2.1.2 Linux will NOT run on 286 or earlier.
- xfree86.org -> new tree on 4.4RC2 because licensing is not GPL-compatible
220.127.116.11 To configure your keyboard:
# dpkg-reconfigure console-data
18.104.22.168 Configure Networking
# editor /etc/network/interfaces
22.214.171.124 Configure Timezone, Users, and APT
- Set your timezone, add a normal user, and choose your apt sources
126.96.36.199 Configure Locales
- To configure your locale settings to use a language other than English,
install the locales support package and configure it:
# apt-get install locales
# dpkg-reconfigure locales
3.7.6 Install a Kernel
- Identify available pre-packaged kernels with
# apt-cache search kernel-image
- Then install your choice using its package name.
# apt-get install kernel-image-2.X.X-arch-etc
3.8.1 Invoking the BIOS Set-Up Menu
- [From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Shaun Burnet)]
Del key during the POST (power on self test)
Ctrl-Alt-Esc, or Del key during the POST
Esc key during the POST
IBM PS/2 BIOS
Ctrl-Alt-Ins after Ctrl-Alt-Del
Ctrl-Alt-Esc or Ctrl-Alt-S or F1
188.8.131.52 Changing the Boot Order on SCSI Computers
1. As your computer starts, press the keys to enter the SCSI setup utility.
You can start the SCSI setup utility after the memory check and the message
about how to start the BIOS utility displays when you start your computer.
The keystrokes you need depend on the utility. Often, it is Ctrl-F2.
However, consult your hardware documentation for the exact keystrokes.
2. Find the utility for changing the boot order.
3. Set the utility so that the SCSI ID of the CD drive is first on the list.
4. Save your changes. Instructions on the screen tell you how to save the
changes on your computer. Often, you must press F10.
184.108.40.206 CD-ROM Settings
- Some BIOS systems (such as Award BIOS) allow you to automatically set the
CD speed. You should avoid that, and instead set it to, say, the lowest
speed. If you get seek failed error messages, this may be your problem.
220.127.116.11 Extended vs. Expanded Memory
- If your system provides both extended and expanded memory, set it so that
there is as much extended and as little expanded memory as possible. Linux
requires extended memory and cannot use expanded memory.
18.104.22.168 Shadow RAM
- Your motherboard may provide shadow RAM or BIOS caching. You may see
settings for ``Video BIOS Shadow'', ``C800-CBFF Shadow'', etc. Disable
all shadow RAM. Shadow RAM is used to accelerate access to the ROMs on
your motherboard and on some of the controller cards. Linux does not use
these ROMs once it has booted because it provides its own faster 32-bit
software in place of the 16-bit programs in the ROMs. Disabling the shadow
RAM may make some of it available for programs to use as normal memory.
Leaving the shadow RAM enabled may interfere with Linux access to hardware
22.214.171.124 Miscellaneous BIOS Settings to Watch Out For
- If your BIOS offers something like ``15-16 MB Memory Hole'', please
disable that. Linux expects to find memory there if you have that much RAM.
- We have a report of an Intel Endeavor motherboard on which there is an
option called ``LFB'' or ``Linear Frame Buffer''. This had two settings:
``Disabled'' and ``1 Megabyte''. Set it to ``1 Megabyte''. When disabled,
the installation floppy was not read correctly, and the system eventually
crashed. At this writing we don't understand what's going on with this
particular device — it just worked with that setting and not without it.
126.96.36.199 Advanced Power Management
- If your motherboard provides Advanced Power Management (APM), configure it
so that power management is controlled by APM. Disable the doze, standby,
suspend, nap, and sleep modes, and disable the hard disk's power-down timer.
Linux can take over control of these modes, and can do a better job of
power-management than the BIOS. The version of the operating system
kernel on the installation floppies does not, however, use APM, because
we've had reports of one laptop system crashing when the Linux APM driver
is configured. Once you've installed Linux, you can build a custom-
configured version of the Linux kernel; see Compiling a New Kernel,
Section 9.6 for instructions.
3.8.3 Hardware Issues to Watch Out For
- If you do have true-parity RAM and your motherboard can handle it,
be sure to enable any BIOS settings that cause the motherboard to
interrupt on memory parity errors.
4.3.1 Writing Disk Images From a Linux or Unix System
- If you don't know how to boot into DOS, just hit F8 while booting.
4.5 Preparing Files for TFTP Net Booting
- The Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) is one way to tell your
client what IP address to use for itself. Another way is to use the
BOOTP protocol. BOOTP is an IP protocol that informs a computer of its
IP address and where on the network to obtain a boot image. The DHCP
(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a more flexible, backwards-
compatible extension of BOOTP. Some systems can only be configured via DHCP.
