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Slackware: installing from HDD using CD .iso files

Posted 10-06-2009 at 06:26 AM by catkin


Here's a procedure to install Slackware 13.0 starting with the CD .iso files on a Linux system using GRUB. It is a modified form of the procedure for installing from a DVD .iso file given here.

It was developed and tested on an ubuntu 8.04 system following a pilot Slackware installation in a VirtualBox virtual machine but nothing in the procedure is specific to that environment.

A file system is populated with the files a) required for GRUB to boot the Slackware installer kernel and b) to do the installation:
+-- /boot
+-- /files+dirs
+-- /Generic
+-- /merged_CDs
+-- /packages
+-- /Slackbuilds
+-- /tagfiles
Only the /boot and /merged_CDs are essential, the rest are optional
  • /boot Boot files including hugesmp.s
  • /files+dirs Optional. Any files and directories to copy to new system. For example: /etc/profile, /root/.inputrc, /root/.bashrc|
  • /Generic Optional. Installation files not specific to Slackware. For example:,
  • /merged_CDs CD .iso file contents, merged, as explained below.
  • /packages Optional. Any required .tgz files not on the CDs, perhaps from earlier builds. For example: xclip-0.12-i486-1_SBo.tgz,
  • /Slackbuilds Optional. Slackbuilds (you already guessed?! ). For example xarchiver-0.5.2.tar.bz2,
  • /tagfiles Optional. "tagfile"s to control package selection during installation. See Slackbasics.

Populating the build file system (uses /dev/sda3):
  1. Download usbboot.img from Slackware
  2. mount /dev/sda3 /mnt
  3. mkdir /mnt/merged_CDs
  4. mount -o loop <path to first CD .iso> /media/cdrom0
  5. cp -pR /media/cdrom0/* /mnt/merged_CDs
  6. cd /mnt/merged_CDs
  7. for file in CHECKSUMS.md5 CHECKSUMS.md5.asc FILELIST.TXT PACKAGES.TXT; do mv $file $file.D1; done
  8. umount /media/cdrom0
  9. mount -o loop <path to second CD .iso> /media/cdrom0
  10. cp -pR /media/cdrom0/* /mnt/merged_CDs
  11. for file in CHECKSUMS.md5 CHECKSUMS.md5.asc FILELIST.TXT PACKAGES.TXT; do mv $file $file.D2; done
  12. Repeat for further CD .iso files as required.
  13. Modify the next two steps to suit the number of CDs used.
  16. umount /media/cdrom0
  17. mount -o loop <path to usbboot.img> /media
  18. mkdir /mnt/boot
  19. cp -p /media/* /mnt/boot
  20. umount /media
  21. Populate the optional directories as required.
  22. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst, adding these stanzas. Assumes the existing /boot is on /dev/sda2.
    title Install Slackware
    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/hugesmp.s load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw SLACK_KERNEL=/boot/hugesmp.s vga=791
    initrd /boot/initrd.img

    title Slackware 13.0
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /vmlinuz-huge-smp- root=/dev/sda6 vga=791 ro
Installation is by booting and choosing "Install Slackware" then installing in the usual way except that in the SOURCE section, choose "Install from a hard drive partition" then /dev/sda3. If you are using the optional "tagfile"s they are at /var/log/mount/tagfiles.

During installation, take special care not to format partitions containing wanted data and do skip the Lilo installation
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