Linux Install Fest 1998 - Installer's HOWTO
OK, so you've decided that you want Linux installed on your system,
and you're prepared to lug your machine down to the Install Fest...
Now what? Well, there's a few things you should do ahead of time to prepare.
Before you go any further, you should check out your hardware against the
Hardware Compatibility HOWTO, to make sure Linux will run on your
In general, here's what you'll need to be able to install Linux on your
Note that these requirements are a bit higher than those listed in the
brochure, since the Linux distribution we'll
(Red Hat 5.1)
We cannot stress this enough.
We will not be responsible for any data loss that may occur.
We will try our best to prevent this from happening (and chances are very good
that it won't happen), but it's best to be prepared for the worst.
(After all, neither computers nor people are perfect.)
There will be a waiver that you will have to sign
before our volunteers do anything with your computer.
This is to protect ourselves legally, and to protect you in case of damage.
(Note also that our volunteers are providing you with assistance
during the installation process. You are ultimately responsible for whatever
happens to your machine, as you will be in charge during every step of the
For a reasonable Linux system, you'll need to have 200 to 300 MB of disk
space for the system files, plus 20 to 128 MB more for a swap area, plus
whatever you want to leave around for your own programs and data files.
If you've got a spare disk drive kicking around that's large enough,
then great!... install that drive in your system, and save it for Linux.
More likely, you'll just have the one drive, but if it's got multiple
partitions, reserve sufficient space for Linux in one or more partitions.
- Processor: Intel 386 minimum, 486DX or Pentium-class recommended.
(For other processor types, contact us; we may be able to accomodate
you, but maybe not.)
- Memory: 8 MB minimum, 16 MB or more recommended.
- Hard Disk: 100 MB free space minimum, 250 MB or more recommended.
- Video Card: VGA compatible or better (check the HOWTO above).
- Monitor: VGA compatible or better (check the HOWTO above).
In most cases, you'll have everything in one partition, in which case
you just have to make sure you have sufficient free space there.
If you've got defragmentation software, run it to do a full defragmentation.
(This will make the repartitioning easier and faster.)
If you have the software to do it (like Partition Magic), you can resize
your partition downward, and leave the unallocated space on the disk for
the Linux partition(s). (Do this only if you know what you're doing.
We'll have Partition Magic on hand, and can assist you with this during
the Install Fest itself.)
Make as large a list of the hardware inside the computer as possible,
and gather up all relevant documentation you have.
(You did keep that hardware documentation, didn't you?)
This includes any motherboard documentation you have, plus information on
sound cards, video cards, monitors, scsi cards, etc.
If you have this information available to you, record the I/O addresses
and IRQs for your various cards.
(This is particularly important for sound cards,
video cards, network cards, and any other unusual controller cards.)
To configure everything correctly, it's best if you have your complete system
at the Install Fest. This includes your system unit, peripheral cards,
monitor, mouse, keyboard, and all cables. If you want assistance getting
other devices configured as well, such as joysticks, printers, scanners,
bring them along as well. (We can't guarantee we'll have time for everything,
though, as it will depend on how busy things are at the time.)
We will have some spare monitors (multi-sync VESA SVGA), keyboards (PS/2 only),
mice (PS/2 or DB-9 serial), and power cords (standard plug) on hand, in case
you really can't (or don't want to) bring your own down. However, if yours
are of a different type, things may or may not work for you.
In any case, bring along all available hardware documentation,
and most importantly, those for the video card and monitor.
Please pre-register to book a time slot if you'll
be bringing in your system.
Fill in the form as completely and accurately as possible, giving your name,
e-mail address, and a contact phone number, listing your hardware in detail,
and picking your preferred time slot from the list of available times
(so we don't have everyone showing up at once).
Please make sure you show up at the Install Fest on time,
to ensure someone will be available to assist you.
(If you're just coming to check things out, there's no need to pre-register;
just drop by anytime during the event.)
If you have problems with the form, or have questions about the Install Fest,
then call Gilbert at 474-8161.
You will be assigned to one of four install stations, where we'll assist you
with getting your system connected and powered up. We will then go over
your system specification, and ask you about your requirements and desired
applications, to determine roughly how much space will be needed.
We will then assist you in resizing your disk partition(s), if necessary,
to make room for the Linux partitions (at least one for the file system,
and one for a swap area), using either FIPS or Partition Magic.
You will then be provided with a bootable CD (and a floppy if needed),
containing the Linux distribution. We will be providing only one type of
distribution on CD-R, namely
Red Hat Linux/Intel 5.1
with all the latest update packages merged in
(which you can purchase for $5 and take home with you,
or borrow for free for the installation itself).
If you wish to install a different distribution, you will need to bring
your own media, or have the distribution files pre-loaded on an existing
partition in a format that can be used for installation. (I.e. you're
on your own for that part.)
We will assist you with the installation process itself, guiding you along
and answering any questions you may have. When we get to the package selection
stage, we will help you along and perhaps make suggestions as to what packages
would be useful to you. However, the package selection will be entirely at
your discretion, and will be your responsability.
After the installation of the software is complete, we will assist you with
the configuration of various standard devices, such as the mouse, video card
and monitor (for X Window setup), clock (timezone selection), etc.
Time permitting, we may also assist with other configuration and setup tasks,
such as modem, network card, and printer setup.
If you want to know what's involved, or want to attempt an install on your own,
there's a very good article on the subject in the
This is recommended reading if you're bringing in your system, so you'll be
better prepared, which will make the installation smoother and minimize the
chances of errors.
Go to the Install Fest Home Page.
MUUG WWW Administrator --