posted by Clinton De Young on Sun 27th Oct 2002 18:15 UTC

"Going through the main installation cycle - Part III"
Step 9 (Initialize and activate a swap partition)
You should now be back at the "Debian GNU/Linux Installation Main Menu" again. Notice that the top item in the menu is to "Initialize and Activate a Swap Partition", which is what we need to do next. Make sure this menu item is highlighted in red and press the Enter key.

Next, you will be presented with the "Scan for Bad Blocks?" screen. If your drive is new, you may wish to do this, however, I usually choose "No" because it takes a long time. Just choose the default, "No", for now. Highlight "No" and press the Enter key.

Next, you will see the "Are You Sure?" screen. You will want to select "Yes" here or you won't get too install Debian. Select "Yes" and press the Enter key.

You should now be back at the "Debian GNU/Linux Installation Main Menu" again.

Step 10 (Initialize a Linux partition)
The top item in the Main Menu page should now be "Initialize a Linux Partition". Make sure this is highlighted in red and press the Enter key.

You should now be on the "Select Partition" screen. This screen shows you the two Linux partitions you created in the cfdisk program earlier. On my machine, they are /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda3. You may be tempted to select the first partition in the list, but this most likely would be the wrong thing to do. Remember when I had you write down the partitions you created in cfdisk? Here is why you needed that information. Although it doesn't mention it anywhere in the Debian installer, unless you make a mistake, you have to initialize the root '/' partition on any Linux system before you can initialize the partitions under it, such as /boot. Therefore, you need to select the partition which will be your '/' partition now. In my case, this is /dev/hda3. Highlight your root partition (the larger of the two partitions you created) in the list and press the Enter key. (If you've followed my directions, and you don't have another Linux distro already installed on your machine, the partition you should choose will be the bottom one.)

The next screen you will see is the "Scan for Bad Blocks?" screen again. Select "No" just like you did when you were creating the Swap partition.

Now Select "Yes" on the "Are You Sure?" screen just as you did before.

You should now be formatting the partition. This step may take a while if your partition is fairly large. Feel free to stare longingly at the middle of the screen and watch the inode tables being written.

Once the formatting process is complete, you should be on the "Mount as the Root Filesystem?" screen. You want to select "Yes" and press the Enter key.

Step 11 (Initialize the /boot partition)
Here is where we need to vary from the Debian installer's suggested Next step. The installer suggests that we should "Install Kernel and Driver Modules" next, however, we have not yet initialized the /boot partition. To do so, highlight the second menu item "Initialize a Linux Partition" and press the Enter key.

Unless you have another Linux distro already installed, and assuming you have followed my directions, you should not see the "Select Partition" screen this time. Debian's installer skips it since you only have one Linux partition left to initialize. Instead, you will be taken directly to the "Scan for Bad Blocks?" screen. Accept the defaults on both the "Scan for Bad Blocks?" screen and the "Are You Sure?" screen as we have done before.

Once the partition is finished formatting (it should be quick since the partition is so small) you should be on the "Select Mount Point" screen. You want to choose the /boot option and press the Enter key.

Step 12 (Install kernel and driver modules)
Now you should be back at the Main Menu. This time, we will take the installers suggestion. Please ensure the "Install Kernel and Driver Modules" menu item is highlighted and press the Enter key.

You should now see the "Found a Debian CD-ROM" screen. This screen is telling you that the installer recognizes the Debian CD in your CD-ROM drive and is asking if you wish to use the packages on that CD to install the system. You can say no and install the system via FTP, but it takes too long. Since you already have the packages available on the CD, select "Yes" on this screen and press the Enter key. Please wait until you are back at the Main Menu again.

Step 13 (Configure Device Driver Modules)
You should be at the Main Menu again. Make sure the "Configure Device Driver Modules" menu item is highlighted, and press the Enter key.

Next, you will see the "Note about loaded drivers" screen. For most systems, you don't really need to do this step since the important items in your system have been detected and are in the kernel already. I am just going through it in case somebody needs to add something to their kernel. Press Enter to continue.

Now you should be on the "Select Category" screen. The only two categories you may have to worry about is the "net" and "cdrom" categories. Feel free to look through them, but realize that if you booted from the install CD, your CD-ROM drive is most likely supported by the kernel already. Also, my experience has been that all the network cards I own that are listed in the "net" category are found automatically by the kernel. If I try to add them here, I end up with the kernel thinking I have two network cards.

I'm sorry about the long useless trip through this section, but my experience is that you should, on the "Select Category" screen, simply select "Exit. Finished. Return to previous menu." And press Enter to return to the Main Menu.

Step 14 (Configure the Network)
Next, we need to configure the network so our machine will be able to get to the internet; assuming you are using a broadband solution that uses a network card. On the Main Menu, select "Configure the Network" and press the Enter key.

You should now be on the "Choose a Hostname" screen. You have to choose a hostname for you machine. This is similar to you choosing a Domain or Workgroup name under Windows. If you don't feel creative, you may accept the default, which is Debian. If you are feeling creative, delete Debian from the text area at the bottom of the screen and enter the name you wish to give to your Debian machine. Once you are satisfied with the name you have chosen, select OK and press the Enter key.

Next, you will see the "Automatic Network Configuration" screen. Since my ISP uses DHCP to automatically dole out IP addresses, I will be selecting that option in this tutorial. If your ISP or network does not use DHCP, you will want to select "No" on this screen and enter the IP address, Gateway, DNS, etc, provided to you by your ISP or network administrator in the subsequent screens.

If you are going to use DHCP, select "Yes" and press the Enter key in order to have your network automatically set up via DHCP. If DHCP is successful, you will be notified in the following dialog. If it was not successful, but you are sure your ISP uses DHCP, check your network cables. If all appears to be correct, but you still can't connect via DHCP, please contact your ISP for assistance. If you received the message, "The network has been successfully configured using DHCP/BOOTP", press the Enter key to continue.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction and how to get hold of Debian"
  2. "Getting to the main installation"
  3. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part I"
  4. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part II"
  5. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part III"
  6. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part IV"
  7. "System Configuration - Part I"
  8. "System Configuration - Part II"
  9. "Installing XFree86 - Part I"
  10. "Installing XFree86 - Part II"
  11. "Synaptic, Mozilla, Conclusion"
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