3.2 Start the Installation

To begin installing Linux, you must boot your system from the installation media. Most recently manufactured PCs can boot the Installation CD 1 CD-ROM. However, unless you generally boot from a CD-ROM?which is quite unlikely?you'll need to reconfigure your PC's BIOS so your PC is able to boot from a CD-ROM. To do so, enter your PC's BIOS screen and look for a configuration item titled something like Boot Order or Boot Priority. Change the configuration so that the CD-ROM drive has the highest boot priority. Consult your PC's documentation for details on entering and using its BIOS configuration screens.

3.2.1 Creating a Boot Floppy

If your PC can't boot from a CD-ROM, you must create a boot floppy disk. Creating a boot floppy requires some special measures; you can't simply copy files onto a disk and then boot it. To create a Linux installation boot floppy by using a PC that runs Microsoft Windows, perform the following steps:

  1. Format a floppy.

  2. Insert Disc 1 of Linux into your system's CD-ROM drive.

  3. Click My Computer and then your CD-ROM drive. Navigate to the d:\dosutils\rawritewin directory, where d is the drive letter associated with your CD-ROM drive. Double-click the program rawwritewin. The RawWrite dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 3-1. Specify the floppy drive and image file (images\bootdisk.img or other), and click Write. It takes perhaps a minute or so for the rawrite utility to create the floppy diskette.

Figure 3-1. Using rawrite to make a boot diskette
figs/rh4_0301.gif

If your PC requires one or more PCMCIA or unusual SCSI devices during boot up, you must follow a somewhat more complicated procedure. See the README file on Installation CD-ROM 1 for details.


3.2.2 Boot the Installation Program

To start the installation process, insert Installation CD 1 of Linux into your system's CD-ROM drive. If your system cannot boot from a CD-ROM, insert the boot floppy you created and reboot your PC. When the system reboots, you should see a start-up screen featuring a boot: prompt and a series of messages explaining how to invoke the graphical and text mode installation and upgrade facilities, as shown in Figure 3-2. This prompt lets you enter special parameters to work around a variety of installation problems. Generally, it's not necessary to do so. Simply press Enter or wait about a minute and the installation program will start.

Figure 3-2 shows the Fedora Core boot screen. If you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3, your screen looks a bit different, but works the same as the Fedora Core screen.


Figure 3-2. The Fedora Core boot screen
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For perhaps a minute, you'll see text flashing by as the system boots. Then, you'll see the Linux Welcome screen, shown in Figure 3-3. Click Next to proceed.

Figure 3-3. The Fedora Core Welcome screen
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3.2.3 The Installation Program's User Interface

Like other modern Linux distributions, Linux includes a graphical installation program that simplifies the installation and initial configuration of Linux. Figure 3-4 shows a typical screen displayed by the installation program. You won't see this particular screen until later in the installation process.

Figure 3-4. A typical installation screen
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The installation screen includes the following elements:


A main window

The installation program runs in a full screen window that contains one or more child windows within it. The upper-left corner of each child window displays the name of the window. You cannot minimize or change the size of the installation program's main window.


The cursor

The installation program also has an on-screen cursor that resembles a small arrow pointing up and slightly to the left. The cursor is not visible in Figure 3-4. When you position the cursor above a control and click the mouse, you set the input focus to the selected control. At any time, exactly one control has the input focus, which lets it respond to keyboard input. The control that has the input focus has a dotted rectangle outlining it or has a lighter color than otherwise similar controls.


Dialog boxes

The installation program uses dialog boxes to obtain user input. In Figure 3-4, a dialog box titled Add Partition is visible. You can recognize it by the controls it contains, such as Mount Point and Size (MB). You dismiss a dialog box by clicking its OK or Cancel button. You cannot minimize an installation dialog box.


Buttons

When you click a button, the installation program performs a corresponding action. For example, clicking the OK button of a dialog box tells the installation program to accept the dialog box contents and proceed to the next step. Similarly, clicking the Cancel button of a dialog box tells the installation program to ignore the dialog box contents. Many installation screens include a helpful Back button that lets you return to the previous installation step. Most installation screens include a Next button that takes you to the next installation step.


