Monday, May 21, 2012

GNU/LINUX Install Mannual

GNU/Linux for Physically Challenged: Install from Live CD/DVD

First download GNU/Linux From

Note: Before you start, please note down carefully the partitions on your hard disk, their sizes and the operating systems residing on them. You will need at least 6-8 GB disk space to install the new OS. If it is not there, you will have to delete or resize an existing partition to free the required disk space. So decide in advance which partitions you could delete or resize if required.

1.Insert the CD/ DVD and restart the computer. Keep looking at the screen. A message indicating the button for entering boot options menu will be displayed at the top or bottom. The button may vary from system to system. It may be Delete or F2 or F9 or F12. Keep pressing the appropriate button while the system is starting. This will bring up the boot options menu. Select the option to boot from CD/ DVD and press Enter. If your computer is already configured to boot from CD/ DVD when one is loaded, this step is not required. When the computer boots from the live CD/ DVD, the following screen appears. Just press Enter to continue.

2.The next screen shows three options. The live option will run the new OS from the CD/DVD, without making any changes to your hard disk. This is an excellent way to try out the new OS. The install option starts installing the new OS on your hard disk. The hd option skips the new OS and boots your computer in the usual fashion. Select install Option press Enter key.

3.This is the first screen in the installation process. Choose the language (default is English) and click on the Forward button.

4.Choose your location and time zone (default is India time). Click on Forward button.

5.Choose the appropriate keyboard layout for your computer (default is USA) and click Forward button.

6.This is the most important step in the installation process. The following screen shows the existing partitions on the hard disk and the operating systems residing on them. Here you decide where on your hard disk the new OS is going to be installed. WARNING: NEVER CHOOSE THE SECOND OPTION viz. ERASE AND USE THE ENTIRE DISK. THIS WILL ERASE ALL EXISTING OPERATING SYSTEMS, APPLICATIONS AND DATA FROM YOUR HARD DISK, CREATE A SINGLE PARTITION OCCUPYING THE WHOLE DISK AND INSTALL THE NEW OS THEREIN. To retain the existing operating systems, applications and data, and to have enough control on the installation process, choose the last option viz. Specify partitions manually (advanced) and click Forward button.

7.The following screen shows the existing partitions and provides options to modify them. In the example shown, we want to delete partition sda10, because it doesn't contain anything useful. We highlight the partition and click on Delete.

8.The following screen shows that partition sda10 has been deleted and its space has been added to the available free space. Now we need to create new partitions to install the new OS. We need two partitions, a swap partition and a root partition.

9.To create the root partition, highlight the free space entry and click the Add button. Create a new partition dialog appears. Set characteristics of the new partition as shown. Note that the partition type is set to Logical. The size is fixed at 10000 MB (10GB). The partition is located at the beginning of free space. The file system is Ext4 (Ext4 and Ext3 are standard for Linux). The mount point is set to / (slash). This means that the new partition will be mapped to the / (root) folder of the Linux file system. Now click the OK button.

10.The new partition sda10 is seen in the screen below. We have to make one change to this new partition. Highlight the new partition entry and check the check-box in the Format column. This means that the new partition will be formatted before the installation begins.

11.The next step is to create a swap partition. Repeat the procedure that we followed to create the root partition, but some settings would be different. Set the partition type to Logical. Fix the size to double the size of system RAM. For example, if you have 2GB RAM, fix the swap partition size to 4GB. Locate the partition at the beginning of free space. Set the file system to swap area. There is no need to specify the mount point for a swap partition. Finally click the OK button. Note that the partition list in the previous screen already shows a swap partition sda5. In such a case you don't need to create another swap partition, so skip this step.

12.In the next screen type in your name as 'physical' and password as 'physical' and click Forward button.

13.The installer searches the existing operating systems for documents and settings corresponding to different user accounts. If it detects any, it allows you to import the user accounts to the new operating system being installed. Mark the accounts you want to import and click on the Forward button.

14.The installer summarizes all inputs which you have entered in the earlier steps and displays them for review. Confirm that all inputs given by you are correct and click the Install button. If you want to change any input, click on the Back button.

15.The installation is in progress. Wait untill the installation is complete and then restart the System.

16.When you reboot your computer, you see the GRUB menu showing different operating systems. The new operating system which was just now installed is at the top. Previous operating systems which existed before this installation are listed below it. If you find that any of the previous operating systems are missing, don't panic. Login to the new operating system and start the Grub Customizer utility (System -> Administration -> Grub Customizer). Suppose you find that the Windows operating system is missing. Look at the Grub Customizer window shown below. Find the entry corresponding to the missing OS (here it is - Microsoft Windows XP Professional (on /dev/sda2)) in the 'name' column and check the checkbox on its left in the 'is active' column. Also check the checkbox on the left of the heading (here it is - os-prober (custom)) under which the entry appears. If you want to move an entry upwards or downwards in the menu, highlight the entry and move it to the desired location by clicking on the orange coloured Up/ Down buttons in the toolbar. Finally click the File->Install to MBR option in the toolbar to save your changes. Close the Grub Customizer and reboot your system. You will find that the Grub menu now shows all the operating systems, previous and the latest.

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