July 1st, 2004 06:23 AM
Installing Free BSD 5.0
Installing Free BSD 5.0
Installing Operating Systems with gore
Free BSD 5.0
Free BSD has the same reputation as Slackware Linux does for not being an easy to install OS. Well, So far I've installed it 30 times, and I haven't used a manual yet.
This tutorial will be the same as my Slackware tutorial was, in that it will provide a step by step installation tutorial for Free BSD.
Free BSD is actually quite easy to install. Hopefully this will show that. For right now I'm only going to show the installation, but maybe in another tutorial, or paper, I'll show you how to configure it, but first things first right?
This will work on a number of machines. I've installed it this way on two machines, with very different hardware, and the install works fine, so you should be fine. Even if you have an integrated video card you can at least install it, but setting up XFree86 is different, and so for the time being, I won't be showing the configuration.
Mainly because the machine I usually use for free BSD is currently being used to type this with Slackware Linux 9.1. This tutorial is being typed on Emacs, the non X version, and the install should only take you a few minutes unless you have terribly slow hardware.
You have a CD-ROM drive
You won't be sharing the HD with another OS (If you are, when it comes time to partition, you're on your own I won't be showing you how to partition to use another OS with it, as I don't, and don't feel the need to, as there is enough documentation to get you through this anyway, and besides, you have to partition to use Free BSD anyway, so if you can do that, you can do it to allow another OS to reside on disk with Free BSD too.)
You will be setting up a network connection. (If you are not, then skip that section).
The GUI for free BSD is the same as Linux uses, but you do have to set it up by hand. If you plan on using X, I recommend that before you begin, you go into the current OS on your computer and get all the information about your hardware, you'll need it.
I've set up X a few times, and it's not hard, but you have to set it up to your own hardware configuration, and I'm NOT going to show you hwo to do this with every possible configuration, so that is why I'm not adding a section for X.
After you use it for a while and read books, you'll learn more by doing this yourself, than you will if I just tell you how. So I'm not skipping X configuration to be mean, but just because there are to many possible combinations of hardware.
To start the installation, take the CD-ROM, and insert it into the CD-ROM drive of the computer you are installing on, and shut the machine down. Wait a few seconds, and then hit the power button. As the machine boots up you'll see text scrolling, and a little warning saying it will boot in 10 seconds, you can either watch the count down with excitement, or press "ENTER" on your keyboard.
After the count down, the text gets a brighter white color, scrolls, and then you see something that may remind you a little of Slackware Linux:
The Free BSD installation is done by "SysInstall" which is a nice non GUI program that's fairly easy to use. After the machine has booted up you'll see it, and can begin the installation.
When Sys Install is loaded on your screen, press the DOWN arrow key once, and press "ENTER" to begin a standard installation. For the most part, the install of Free BSD looks the same as far back as 4.0 which was my first version. 5.1 and so on look a bit different, but besides a few screens, it's the same.
I'm using the Free BSD 5.0 disk that came with my book "Free BSD Unleashed, second edition". I highly recommend This book, and "the Complete Free BSD" for anyone using BSD.
After pressing "ENTER" to begin a standard install, you come to a screen saying you are going into Fdisk. Press "ENTER" to say "OK" and then you see the Fdisk screen.
Don't worry, this is simple!
Press the letter "A" on your keyboard, to alocate all of the disk to Free BSD, then, press the UP arrow key once to highlight the partition named "freebsd" and press "S" to set it as bootable.
You'll see a little "A" after pressing "S" to confirm it was set as bootable.
After you press "S" and have it set as bootable, press "Q" to quit.
After you have pressed "Q" you come to the screen to select a boot manager. If you plan on dual booting, I recommend the Free BSD boot manager. If you have a partition and boot manager already installed that you need to keep, then you will want to leave the MBR alone!
To leave the MBR alone and use whatever boot manager you have installed:
Press the DOWN arrow key twice to highlight "NONE" and press the "ENTER" key.
If you're like me and don't have any other OS you need installed on the machine, then press the DOWN arrow key one time, to highlight "Standard" and then press "ENTER".
Back to Fdisk land:
After you have done this, you see a screen saying you are going to be playing with Fdisk again. Press "ENTER" to say "OK", and you are taken back to Fdisk for round 2.
Now, this part looks very intimidating to a newbie, but it's actually very easy. All you have to do here, is press "A" for auto defaults, then press "Q" to finish. Easy huh?
Back to Sys Install for software:
After you press "Q" you come back to the Sys Install screen to select software.
This screen is fairly straight forward for coders and Kernel Developers, but for newbies it's not.