Text boxes

Text boxes let you type text that is sent to the installation program when you dismiss the dialog box by using the OK button. In Figure 3-4, the field labeled Size (MB) is a text box.


Checkboxes and radiobuttons

Checkboxes and radiobuttons let you specify that an option is enabled or disabled or select a specific option from a list. A dark area indicates an enabled option; a light area indicates a disabled option. You can click a checkbox or radiobutton to toggle the option between its enabled and disabled states. In Figure 3-4, the control labeled "Force to be a primary partition" is a checkbox. The control labeled "Fixed size" is a radiobutton.


List boxes

List boxes let you choose an item from a predefined list. Two kinds of list boxes are used. One kind, called a drop-down list box, displays only a single item at a time. In Figure 3-4, the control labeled Mount Point is a drop-down list box. If you click the checkmark that appears at the right of a drop-down list box, other items in the list become visible. When you select an item by clicking it, the list reverts to its original form, showing only the selected item.

The second kind of list shows multiple items simultaneously. If this kind of list box has more items than can be shown, it will have an associated scrollbar that lets you page through the list. The selected item, if any, is indicated by the item's dark background.


Online Help

The Online Help panel lets you view information that helps you understand what the current installation screen does and how to use it. If you don't understand the installation procedure or if you're curious to learn more, read the information in the Online Help panel.

Graphical Install . . . What Graphical Install?

If you don't see the Linux Welcome screen but instead see a screen with red and blue text areas over a black background, your system is not compatible with the Linux graphical install. Perhaps your system lacks sufficient RAM or has an unsupported video adapter.

In that case, you can use a text-based installation procedure. Because this special installation procedure is text-based, you won't be able to use a mouse. Instead, use Tab to move from field to field, use Space to select fields, and press Enter to click a selected button.

For additional help with text-based installation procedures, see Section 3.2 of The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide, available at http://www.redhat.com/docs.


3.2.4 Use Virtual Consoles to Monitor the Installation

A console is a combination of a keyboard and a display device, such as a video monitor. A console provides a basic user interface adequate to communicate with a computer: you can type characters on the keyboard and view text on the display device.

Although a home computer system seldom has more than one console, Linux systems provide several virtual consoles. By pressing a special combination of keys, you can control which console your system's keyboard and monitor are connected to.

Table 3-1 describes the virtual consoles used by the installation program. The main installation dialog appears in virtual console #7. If you like, you can use the indicated keystrokes to view a different virtual console.

Table 3-1. Virtual consoles used by Red Hat's installation program

Console

Keystroke

Contents

1

Ctrl-Alt-F1

Installation dialog

2

Ctrl-Alt-F2

A shell prompt that lets you enter commands to be processed by Linux

3

Ctrl-Alt-F3

The installation log, containing messages from the install program

4

Ctrl-Alt-F4

The system log, containing messages from the Linux kernel and other system programs

5

Ctrl-Alt-F5

May contain other messages, including those concerning the creation of filesystems

7

Ctrl-Alt-F7

The graphical window, which is the main window used by the installation program

You will not generally need to switch from one virtual console to another during installation. Nevertheless, you may find it interesting to view the contents of the virtual consoles. The contents of virtual consoles #1 through #5 can be useful in monitoring and troubleshooting.

3.2.5 Choose the Installation Language

Click Next to move from the Installation screen to the Language Selection screen. Figure 3-5 shows that screen, which asks you to specify what language should be used during the installation process. Click the desired language and then click Next. The Keyboard Configuration screen appears.

Figure 3-5. The Language Selection screen
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3.2.6 Select the Keyboard Type

The Keyboard Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3-6, lets you specify the type of keyboard attached to your system. The preselected choice is appropriate for most U.S. users. If you prefer another keyboard configuration, click the desired model or layout. Then, click Next to proceed. The Mouse Configuration screen appears.

Figure 3-6. .The Keyboard Configuration dialog box
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The Mouse Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3-7, lets you specify the type of mouse attached to your system. The installation program generally determines the type of mouse automatically. If you prefer a different mouse configuration, click the desired mouse type.

