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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Step by Step Installation of Slackware with Screenshots

I've heard that the installation of Slackware is hard, mostly due to the fact that its via CLI. I myself am not an expert on CLI, even thou I like using it, and I try to as much as I can. But I decided to give it a try on my VirtualBox as my Gutsy install on my laptop has been a little “flaky”, and Slackware is famous due to it's speed and stability.

I've divided into steps, according to the screenshots I took.

Download the first two CDs from Slackware website here.

1- Pop it in your machine and reboot it, or start it. You will get a prompt like the one bellow (click on the picture for a bigger size), asking you for boot options. You can usually leave this blank and just hit enter.

2- If you want to enable special characters for your language, you can do it here (this can also be done after the installation)

3- Logon to the CD as root

4- Now the partitioning part. This what most people are afraid off, and it's really quite simple. Type “fdisk ” to start the utility. Device name will most likely be /dev/hda if you are using your first hard drive. I always create a minimum of 3 partitions (one for /, one for swap and one for /home). The commands we can use are:
- n - New partition
- t - Filesystem type (we will use type 82 for the swap partition)
- p - Lists changes
- q - In case you want to quit without saving it
- w - Saves changes and exits

The commands I used were
- First Partition - n, p, 1, Enter, +5000M.
- Second Partition (swap) - n, p, 2, Enter, +256M
- Third Partition - n, p, 3, Enter, Enter
- Second Partition - t, 2, 82
- Enter “w” to save the changes

5- Type “setup” to enter the setup utility

6- This is the main setup menu

7- There are a couple of things we need to take care first. If you try clicking on install, you'll get a msg reminding you so

8- Click on target and we will be able to setup the partitions and mount points. On this picture I've already done “/”, but we can still do the next partition

9- Select if you want to format it

10- Select the filesystem format for the partition

11- This confirms that it's formating the partition

12- Name the mount point

13- This screen confirms the selections

14- Go back to the main menu and select Addswap to configure the swap partition

15- Say yes if you want to check the swap partition for bad bocks. Not really required

16- Summary of changes to the swap partition

17- Select the partition to install the system (/)

18- Select the source to install from (in our case CD)

19- Select packages categories that you want to install. I left all packages, except games

20- Select packages that you want to install. I used the “full” selection

21- The install will displays the packages being installed

22- Insert the second CD when you see this prompt

23- Option to create a boot USB or not. It's useful but not necessary. You can also use the CD to boot into the system (I had to do this due to a LILO problem)

24- Setup a modem. I'm not using one, so I did not set it up

25- LILO Installation. I used the simple, which is the recommended, but I still had some (minor) problems

26- Select boot splash screen resolution. Again, better be safe than sorry, so I used the standard

27- Enter boot parameter if required for your machine to boot

28- Choose the location to install LILO. I chose the first, or root, partition and had a problem due to the 1024 cylinder rule. I would advise using MBR if you are not dual booting.

29- This is what I got due to LILO installation error. Not to worry, I will show how to resolve it

30- Setting up a mouse. Choose the type of mouse you will be using in the machine

31- Say yes to load an application that will allow you to copy and paste between virtual consoles using the mouse (usually the middle click)

32- Configure Network. I'd choose yes and get it over with. It's fairly simple

33- Give the computer a hostname on the network

34- Enter a domain name. Not really necessary

35- IP configuration (pretty basic)

36- This is only used if you chose DHCP and your DHCP server requires you to use a pre-set hostname

37- Summary of your choices

38- Select services that will start on boot. I've set my machine to basics (like no HTTP or MySQL)

39- Option to configure console fonts. Again, I went for the defaults to make it simple

40- This will sync the time on your OS with the time on your BIOS. I'm using local time

41- And here is my location

42- Choose your Window Manager. KDE which is usually the default, has it's own Window Manager, also called KDE. You can get more info on the difference between Window Managers, Desktop Environments and X Server on these links:
Window Manager vs Desktop Environment vs X Window
Desktop Environments

43- Set root password

44- Setup is complete

Now, we'll go into setting up LILO, in case you also got an error

1- Place CD 1 in the machine and enter the parameters shown on top “hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda1 rdinitd= ro”. This will use the CD to boot into your new installed system

2- Once it finishes the boot process, logon as root with the password you set during the install and run “liloconfig”

3- Installing LILO

4- Once done, type “lilo” to write to the lilo.conf file

5- Restart the computer by typing “shutdown -r now” and remove the CD

6- You are done. Here's your LILO boot prompt

Remember that Slackware will not start the X server by default. To do so, logon at the CLI prompt and type “startx”.



jfxg said...

to go a little further try and search for slackware or this link:

Have fun slackware is a great distro.

Rational Boss said...

Hi Victor! I could not see the images you posted. Can you upload your images again? Thank you!

Victor said...

Hi Rational Boss,

I'm still in the process of getting a new host, so some of my images are not showing.

Also note that this post is a bit old (from 2008). You might be able to find more up to date tutorials on how to install Slack.