The easiest way to get passed this screen, is to press the DOWN arrow key once, which will select all, and pressing "ENTER".
After you press "ENTER" you are taken to a new screen asking about the ports collection. There is no reason you should not install the ports unless you're installing on a VERY small disk.
The default highlight is "Yes", so go ahead and press "ENTER" on this window, and after doing so, you come back to the same screen you were just at asking for software to install.
At this screen, press the UP arrow key once, to highlight "EXIT" and then press "ENTER".
Where do you want to install from?
After you have done so, you come to a new screen that is asking where to install from.
It's already highlighting the CD/DVD method, so just press "ENTER".
After pressing "ENTER" you have to tell it which CD-ROM it's in. Usually if you have more than one CD drive in your machine, you pop it in the top one, so the already highlighted top "ATAPI/IDE CDROM" Option should work fine. If not pick the other
After you have pressed "ENTER" and selected the CD-ROM drive the Free BSD installation media is in, you come to a screen warning you that this is your last chance to turn back.
If you forgot to do something, this is the time to select "No".
If you took care of everything you may need, and are ready to finally actually begin the installation, then press "ENTER" as the "YES" option is already highlighted.
The installation begins:
After you select "YES" you see the screen go blue and showing you the current task it is performing. It's currently making File Systems on the HD, so relax for a minute while it does this.
After the File Systems are done, you see a new little window on the screen showing you a progress bar. It's now loading things from CD, so it can take a while on a slower system.
After a few minutes, you see it starts adding packages. This doesn't usually take that long, but again, just relax.
After a few minutes, you see a message saying how Free BSD is now installed. Don't stop yet though, you're not done.
Configuration of the network:
Press "ENTER" on the screen telling you the main install is done, and then it will ask you if you want to configure a network.
If you have no network, then don't select "Yes". But if you DO have a network and want to set it up now, press "ENTER" as "Yes" is already selected.
After pressing "ENTER" you see various options. Free BSD has picked up my integrated NIC, so I press "ENTER" as it's already selected on the screen.
After pressing "ENTER" You see a message pop up asking if you want to use IPV6 with this device....Unless you are sure you need this, then you will NOT need it. "No" is already preselected, so just press "ENTER".
After you press "ENTER" be careful not to just hit it again, as the same message window then asks if you want to use DHCP.
I'm on a LAN, so I press the LEFT arrow key once, and press "ENTER" on "Yes". It scans for DHCP servers, and it finds my DHCP servers, and now I can fill out information.
For host, you can type pretty much anything, and the domain is already filled out as my DHCP configuration on the router sent it to Free BSD already.
Type in a host name you want, and then press "TAB" to pop over to the next box. You may notice that pressing "TAB" made more information pop up, this is fine, so don't worry. Press "TAB" until you have "OK" selected at the bottom.
After you have "OK" slected, press "ENTER".
Network configuration continues as the next screen has another window asking you if you want to use Free BSD as a network gateway. If you are, then go ahead, but for me, I'm leaving the already selected "No" answer and just pressing "ENTER".
After you have pressed "ENTER" another window asks about InetD. For now, I'm just going to leave the answer "NO" that is already selected, and press "ENTER". You can always configure this later anwyay.
After you have pressed "ENTER" you have another window asking about FTP. If you're not setting up an FTP server, leave this screen alone, and just press "ENTER" as you can do this later if you need it, and "NO" is selected by default, so just press "ENTER".
After you have done so, you get asked about an NFS server. Just press "ENTER" here too.
After you hot "OK" on this screen, you come to another screen, which asks about an NFS client. If you are setting up Free BSD as a server or client on your network, you may want to set this up, but if it's just going to be on your LAN, then just keep hitting "No" for these, and as always, you can set these up later on.
After you have pressed "ENTER" you come to another screen asking for the security profile of the system.
This screen is your choice. If you're like me, you'll be pressing "ENTER" as the default selection is already on "No". This way I can configure the system myself.
After you made a choice and hit "ENTER" you are taken to the next screen telling you about the security selection. Just press "ENTER" after reading the message on the screen.
After you press "ENTER" you come to another screen asking to customize the console settings. Just press "ENTER" here for the already selected answer "No" as you don't need to do this unless you really want to.
After pressing "ENTER" you will come to another screen, asking for the time zone.
Press "ENTER" here as it is already on "Yes".
After pressing "ENTER" the next screen tries to confuse you, so just press "ENTER" again. Unless of course you're sure of the answer.
After pressing "ENTER" select your Country.
I'm in the US, so I press the DOWN arrow key until I have "America -- North and South" selected, and then I press "ENTER".