Many graphical Linux programs are designed to use a three-button mouse. If your mouse has only two buttons, you should generally enable the Emulate 3 Buttons checkbox. Click Next to proceed to the Installation Type screen.

Figure 3-7. The Mouse Configuration screen
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3.2.7 Select Monitor Configuration

If you're installing Fedora Core, the installation program prompts you to select the monitor type, as shown in Figure 3-8. If you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you should skip ahead to Section 3.2.9.

Figure 3-8. The Monitor Configuration screen
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The Monitor Configuration screen includes a list of supported video monitors. If the installation program was able to determine the type of monitor associated with your PC, it will highlight the appropriate item in the Monitor Configuration list box. If you prefer to specify a different monitor, click the desired item.

Don't select a monitor that has an identifier merely similar to that of your monitor. Similarly identified models often have quite different characteristics.

Failing to select the appropriate monitor may result in permanent damage to your monitor, particularly if your monitor is an older, fixed-frequency model.

If your monitor displays a scrambled image, turn it off promptly and recheck your configuration.


If you can't find your monitor listed, don't despair: you can select the Unprobed Monitor entry. If you do so, the installation program will suggest horizontal and vertical sync (also known as vertical refresh) rates or ranges. You should compare these with the characteristics of your monitor (which you can generally obtain from the owner's manual or from the manufacturer's web site) and adjust the rates of ranges if necessary. If you fail to find information describing your monitor, you can try some conservative values that are unlikely to damage all but the oldest of monitors. Low values are safer than high values. For example, try setting the horizontal sync range to 50-70 kHz and the vertical sync rate to 60 Hz.

Once you've selected your monitor or specified its sync rates, click Next to proceed. The Installation Type screen appears.

3.2.8 Select Installation Type

If you're installing Fedora Core, the installation program prompts you to select the installation type, as shown in Figure 3-9. If you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you should skip ahead to Section 3.2.9.

Figure 3-9. The Installation Type screen
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The Installation Type screen lets you choose from four types of installation: Personal Desktop, Workstation, Server, and Custom.

3.2.8.1 Personal Desktop

If you're new to Linux, the Personal Desktop installation type is the easiest to perform, especially if you currently run Windows. In that case, the procedure will automatically configure your system to dual boot?in other words, whenever you start your system, a Linux utility known as GRUB will give you the choice of starting Windows or Linux. Both operating systems can reside on a single system as long as you have a large enough hard drive. A typical Personal Desktop installation requires about 2 GB of free disk space. However, 4 GB or more is a better working figure, as optional applications and extra packages can consume significant space beyond the minimum.

Even though the Personal Desktop installation type is generally the easiest, I recommend that you choose the Custom installation type, which is explained later. The Custom installation type is more flexible and therefore better able to help you cope with problems that may arise during installation.


3.2.8.2 Workstation

The Workstation installation type is based on the Personal Desktop installation type, but adds tools useful to software developers and system administrators. Like the Personal Desktop installation type, the Workstation Installation type requires 2-4 GB of free disk space.

3.2.8.3 Server

The Server installation type is appropriate for systems that will host a web server or other services. It does not include a GUI, so it's not suitable for desktop use. You shouldn't set up a system using the Server installation type until you've had significant experience with Red Hat Linux. A typical Server installation requires about 1 GB or more of free disk space.

The Server installation type destroys all data on your hard drive, including any existing Windows and non-Windows partitions. Do not perform a Server installation if you want to preserve any data on your system.


3.2.8.4 Custom

The Custom installation type gives you complete control over the installation process. You can specify whether to configure your system for dual booting, which software packages to install, and so on.

To perform a Custom installation, you should have from 520 MB to 5.3 GB of free disk space available. However, 520 MB is an absolute minimum, and 5.3 GB is needed only if you're planning to install everything (including the kitchen sink). More realistically, you should have at least 2 GB of free space available. If you have the expertise and patience, you can omit certain packages that would otherwise be installed during a Custom installation so that your Linux system occupies less disk space.

The appropriate choice for most users is Custom. Therefore, click the radiobutton next to Custom and click Next to proceed.

