Chapter 3. Installation and Initial Configuration

At this point, you should have your Linux distribution and have disk space set aside for Linux. In this chapter, we present a general overview of the installation process. Each distribution has its own installation instructions, but armed with the concepts presented here, you should be able to feel your way through any installation. Appendix A, lists sources of information for installation instructions and other help, if you’re at a total loss.

Different Linux distributions store files in different locations, which can make it hard to describe how to administer Linux. For instance, the same files may be found on Red Hat, SuSE, and Debian systems, but they may be under the /etc directory on one system and the /sbin directory on another. Gradually, the vendors are standardizing the set of locations listed in a document called the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, but in this book we’ll just try to deal with lagging discrepancies by listing the locations of the most important files in the version of each major distribution that we checked.

Installing the Linux Software

After resizing your existing partitions to make space for Linux, you are ready to install the software. Here is a brief overview of the procedure:

  1. Boot the Linux installation medium.

  2. Run fdisk under Linux to create Linux partitions.

  3. Run mke2fs and mkswap to create Linux filesystems and swap space. (You may need to use a different command than mke2fs if you want to install ...

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