Now, after you have "ENTER" pressed, press the DOWN arrow key until the Country you're in is selected. I'm in the "United States" so I press the DOWN arrow jey until that is highlighted.
I then press "ENTER" and go to the time zone selection screen. I'm in "Michigan" so I press on the DOWN arrow key once to select "Eastern Time - Michigan - most locations" and press the "ENTER" key.
Installing Linux compatibility:
After pressing "ENTER" a little window pops up asking if an abbreciation looks OK. Just press "ENTER" here. The next question it asks is about Linux compatibility. Go ahead and say "Yes" here, as it can be nice to use Linux Applications on Free BSD.
After you press "ENTER" it adds the packages needed, and is also a great time to smoke. So I'm going to smoke while this is installing, and when I get back it will be done.
Setting up your mouse:
The Linux compatibility install finishes, and then you come to another screen asking you if you have a NON USB mouse attached. My mouse is not USB so I press the LEFT arrow key to highlight "Yes" and press "ENTER".
After pressing "ENTER" you come to a screen to set up the mouse.
Press the DOWN arrow key one time, and press "ENTER".
Move the mouse around and see if it shows up. This should work without problems, and if you see the cursor moving press "ENTER". Now press the DOWN arrow key to select the mouse protocol.
In this, "AUTO" is already selected, so just press "ENTER" unless you're sure of the mouseyou have and see it here.
After pressing "ENTER" press the DOWN arrow key and press "ENTER". This mouse is a PS/2 mouse, so I just press the little "ENTER" key, and then when I'm back on the original screen I press the UP arrow key until "EXIT" is highlighted, and press "ENTER" again.
Skipping X configuration:
The next window asks about configuraing X, but as I said already, I'm not walkign you through this because you have to set options for each video card. I don't have the same card as everyone else, so it wouldn't be all that helpful. So for this screen, just press the RIGHT arrow key to select "No" and press "ENTER". You can se this up at a later time, so don't worry.
More software to install :
After you finish that screen you come to another screen to install more software. "Yes" is already selected, so just press "ENTER".
After you have pressed "ENTER" the easiest thing is just pressing "ENTER" as "ALL" is already selected. This will install everything, and makes it easier than going through every package. You can do that when you have learned more about Free BSD.
After you have gotten to the next screen, you should see a software selection screen, and you can choose some things to install for X. You can select whatever you want here, and any dependencies will be added automatically.
After you have selected what you want, press "TAB" to select "OK" and then press "ENTER" on the keyboard. You now come back to the screen you were at earlier, and now you just press "TAB" to highlight on the button saying to "Install" and press "ENTER".
Setting up the first user accounts for Free BSD :
After pressing "ENTER" the packages you selected are installed, and then you come to a new screen some time later. this screen asks for setting up user accounts, so press "ENTER" as "YES" is already highlighted.
After pressing "ENTER" press the little "DOWN" arrow on your keyboard, and press "ENTER" to add a user.
It asks for a log in ID, so whatever you want to use to log in should be entered. I enter "GORE" then hit "TAB" 3 times to enter in a password, then hit "TAB" again to enter a full name.
After you have entered the name, press "TAB" until you are on "OK" and hit "ENTER". After pressing "ENTER" you go back to the screen to add users or groups. Enter as many users as you need to, and then, select "EXIT" and press "ENTER" when you finish adding users.
Setting the Root password :
Now it's time to set the Root password. Press enter at the screen telling you about it, and then enter in a Root password. You have to enter it in twice.
Finishing up the install :
Then you can read the window asking if want to go to the main window for any more options.
"No" is already highlighted here, so just press "ENTER". After you are done, you see the first screen again. Press "TAB" and that will highlight the "Exit" option. Press "ENTER" and a little screen asks if you're sure. Press the LEFT arrow key to highlight "YES" and press "ENTER".
Make sure you pop out the CD-ROM first, and if you can't for some reason, just wait until it's rebooting and pull it out then. The machine reboots, and boots up for the first time. Now, have fun.
July 1st, 2004 07:17 AM
nice one dude !!!
You should bundle your tuts..
make it an install any distro / OS tutorial...
ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.
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July 1st, 2004 07:28 AM
Great job, as always
You must spread your AntiPoints around before giving it to gore again.
July 1st, 2004 10:12 AM
Yeh, good job gore. Again, with a great tutorial proving to the masses that vicodin user's aren't dumbasses haha just kidding man. Proving that you aren't "some idiot" which we all know isn't true because you know your ****. Good job man.
You must spread your AntiPoints around before giving it to gore again.