The step-by-step procedure given in this chapter describes only the Custom installation type. The procedures required for other installation types are similar and you can probably complete a non-Custom installation with the help of this chapter.


3.2.9 Create Partitions

Druids in Linux are analogous to wizards in Microsoft Windows. In the next phase of the installation procedure, you'll use Red Hat's Disk Druid to establish Linux partitions on your hard disk drive (see Figure 3-10). Disk Druid is generally capable of automatically creating the necessary partitions.

Figure 3-10. The Disk Partitioning Setup screen
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If you prefer, the installation program lets you manually partition your hard disk using Disk Druid. However, it's generally easier to allow Disk Druid to automatically partition the hard disk and then review and edit the results. No changes are made to the partition table until you accept the final results.

You can generally accept the default choice, Automatically partition, and click Next to proceed. The Automatic Partitioning screen appears, as shown in Figure 3-11.

Figure 3-11. The Automatic Partitioning screen
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Before the Disk Partitioning Setup screen appears, a dialog box may appear, announcing that Disk Druid has found a problem with the partition table of one of your system's hard drives. The dialog box tells you how to resolve the problem. If the hard disk has never been used, its partition table won't be valid. In that case, you can continue the installation; Disk Druid will write an appropriate partition table to the disk.

Otherwise, you may need to restart the installation and specify the geometry of your hard drive in response to the boot: prompt. Appendix C describes the most common options. If you plan on erasing all the data on your hard drive, you can click Skip Drive and continue with the installation.


The Automatic Partitioning screen lets you choose how any existing partitions are treated. Three choices are available:

  • Remove all Linux partitions on this system

  • Remove all partitions on this system

  • Keep all partitions and use existing free space

If you want to preserve an existing operating system, you should not choose Remove all partitions on this system. If you want to overwrite an existing Linux installation, choose Remove all Linux partitions on this system. Otherwise, choose Keep all partitions and use existing free space.

The Automatic Partitioning screen also lets you specify the hard disks on which the installation program will load Linux. You can prevent the installation program from using a hard disk by clearing the checkbox associated with the hard disk.

Finally, the Automatic Partitioning screen lets you specify whether to review the results of automatic partitioning. You should generally leave the associated checkbox set so that you can modify the results, if needed.

Click Next to perform automatic partitioning. If Disk Druid cannot find sufficient free space, you may see a dialog box announcing an error. In that case, you can use the Back button to return to the Disk Partitioning Setup screen and choose manual partitioning with Disk Druid. The following section explains how to review and modify the results of automatic partitioning, and also equips you to perform manual partitioning.

3.2.9.1 Manual disk partitioning

The Disk Setup screen, shown in Figure 3-12, lets you add, edit, and delete Linux partitions. The bottom part of the screen contains a list box that describes each drive and partition. The middle part of the screen contains buttons that control the operation of Disk Druid, the tool that carries out partitioning. The top part of the screen graphically depicts the partition structure.

Figure 3-12. The Disk Druid screen
figs/rh4_0312.gif
3.2.9.2 What to add

If you choose to perform automatic partitioning and are content with the results, you don't need to add or change any partitions. In that case, you can click Next to proceed. This section explains how to use manual partitioning if you need, or prefer, to do so.

Whereas Windows associates drive letters (such as D:) with partitions, Linux associates directories?known as mount points?with partitions. Two such directories, / (the root directory) and /boot, are essential. In addition, a third partition is necessary to manage your system's RAM. This partition has no associated mount point.

During this step of the installation process, you should establish three or four Linux partitions on your system's hard drive:

  • A Linux swap partition to provide a work area used by Linux to efficiently manage your system's RAM memory. This partition should have a size two times the amount of your PC's installed RAM. However, the swap partition should not be smaller than 190 MB or larger than 2000 MB. This partition is not mounted by Linux and therefore has no associated mount point.

  • A Linux native partition to hold the Linux kernel. This partition, which has the mount point /boot, should be at least 100 MB in size. However, there's no advantage to making it significantly larger than 100 MB.

  • A Linux native partition to hold the Linux operating system. This partition, known as the root partition, has the mount point /. It should be as large as you can afford.

