch.rpm installed ok
kdeartwork3-sound-3.2.1-53.i586.rpm installed ok
Here you find the full list of installed packages, with some notes on their operations.
lirc-0.7.0cvs20040308-30.i586.rpm installed ok
Additional rpm output:
Updating etc/sysconfig/lirc...
logrotate-3.7-31.i586.rpm installed ok
lbreakout-2.4.1-247.i586.rpm installed ok
Additional rpm output:
Starting SuSEconfig, the SuSE Configuration Tool...
Running module permissions only
Reading /etc/sysconfig and updating the system...
Executing /sbin/conf.d/SuSEconfig.permissions...
Checking permissions and ownerships - using the permissions files
setting /opt/kde3/bin/fileshareset to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /opt/kde3/bin/kgrantpty to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /etc/crontab to root:root 0644. (wrong permissions 0600)
setting /etc/ssh/sshd_config to root:root 0644. (wrong permissions 0640)
setting /etc/syslog.conf to root:root 0644. (wrong permissions 0600)
setting /usr/bin/at to root:trusted 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /usr/bin/crontab to root:trusted 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /usr/bin/ziptool to root:trusted 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /bin/eject to root:audio 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /var/log/lastlog to root:tty 0644. (wrong owner/group root:root)
setting /usr/X11R6/bin/v4l-conf to root:video 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /sbin/cardctl to root:trusted 4755. (wrong permissions 4750)
setting /usr/X11R6/bin/dga to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /usr/bin/wall to root:tty 2755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /usr/bin/write to root:tty 2755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /usr/sbin/mgnokiidev to root:uucp 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /usr/lib/mc/cons.saver to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /opt/kde3/bin/artswrapper to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /opt/kde3/bin/khc_indexbuilder to root:man 2755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /opt/kde3/bin/kpac_dhcp_helper to root:root 4755. (wrong permissions 0755)
setting /usr/games/lbreakout2 to games:games 2755. (wrong permissions 0755)

pwlib-plugins-alsa-1.6.5-8.i586.rpm installed ok

Mandrake - Installlation logs
Autore: al - Ultimo Aggiornamento: 2004-09-17 13:11:12 - Data di creazione: 2004-09-17 13:11:12
Tipo Infobox: STDOUT - Skill: 3- INTERMEDIATE

Mandrake's installation tool DrakX stores a lot of information in the directory /root/drakx:
/root/drakx/stage1.log Displays the system information gathered during the first CD boot
/root/drakx/install.log Shows the installed packages and relative warnings.
/root/drakx/ Is a perl script summarizing the installation settings that can be used to repeat unattended installations with the same parameters, a ready to dump floppy image to replay the same installation is also created: replay_install.img
/root/drakx/ddebug.log Is a verbose debug of the full installation choices using DrakX.

[root@vagante drakx]# ls -l /root/drakx/
total 2024
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   11975 Apr 22 21:51
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  441097 Apr 22 21:51 ddebug.log
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   42381 Apr 22 21:50 install.log
-rw-r--r--  1 root root     245 Apr 22 21:51 README
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1474560 Apr 22 21:51 replay_install.img
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   88375 Apr 22 21:51 report.bug.gz
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    2212 Apr 22 21:51 stage1.log

