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Thread: Red Hat 9

  1. #1
    This tutorial was originally posted by Acid_Spill on the HDC BBS.

    This is just a step-by-step guide on how to install Red Hat Linux 9.0, for those who seem having problems with it. Before you begin installation you want to first research on how well Red Hat will fit into the existing hardware environment, or if new hardware will be required! Also you're going to want to know what type of installation you plan to do beforehand. (I.e. workstation, server, firewall, development system and so on) This will dictate the type and amount of software installed. To make things easier Red Hat installer offers a personal desktop, workstation, server and custom installation.

    We'll cover these real quick:
    • 1. Workstation-- You'll need a minimum of 2.2 GB HDD storage, but much more if you choose to install everything...intended for developers, and other users who want to use the entire spectrum of Linux software
    • 2. Personal Desktop-- This is a new installation class for small office/home office users. You'll need nearly 2GB of storage if you don't customize the default software settings.
    • 3. Server-- You need from 350MB to 5GB of storage, but you need to also take in account other storage requirements. (I.e. if you plan to run a website w/lots of graphics or server other files you'll need more to add more storage space)
    • 4. Custom-- This supports a minimal install requiring almost 500MB, or you can choose to install of the software in which case you'll need 5GB or more of storage (along w/whatever more you want for free space)
    Red Hat can be installed in different ways, using different techniques and hardware, but I'll just cover probably the most common one and that is installing from the CD-ROM.

    Before I go into how to install Red Hat, lets first go over something kind of important, and that is if were going to be dual booting Red Hat with Windows, and if we are, whether or not we need to create a new partition for it. (This is where most people have problems)

    If you want to share your computer between two Operating Systems youre going to have to use dual booting. This means you can use either operating system on the computer, but not both at once. Each OS boots from and uses its own hard drive or partitions.

    Just a little note, if you want to read from and write to a Windows NT, 2000, or XP youre going to have to set the windows partition as VFAT, and not NTFS, because Red Hat cant read NTFS. However its pretty pointless to install windows 2000 or NT with a FAT filesystem, since you cant do any security with FAT, so what you will have to do if you want to share files between the two is to create a new partition and have that as FAT filesystem, and use it kind of as a share point, where you can drop in files from either OS and modify and or create new ones there.

    Now if you are starting from a clean hard drive and there are no OS installed install Windows FIRST and then install Red Hat. If youre planning to use Win 9x, or ME, you cant decide partition sizes during the installation, so youre going to have to use a partitioning program like Partition Magic, or you can use the utility parted, that comes with your Red Hat CDs. If youre planning to use Windows NT, 2000, or XP, you can set partition sizes during installation. Dont forget to leave enough empty space to install Red Hat.

    If you already have Windows installed in your hard drive (more than likely you will) you have a couple of choices. You can either get a new hard drive and install Red Hat on that (if you have enough money for it, go for it&#33 you can use an existing partition or hard drive (that is if the windows partition is not taking up the whole space), or create a new partition (what youll more than likely end up doing) If you need to create a new partition, you can use partitioning programs like fdisk, or Partition Magic if you wish to purchase it, or you can use the parted utility that comes with Red Hat. Remember however that Red Hat does not play nice with NTFS partitions, therefore you will have to use a program like Partition Magic to resize your current partition.

    Before you try to resize your current partition, do yourself a favor and make sure that you have all your safety nets up, and that all of your data is backed up!

    To use the parted utility insert CD 1 of Red Hat Linux and reboot your computer, make sure that your BIOS settings are correct so that you boot of your CD-ROM. Once you have booted from the CD type linux rescue at the boot prompt. This should start the linux rescue mode program. You'll be asked for your keyboard and language preferences, select those as you would select them during the installation. Next you should get a screen that says will now attempt to find a Red Hat Linux Install to rescue. Select Skip. Now youll be taken to a command prompt where you should type: parted /dev/hdX or parted /dev/sdX (for whichever drive you want to repartition and where X is the partition number of that drive.)
    Now view the current partition table by using the print command. This will bring up a partition table that might look somewhat like this:

    [Please forgive the crappy tables - haxor41789]

    Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0.000-9765.492 megabytes
    Disk label type: msdos

    Minor / Start / End / Type / Filesystem / Flags
    1 / 0.031 / 101.975 / primary / ext3 / boot
    2 / 101.975 / 611.850 / primary / linux-swap
    3 / 611.851 / 760.891 / primary / ext3
    4 / 760.891 / 9758.232 / extended / lba
    5 / 760.922 / 9758.232 / logical / ext3

    To resize a partition use the resize command followed by the minor number, the starting place in megabytes and the end place in megabytes. So for example, you might type in something like this:
    resize 3 611.851 700

    Just be careful because any changes you make with parted, take place immediately!!