  • Optionally, you can establish a /var partition. If you choose to do so, make the size of this partition 3 GB. The /var partition holds system files, such as logs, that grow in size during system operation. By establishing a /var partition, you protect your system against the results of an out-of-control process that uses up all space on the partition.

3.2.9.2.1 Create the swap partition

From the Disk Setup screen, click New to launch the Add Partition dialog box, shown in Figure 3-13.

Figure 3-13. The Add Partition dialog box
figs/rh4_0313.gif

Enter the following values in the Add Partition dialog box:


Mount Point

Leave this field blank.


Type

Select Swap.


Allowable Drives

Choose one or more hard disk drives on which to place the partition. If you select more than one hard disk drive, Disk Druid will choose a drive from among those you specify; Disk Druid will never create a partition that spans multiple disk drives.


Size

Specify twice the amount of RAM in your system. However, do not specify less than 190 MB or more than 2000 MB.


Additional Size Options

Specify Fixed size.


Force to be a primary partition

Set this checkbox if you want the swap partition to be a primary rather than logical partition. A primary partition is one that can be accessed by the BIOS and some old versions of operating systems. Because a hard disk can have only four primary partitions and the BIOS need not access the Linux swap partition, it's generally unwise to use a primary partition as a swap partition.

Click OK to accept the input values. The Add Partition dialog box disappears.

3.2.9.2.2 Create the /boot partition

From the Disk Setup screen, click New to launch the Add Partition dialog box. Enter the following values:


Mount Point

Select /boot from the drop-down menu. The mount point specifies the directory name by which the partition will be known to Linux.


Partition type

Select ext3.


Size

Specify the size in megabytes of the /boot partition, which should be 100 MB.


Allowable Drives

Choose one or more hard disk drives on which to place the partition. If you select more than one hard disk drive, Disk Druid will choose a drive from among those you specify; Disk Druid will never create a partition that spans multiple disk drives.


Additional Size Options

Specify Fixed size.


Force to be a primary partition

Set this checkbox if you want the /boot partition to be a primary rather than logical partition. Because the /boot partition must generally reside within the first 1024 cylinders of the hard disk and be accessible by the BIOS, it should generally be allocated as a primary partition.

Click OK to accept the input values; or, if you don't want to create the partition, click Cancel. The Add Partition Dialog box disappears.

If you enter an inappropriate value, Disk Druid may be unable to create the requested partition. In such a case, it displays a dialog box that explains the reason the partition could not be created. Study the dialog box to determine what you did wrong and try again.

3.2.9.2.3 Create the / (root) partition

From the Disk Setup screen, click New to launch the Add Partition dialog box. Enter the following values:


Mount Point

Select / from the drop-down menu.


Partition Type

Select ext3.


Allowable Drives

Choose one or more hard disk drives on which to place the partition.


Size

Specify the size in megabytes of the / partition, which should be at least 900 MB. More realistically, the size of the partition should be at least 3 GB (3000 MB).


Additional Size Options

Specify Fill to maximum allowable size, so the Linux native partition will be as large as possible. If you prefer to restrict the size of the partition, select Fill all space up to (MB) and specify the maximum desired size in the immediately following text box.


Force to be a primary partition

Set this checkbox if you want the / (root) partition to be a primary rather than logical partition.

Click OK to accept the input values. The Add Partition dialog box disappears.

3.2.9.2.4 Create the /var partition

If you choose to create a /var partition, click New to launch the Add Partition dialog box. Enter the following values:


Mount Point

Select /var from the drop-down menu.


Partition Type

Select ext3.


Allowable Drives

Choose one or more hard disk drives on which to place the partition.


Size

Specify the size in megabytes of the / partition, which should be 3 GB (3000 MB).


Additional Size Options

Specify Fixed size.


Force to be a primary partition

Set this checkbox if you want the /var partition to be a primary rather than logical partition.

Click OK to accept the input values. The Add Partition dialog box disappears.

3.2.9.3 Editing a partition

If you wish to change one or more values associated with a partition, highlight the partition you wish to change in the Disk Setup screen and click Edit. Disk Druid launches a dialog box that you can use to change the mount point of a previously existing partition or other options of a partition you've just created.

