Slackware 3.x HD installation from CD

CD-ROM images for Slackware 3.2 and 3.5:

Screenshots are from a Slackware 3.4 installation, but should be more or less the same as far as the installation process goes.

Step 1: Setup hardware.

First, create the HD image you wish to install Linux to with CHDMAN.
chdman createhd -o <CHD filename> -chd 1024,16,63 (creates a 504MB blank HD image with filename specified by <CHD filename>)

You also need some other OS installed on either a floppy or HD with CD-ROM drivers included. An MS-DOS floppy with CD-ROM drivers and MSCDEX is a good idea, as is a bootable Linux floppy.
Make an extra two copies of the same floppy image, these will be made into the boot and root floppies that will start the installation process.
This tutorial will assume you are using MS-DOS to create the boot and root disks.

Step 2: Create Boot and Root floppy disks.

Start MESS (ct486 with -ramsize 64m works well) with the MS-DOS bootable floppy mounted in flop1, your freshly made, blank HD image mounted in hard1 and the Slackware CD mounted in cdrom.

During the memory test, press DEL to go to the BIOS setup, and enter Standard CMOS Setup. Set floppy drives to 3 1/2" 1.44MB, and first HD to type 47, with 1024 cylinders, 16 heads, and 63 sectors (or whatever you used when you created the CHD)

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Exit this screen and select Write to CMOS and Exit. The system will now reboot and boot from the DOS floppy.

Switch to the CD-ROM drive (typically D:, but mine is set to E:) and change directory to BOOTDSKS.144 (cd bootdsks.144). Mount one of the floppies you copied earlier to flop2 (drive B:)

Enter rawrite bare.i b: This will write the image bare.i to the disk in drive B:, and will be the installation boot disk.

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When done, unmount the disk in flop2, and mount the second copy you made in flop2.

Change to the ROOTDSKS directory (cd \rootdsks)

Enter rawrite color.gz b: This will write color.gz to the disk in drive B: and will be the installation root disk.

Step 3: Partition the Hard Disk.

Unmount both floppy disks, and mount the boot disk in flop1, and restart (press F3, or quit and restart MESS with boot disk in flop1). The boot disk will start up at a "boot:" prompt. Just press enter at this point, and the boot process will continue until you get a message to insert the root floppy disk, at which point, unmount the boot floppy, and mount the root floppy to flop1. It would be wise to bring up the File Manager menu before reaching the prompt for the root floppy, as pressing TAB to get to it will make it continue (despite it saying "press ENTER"). You should now get to the welcome screen, and a login prompt. Login as root (no password required).

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You can try to run setup now, but it won't work, as there are no partitioned HDs available, so we must do that first. At the # prompt, type fdisk

Press m then Enter for a list of commands. Simplest setup for Linux is to have two partitions, one for the OS, the other for swap space.

The following sequence will set up the necessary partitions (press ENTER after each item):
n, p, 1, 1, +128M (or whatever size you wish for the swap partition)
n, p, 2, 262 (or whatever is the lowest cylinder available), 1024 (or whatever is the last cylinder available)
t, 1, 82 (sets first partition to Linux swap)
a, 2 (sets second partition to be bootable)

Final partition table should look something like this:

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When it seems correct, press w then ENTER to write the partition table to the HD. Now mount the boot disk, and type reboot. The system will now reboot.

Step 4: Installation.

Repeat the previous boot process from the beginning of step 3, and login as root again.

Now you can run setup at the # prompt, and you should get this menu:

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Settings the keymap and tags aren't necessary, so you can start by setting up the swap partition (ADDSWAP item). If you have your HD partitions set up as in step 3, then you should get /dev/hda1 available for swap. When asked if you wish to use mkswap, select Yes, and when asked if you wish to activate the swap partition, also select Yes (not required, but won't do any harm). Now the first partition should be in use as swap space.

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Now, you can continue on to setting the target partition. If you select No, you will return to the main menu, if you select Yes, then you continue on, as if you select the TARGET item from the main menu.

Next, a quick scan of HDs will occur, and a list shown for you to select the partition to install Slackware to. If your setup is as it is in step 3, then select /dev/hda2. Next, it asks if you want to format the partition, select Format. For inode density, the default is fine, so select that. Wait while the partition is formatted.

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(continued next post)

- Barry Rodewald