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Installing StartCom Linux

Installing StartCom Linux How to download and install

This document provides instructions on how to download and install StartCom Linux for x86-compatible PCs. The instructions may vary however for the different architectures or different versions of StartCom Linux.

Please read through this entire document before you begin downloading StartCom Linux and check out our documentation page for additional resources.

Understand what you are doing:

You are downloading an entire operating system, and in most cases, you are then going to install the operating system on your PC.
  • Choose the distribution which fits you most. If you'll use mostly office applications, then go for StartCom Linux Office Edition, if you'll need a corporate server system, choose the StartCom Enterprise Linux, etc.
  • Consider if you want to purchase the installation CD's or download it from a mirror. If you are downloading the installation disk images (called ISOs), then each image file will weigh in at just under 650 MB. This means that with a 56K modem connection it will take approximately 27 hours to complete the download of just one of the three disks necessary for installation.

Make room for StartCom Linux on your system:

If you intend for StartCom Linux to become the sole operating system on your PC, you may skip this step and begin to download the various files you need.
If you intend to transform your existing single-boot system into a dual-boot system, you will need to make room for StartCom Linux. You can do this by adding a new hard drive or by modifying the existing partitions on the hard drive already in the system.
If you need more background information on partitions see the StartCom Linux x86 Installation Guide.

Download the files you need:

To install StartCom Linux, you will need to download the three ISO images of the installation CD-ROMs, even if you are planning to install only using your hard drive. Using a CD-ROM burner, you can also transfer each of these ISO images to a blank CD-R.
If your machine can not boot from a CD-ROM drive, then you will need to create a boot diskette after downloading and burning the ISO images onto CD-Rs. You can find the appropriate boot diskette image in the images directory on the first installation CD-ROM. You may also download the appropriate disk image separately from the ISO files from a mirror site.

Downloading the ISO Images:

You can find the ISO images by choosing a mirror (closest to your country) and clicking at the right StartCom Linux version at the CD image. However it is recommend that you use a more advanced FTP utility than your browser.
You will need to download the first 3 ISO images from that directory, for example:


The later three images (4 - 6) are the images containing the source rpms and if you are not a developer you probably don't need them.

Mounting ISO Images:

If you are already running Linux, you can save an ISO image to a directory on your machine or another machine on the network. You may then mount the ISO image to look at or copy files. If you need to mount an ISO image, use the following command:

mount -o loop -t iso9660 <isofilename> <mountpoint>

In the above command you will need to replace <isofilename> and <mountpoint> with the correct file name and mount point respectively.

Choosing a Boot Diskette Image File:

The purpose of boot diskette image files is to provide a way for computers to boot into the StartCom Linux installation program via a 3.5 diskette on computers where CD-ROM booting is not possible. There are also boot diskette image files available for installing over a network and installing via a PCMCIA device.

Once you have downloaded the first installation CD-ROM image, you can mount it using the command outlined in the section above or you can burn the image to disk. Write files to media, if necessary, then mount the CD-ROM to access the boot diskette images.

All boot diskette images are located in the images/ directory on the first installation CD-ROM. The bootdisk.img file works for most situations. However, if you are performing a network installation, you will also need the drvnet.img file. If the CD-ROM drive or network card is connected to the computer via PCMCIA, you will also need to use the pcmciadd.img file. If the machine has SCSI hard drives or other block devices not supported by the bootdisk.img, the drvblock.img file will also be necessary. Finally, if you are using a PXE server, use the files located in the images/pxeboot/ directory.

Alternatively, you can download any of these files from your favorite mirror site by clicking on the OS image.

Once you have chosen and obtained the boot diskette image file required for your system, transfer it to a diskette as outlined in the next section.

Write files to media, if necessary:

If you downloaded the ISO images and want to install from your CD-ROM drive, you will need to write each image to a CD-ROM. For instructions on how to do this, consult the manual provided with your CD-ROM writing software and hardware. Note: ISO images are not saved to CD-ROMs in the same way as regular data files.

After you burn the CD-ROMs, label them CD 1, CD 2, and CD 3 based on the ISO image filename.

If you are attempting a hard drive installation, ISO images are now required. This means you no longer have to copy and install the entire file system tree from the installation CD-ROMs. Instead, copy the required ISO images into a directory, boot the installation program from a boot diskette, and type into the StartCom Linux installation program the path to the directory containing the ISOs.

If you need to use a boot diskette, use either rawrite on DOS-based systems or dd on Linux systems to write the boot diskette image file to a 3.5 diskette. Consult the documentation included in the dosutils directory of the first installation CD-ROM. There you can find also a copy of the rawrite program.

Boot the first installation CD-ROM or boot diskette:

Insert the first installation CD-ROM or boot diskette and reboot / start your computer. You might need to change the BIOS settings to first boot from CD or floppy drive instead from your harddisk.

To check and ensure that the disk was burned correctly and prevent installation failures related to bad media, test the checksum integrity of the installation CD-ROMs and type the following at the installation boot prompt:

    linux mediacheck

After verifying your installation media continue with the installation and follow the instructions on your screen.

    Good Luck!