    Once you have resized your partition, use the print command again to double check that it has been sized correctly. If it is, type in exit to shutdown your system.

    Now you can install Red Hat in that empty partition.

    To install from your CD-Rom drive, turn on your PC, set your PC's BIOS if needed to boot from your CD-ROM drive first, and then insert the CD-ROM and boot to install Red Hat. Now before you begin it is recommended that your computer is not connected to the Internet for security purposes!

    Once you begin installation you'll get a boot screen that gives you some options:
    • enter Start the install using a graphical interface (more windows like installer)
    • linux text - start the install using a graphical text interface (This is what Im going to choose here since text based installation should work w/any PC)
    There are several function keys that can be used to cycle through 4 help screens. Use these keys at the boot prompt:
    • F1 - returns to the initial boot screen
    • F3 - Gives general installation information
    • F4 - describes how to pass kernel video arguments.
    • F5 - Describes Red Hat's rescue mode
    If you need to boot in rescue mode, use the F3 screen and then go to Linux rescue. This will boot to single user more with a root prompt, disabling X and networking.

    After you type in Linux text hit ENTER. You are then asked if you want to do a media check of your CD-ROM. I recommend this to make sure your image is correct, although it might take some time to do.

    After you do the check (or if you decide to skip it) it will show you the welcome screen. Press ENTER to continue. It will then ask you to select the language for installation. Scroll to highlight a language, use the TAB key to highlight the OK button and hit ENTER. You will then be asked to select a keyboard for installation. Choose your keyboard, highlight the OK button and press ENTER. You will then be asked to choose the type of mouse you'll be using. If you choose the 2 button mouse from the list, notice that it will automatically select 3-button emulation. This emulation enables a middle mouse button to be simulated when both the left and right buttons are pressed at the same time.

    Now you'll be asked for the type of installation (Personal Desktop, Workstation, server, Custom) Red Hat allows you to watch the install progress of an install by navigating to a different console display, by simultaneously pressing Ctrl, Alt and the appropriate Fn key. By doing this you can watch for kernel messages, monitor hardware detection and gain access to single - user shell. If you're using the graphical installer, press Crtl+Alt+F4 (then Alt+F2 or Alt+F3) to navigate to the various screens. You can press Alt+F7 to jump back to the installer. If you're using a text-based installation, use Alt+F2 (then Alt+F3 or Alt+F4) and use Alt+F1 to jump back to a text-based install.

    After this you'll come to the partitioning your drive screen. It gives you 3 options:
    • Use the Auto-partition - Will "conveniently" partition your HDD according to the type of installation you selected.
    • Choose Disk Druid - I'll use this one since it's easier and more convenient for this walkthrough. It will launch a graphical partition editor.
    • Choose fdisk - Launches the Linux fdisk utility. This gives the most flexibility in partitioning your drive, but it's also more complex, so we won't use it.
    If you are using a new HDD that hasn't been partitioned yet, you'll be asked if you want to create new partitions on this drive. If you're using a hard drive that as been previously partitioned or formatted, it will show you the different partitions, and show you what space left is free. Select any listed free space and then press the New button (of press F2) to create a new partition. This will bring up the Add partition dialog box. Here you can assign a mount point (such as /boot or /), size of the partition and other stuff.

    At minimum your Red Hat system should have a root (/) and swap partition!

    It is also recommended that the swap partition is at least twice as large as the amount of installed memory. The ext3 filesystem is the best choice for your Linux partitions because it's the default for Red Hat.
    Note-- Just a little caution I got from reading Red Hat Linux 9.0 Unleashed by Bill Ball and Hoyt Duff:
    "Caution: Notebook users should be careful when partitioning. Many notebooks use a special partition equal to the size of install RAM in order to perform suspend-to-disk or other hibernation operations. Always examine your computer's initial partitioning scheme if configuring a dual-boot system, and leave the special partition alone! One way around this problem is to use a software suspend approach as outlined at"
    It is a good idea to keep user data separate from system data. You might want to create a different partition for your user data, since your system data can be restored quickly, but user data can't. Also it is a good idea to once you decide on a partition, check it for bad can choose this option while using Disk Druid, to make sure your partition is working ok.
    Once you get your partitioning done, choose OK to move on.

    You'll then be asked to select a boot loader. I'm going to use GRUB. I like it better than LILO and because there are rumors that Red Hat won't be using LILO later on, you might as well learn GRUB now. After you press OK you're asked if you'd like pass any kernel arguments before booting Linux. These are used to enable/disable various features of Linux at boot time. If you have a CDRW drive you might see a Linux kernel argument that looks like this: hdc=ide-scsi. Don't freak out, this is just used to support the use of the drive under SCSI emulation.