[root@vagante al]# cat /root/drakx/stage1.log
* welcome to the Mandrake Linux install (mdk-stage1, version 10.0 built Mar 29 2004 10:17:15)
* opening /proc/cmdline...
*       initrd=alt0/all.rdz ramdisk_size=128000 root=/dev/ram3 acpi=ht vga=788 automatic=method:cdrom BOOT_IMAGE=alt0
* AUTOMATIC MODE: got 1 params
*       got 7 args
* spawning a shell
* cannot open shell - /tmp/sh doesn't exist
* loading modules dependencies
* PCMCIA: probing PCI bus..
*       ENE Technology CB1411 found, 2 sockets (driver yenta_socket).
* have to insmod pcmcia_core
* needs pcmcia_core
*       succeeded pcmcia_core
* have to insmod yenta_socket
* needs yenta_socket
*       succeeded yenta_socket
* have to insmod ds
* needs ds
*       succeeded ds
* CM: cardmgr/hacked starting, version is 3.1.29
* CM: watching 1 sockets
* CM: warning, Card Services release does not match kernel (generally harmless)
* cardmgr rc: 0
* PCI: device 8086 24d2 ffff ffff is "", driver is usb-uhci
* have to insmod uhci-hcd
* needs usbcore
* needs uhci-hcd
*       succeeded uhci-hcd
* PCI: device 8086 24d4 ffff ffff is "", driver is usb-uhci
* PCI: device 8086 24d7 ffff ffff is "", driver is usb-uhci
* PCI: device 8086 24dd ffff ffff is "", driver is ehci-hcd
* have to insmod ehci-hcd
* needs ehci-hcd
*       succeeded ehci-hcd
* PCI: device 104c 8026 ffff ffff is "", driver is ohci1394
* have to insmod ohci1394
* needs ieee1394
* needs ohci1394
*       succeeded ohci1394
* have to insmod usbkbd
* needs usbkbd
*       succeeded usbkbd
* have to insmod keybdev
* needs keybdev
* file-not-found-in-archive keybdev.ko (maybe you can try another boot floppy such as 'hdcdrom_usb.img')
* warning, insmod failed (keybdev (null)) (2)
* AUTOMATIC: parameter cdrom for method means returning CDROM drive
* have to insmod ide-cd
* needs cdrom
* needs ide-cd
*       succeeded ide-cd
* looking for ide media
* IDE/1: hda is a TOSHIBA MK6021GAS
* IDE/0: hdc is a HL-DT-STCD-RW/DVD DRIVE GCC-4241N
* mounting /dev/hdc on /tmp/image as type iso9660
* have to insmod isofs
* needs isofs
*       succeeded isofs
* found a Mandrake Linux CDROM, good news!
* Total Memory: 512 Mbytes
* trying to load /tmp/image/Mandrake/base/mdkinst_stage2.bz2 as a ramdisk
* mounting /dev/ram3 on /tmp/stage2 as type ext2
* stage1: disconnecting life support systems

[root@vagante drakx]# cat/root/drakx/install.log
/var/tmp/rpm-tmp.60640: line 24: rm: command not found
%post(glibc-2.3.3-10mdk) scriptlet failed, exit status 127
43 semi-random bytes loaded
Generating RSA private key, 1024 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.

There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
1. Country Name             (2 letter code) []:2. State or Province Name   (full name)     []:3. Locality Name            (eg, city)      []:4. Organization Name        (eg, company)   [WWW.ADVX.ORG TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE localhost.i1WNod]:5. Organizational Unit Name (eg, section)   [For Testing Purposes Only]:6. Common Name              (eg, CA name)   [localhost.i1WNod]:7. Email Address            (eg, name@FQDN) []:Signature ok
subject=/O=WWW.ADVX.ORG TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE localhost.i1WNod/OU=For Testing Purposes Only/CN=localhost.i1WNod
Getting Private key
writing RSA key
43 semi-random bytes loaded
Generating RSA private key, 1024 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
1. Country Name             (2 letter code) []:2. State or Province Name   (full name)     []:3. Locality Name            (eg, city)      []:4. Organization Name        (eg, company)   [localhost.i1WNod]:5. Organizational Unit Name (eg, section)   [localhost.i1WNod]:6. Common Name              (eg, DOMAIN NAME)   [localhost.i1WNod]:7. Email Address            (eg, name@fqdn) []:Signature ok
Getting CA Private Key
writing RSA key

