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Recording my install of Knoppix 3.2 to System5.



Basic Install

  • I added an Ethernet card (10/100) and removed the little cover over the on-board Ethernet jack but did not enable the on-board Ethernet. I added a card because I thought I should have two, one for communication to system12 and one for the network. Then I realized that System5 should be able to access the network via System12 (gateway?). I left the extra card installed anyway, recognizing the pain it may take to get it out (getting access to the cabinet again). I decided not to utilize the onboard Ethernet thinking that the Ethernet cable might be one of the better avenues for a large surge to get into the computer — why risk it getting to the motherboard that directly.

  • I booted and set the screen cheat code to 800x600 in hopes that, when it installed to the hard drive it would set that resolution — it seems to have worked.

  • I started knx-hdinstall from a root prompt. One of the first steps is to partition the drive. Didn't satisfy knoppix the first time I tried it, after the partition step, when I indicated that the partition with 300 MB was my root, the installer balked with a message that says it needs a minimum of 2200 MB. That seems like less than it took for Knoppix 3.1.) (I had planned a small /, small /boot, small /var, etc., but Knoppix took one look at the small / and said "no way".) In the final partitioning I set up a / of 3.2 GB, /var @ 300 MB, swap @ 1.1 GB, /home at 100 MB, 4 partitions of 500 MB (rhk, xdev, adev, tdev that I'll either mount off the root or under /home (need to consider some more), and finally a 1.8 GB partition (/large) also to be mounted either at root or /home. (Part of the intent is to have a home partition that can be wiped without losing any data — even if I mount those other partitions at /home, during a future reinstall I can wipe /home without wiping the others, then remount them under the new /home. At first I was going to mount them off /, but I'm beginning to think this is a better idea.)

  • As soon as you partition the disk, assign a swap (or did it find it) and a /, it starts copying files from the disk (well, there was a prompt). The estimated time was 40 minutes — I switched to another computer and checked back later — 40 minutes seemed to be about right without having recorded the actual start and end time.

  • After the files were installed, IIRC, it asked me some questions (didn't record what they were)

  • I tried to confirm that it had properly found and configured eth0 and eth1 — didn't remember enough to do a thorough job — my guess is that:
    • eth0 is a 3C590 10 BaseT (&coax)
    • eth1 has a DEChip 21140, uses IRQ12, at 0xd000

First Boot

Shortly after this I removed the CD and rebooted the system. As I booted into the new system, I realized there were some things I would have preferred to do before rebooting, like:

  • add users other than the default knoppix and root
  • adjusted fstab — when I did look at fstab, I found it very strange. hda2, which is the 3.2 GB / partition is listed in fstab as a vfat file system. I'm sure that I chose Linux (type 83) with the hopes that I would have a chance to modify it to ext3 before installing knoppix. Didn't happen, but I could consider modifying the knx-hdinstall to do that, and some other things like mount lots of other drives before starting the install, allow the install to proceed as long as /, /usr, /var, and /boot total 2200 GB (in some combination of sizes).

  • As knoppix booted up for the first time, it started a configuration wizard (which you can restart from the K menu (Settings -> Control Center -> Desktop Settings Wizard)). Part of it provided some interesting information comparing KDE, Unix, Windows and the Mac which I'll record over on KnoppixDesktopSettingsWizard.

Adding Users

As the next step I added users, but I realized then that I should have done some modifications to fstab first — see modifying fstab.

To add users I booted into root, then from KDE chose K -> System -> Kuser. Added rhk, alex, and ruth as users in the range 1001 to 1003, they were also added as groups, automatically based on the options I chose. I set passwords and asked the system to set up home directories. Looking back, maybe I should have set up home on a separate partition first, which is the step I'll do next.

Modifying stab

After the knoppix install, only two partitions are used (beyond my "standard" 20 MB Dos utility partition).

And, fstab has all the partitions listed, with mount points matching the device name, but commented out. (E.g., /dev/hda3 is set to mount at /mnt/hda3.) Some are set to mount as ext2 and some as reiserfs.

So now I want to mount the additional partitions I want to have, by:

  • using mkefs to make the partitions ext3 (or whatever I choose)
  • mounting the future home partition, hda7, temporarily, then copying everything from the current /home to /mnt/hda7, then deleting /home (or deleting the contents of /home), then if necessary recreating a /home mount point (mkdir), then unmounting /mnt/hda7 and remounting it as /home, and finally revising fstab appropriately.
  • in a somewhat similar manner, mount the future /home/rhk partition /dev/hda8 (is that the approach I've decided on?), copy anything from /home/rhk to there (I wouldn't have had to this if I hadn't already create the user), etc., etc., etc.
  • proceed similarly for /home/xdev (or should it be /xdev, or /home/rhk/xdev?), /adev, /tdev, /large, /var, and /boot.
  • Is the above really worth the effort?
  • If yes, I could consider modifying the knx-hdinstall script to mount those partitions before installing Knoppix, thus all the data would be put in the right place from the beginning.

Why do I want to bother? For several reasons (??):

  • So I can upgrade without wiping out /home, /home/rhk, etc. (Is that a mute point with Debian and apt get?)
  • So /var is a separate partition that, if filled, will not halt the system
  • For all the benefits you get with a separate /boot (are they only relevant if you want to switch between multiple kernels?
  • So the development partitions (xdev, adev, and tdev) are isolated from everything else so maybe some runaway process might wipe out those partitions but not the whole system (and so they can be preserved in the event I do a "Red Hat / Mandrake" style upgrade (wipe the previous version, install the next, but preserve all my data.

And, to show I can do it????

_Hmm, maybe adding users before this step was appropriate -- I can't, for example, mount a partition at the /home/rhk mountpoint until it exists, and I'm afraid if I create it the adduser utility (whatever it is) might not handle it properly (copying the skeleton and so forth over)

Set up Networking / Static IP Address

Install and Activate the MS TTF Fonts

Find and Install Kdevelop 3 (Gideon??)


  • () RandyKramer - 23 May 2003
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Topic revision: r4 - 2003-09-10 - RandyKramer
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