Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The first step in installation planning is to determine the need that the system must satisfy. Installation will go more smoothly if you have collected information about the hardware on the system.
Before beginning the installation, you will have to gather the following details:
 CPU: type and speed
 Motherboard: bus type such as ISA, EISA, VESA, PCI, MCA and so on.
 System RAM: size
 Network Adapters
 Modems: IRQ, DMA and IO ports used.
 Sound cards: make and model
 Serial and Parallel ports
 Mouse: type (serial, PS2 or Bus)
 Video Cards: make, model, chipset, amount of RAM and color
 Monitor: Make horizontal sync range and vertical sync range.

If your system will be attached to a network, you should have the following information available:

 Method of IP address assignment: static, DHCP, BOOTP
 For statically defined hosts, you should have the following information available:

o IP address
o Netmask

o Gateway
o Fully qualified domain name (FQDN)

Selecting the Installation User Interface

Red Hat Linux supports different installation types:
Beginners generally find the graphical mode installation procedure easier to use. However, you may prefer the text mode installation for the following reasons.

 The graphical mode installation procedure may fail if the target system has unusual video characteristics, such as an old uncommon video adapter.
 The text mode installation can recover from some errors – such as running out of disk space – that cause the graphical mode installation procedure.
 The text mode installation will run better and faster than the graphical mode installation on computers having slow processor or a small amount of RAM.
Selecting the Installation Class

The Red Hat Linux installation procedure provides three default installation classes or configuration.
 GNOME Workstation (Only install GNOME desktop manager. It doesn’t disturb other non Linux partitions in the Hard Disk)
 KDE Workstation (Only install KDE desktop manager. It doesn’t disturb other non Linux partitions in the Hard Disk)
 Server (It disturbs other non-Linux partitions in the Hard Disk. So other file system may be corrupt.)
 Custom (You can customize your installation. It doesn’t disturb other non Linux partitions in the Hard Disk )

During Installation you will have to create at least two partitions named Linux native (ext3 file system) partition and Linux SWAP partition. Minimum of 3 GB space required for Full Installation in the case of Red Hat 7.2.

The main partitions are:
 A swap partition: Its size may be 2-3 times of available RAM and create up to 8 swap partition but total swap space can’t exceed 4GB.
 A boot partition: 16MB – 30MB (/boot)
 A root partition (/): That uses the remaining free disk spaces.

Partitioning the Hard Disk

If you select either of the workstation installation classes or the Server installation class, the installation procedure partitions your hard disk drive

automatically. However, if you select the Custom installation class, you must manually partition the hard disk.

Directories that are often made mount point of separate partition include:

/home /opt /tmp /usr /var

/boot: It should be kept in a separate partition with in 1024 cylinder region (between 9 GB space), that is addressable by the system’s BIOS.

In designing the partition structure, the following directories should be kept in a single partition:

/ /etc /bin /sbin /lib

/dev /mnt

Using fips

Often, a target system has insufficient free disk space for installing Linux. If an MS-DOS (FAT or FAT32) partition contains unused space, you can use to split the partition, creating empty partition into which you can install Linux.

To use fips, follow these steps:
1. Use scandisk to check the partition for errors.
2. Use defrag to move the file to the low end of the partition.
3. Disable virtual memory by using the system control panel applet.
4. Create MS-DOS boot floppy by using the Add/Remove programs Control Panel applet.
5. Copy the following files from the installation CDROM to the floppy disk. Restrrb.exe, fips.exe, errors.txt from Linux CD (\DosUtils\fips20)
6. Boot from the floppy and run fips

Note: we can use any other third Party disk Partitioning Tool (eg: Partition Magic)

Booting from a Boot Floppy Disk
Dos/Win Linux/Unix
Install Floppy  Insert a formatted floppy.
 cd \dosutils
 rewrite
 Image file is …\images\bootdisk.img
 destination is a:  Insert a formatted floppy
 mount /mnt/cdrom
 dd if=/mnt/cdrom/images/bootdisk.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k

Boot Disk  mkbootdisk --device /dev/fd0 2.2.12-2.0

We can select installation media via following methods.

Console and Message Logs
Console Keystrokes Contents
1 Ctrl+Alt+F1 Text-based installation procedure
2 Ctrl+Alt+F2 Shell prompt
3 Ctrl+Alt+F3 Messages from installation
4 Ctrl+Alt+F4 Kernel messages
5 Ctrl+Alt+F5 Other messages, including file system creation messages
7 Ctrl+Alt+F7 Graphical installation procedure

Boot Loaders
A boot loader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts.It is responsible for loading and transferring control to an operating system “kernel” software. The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operating system.
Linux Loaders:- There are two types of Linux loaders. They are LILO and GRUB.

LILO :- LInux LOader is available in almost all Linux flavours. Lilo configuration file resides in /etc/lilo.conf

lilo –v installs a boot loader that will be activated next time you boot

GRUB:- Grand Unified Boot loader is a flexible and powerful boot loader programmed for PC’s. It can load a wide variety of free operating systems. GRUB understands file systems and kernel executable formats without recording the physical

position of your kernel on the disk. GRUB configuration files resides in /etc/grub.conf

grub-install installs grub on your drive.

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