[root@vagante drakx]# cat /root/drakx/
#!/usr/bin/perl -cw
# You should check the syntax of this file before using it in an auto-install.
# You can do this with 'perl -cw' or by executing this file
# (note the '#!/usr/bin/perl -cw' on the first line).
$o = {
       'printer' => {
                      'BROWSEPOLLADDR' => undef,
                      'configured' => {},
                      'MANUALCUPSCONFIG' => undef,
                      'BROWSEPOLLPORT' => undef,
                      'DEFAULT' => undef,
                      'SPOOLER' => undef
       'libsafe' => 0,
       'security_user' => '',
       'netc' => {
                   'NETWORKING' => 'yes',
                   'DHCP' => 'yes',
                   'NET_DEVICE' => 'eth0'
       'default_packages' => [
       'useSupermount' => 'magicdev',
       'users' => [
                      'icon' => 'ic-nature4',
                      'pw' => '$1$kecJpMBV$arEqCtEkJds7GlXThHcb//',
                      'uid' => 501,
                      'name' => 'al',
                      'realname' => 'Al',
                      'groups' => [],
                      'shell' => '/bin/bash',
                      'home' => '/home/al',
                      'gid' => 501
       'locale' => {
                     'country' => 'IT',
                     'lang' => 'en_US',
                     'langs' => {
                                  'en_US' => 1
                     'utf8' => ''
       'authentication' => {
                             'shadow' => 1,
                             'local' => '',
                             'md5' => 1
       'partitions' => [
                           'mntpoint' => '/mnt/windows',
                           'type' => 263,
                           'size' => 20482812
                           'mntpoint' => '/share',
                           'type' => 1155,
                           'size' => 20482875
                           'mntpoint' => 'swap',
                           'type' => 130,
                           'size' => 2040192
                           'mntpoint' => '/',
                           'type' => 387,
                           'size' => 16383969
       'netcnx' => {
                     'type' => 'lan',
                     'lan' => {}
       'superuser' => {
                        'pw' => '$1$TH2rrpm9$DTouZOf8kzBWqTBIczhLJ/',
                        'realname' => 'root',
                        'uid' => '0',
                        'shell' => '/bin/bash',
                        'home' => '/root',
                        'gid' => '0'
       'mouse' => {
                    'XMOUSETYPE' => 'ExplorerPS/2',
                    'name' => 'Any PS/2 & USB mice',
                    'EMULATEWHEEL' => undef,
                    'device' => 'input/mice',
                    'type' => 'Universal',
                    'nbuttons' => 7,
                    'MOUSETYPE' => 'ps/2',
                    'wacom' => []
       'autoExitInstall' => '',
       'keyboard' => {
                       'GRP_TOGGLE' => '',
                       'KBCHARSET' => 'C',
                       'KEYBOARD' => 'it'
       'manualFstab' => [],
       'timezone' => {
                       'ntp' => undef,
                       'timezone' => 'Europe/Rome',
                       'UTC' => 0
       'X' => {
                'bios_vga_mode' => undef,
                'resolution_wanted' => 1024,
                'monitor' => {
                               'HorizSync' => '31.5-48.5',
                               'VideoRam_probed' => '65536',
                               'size' => '',
                               'ModelName' => 'Flat Panel 1024x768',
                               'VendorName' => 'Generic',
                               'manually_chosen' => 1,
                               'Identifier' => 'monitor1',
                               'VertRefresh' => '40-70',
                               'EISA_ID' => '0',
                               'dpms' => undef
                'default_depth' => 24
       'intf' => {
                   'eth0' => {
                               'NETMASK' => '',
                               'BROADCAST' => '',
                               'BOOTPROTO' => 'dhcp',
                               'WIRELESS_ENC_KEY' => '',
                               'NETWORK' => '',
                               'ONBOOT' => 'yes',
                               'DEVICE' => 'eth0'
       'partitioning' => {
                           'auto_allocate' => '',
                           'clearall' => 0,
                           'eraseBadPartitions' => 0
       'security' => 2,
       'interactiveSteps' => [

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