Next, is selecting the source media. Since we are installing from a CD-ROM, select option 5. The next screen selects the CD-ROM type. MESS only supports IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM drives, so select option 1.

Now you have to select which IDE device the CD-ROM drive uses. With default settings, this will be /dev/hdc (Secondary IDE interface, drive 1). If you have the CD-ROM drive configured on the primary IDE interface, then you would select /dev/hda. Clearly, your HD partitions will be /dev/hdc1 and /dev/hdc2, in that case. Finally, for the installation method, select slakware, which is the standard installation method.

Now we select which disk sets to install. What you install is entirely up to you and what you may need. Only set A (Base Linux system) is required.

Time to install the packages now. laugh First, you must select the prompting mode. NORMAL will prompt you for each non-required package in the sets you selected earlier. This can be cumbersome, so MENU is a better option, as it let's you select most of the packages before installing them all at once.

After all the packages have been installed, you then need to install a kernel. You can choose from the kernel on the boot disk, one from the CD-ROM, or a kernel image stored on a DOS floppy. Using the kernel from the boot disk will do fine, so unmount the root disk, and mount the boot disk in flop1 once more, then select bootdisk from the menu. The kernel from the boot disk will now be installed to the HD.

Now on to the final phase, configuration. First task is making a boot disk. This is different to the boot disk created earlier, in that it will boot straight to your installed system, in case the HD image ever fails to boot for some reason. You'll need another copy of a disk image to turn into a boot disk, but this is entirely optional. The format option will format the disk image you have in flop1, simple will copy a kernel image on the floppy, lilo will make a more flexible LILO bootdisk, and continue will skip the whole process and continue on.

Select No to setting up a modem, MESS does not support modems at this time.

Select Yes to setting up your mouse, and choose option 1 (MS compatible serial mouse). Set ttyS0 (equivalent to COM1) for the mouse port.

Now you can choose some funky screen fonts, if you so wish. Select a font from the list, and it will change to that font for you. Then select No if you want to choose a different font, or Yes to set this one.

Next option is to install LILO to the boot sector of the HD. LILO (LInux LOader) is a common boot loader, which is run when booting the HD, and can provide boot parameters or load other OSes you may have installed on the HD.

To install LILO, first select Begin from the menu. The first screen will ask for any extra parameters. This is typically not needed, so just press Enter to continue. Next screen selects where LILO is to be installed, the Master Boot Record of the HD, the superblock of the partition you've installed to, or to a floppy disk. Select MBR. Next screen is for the boot: prompt delay. The choice is up to you. 5 seconds is plenty.

Next select Linux from the LILO menu, to add your Linux partition to it's config. Enter the partition you've installed to (it will be listed, but typically will be /dev/hda2). And finally, add a name for the partition. This can be anything you like, so long as it's a singe word.

Now select Install, and it will install LILO to the HD.

Next is gpm configuration. gpm is a program that allows you to select and copy text with the mouse while in console mode (ie: when not running X-Windows). It's up to you if you wish to enable it. Selecting Yes will add it to your system startup script.

Now select your time zone. Again, the choice is yours.

Finally, it will ask if you wish to replace /etc/fstab. Choose No.

And that is it. You can now exit setup, unmount any floppies, and reboot. Slackware will boot from the HD, and you can login as root.

Step 5: Hardware Setup.

As MESS only properly supports ISA (PCI is only available in 586+ drivers, and is rather incomplete at this stage), hardware drivers will need to be loaded manually.

For network cards, you will need to have installed the networking disk set when you installed the OS. If you haven't, then you can mount the CD-ROM (mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /cdrom), run setup again, and start from selecting the source media. Remember that your system is already installed, so after installing the packages you want, you don't need to go further with the configuration as you have already done that before. After exiting setup, reboot and re-login.

To set up networking addresses, run netconfig. First, it will ask for the hostname, which can be pretty much anything you wish. Next, is the domain name. On a local system, this isn't all that important either, so you can enter what you want. When asked if you want to use loopback only, select No. Next, is the local IP address, which is the IP either assigned to or used by the emulation. This will likely be in the 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x ranges. Next, is the gateway address, which is the IP address of the TAP interface (or PCAP if you're using Windows or OS X). Then, enter a netmask of When asked if you are using a name server (DNS), select Yes if you are, then enter the IP address of said DNS server.

Next step is to set up the driver for your network card. It is strongly recommended that you use the NE1000 or NE2000 with the IRQ set to 5, as IRQ3 seems to conflict with other hardware. You'll need to edit a file now, using vi, which can be confusing for those not used to it. At the # prompt, enter vi /etc/rc.d/rc.modules and press Enter. Press down until you see the line "#/sbin/modprobe ne io=0xNNN". Move the cursor to the # character at the start of the line and press x. Then, move the cursor to the start of the NNN and press x three times. Now, press a and type "300 irq=5" (without quotes), then press ESC. Hold Shift and press Z twice. Now reboot again, and you should have a functioning network. You can test internet access with Lynx, if you have it installed.

For sound, only the SB16 or AWE32 is supported at I/O 0x220 and IRQ5. You'll have to build your own modules from the kernel source to use other setups. Thankfully, MESS does support the SB16, so uncommenting the #/sbin/modprobe sound line in /etc/rc.d/rc.modules using vi should work (untested).

- Barry Rodewald