EDIT: Perhap's you could do a OpenBSD tutorial /me loves my OpenBSD box. Oh, yeah.. back to earth.. Is it possible you could do a OpenBSD tut on installation or securing it? Thanks.
July 1st, 2004 04:25 PM
Great Tutorial Gore..
Once again full marks for Effort, and Content and Overall Eye Appeal..
Although i personally haven't used Free BSD as of yet, just reading this has made me to set up a Box and see what all the fuss is about..
You might of converted a debian lover with this..
July 1st, 2004 05:22 PM
Who needs FreeBSD - Gentoo can do all it can and more! In fact, everyone should switch to Gentoo now!
Just kidding, nice tutorial Gore - you need to stop writing them so fast though because we have to spread around our antipoints don'tcha know?
July 1st, 2004 07:09 PM
Wonderfully done tutorial. Once I obtain a HD (I don't have a job... no $) I plan on install FreeBSD, and it seems I shall be using this tutorial. Thanks again.
July 1st, 2004 08:41 PM
Thanks for the love, heh. Another reason I popped this one out so fast was for the paper I'm writing on Slackware Linux VS. Free BSD. It's not done yet but I'll copy what I have so far. I have a Slackware tutorial, and now I have the Free BSD tutorial so I can add both to it. I also re wrote my Slackware tutorial in a more professional manner so you can use it at work without your boss seeing naughty words:
Slackware Linux VS. Free BSD:
A (somewhat) unbaised look at two OSs.
This is going to be done on my Slackware Linux 9.1 machine in Emacs and Vim, and will not include much outside of my experiances with both platforms. Remember that I am NOT a coder, so I will not put much of that into this.
The last week or so I have been pitting Linux up against Free BSD 4.10 and 5.0 to see which one is better at what.
By reading the websites for both OSs, they both make out like they are on top of the game for server and desktop use. But is it all true? Or just hype?
It may come as a shock, or it may not, that I haven't had a computer for very long. I got my first machine 4 years ago, and learned fast. I heard about Free BSD about a year later, and actually started with Free BSD after leaving Windows to try other OSs. I've been using Linux for a year now, and so far I have learned a lot about UNIX and OSs in general.
Anyone from Anti Online that reads this knows that I am usually the person to come to when you have an OS question, and that is because I learned a lot about how they work in general by learning from the OSs I have used.
From a security stand point:
Any OS can be good, and any OS can be secure. The main difference between who gets attacked, and who can defend depend on the person using the machine. An example:
User A runs Windows 98SE, has Mcafee Anti Virus, and Mcafee Firewall installed, updated, and all Windows patches installed, and the machine has only a few programs installed, and they are all updated.
User B on the other hand is running Free BSD, and has no idea how to update it. SSH was installed and running by default, and the user doesn't know how to use upgrade_pkg.
The above examples can easily be applied to a real world event, as I have heard of plenty of users installing Free BSD for the first time, and either not knowing how to shut the machine down (I guess "halt" or "Shutdown" aren't obvious enough) Or they don't know how to update the system. They awake the next day to a machine that has been rooted.
User A however, leaves the machine on all the time, and has never had a problem. User A opens NO attachments, doesn't use Peer-2-Peer software, and has the firewall protecting them from other forms of threats. And since Windows 98SE has almost no remote network capabilities out of the box, they don't have many services running that could be exploited anyway.
This is a good example of something that can happen. The difference between these two users besides a letter? Well, one has knowledge, and the other has bragging rights. Let that be a lesson to you: Uptime means nothing when your box has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.
I would really much rather reboot my machines because I'm installing a Kernel patch than be rebooting them because someone broke in, exploiting a hole that had a patch would have fixed a couple of months ago.
Security in Free BSD:
Free BSD may be one of the most stable OSs in the world. On the Netcraft website that shows the top 50 uptimes of web servers on the internet, almost all of the machines listed are running Free BSD on any given week. A few machines here have uptimes of nearly 5 years.
This is great, but I know for a fact that a few Kernel patches have been released in the last 5 years, and this means these boxes have not been patched. The number of people who can look on Netcraft and check uptimes of these machines, is almost like hanging a sign on the window saying "I'm not patched, own me".
Any person who wants to break into a server can easily go to Netcraft, find out the OS and Web server software of a website, and then check the patches that have been released for the OS the server is running on, and then compare the uptime to how long ago a patch was released, and Boom! you now know exactly what exploit you need.
Note to all admins:
Quit giving the kids such an easy task. Get up, and actually patch the machines you are in charge of!