    After you press OK you'll be asked to enter a GRUB password. This is a boot loader password that will prevent users from passing arbitrary options to the kernel. For highest security you can set this password, but it's not necessary. Whether you choose a password or press OK to move on you'll then be taken to a screen where you can graphically edit the loaders configuration file, to add or remove choices of booting other OS.

    Red Hat will usually detect Windows and automatically configure the boot loader to boot either Red Hat or Windows. An entry named DOS will appear in the list of operating systems to boot. Once you hit OK you'll be asked where you want to install the boot loader. Usually GRUB will be installed in the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the first IDE drive in a PC. After hitting OK you'll be asked for network configuration details. You can choose to configure your network settings now, or you can later on use the Red Hat network admin tool. After you configure your network settings, or if you decide to configure them later, youre asked to type in your systems host name. This will be your computers name.
    After setting your host name, you'll be taken to the firewall and security configuration screen. You are given the following choices:
    • No firewall -- Big no no! Use this setting only if your box will not be connecting to a network(internet)
    • Medium -- This setting can be used if youre on an intranet protected by a firewall and served by an Internet gateway.
    • High -- Use this setting for highest security.
    You can also configure these settings after installation using the text-based lokkit command, redhat-config-securitylevel client, or graphical gnome-lokkit client.

    Now you'll have the chance to customize your firewall. This will allow incoming services from ports. I would personally not choose the Telnet service, and instead use the SSH service, because for security reasons its a much better choice.

    After youre done with that and click OK Red Hat will install the firewall security settings, and then you'll be asked to select additional language support. Afterwards, youll then see a Time Zone Selection dialog box. After this is done, youll be then asked to set your Root Password. This password is really important, because without it you wont be able to perform any system administration or user management.

    After setting your password, click OK. Now, if you are using the graphical install of Red Hat, you'll be given then option to create normal user accounts, but if you are using the text-based installation you can only create a root account and will have to later on create user accounts. You should create at least one user besides the root operator for security purposes and that way you wont accidentally log in as root and mess things up.

    When you are finished click OK to continue, and the package group selection screen will come up. Depending on the type of installation you chose (server, workstation, personal desktop etc.) some of the packages will already be selected. Scroll through the list of package groups and check the packages you want to be installed. Red Hat will then perform a quick dependency check and then will start installing the packages. If you are installing Red Hat from the CDs you'll be prompted to insert disk 2 and depending on what packages you chose, disk 3.

    After package installation is completed, you'll be asked to create a bootdisk. You can choose to create a bootdisk now or create one later by using the mkbootdisk command.

    If you chose to select the X Windows System for installation you'll now be asked to configure X to work with your video card and monitor. Red Hat will automatically probe your systems graphics card and monitor for hardware configuration information unless you use the linux noprobe installation boot option. Once you have selected everything, you'll be given the choice to test the settings to make sure theyre correct. If everything looks ok, go ahead and press OK, otherwise re-configure your settings.

    THATS IT! YOU ARE DONE!! Hope this helps to give you a quick idea of how to install Red Hat 9 on your system!

    Good Luck!

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Nice, VERY good guide. Now all I need to do is download RedHat 9

    EDIT - By the way.... so for booting Linux you just need to NOT install GRUB and just create a bootdisk? I'm interested 'cause this would be the way I would like to set up my computer

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    shn's Avatar 3μ|\|(7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Originally posted by DWk@24 January 2004 - 18:30
    Nice, VERY good guide. Now all I need to do is download RedHat 9

    EDIT - By the way.... so for booting Linux you just need to NOT install GRUB and just create a bootdisk? I'm interested 'cause this would be the way I would like to set up my computer
    I would hold off on installing grub or any bootloader if I were you until you decide that that install of linux is the one your going to stick with.

    If it fails or you later delete it you will have to go through the unecessary process of doing a "fixmbr" and possibly a "bootcfg /rebuild to replace your original mbr.

    A boot disk is really all you need, floppy. Now if there is nothing else on the system but linux (no other o.s.) then a bootloader is fine. But grub and lilo tend to screw up sometimes especially after an install thats why you get an option to make a bootdisk during the post install process.

    Btw, the mkbootdisk command has to include your kernel version if you try to make one in the future again from an actual command prompt.

    mkbootdisk -kernel version

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    FYI - If you have a nvidia gforce fx you will need to download and install the drivers before xwindows will work you wont be able to do a GUI install
    There are 10 types of people in the world those who understand binary and those who dont

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Good looking out, this guide is pretty old.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Middel East, Egypt
    remember ppl .. u can always use any virtual pc app to try any OS specially if ur a newbie

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    Update: fixed a few BB code errors and added some trivial new content from Spill.

    Anyone interested in VMWare should check out shn's pinned guide to it.


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