You cannot use the Add Partition dialog box to change the size, grow option, or type of a previously existing partition; instead, you must delete such a partition and re-create it.

3.2.9.4 Deleting a partition

If you wish to delete a partition, highlight it and click Delete. Disk Druid presents a dialog box that asks you to confirm the operation.

Deleting a partition destroys all the data it contains. Exercise great care to delete only unneeded partitions.


3.2.9.5 Starting over

If you determine that you've made mistakes and want to abandon the changes you've specified, simply click Reset. Disk Druid resets all partitions to their original state.

3.2.9.6 Saving your changes

When you're done, save your changes and proceed with the installation, by clicking Next.

3.2.10 Configure the Boot Loader

Next, the installation program presents the Boot Loader Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3-14. GRUB, the Grand Unified Boot loader, is a special program used to start Linux?or another operating system?when you boot your system. This screen lets you choose an alternative boot loader (LILO) or omit installation of a boot loader altogether. You can also specify the location where GRUB will be installed.

Figure 3-14. The Boot Loader Configuration screen
figs/rh4_0314.gif

Most Linux users install GRUB on their PC's primary hard drive. However, doing so doesn't always work out. For example, some antivirus applications detect GRUB's changes to the MBR and roll them back. The bottom line is that, for a few Linux users, GRUB can present some headaches. Moreover, LILO has some features useful to those responsible for servers, including better support for RAID and serial console devices. If you're among those bothered by GRUB, you can easily avoid it. To do so, you can use the Change Boot Loader Button to install the LILO boot manager. The installation program preselects Linux as the default operating system. To specify a different default operating system, highlight the corresponding partition and click Default.

If you like, you can change the label associated with an operating system by highlighting the corresponding partition and typing the desired label in the text box labeled Boot Label. When you've completely specified the desired boot loader configuration, click Next to proceed.

The Boot Loader Configuration screen also lets you specify a boot loader password. If you want to prevent unauthorized persons from using your PC, you can use a password to prevent someone from overriding security checks by passing special information to the Linux kernel. However, this level of protection is rarely necessary.


3.2.11 Configure Networking

After you've configured the boot loader, the installation program probes for a network card. If it finds one, the installation program presents the Network Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3-15. If your computer is attached to a Local Area Network (LAN), you can use the Network Configuration screen to configure networking. If your computer is not attached to a LAN, click Next.

Figure 3-15. The Network Configuration screen
figs/rh4_0315.gif

If your LAN provides a DHCP server, Linux can automatically determine your PC's network configuration when your PC boots. By default, the installer configures your PC to activate its network adapter and obtain its network configuration from a DHCP server whenever your PC is booted.

If you want to assign your PC a static IP address or if you don't want your network adapter to be activate when your system boots, click the Edit button. An Edit Interface dialog box, shown in Figure 3-16, appears. To specify a static IP address, clear the checkbox labeled Configure using DHCP. Then, enter the IP address and netmask in the proper text fields, using the information you recorded in Table 2-1. If you don't want your network adapter to be activated when your system boots, clear the checkbox labeled Active on boot. Click OK to save your changes.

Figure 3-16. The Edit Interface dialog box
figs/rh4_0316.gif

If you want to assign your system a static IP address, you should select the radiobutton labeled "Set the hostname manually" in the Network Configuration Screen. You should also provide the following from Table 2-1:


Hostname

The hostname of your system, including the domain name (for example, newbie.redhat.com)


Gateway

The host address of the router your system uses to send packets beyond its local network (for example, 192.168.1.1)


Primary DNS

The IP address of the system that provides hostname lookup services to your system (for example, 192.168.1.1)


Secondary DNS

The IP address of the system used to look up hostnames if the primary name server is unavailable (optional)


Tertiary DNS

The host address of the system used to look up hostnames if the primary and secondary name servers are unavailable (optional)

When you've entered the desired network configuration, click Next to proceed. The Firewall Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3-17, appears. This screen lets you specify protection against threats originating across the network.