Free BSD has not always had a good security track record. Some used to compare it to Microsoft. That was of course a while back though. I believe that any OS can be secure, or not secure, depending on the person operating it. Any user can take Open BSD, and make horrible security choices, and open up holes in it, and anyyone can also take something like, say Windows ME, and secure it beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
Before I get to far into this, one good place to learn about Free BSD security, is http://freebsd.org/security/
They give a good yet biased show of Free BSD.
Another thing to add:
If you find a security hole in Free BSD, send an e-mail too:
Letting them know about any problems you may find is best, don't keep it to yourself, and don't become a "0-Day Exploit" guy. Free BSD is used on many servers, and problems should be fixed.
Another thing to mention while on subject would be to remind users of Free BSD, that you should NEVER use the -CURRENT branch of Free BSD unless you are a developer. The -CURRENT branch does not get advisories, as it is not meant for production, so don't use it unless you are testing.
Always stick with something in the -STABLE branch.
Another way to stay on top of the game with security, and just general chat about Free BSD, is to join one of the many mailing lists, which can be found here:
That will show you a list of mailing lists you can sign up for.
One of the things about Free BSD is the "ports" collection. For information about this, please see:
I will discuss port later on.
Advisories for security issues are sent to these mailing lists (Taken from the Free BSD security page) :
If you notice on the Free BSD security page, 44 advisories of varying severity were issued for the base system. This is a high number considering it was just the base system, but then again this was also 2 years ago.
A look at the number of security patches for Free BSD4.3 shows almost 200 to date. For Free BSD 4.4 there is less than half of this. Free BSD 4.7 only has 4, which is really good, but it's not exactly old either. The Free BSD security FTP server, located at ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/CERT/advisories/ lists 298 files. 290 of these are updates, and 8 are folders leading to more.
If you were to compare Free BSD to Slackware based on the number of fixes, Slackware would probably become the winner there.
Free BSD and Slackware both have one thing against it already in security:
They both use sendmail.
Sendmail is one of the most insecure applications ever written. It's in very wide use because it is very configurable, but it still could use a complete rewrite. I recommend Postfix, it's written to be mroe secure, and unlike Sendmail, considuring it won't make you want to cry.
Slackware Linux 9.1 is out so I wrote a tutorial on installing it. This is a step by step install help, so if you want to, you may print it out.
How to install Slackware Linux 9.1.
Written by: gore.
Slackware Linux has a reputation for being hard to install. I disagree with this, as I have installed Slackware about 20 times now, and I have yet to use a book or manual. I think what catches most people off guard is the fact that the Slackware installation is in text.
There is no GUI in the install, and most people have never done it before.
Free BSD and Debian Linux are also text based installs. Don't let this stop you though, just because it is text does not mean it is hard.
In this tutorial, I will be assuming a few things:
-First, I will NOT be partitioning so that Windows will be on the same disk. The install makes you partition for Slackware anyway, so if you can do this, you should be able to partition a Windows PC without any problems.
-I will assume you will be using the PC for Slackware Linux only.
-I will also assume that you can boot from a CD-ROM drive. If you cannot boot from a CD-ROM, then make boot floppies, the install will look the same and you will have to do the same things during the install anyway. Or, just get into your BIOS, and tell the computer to check the CD-ROM for booting BEFORE the Hard Disk.
Getting into the BIOS can be a bit odd, but not hard. On each machine it is different. Usually pressing F1 on a Compaq machine will do it, but check your computer manual for how to do it.
Insert the Slackware Linux CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive of the machine you are installing on and turn it off. Wait a few seconds and then turn the machine on. You will see some text coming up and asking you to type something at at a little prompt that looks like this:
Most people can safely ignore this and just hit ENTER on your keyboard. After this point you will see various lines of text scrolling and then you will come to a prompt asking for you to enter a keyboard map.
If you are using a US keyboard, just ignore this and hit enter. If you need to enter another keyboard map, or want a real challenge, press the 1 key on your number pad and hit ENTER.
After that screen you come to another prompt asking you to log in as root. Just type root and press enter. The root password is a random string of numbers and letters during the install. After logging in as root, you come to a command line.
Most people at this point are probably thinking "OK, now what? It's not doing anything".
Well, at this prompt, type 'cfdisk' and hit the ENTER key.
After you are in cfdisk you will see all partitions on your HD. Use the left and right arrow keys to select options at the bottom of the screen, and the up and down arrow keys to select partitions.
If you have only one partition on the disk, hit the left arrow key, then hit enter to delete it. If you have two partitions, do the same and then hit the down arrow key to select the second partition, hit the right arrow key so highlight delete, and hit the ENTER key.
