I am worried about how room Red Hat Linux will need to use on my hard drive. How much disk space do I need to reserve for Red Hat Linux?
As new features are added to software, that software grows in size. Red Hat Linux is no exception; it has grown an average of 20% with each release, due primarily to additional packages and libraries adding more features.
For Red Hat Linux version 4.2, the minimum disk space requirements include at
least 16 MB for a swap partition, and 60 MB for basic installation with no
X, development tools, or TeX. See
http://www.redhat.com/support/docs/hardware.html for more information on disk space requirements.
Not suprisingly, with 5.2 the minimum disk space is larger. If you choose a custom install and deselect all automatically-selected packages, you will need at least a 16 MB swap partition, and 120 MB for a basic installation with no X, development tools, or Tex.
If you are installing via the workstation- or server-class installation methods, you will need to have 450MB free for a workstation install and 1620 MB free for a server install.
Of course, these installation methods may install many items an expert may not wish to install. In that case, a custom install is more flexible, as you can include or remove items at will. In general, the following is a good average for a typical custom install.
/boot (kernel partition) 20 MB swap partition 16 - 127 MB / 500+ MB /home Depends on how many users you'll have on the system, and how much space each account needs.
Any additional space can be allocated to a partition which you can name whatever you like (ie /stuff /private /test).
If you plan to run a server, you should configure it a bit differently, adding a /tmp partition and a /var partition.
I have a blank hard drive and would like to install DOS (or Windows) and Linux onto it. What is the best method of doing this?
It is recommended to install the non-Linux operating system first, and then installing Linux. This allows the other OS to "get comfortable" with the hardware and possibly write values to the MBR that it would just over-write if Linux was installed first.
You will probably need to do this in a several step method, however. Start the install, but if the operating system allocates the entire drive for itself, see if you can "bail out" early and use the operating system's native fdisk to create a primary partition of the size you want to leave for the OS (150-500 megs is average, depending on your needs). Then reboot and go through the install again and normally the OS will just use the space that you've just set aside. Once the install is finished, you can then begin the Linux installation.
I do not have a cdrom that will work with Linux and I can not install from the network. Is there another method?
If you cannot use a CD-ROM or a network to install Red Hat Linux, you can install Red Hat Linux from a hard drive; just follow these steps.
You'll need a DOS partition that is formatted in FAT16; create a directory called \RedHat in it. From there you will need to copy the items from the cdrom (E: in our example) over to the hard-drive (C: in our example). Here's what you would do:
mkdir C:\RedHat mkdir C:\RedHat\base mkdir C:\RedHat\RPMS copy E:\RedHat\base C:\RedHat\base copy E:\RedHat\RPMS C:\RedHat\RPMS
If you do not have enough disk space for copying the entire RPMS directory tree over to your hard-drive, you will need to look in the file \RedHat\base\comps file for the RPMS that are needed in the base and in any other sections you feel you need.
Once you have done this, you can start the install and choose a Hard-Drive install. You will be asked to insert the supplemental floppy. Once the supplemental disk has been loaded, you will be presented with the next screen on the install. When asked to select the partition containing the Red Hat Linux files, do so, and the install will proceed from there.
My box didn't include floppy disks, or my floppy disks are bad. What can I do?
We are sorry for the problem. The cdrom contains all the data to make new boot and supplemental floppies for your system. To make new floppies under DOS, Win95, NT, or even Linux. Be aware that this process will overwrite any data on the 1.44 Megabyte floppies. Here's how it's done:
cd \dosutils rawrite.exe
If you are in Linux (or another Linux-like operating system), you can mount the CD-ROM and use dd to write the data to floppy. With Linux, you could do the following:
dd if=/mnt/cdrom/images/boot.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=72k dd if=/mnt/cdrom/images/supp.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=72k
I have an IDE system, and I am confused by how Linux sets up drives in comparison to DOS. Can you explain this?
Linux sets up the drive system in a very different manner than DOS, and this can be rather confusing. Instead of calling the first hard drive "C:", Linux uses a combination of letters signifying what kind of BUS (sd for SCSI, hd for IDE) and in which order the drive was detected. Finally a number is added onto the end to specify which partition on the drive is being referenced.
For IDE hard drives the layout depends on which IDE channel the drive is on and whether it is the master or slave on that channel.
Channel Jumper hdx =================================== ide0 master hda ide0 slave hdb ide1 master hdc ide1 slave hdd ide2 master hde ide2 slave hdf ide3 master hdg ide3 slave hdh
ide0 = primary ide1 = secondary ide2 = tertiary ide3 = quaternary
The partition number follows an old PC standard that there are a limit of 4 primary partitions per hard drive. However, one of those partitions can be designated as an extended partition. Inside of this extended partition, logical partitions can be specified (for most drives you can have 12 logical drives in the extended partition for 16 partitions all together).
