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How To Install Linux (Page 2/4)

Posted: June 23, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Starting Setup

If you can boot directly off of your CD-ROM drive, you’re in luck – the Mandrake 7.0 Install CD is bootable. This is the fastest and easiest way to begin your installation. If, however, you don’t have it set up to boot off of the CD, and don’t feel like going to the extra trouble of setting it up, or are in a situation that you can’t boot off of a CD-ROM drive, you can still initialize setup using a special boot disk.

To create a special boot disk to install Linux off of the CD, you need to use the rawwrite.exe file in the dosutils subdirectory on the first CD. Make sure you have a blank floppy disk inserted into the floppy drive and use the program to copy the cdrom.img file to the floppy disk. The cdrom.img file can be found in the images subdirectory on the same CD. You can then use this floppy to automatically boot up into the Linux setup program. Note that this is a different boot disk than the one you will be creating during the setup process.

Pre-installation Setup

There are many steps you have to go through before the computer even starts copying files to the hard disk. Luckily, with Mandrake 7.0’s extremely slick graphical setup program, it is almost as easy as installing Windows (that, of course, assumes you are familiar with the Linux ‘terminology’ – *cough*). You begin by choosing which language you will be running in. Since you are reading this guide in English, I am assuming that you are going to choose either US English or UK English. Don’t get the two confused though – if you are from the US, choose US English. If you are from the UK or Australia, choose UK English. And, if you are from Canada – the land where all spellings are accepted, or you are simply an English speaker from another part of the world, choose your preference.

The next thing to do is choose your installation class. There are three classes: recommended, customized, and expert. Recommended is a dumbed-down installation that makes most of the choices for you and tries to hold your hand through the entire process. But seeing that you’ve got this guide, you really don’t need that. This guide is written assuming that you have chosen the customized option. It allows a large amount of customization without forcing you to understand everything about the operating system right away. The expert installation is just that – an installation for experts. If you know the underpinnings of Linux like the back of your hand and can spew out console commands like they are your native tongue, this is the installation to use – but setting it up takes hours (literally) and I honestly can’t say that I have the expertise as of yet to guide anyone through it. In many ways it’s a customized install that needs to be tailored to the user, so I will stay away from it for now.

Assuming that you chose the customized installation option, you will then next have to choose a usage option. Unless one of the other types particularly fits the use of your computer, I would recommend sticking with the normal usage setting. After that you will have the option of setting up any SCSI controllers and drives that you may have. For the purpose of this guide I will assume that you have no SCSI hardware in your system and will move on. Next you will be given the option of determining whether this is an installation or an upgrade. I would thoroughly hope that you are doing an installation, and choose as such.

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