You should now have nothing but free space showing. Hit the right arrow key and press enter to create a new partition. Press the right arrow key again and select Logical and press enter. This is going to be your swap space, so enter in how many MB you want it too be.
The box I am installing on has 384 MB of RAM and I am making a swap space 1001 MB in size. After you type in how many MB you want, press enter. You should now see another option asking for "Beginning End Cancel?" It auto highlights on "Beginning" and that is what we want. So just hit enter. Putting swap at the beginning of your HD is good because it's usually the faster part of theHD, and therefore makes a good swap space.
After you hit enter, you should be back at where we started partitioning. Press the down arrow key and select the free space. Hit the right arrow key and press enter to create a new partition. This time, we are going to select Primary as the option. It also preselects this option so just press enter.
For size in MB I am going to just press enter because it lists how many MB you have left on the disk by default. Now you are back at the same screen again. By using the up and down arrow keys, highlight the logical partition we made first, and then hit the right arrow key until "Type" is highlighted. It is about 6 times you hit the arrow key until you get to the option "Type".
After you have it highlighted, press enter. Press any key and it should say "Enter file system type" and it has 82 listed already, so press enter here. 82 is the swap space file system type. You are now returned to the menu again. Press the down arrow key and highlight the other partition. The one that is NOT listed as swap is what we want to highlight.
After you have highlighted the non swap partition, press the right arrow key 6 times. You should have "Type" highlighted again. Press enter when you have highlighted "Type" at the bottom of the screen.
You are now back at the screen saying press a key to continue. Press a key. Now for this part, you are NOT going to use 82 as the file system type. Type "83" as the file system type and press "Enter".
You are now back at the main cfdisk screen again. Press "Enter" again to make the Linux partition bootable.
You see Boot appear near it.
Now, press the right arrow key 8 times to highlight "Write" on the bottom of the screen and press enter.
The computer will beep at you, letting you know it is writing the information to the disk.
Now, type "Yes" exactly as I did. You have to type yes, not "y" but a full "yes" or it will tell you no
After pressing enter it will beep as it writes all of this to the partition table of your HD. Then it will beep again when it is done.
Now you should be back at the cfdisk main screen again. Press the right arrow key 5 times to highlight "Quit" and press enter.
You are now back at a command prompt. You should see:
At this command prompt, type "setup" and hit the enter key.
Your screen gets as graphical as it is going to get during this install.
You see numerous options.
Press the down arrow key 2 times to highlight add swap and press enter.
You come to another screen with more options. It will say Slackware has detected a swap partition:
It will ask if you want to install this as your swap partition. Press enter as it is already highlighted on "Yes".
It formats the swap partition and checks for bad blocks. Go get yourself some coffee as this will take a few minutes even on fast systems.
After it finishes, it goes to the next screen saying your swap has been configured. Press "Enter".
Now you're at another screen. You see your Linux partition we made in the cfdisk program. Press enter on this screen to Select it.
After pressing enter, you are taken to a screen with a few options. Using the up and down arrow keys will navigate you through all of this. You can just press enter here and do a quick format, or you can select "Check" and allow it to check the entire disk for bad blocks.
Do NOT select No.
Choose whatever you want here. If you're in a hurry or just want this to go faster, select format. If you have time to kill and or want your disk checked for bad blocks, select "Check". After selecting which option you want to go with, press "Enter" to actually select them. After you choose which option you are going with, you see another screen asking for the file system to use.
If you're an old school user you will probably be choosing ext2, if you are like me, you will be choosing either ext3 or reiserfs because I like my file system to be a journaling file system.
The main differences in these 3 file systems are:
Ext2: An old file system that has been around for quite a while. Ext2 became less important as journaling file systems came to be. Journaling file systems allow fast recovery, Ext2 does not. But, Ext2 has been around for a number of years, and has undergone a lot of tests and improvements, making it fairly stable and reliable. Also, Ext2 allows easy upgrading to Ext3.
Ext3: Ext3 file system was based on Ext2, so a lot of things have carried over. Ext3 however is a journaling file system, so it allows fast recovery and so on. Ext3 is a good file system with good performance.
ReiserFS: ReiserFS was available as a kernel patch for SuSE Linux users using the 2.2.x kernel. ReiserFS offers better disk utilization, better disk performance, and fast crash recovery.
A word of warning about Journaling File Systems:
They WILL sometimes take a bit longer moving and writing files. Not something you'll really notice though unless you use some type of File System test tool, but the small amount of performance is really not something you'll notice, and is only there because it writes to a "Journal" every time something happens, so that if you do for some reason have a crash, you'll be able to recover easily without much of a problem, because a journal of the entire thing is already on disk.