The numbering scheme is broken into the following:
Linux is having trouble detecting my IDE CD-ROM drive during the install. Can I force the install to see it?
Sometimes IDE cdrom drives will not be detected either due to the fact that they are on a IDE channel the BIOS doesn't know about, or that when queried, replies back with data that Linux thinks is bogus (Early NEC IDE cdrom's respond with data saying that it is an IDE floppy drive instead of a cdrom.)
To solve your problem, you need to manually specify the the CD-ROM drive from the LILO boot prompt.
When you see:
You need to type in:
where X is the IDE letter that Linux would specify for that drive depending on which IDE bus it is on.
I am having trouble getting linux installed on my Laptop computer.
Laptops are one of the hardest pieces of hardware to support in the industry. Many times the company that constructs the hardware has to tweak a chipset to make it fit in the confined structure or meet certain power requirements. These changes are usually only documented internally for trade secret reasons, leaving others to find work arounds.
When Red Hat support finds itself with a laptop question, our first and sometimes only reference is the Linux Laptop Pages, which can be found at:
I am trying to upgrade my earlier Red Hat system to 5.x, but it complains that it can't find a valid RPM data base. What do I need to do?
The problem is that a few earlier versions of rpm would write the database in a way that seems corrupted to later versions. Rebuilding the database fixes this problem. To do this, we will need to upgrade rpm on your system to the one on the installation cdrom, and then rebuild the database.
First thing to do is mount the system CD on the system:
After doing this, upgrade 'rpm' from the CD like so:
cd /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS rpm -Uvh --nodeps --force rpm-*rpm
When the new RPM is installed, rebuild the database using the following command:
This will rewrite the database in a format that can be used by the version of RPM used during the installation (since they are now the same).
I have an Adaptec 2920. During the install I do not see a choice for it, why is that, and what do I do? Or, I have a Future Domain TMC-3260, but when I specify options for it to be probed, it isn't found during the install.
The Adaptec 2920 does not use an Adaptec chip set, but actually uses the Future Domain TMC3260. If the card is not found with an auto-probe, you will need to specify options for it. When the installation menu asks you about SCSI, choose "options" and enter the following :
setupcalled=1 portbase=<io base> interruptlevel=<irq>
An example of this would be:
setupcalled=1 portbase=0xd000 interruptlevel=9
If the above options do not work, your card may have a newer BIOS that can't be probed correctly. We are working on the problem, but at this time do not have a satisfactory solution.
I have an Adaptec SCSI card with the aic7xxx chipset (2940/2840/2740/3940/etc). It is pretty common, so why is it not fully supported by Red Hat Linux?
The problem is that in the past Adaptec was not open about how their hardware worked, which made it difficult to write a Linux driver for it.
However, Adaptec has recently changed their position on this matter, and Doug Ledford (the current writer of the aic7xxx.c SCSI code) has made significant headway in making the 2940 very functional. The problem currently is that this work is still in ``catchup-mode'' and may not work for people with the latest cards. Our current suggestion is to try the following when debugging Adaptec 2940 problems.
During the install, I get a fatal signal 11 or signal 7. What does this mean and what can I do?
Signal 11's and signal 7's are errors indicating a hardware error in memory or on the bus. This can be due to problems in executables or with the hardware of the system. The Linux kernel uses more capabilities of the CPU, cache, and memory, and tends to expose marginally operating hardware.
The first thing to do is check to see if you have the latest installation and supplemental floppies from Red Hat. Check the errata for updates, and also the FTP site to see if newer versions are available. If the latest images still fail, it may be due to hardware. Common suspects are memory or CPU-cache. Try turning off the CPU-cache in the BIOS and see if the problem goes away. Also try swapping memory around in the motherboard slots to see if it is either slot or memory related.
The premier site on the net for this problem can be found at http://www.bitwizard.nl/sig11/
Filipe Custsdio reported the following as a solution from upgrading 4.2 and earlier releases to 5.1:
I had a repeating sig 11 problem whenever I tried to upgrade my Redhat 4.2 to 5.1. The problem was not with my hardware, but with my RPM database. A simple "rpm --rebuilddb" solved it.
To best accomplish this, you will should download the latest version of RPM
ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/updates. Boot into your older version of linux. Log in as root, upgrade to the new version of RPM you downloaded, and then rebuild the RPM database:
rpm -Uvh rpm* rpm --rebuilddb
I would like to be able to use the live file system on the cdrom to boot.
Red Hat Linux no longer supports the Live boot feature due to the change to a modular kernel. Because of this change, booting from read-only file system is not practical. The cdrom does contain data in its /live section that can be executed in rescue mode, but one needs to set the PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables.
