7. Install the system

In this chapter we will get used to the LinuxPPC-2000 Q4 installation environment, partition the harddisk(s) and install the operating system packages.

7.1. The LinuxPPC-2000 Q4 installer

So, now we're actually getting somewhere! At least, so it looks. This looks really cool, doesn't it? Press the right mouse button on the background on the screen. What a cute little menu! Notice that you can change the colors of the screen with the Styles option. This is the first installation program I've ever seen with changeable colors :-) Note that you can move the windows on the screen around by clicking and dragging on the blue top or right borders. To bring a window to the front, try clicking on it. Select xterm on the Blackbox (background) menu. This will bring up a command line terminal window which we will use to start some programs that can do what the installation program can't.

Behold! There are even two (!) installation programs. Unfortunately, they don't work. In the xterm window, kill the installation programs. We have to do some more hand-work.

        killall install_helper

7.2. Partition the harddisk(s)

The first thing to do is to partition the hard disk(s). Since we have brutally killed the installation program, THERE IS REALLY NO WAY TO DO THIS. I have framed you all the time. Just shut down the machine and have a beer. Then visit some friends.

Just kidding.

In the xterm window, issue the command

        fdisk /dev/sda
This will start the good old fdisk program. Note: This program will wipe away anything on the disks in the machine. If there are something on the disks that you want to protect, exit the program by hitting Q and press Enter. If you like a menu driven program, we'll start using cfdisk in a minute. For an overview on the fdisk commands, hit ?. To view the present partition scheme, hit P. If there are lots of unknown AIX information there, hit D, and select 1, D again and 2, and continue all the way up to 5 to be sure all old AIX partitions are wiped away. Write the changes to the disk by hitting W, and quit the program by hitting Q. If there are no AIX partitions on the disks, just quit with the Q command. If you have more than one harddisk in the machine, use the commands fdisk /dev/sdb for the second harddisk, fdisk /dev/sdc for third and so on, and repeat the steps from the first disk.

You could of course use fdisk to make the new partitions too, but I prefer a more user friendly solution. At the shell prompt, type

        cfdisk /dev/sda 
To start the cfdisk program on the first harddisk. Change to sdb and sdc, and so on for more harddisks. Basic usage of cfdisk is outside the scope of this document, but I have written a little starter. You can read it in the Section 16.

You should have at least these partitions:

It is a VERY good tip to find a piece of paper and write down which partitions you have made, what you want to use them to, and where you want to mount them. You will need this information later. When you have finished partitioning your disks.

7.3. Mount the partitions

So, we have some nice partitions. Let's use them. We have to make filesystems on them, and then mount them to our existing installation filesystem to be able to copy any files to them. Now, I HOPE you have written down what partitions to use where. First mount the root partition:

        mkdir /mnt/install
        mke2fs /dev/sdxy
        mount /dev/sdxy /mnt/install
Of course, x and y are disk and partition number, as you have written down. I use sda5 for my root partition, so I use the commands 'mke2fs /dev/sda5' and 'mount /dev/sda5'.

  If you have more partitions, mount them in the same way. I have a 1GB partition at sdb1 which I want to use for the /usr system. So I write this:

       mkdir /install/usr
       mke2fs /dev/sdb1
       mount /dev/sdb1 /install/usr
You may have other partitions and also other mount points, like /usr, /tmp, /home, /var and other stuff. But I guess you've got the point now.

7.4. Select and install packages

You have now cleared the first stage, and get 250 bonus points. Congratulations. If the installation program had worked, you had got no points at all, so be happy. The next stage is to install packages. Here we can finally use some semi-automatic programs. In the xterm window, type this:

        xupgrade --install --debug --path_to_root /mnt/install
A new window will pop up. Select packages after your own will. What packages should I select, you say. Oh, please! I have no idea how you're going to use the machine :-). Press Install. Aaah. There it goes! After some minutes (not to say hours, it feels like that, doesn't it?) the install will be complete.

7.5. Make a root password and exit

Before we finalize the installation, it's a cool thing to have a root password. Enter your new installation, and make a funny, not-easy-to-guess password like this:

        chroot /mnt/install
        (You will be prompted for the new password twice)
You are still inside the freshly installed system (the chroot command does that magic). Now, let's fix some other stuff while we're at it. The mouse and the keyboard are not right. Same goes for the timezone. If you are an experienced user you may want to add even more configuration at this point.
        rm -f /dev/mouse
        ln -s /dev/psaux /dev/mouse

Next, you may find that the /dev/cdrom link is not working properly, it points to itself. It should point to /dev/scd0, so let's fix this. Issue these commands:

       rm -f /dev/cdrom
       ln -s /dev/scd0 /dev/cdrom
You should now be able to mount the cdrom using /dev/cdrom. Thanks to Thomas M. Nymand for this tip.

Now, you should be all ready. Issue the command

to exit the installed system and return to the intallation system.

Finally, shutdown the system, remove the CD and floppy disk, and take a break.