Figure 3-17. The Firewall Configuration screen
figs/rh4_0317.gif

Chapter 12 offers a detailed explanation of Linux's firewall capabilities. You should generally accept the default choice, Enable firewall, which prevents most network-based attacks on your system. If you plan to run a server, such as a web server, on your system, you'll need to allow the related traffic to pass through the firewall. However, you can easily open the proper ports at a later time. Click Next to proceed.

3.2.12 Configure the Language

Next, the installation program presents the Additional Language Support screen, shown in Figure 3-18. You selected the language used earlier, during the installation procedure; this screen has a different function. It lets you specify the language or languages that you plan to use during system operation. It also lets you install support?including X fonts and spelling dictionaries?for these languages. As the screen explains, multiple languages consume significant disk space. So, select a single language if you're reasonably content doing so. After you've made your choice or choices, click Next to proceed.

Figure 3-18. The Additional Language Support screen
figs/rh4_0318.gif

3.2.13 Configure the System Clock

After you bypass or complete the Network Configuration screen, the installation program presents the Time Zone Selection screen (Figure 3-19). Select a time zone by clicking on the map or by clicking an entry in the list box that appears below the map.

Figure 3-19. The Time Zone Selection screen
figs/rh4_0319.gif

If you want to set your system's clock to UTC (Universal Coordinated Time), enable the System Clock Uses UTC checkbox. However, you should not enable this checkbox if your PC is set up to boot an operating system, such as Microsoft Windows 9x, that does not support setting the system clock to UTC. After making your selections, click Next to proceed.

3.2.14 Set the root Password

The user who administers a Linux system is known as the root user, or simply root. To protect your system against mischief and misadventure, you must protect the root user's login with a password. To enable you to do so, the installation program presents the Account Configuration screen (Figure 3-20).

Figure 3-20. The Account Configuration screen
figs/rh4_0320.gif

Simply choose a password for the root user and type it twice: in the text field labeled Root Password and the nearby text field labeled Confirm.

Be sure to make a mental note of the password, because you'll need it in order to log in once system installation is complete. If you must, write down the password, but, if you do so, make sure the password is kept safe from anyone who might use it to compromise your system.


3.2.15 Select Packages

To install an application under Linux, you generally install a package that contains all the files needed by the application. If you like, you can specify the individual packages you want to install; however, the large number of available packages makes it tedious to specify them one at a time. Instead, the installation program lets you specify package groups you want to install. A package group is simply a group of related packages.

If you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Package Installation Defaults screen, shown in Figure 3-21, lets you accept a default set of packages or manually specify which packages should be installed. Generally, the default choices are appropriate. One common reason for manually specifying packages is if you prefer the KDE desktop shell. To see the full set of available packages, click the radiobutton labeled "Customize the set of packages to be installed" and then click Next.

Figure 3-21. The Package Installation Defaults screen
figs/rh4_0321.gif

Whether you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Core, the Package Group Selection screen, shown in Figure 3-22, appears. To install a package group, simply enable the associated checkbox. Some package groups let you customize the individual packages that will be installed. Such packages groups include a hyperlink labeled Details. Click the hyperlink to view a list of packages in the package group; enable or disable the checkbox associated with a package to specify whether the package should, or should not, be installed.

Figure 3-22. The Package Group Selection screen
figs/rh4_0322.gif

The available package groups are:


X Window System

The graphical user interface provided by Linux. In addition to the X Window System, you should generally install either or both the GNOME Desktop or KDE Desktop.


GNOME Desktop

The default graphical desktop supported by Linux. You can use the alternative graphical desktop, the KDE Desktop, if you prefer. Both desktops can be installed on a system; an easy-to-use utility lets you switch between them.


KDE Desktop

The alternative graphical desktop supported by Linux.


Editors

Programs used to create and edit text files. Chapter 7 explains how to use nano, a text-mode editor. The desktop also includes graphical text editors that work much like the Windows Notepad program.


Engineering and Scientific

Programs used to perform mathematical and scientific computations and to plot data.


Graphical Internet

Graphical programs for accessing the web, email, and other Internet services.


