Friday, July 24, 2009

Slackware Day 1: Installation

Of course, the first step before doing ANYTHING is to back up my laptop...don't want to lose anything important!

While waiting for the files to back up, I needed to create a boot disk on my USB (Eee's don't have a disk drive :P). According to the step-by-step I referenced in the last post, I needed to perform a dd to get the usbboot.img I downloaded from the Slackware site onto my flash drive.

I got the device ID for the flash drive by running the command:

sudo fdisk -l

This is crucial...the last time I assumed I knew what the device ID was, I borked my entire system (side note: if you find yourself thinking "this is taking a really long time", you borked your system). Fdisk says that my USB is /dev/sdb1, so my dd command would be:

dd if=usbboot.img of=/dev/sdb1 bs=512

That resulted in:

54504+0 records in
54504+0 records out
27906048 bytes (28 MB) copied, 1.26218 s, 22.1 MB/s


Important edit: this will only install the very basic packages. My next post discusses how to get *all* the packages later, including updates, but at this step it would be easier to not bother with the ISOs at all, and go to any of the ftp sites offering slack packages. There should be a slackware folder in slackware-current with all the package groups; download them into your slackware folder. This way, you get everything, and it's all up-to-date.
Next step: getting an ISO of the install disk 1, mounting, and copying the slackware/ directory to another USB drive. I installed gmountiso (recommended by The Ubuntu Geek, a fantastic Ubuntu help-page), mounted the ISO, and copied the /slackware folder (with all the packages) onto an external hard drive.

Finally, booting and installing! Following the instructions on the website, I managed to get the system and packages installed without a hitch. I didn't manage to get LILO installed immediately, but I was able to boot successfully into my new system using the following commands in the GRUB prompt:

grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1
grub> boot

And now for the real work, next time: configuration and installing new packages!

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