I have NT and would like to install Linux, but I have heard there are problems with booting both OS's. How can I avoid this?
The best instructions on dual-booting NT and Linux are to be found in the
Linux+NT-Loader HOWTO. The latest version can be found at the
Linux Documentation Project's website:
http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/mini/ A possibly earlier one can also be found on the Red Hat Linux cdrom in \doc\HOWTO\mini\Linux+NT-Loader.
I can not install Linux below the 1023rd cylinder in my system. What can I do?
You will need to have the kernel below this limit, and use a different bootloader than LILO. The BIOS may not be able to reach it for one of the following reasons:
You will probably need to use the LOADLIN boot loader that is provided on the cdrom in \dosutils. You will need to copy this directory over to your DOS hard drive partition and edit the autoboot.bat file to point to its new position and remove the initrd= line. If your system is a SCSI system, you will need to go into rescue mode and copy the /mnt/boot/initrd.img from the hard drive over to the dos partition, and use it for booting.
For whatever reason, I want to remove LILO from the Master Boot Record (MBR) of my machine. How do I do this?
There are several methods to removing LILO from the master boot record of the machine. Inside of Linux, you can replace the MBR with an earlier saved version of the MBR using the /sbin/lilo command:
In DOS, NT, and Windows 95 you can use the fdisk command to create a new MBR with the "undocumented" flag /mbr. This will rewrite the MBR to ONLY boot the primary DOS partition:
For whatever reason, I want to remove Linux from my hard-drive. I tried using DOS's fdisk, and it shows non-DOS partitions, but it can't remove them. What do I need to do?
If you need to remove linux from a hard drive, and have attempted to do this with the default DOS fdisk, you are having the "Partitions exist but they don't exist" problem. The best way to remove non-DOS partitions is with a tool that understands partitions other than DOS.
You can do this with the installation floppy by doing the following. Start the installation, select install (versus upgrade) and when it comes to partitioning the drive, choose fdisk. In fdisk type p to print out the partition numbers, and remove the Linux partitions with the d command. If satisfied with the changes you have made, you can quit with a w and the changes will be saved to disk. If you deleted too much, type q and no changes will occur.
Once you have removed the Linux partitions, you can reboot the box with Control-Alt-Delete instead of continuing with the install.
I cant use LILO to boot my machine, and have heard of something called LOADLIN. How do I set it up to work?
At the DOS prompt you can type, for example:
C:\> CD \LOADLIN C:\LOADLIN> LOADLIN zimage /dev/hdb1 ro vga=ask
Or, if you want to load a big kernel together with a RAM disk:
C:\LOADLIN> LOADLIN bzimage /dev/ram rw initrd=diskimage
or, if you have more parameters than will fit into the 128-byte DOS command line:
C:\LOADLIN> LOADLIN @params
An example params file is test.par. Please read it.
If "write-behind" caching is supported by the cache program, you should run smartdrv /C before LOADLIN is called:
C:\LOADLIN> smartdrv /C do this to "sync" your disk (usually not needed for DOS 6.2, but it doesn't hurt) C:\LOADLIN> loadlin ....
It would be much smarter to use a batch file something like this:
SMARTDRV /C C:\LOADLIN\LOADLIN C:\LOADLIN\ZIMAGE root=/dev/hdb2 ro vga=3
So you could simply type: LINUX.BAT and you are on the road!
A sample LINUX.BAT file is provided with the LOADLIN package.
I have installed Linux without errors but on a reboot, I get only an L, LI, and some other items. What is happening and how can I recover?
If you have rebooted the system and have gotten an L, LI, or a combination of this and a lot of scrolling numbers, this indicates that LILO is having a problem bootstrapping itself due to one or more problems.
Write down the error codes that are being printed and what letter it stopped on (L, LI, LIL, etc). If you can access the cdrom (from DOS floppies or another machine), you can cd to (assuming DOS) \live\usr\doc\lilo-0.20\README and check to see what the error seems to indicate.
Most of the time, the LILO failures are due to the BIOS and the hard-drive mismatching geometries or something similar:
If you need to gather more information for someone else (either for official support or from the mailing lists, newsgroups, friends, etc) you can use the rescue mode
Insert the installation floppy, and at the boot prompt type:
After a couple of screens that ask about hardware you will get a root prompt (#). You will need to mount the linux root partition like is done in this example which has the / partition as /dev/hda5:
mkdir /mnt mount /dev/hda5 /mnt
Then do the following:
lilo -v -r /mnt
Record the output of the command. You can add more -v's if you need more information. If errors still occur, you can send that output to the appropriate support group.