4.5.4 Enabling the TFTP Server
- If you've had to change /etc/inetd.conf, you'll have to notify the running
inetd process that the file has changed. On a Debian machine, run
/etc/init.d/netbase reload (for potato/2.2 and newer systems use
/etc/init.d/inetd reload); on other machines, find out the process ID
for inetd, and run kill -HUP inetd-pid.
5.7.1 Using the Shell and Viewing the Logs
- Error messages are redirected to the third virtual terminal (known as tty3).
- These messages can also be found in /var/log/messages. After installation,
this log is copied to /var/log/installer.log on your new system.
- During the Base installation, package unpacking and setup messages are
redirected to tty4.
6.2 The Directory Tree
- The root partition / must always physically contain /etc, /bin, /sbin,
/lib and /dev, otherwise you won't be able to boot. Typically 100 MB is
needed for the root partition, but this may vary.
6.3 PC Disk Limitations
- ``Primary'' partitions are the original partitioning scheme for PC disks.
However, there can only be four of them. To get past this limitation,
``extended'' and ``logical'' partitions were invented. By setting one of
your primary partitions as an extended partition, you can subdivide all
the space allocated to that partition into logical partitions. You can
create up to 60 logical partitions per extended partition; however, you
can only have one extended partition per drive.
- Linux limits the partitions per drive to 15 partitions for SCSI disks
(3 usable primary partitions, 12 logical partitions), and 63 partitions
on an IDE drive (3 usable primary partitions, 60 logical partitions).
However the normal Debian GNU/Linux system provides only 20 devices for
partitions, so you may not install on partitions higher than 20 unless
you first manually create devices for those partitions.
- Once Linux is booted, no matter what BIOS your computer has, these
restrictions no longer apply, since Linux does not use the BIOS for
- The recommended way of accomplishing this is to create a small (5-10MB
should suffice) partition at the beginning of the disk to be used as the
boot partition, and then create whatever other partitions you wish to
have, in the remaining area. This boot partition must be mounted on
/boot, since that is the directory where the Linux kernel(s) will
be stored. This configuration will work on any system, regardless of
whether LBA or large disk CHS translation is used, and regardless of
whether your BIOS supports the large disk access extensions.
6.4 Recommended Partitioning Scheme
- One rule of thumb which works well is to use as much swap as you have
system memory. It also shouldn't be smaller than 16MB, in most cases.
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. If you are trying to solve
10000 simultaneous equations on a machine with 256MB of memory, you
may need a gigabyte (or more) of swap.
- On 32-bit architectures (i386, m68k, 32-bit SPARC, and PowerPC), the
maximum size of a swap partition is 2GB (on Alpha and SPARC64, it's so
large as to be virtually unlimited).
6.5 Device Names in Linux
- The logical partitions are numbered starting at 5, so the first logical
partition on that same drive is /dev/hda5. Remember that the extended
partition, that is, the primary partition holding the logical partitions,
is not usable by itself. This applies to SCSI disks as well as IDE disks.
7.7 ``Configure the Network''
- If you can't find any of these answers, use the system's guesses — you can
change them once the system has been installed, if necessary, by editing
/etc/network/interfaces. Alternatively, you can install etherconf, which
will step you through your network setup.
8.3 Debian Post-Boot (Base) Configuration
- If you wish to re-run the base-config at any point after installation is
complete, as root run base-config.
8.11 Configuring APT
- The helper application which assists in this task is called apt-setup.
- Note that you can re-run this tool at any point after installation by
running apt-setup, or by manually editing /etc/apt/sources.list.
8.12 Package Installation: Simple or Advanced
- You should know that for simple installation, base-config is merely
invoking the tasksel program. For advanced package installation, the
dselect program is being run. Either of these can be run at any time
after installation to install more packages. If you are looking for a
specific single package, after installation is complete, simply run
apt-get install package, where package is the name of the package you
are looking for.
11.3 Linux Devices
sr0 SCSI CD-ROM with the lowest SCSI ID
sr1 SCSI CD-ROM with the next higher SCSI ID
ttyS0 Serial port 0, COM1 under MS-DOS
ttyS1 Serial port 1, COM2 under MS-DOS
psaux PS/2 mouse device
gpmdata Pseudo device, repeater data from GPM (mouse) daemon
11.3.1 Setting Up Your Mouse
- The mouse can be used in both the Linux console (with gpm) and the
X window environment. The two uses can be made compatible if the gpm
repeater is used to allow the signal to flow to the X server as shown:
mouse => /dev/psaux => gpm => /dev/gpmdata -> /dev/mouse => X
/dev/ttyS0 (repeater) (symlink)
rpm -qi --listfiles == dpkg -L