Chapter 4. Installation and Hardware Configuration

Table of Contents
Creating an Installation Diskette
Booting Linux Installation Program
Partitioning Hard Drive(s)
Setting up Swap Space
Choosing Partitions to Format
Choosing Desired Packages to Install
Hardware Configuration
Booting with LILO
Downloading and Installing Red Hat Updates

This chapter will detail the procedures needed to install Red Hat 6.1 onto an Intel system; the procedures are similar whether you choose to install using either GUI- or text-based installation. Since much of this information is already well documented in the Red Hat User's Guide (provided as a paper manual in the “Official” boxed sets, included in the ``/doc'' directory on the CD, as well as available online at, I've skimmed over much of the details. However, there are a few things which I think are lacking in the Red Hat guide, and therefore I will attempt to cover those items in greater detail.

Creating an Installation Diskette

The first step in getting Red Hat's distribution of Linux onto a system, you need to find a way of starting the installation program. The usual method of doing so is to create an installation disk, although if you are installing from CD-ROM, and your system's BIOS supports it, you should be able to boot directly into the installation program from the CD.

Otherwise, to create an installation diskette, you'll need to copy the ``boot.img'' (which is simply an image of an ext2-formatted Linux boot diskette with an additional installation program) onto a floppy diskette. The ``boot.img'' file can be obtained from the /images directory of the Red Hat CD-ROM disk, or downloaded via FTP from in the /pub/redhat/redhat-6.1/i386/images directory (assuming you are installing Linux on an Intel box).

You can create the boot diskette either from a DOS or Windows system, or from an existing Linux or Unix system. For your destination diskette, you can use either an unformatted or a pre-formatted (for DOS) diskette -- it makes no difference.

Under DOS: Assuming your CD-ROM is accessible as drive D:, you can type:

cd \images

For the source file, enter ``boot.img''. For the destination file, enter ``a:'' (assuming the diskette you are created is inserted into the A: drive). The ``rawrite'' program will then copy the ``boot.img'' file onto diskette.

Under Linux/Unix: Assuming the ``boot.img'' file is located in the current directory (you may need to mount the CD-ROM under /mnt/cdrom and find the file in /mnt/cdrom/images), you can type:

dd if=boot.img of=/dev/fd0

The ``dd'' utility will copy, as its input file (“if”), the ``boot.img'' file, onto the output file (“of”) /dev/fd0 (assuming your floppy drive is accessible from /dev/fd0).

Unless your Linux or Unix system allows write permissions to the floppy device, you may need to do this command as the superuser. (If you know the root password, type ``su'' to become the superuser, execute the ``dd'' command, and then type ``exit'' to return to normal user status).

With either of the above schemes, you should now have a bootable Red Hat 6.1 installation diskette that you can use to install your new Red Hat Linux system!