Text-Based Internet

Non-graphical programs for accessing the web, email, and other Internet services. Because these programs are non-graphical, they don't require the X Window System or a desktop.


Office/Productivity

Word processors and other programs useful for office work.


Sound and Video

Programs to hear audio, view video, and create audio/video files.


Authoring and Publishing

Programs for working with documents using the DocBook format.


Graphics

Programs for working with images.


Games and Entertainment

Programs that let you fill otherwise idle time.


Server Configuration Tools

Programs for graphically configuring servers.


Web Server

The Apache web server and related utilities.


Mail Server

Mail transfer agents and mail delivery agents, which are usually not needed by desktop computer users. Most users need only the mail user agents included in the Graphical Internet or Text-Based Internet Package Groups.


Windows File Server

Samba, a program that interoperates with Windows file and printer sharing, and related utilities.


DNS Server (Fedora Core 1 only)

BIND, a program that resolves host names to IP addresses and IP addresses to hostnames.


FTP Server (Fedora Core 1 only)

VSFTPD, a program that enables transfer of files between systems.


SQL Database Server and MySQL Database (Red Hat Enterprise Linux only)

The PostgreSQL and MySQL database management systems.


Legacy Network Server (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) or Network Servers (Fedora Core)

Miscellaneous network servers for obsolete and seldom-used protocols.


Development Tools

Programs useful to programmers and others working with programs.


Kernel Development

Files and programs needed to compile the Linux kernel.


X Software Development

Files and programs needed to compile programs that run under the X Window System.


GNOME Software Development

Files and programs needed to compile programs that run under the GNOME desktop.


KDE Software Development

Files and programs needed to compile programs that run under the KDE desktop.


Legacy Software Development (Red Hat Enterprise Linux only)

Packages that provide compatibility with previous releases of Linux.


Administration Tools

Programs to help you manage your system.


System Tools

Packages to help monitor and administer a system.


Printing Support

Programs to administer and use printers.


Everything

Selecting this package group causes installation of all packages. About 5 GB of disk space are needed in the / partition.


Minimal

Selecting this package group causes installation of a small set of packages that support basic operation of the system. You shouldn't generally select this package group.

If you don't know what package groups to select, don't worry; you can install additional package groups after setting up your Linux system. When you're satisfied with your choices, click Next to proceed.

3.2.16 Install Packages

When the installation program is ready to begin installing packages, it presents the About to Install screen, shown in Figure 3-23. Up to this point, the installation program has made no changes to your system's hard drive. This is your last chance to terminate the installation procedure before any data is written. To abort the installation procedure, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete or press your system's hardware reset button.

Figure 3-23. The About to Install screen
figs/rh4_0323.gif

The installation program now formats any partitions you earlier specified for formatting. Depending on the size of your system's hard drive, it may require several minutes to complete this step. When formatting is done, the Installing Packages screen (Figure 3-24) appears and the installation program begins installing packages.

Figure 3-24. The Installing Packages screen
figs/rh4_0324.gif

The Installing Packages screen displays the name of each package as it is installed and presents a progress bar that shows the relative progress of the installation process. You'll likely be asked to insert other installation CDs during the installation process. In particular, the installation program generally asks for CD 2 shortly after it begins installing packages. It asks you to re-insert CD 1 after installing the contents of the other CDs. When all the packages have been installed, you're ready to create a boot diskette. Click Next to proceed.

3.2.17 Configure Video

If you're installing Fedora Core, you've already selected your video monitor. You should skip ahead to Section 3.2.18. If you're installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the installation program displays the Graphical Interface (X) Configuration screen (Figure 3-25), which helps you configure X, the Linux graphical user interface. If the installation program was able to determine the type of video card associated with your PC, it will highlight the appropriate item in the X Configuration list box. If you prefer to specify a different video card, click the desired item.

Figure 3-25. The Graphical Interface (X) Configuration screen
figs/rh4_0325.gif

If your video card is not listed, you may be able to use the Generic SVGA Compatible entry. This will yield a basic, working X configuration. Later, you can follow the instructions given in Appendix D to achieve a better configuration.

You should specify the amount of video memory installed on your video card. Specifying a value that is too lar