Of course there is more to it than I mentioned here, because this tutorial is not about Linux File Systems, it's about installing one of the best distributions in existence. For more information, just look on the Slackware web page, or do a google for "File Systems" and learn more.
I selected ReiserFS here. After you select and press enter, it formats the file system, and then takes you to another screen. Just press enter here. It is just a page saying it added this to /etc/fstab.
Now you select where to install Slackware from. Since I am using a CD-ROM, I press enter with the number 1 highlighted.
After pressing enter, you come to another screen. Just press enter with "Auto" selected. You come to another screen where it scans for the Slackware install media. After this, you are taken to a screen to select software you want to install.
Use the up and down arrow keys to move around, and press "SPACEBAR" to select or unselect options. Most of the preselected options should be left alone as some are system files you need.
After you have selected what you want there, press enter.
You are taken to a new screen where you can select what you want here. If you want everything, press enter. This will install everything and is fairly easy to finish up with.
I am gore however. So I am selecting expert.
After selecting expert, you are taken to another screen that allows you to select individual packages.
Using the up and down arrow keys again, select the software you would like to install, using the "SPACEBAR" key to select and deselect software. Again, most of the pre selected things should be left alone.
Some things, like PCMCIA, may be unselected, as I am not installing this on a laptop. After you have selected the software you want, press "Enter". After you have pressed "Enter", you are taken to another similar screen to select more software.
Select whatever you want too add in this category of software and press enter. After you press enter, you are brought to yet another screen of software selection. After you have selected the software you want in this screen, press enter.
After pressing enter, you are brought to a smaller screen to select some versions of Emacs. Besides the ones already selected, I recommend you select "Emacs-nox". This will allow you to run Emacs without having X loaded.
After you have selected what you want here, press enter.
After pressing enter, you are brought to an even smaller selection screen. These are help documents, just press enter as they are useful and should be kept.
After pressing enter, you are brought to an even smaller selection screen. This allows you to select the Linux source. You probably should leave this here too unless you are installing on an incredibly small HD.
Press enter when finished with this screen. After pressing enter, you are brought to a bigger software selection screen. These are libraries and should be left alone. Press enter.
After pressing enter you are brought to a similar screen to select networking programs. I recommend selecting fetch mail so you can check your email without loading X, and Nmap.
After you have selected what you want in here, press enter.
After pressing enter, you are brought to another screen for software selection. Unless you are a publisher, I don't think you'll need to select much here, just press enter.
After pressing enter, you are brought to another software selection screen. Most of this you won't need to add much here either. So you can safely leave this screen alone and press enter.
After pressing enter, you are brought to another software selection screen. This is for Xfree86. Don't unselect any of this unless you don't plan in running X at all.
After you have finished with this screen, press enter. After pressing enter, you are brought to another screen for more software.
These are X applications. If you are not going to use a GUI, you won't need any of this, but most people will probably want a GUI, so don't deselect any of this unless you are not running X.
After you have made your selections, press enter so you can see another screen of selection. Just press enter unless you are tight on disk size.
If you have a little disk, you don't NEED these, so you can deselect it =)
After pressing enter, you can stop selecting packages while the ones we just spent the last 20 minutes selecting are installed.
During this time, feel free to get coffee as it can take a while. Or you could wire money to me.
After a while your CD-ROM drive will open and ask for the second CD-ROM. Slackware 9.1 was the first Slackware to have 2 CD-ROMs. So grab the second CD-ROM and stick it in.
After you have stuck the second CD-ROM in, press enter.
After pressing enter you are brought to another software selection screen. After selecting the GNOME packages you want, press enter so you can select software for KDE.
After selecting those packages, press enter again. After pressing enter, the software you just selected will be installed.
After they install, you are taken to a new screen to install the Linux kernel. If you installed like I did with a CD-ROM, just select CD-ROM, which should already be selected, and press enter.
If you used a boot disk, select that.
After pressing enter, you are taken to another page to choose the kernel. The one that is already selected, /cdrom/kernels/bare.I/bzImage, should be fine, so just press enter. After you press enter, it installs the kernel and then takes you to another screen.
If you want to make a boot disk, press enter. If you don't, press the down arrow key and then press the right arrow key to select skip this, and then press enter.
After pressing enter, you select your modem. I don't have a modem installed on this computer because it is hooked up to my LAN using a NIC. So for this screen, I will be selecting no modem.
If you have a modem, select it. After you press enter, you are taken to a screen to enable hot plugging. Yes is already selected, so just press enter.
