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Slackware 9.0 Installation Guide

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Section 1: Booting from the CD

After you restart your system, Linux should boot from the CD-ROM and present you with an initial welcome screen that looks like this:

Initial CD-ROM Boot Screen

NOTE: If your system does not boot from the CD, then you probably need to check your BIOS settings and ensure the system is configured to boot from the CD-ROM drive before other drives. As a last resort, there are instructions on the CD and/or Slackware web site on how to create a boot floppy instead.

At this point you need to determine which of the several kernels available on the CD-ROM you wish to use to begin the installation. The default is a kernel named bare.i and this kernel supports most standard systems that use IDE-based hard disks and CD-ROM drives. If your system has only IDE drives, you can just press ENTER to use the default kernel.

If your system has unusual hardware, then you may want to press the F2 key to see some more information about other kernels that are available. Here is the screen:

F2 Help Screen

You may also wish to press F3 for more details about the extra kernels, which displays the following screen.

F3 Help Screen

During the kernel load, you will see a large number of messages appear on the screen. These messages generally show you the results of hardware detection and various initialization steps the kernel performs during startup. The boot process will then pause to allow to select a keyboard map. This is only needed if you have a non-US keyboard, so most people should just be able to press ENTER when you see this screen:

Keyboard Map Selection Screen

Now the kernel will complete its initialization and you will be presented with a login prompt. You may wish to use the Shift-PgUp and Shift-PgDn keys to scroll back and review the kernel messages for errors that may have been reported.

There is a very important reason why you should scroll back up and view the messages. The next step in the process requires you to run the fdisk program and create one or more Linux partitions on at least one of your hard drives. The messages displayed by the kernel during its initialization tell you what hard drives Linux recognized and are available. Here is an example:

Kernel Hard Drive Detection Messages

If you look carefully, you should see 2 lines that identify the drives detected. The lines look like this:

hda: VMWare Virtual IDE Hard Drive, ATA Disk drive
hdb: VMWare Virtual IDE CDROM Drive, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive

These lines indicate that the device named /dev/hda is an IDE hard drive, while the device named /dev/hdb is an IDE CDROM drive. Naturally, your system may have other device names. IDE drives will always be named hdX where X is a for drive 0, b for drive 1 and so on.

NOTE: This installation was actually performed under a virtual host computer using some special software called VMWare. This is a commercial product used to emulate a computer in software. It allowed me to make all the screen shots of the installation process, which is normally very difficult to do. You can visit the VMWare web site for more information about that program. I configured VMWare to create a virtual computer with a 4 GB IDE-based hard drive as /dev/hda and an IDE CDROM drive as /dev/hdb.

I also installed Windows 2000 Professional on the virtual computer before installing Linux. During that installation, I did not allow Windows to use the entire disk, but only a portion. That left me some room to later install Linux. Windows Disk Manager showed this for the first IDE hard drive:

Windows 2000 Disk Manager

SCSI based system work a little differently. Instead of devices named using the hdX scheme, SCSI hard disks are identified as sdX, while SCSI CD-ROM drives are called scdX. Below you will find an example screen showing the kernel messages displayed when Linux finds a SCSI hard drive. Notice the line that reads:

Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0

SCSI Hard Drive Detection

Once you know the name of the available hard drives on your system we can begin. Login using the name root. No password will be needed at this point.

First Login Prompt

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