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2.2.1 Installation overview


While each release of Linux is different, in general the method used to install the software is as follows:

  1. Repartition your hard drive(s). If you have other operating systems already installed, you will need to repartition the drives in order to allocate space for Linux. This is discussed in Section 2.2.4, below.

  2. Boot the Linux installation media. Each distribution of Linux has some kind of installation media---usually a ``boot floppy''---which is used to install the software. Booting this media will either present you with some kind of installation program, which will step you through the Linux installation, or allow you to install the software by hand.

  3. Create Linux partitions. After repartitioning to allocate space for Linux, you create Linux partitions on that empty space. This is accomplished with the Linux fdisk program, covered in Section 2.3.3.

  4. Create filesystems and swap space. At this point, you will create one or more filesystems, used to store files, on the newly-created partitions. In addition, if you plan to use swap space, you will create the swap space on one of your Linux partitions. This is covered in Sections 2.3.4 and 2.3.5.

  5. Install the software on the new filesystems. Finally, you will install the Linux software on your newly-created filesystems. After this, it's smooth sailing---if all goes well. This is covered in Section 2.3.6. Later, in Section 2.5, we describe what to do if anything goes wrong.

Many distributions of Linux provide an installation program which will step you through the installation process, and automate one or more of the above steps for you. Keep in mind throughout this chapter that any number of the above steps may be automated for you, depending on the distribution.

The Slackware distribution of Linux, covered in this book, only requires you to repartition your drive, using fdisk, and use the setup program to accomplish the other steps.

Important hint: While preparing to install Linux, the best advice that we can give is to take notes during the entire procedure. Write down everything that you do, everything that you type, and everything that you see that might be out of the ordinary. The idea here is simple: if (or when!) you run into trouble, you want to be able to retrace your steps and find out what went wrong. Installing Linux isn't difficult, but there are many details to remember. You want to have a record of all of these details so that you can experiment with other methods if something goes wrong. Also, keeping a notebook of your Linux installation experience is useful when you want to ask other people for help, for example, when posting a message to one of the Linux-related USENET groups. Your notebook is also something that you'll want to show to your grandchildren someday.gif


next up previous contents index
Next: 2.2.2 Repartitioning concepts Up: 2.2 Preparing to Install Previous: 2.2 Preparing to Install

Matt Welsh