After you press enter, you are taken to a screen where you select how to install LILO. Simple is already selected here, and this usually works fine, so just press enter.
After you press enter, you are taken to a screen where the console settings are chosen. For this, I am selecting 1024x768x256. This should work fine on most machines, but if you are installing on older hardware, select the one at the top named standard.
After selecting one, press enter. You are then taken to another screen to pass parameters to the kernel. You usually won't need this so just press enter.
After pressing enter, you select where to install LILO. If you are dual booting, or using a boot manager, select Root, if you want to have to use a floppy for extra physical security, select floppy, if you are like me and not doing any of that, select MBR by pressing the down arrow key 2 times, and then pressing enter.
After pressing enter, you are taken to a screen to select a mouse.
Select your mouse and press enter.
After selecting a mouse, you are taken to another screen. Just press enter here as this can be a useful feature.
After pressing enter, you are taken to a screen to configure your network. If you have DSL or Cable, you probably want to do this now. If you have dial up, you probably won't need this.
Select yes or no and press enter. If you selected yes to configure the net, you are taken to a screen for a host name. Unless you're installing this on a server or something where a lot of people will be accessing the machine, you can just make something up. If you are installing on a server, enter the hostname.
After entering a host name, press enter. After pressing enter, you enter the domain name. Again, you can pretty much make up whatever you want here. Unless of course you are installing on a server as said before.
If you are installing on a server, enter the required information, and press enter. After you press enter, you are taken to a screen where you can set up how you get an IP. Since I have a LAN, I select DHCP. After you make your selection, press enter.
After pressing enter, you come to another screen asking for networking information. Unless you have an ISP run by nazis you can just press enter. After pressing enter, you will be shown your networking information. If it looks good, press enter, if it doesn't, press the right arrow key to highlight "No", and press enter.
If you selected "No", you will be taken back through the networking set up. If you selected yes, you are taken to an area where you select what services to run. Unless people need to access your machine remotely, deselect SSHd at the very bottom. Sendmail is OK though. That way you can send mail from a command line.
After selecting what services to run, press enter. After pressing enter, you are asked if you would like to try custom screen fonts. "No" is already preselected, so press enter, unless you really want to try screen fonts out
After pressing enter, you are taken to another screen. Unless you are sure, press enter. "No" is already highlighted here, and is a safe option.
You are now taken to a screen to select your time zone. I live in Michigan, so I am going to select "US/MICHIGAN". After you highlight your time zone, press enter. After pressing enter, you are asked to select which Window Manager to run by default. Select whichever one you want and press enter. After pressing enter, you are taken to another screen telling you how you haven't chosen a root password yet.
Select yes here, and press enter. After pressing enter, you see a prompt to enter a password. This is going to be your root password. Don't use anything you can find in a dictionary, or something someone would be able to guess. Make it hard to remember for everyone except you.
After you enter it, you have to enter it again to be sure you typed it how you wanted it. After you enter the password, it changes and you can now press enter like the prompt is telling you to do.
Now you are at a screen that should have you almost hugging me; The set up is complete screen. I originally wrote this a couple of months ago, and a lot of people said they really loved the tutorial, as Slackware seemed to never work right for them, and that this tutorial helped them install it finally, and they were very happy. So I'm dedicating this re-write to those who appreciated it, and for those who put up with the bad words in the original, and understood it was part humor, and part bad moood.
That's why I re-wrote it. I wanted you to be able to use it at the office, and at home without worrying about offending anyone.
Press enter here. After pressing enter, you are taken back to that set up main screen. Use the down arrow key to highlight exit, and press enter.
You see a message saying installation of Slackware is complete, and your CD-ROM tray opens up and spits out the CD-ROM. Put the CD-ROMs away and close your CD-ROM drive. You are now at a command prompt again.
Type reboot and press enter. Your system restarts, and you are done.
July 2nd, 2004 02:29 AM
I know this isn't exactly a final draft (I hope), but I would like to inform you that you said, "considuring it won't make you want to cry." I figure that you meant to say configuring instead of considuring, I would just like to point that out. If I am wrong, then forgive me for posting this.
July 2nd, 2004 03:59 AM
Thank you. I missed that typo, have greenies.
My plan is to finish that BSD Slackware paper, and then either add, or link the tutorials I've written for each. that way after reading it, users will be able to look at the easy way to install Free BSD or Slackware. I think I'm going to try and finish that up and my OS paper.
heh, you guys think I pump these out to fast, and probably have no clue I'm already working on about 6 more now. My OS paper, This Slackware BSD one, and a few others. Someday I just might be on that top tutorial writer list, hehe.