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Old 01-22-2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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Question Booting Linux and using Slackware

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop which came with windows xp.
I have been trying, unsucsessfully, to install Linux on it.
It came with 3 existing partitions on it: two for windows and the other holding a Dell Diagnostics program.
My most recent problem is that when I installed Slackware 10.2 from a "Linux Format" DVD I had problems booting. When I installed it I installed Lilo over my MBR. On rebooting I could only access the Dell Diagnostics partition (which it called windows) and the linux partition. (Note: it would not run windows xp for me.)
What is more: when I booted linux it took me to a command line called darkstar, I logged in there as root but I only still had a black screen and the darkstar/root: command line.
Now I have reinstalled MBR to access xp and dont know if I can get back to Linux, and indeed what to do at the darkstar command line if I do get back.
I have tried many distributions and am close to my wits end with respect to installing Linux, the only thing I have been successful to date in is running the Knoppix Live CD.
Help on this matter would be, as always, much appreciated.
Old 01-22-2006, 02:29 PM   #2
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To get you Slackware back, get hold of a Linux Live CD and follow Task B3 of

Just booting tips .

Most of the answers you want should be there as I compiled the tips after booting over 100 systems.
Old 01-22-2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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You were almost there. The reason you didn't get to windows is that Dell Diagnostics partition is most likely the first partition. You just needed to edit /etc/lilo.conf and then rerun lilo. If windows is on the second partition something like;
and as root you MUST rerun lilo
<enter root password>
and it will tell you if everythin is O.K.
To reinstall lilo and get back to darkstar see post #10
That darkstar you see is just because you must not have set up your hostname so that is the default. good luck and have fun ...
Old 01-22-2006, 09:39 PM   #4
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I have sorted out the booting problem, thanks for the advice.
Now if someone could tell me how to get to the Linux desktop it would be great.
When I boot linux I only have access to a command line, which seems to be called darkstar.
I feel I am on the verge of eventually getting linux installed and just need to leap over this last hurdle.
Old 01-22-2006, 09:44 PM   #5
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Read this: it will tell all you need to know about getting started.
Old 01-23-2006, 02:27 AM   #6
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Think typing at the command line
will do it.
Old 01-23-2006, 07:26 AM   #7
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You should
* log in as root
* create a new user with the command adduser
* log in as your new user
* run the command startx
Old 01-23-2006, 07:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the help, if it werent for this site I would have given up on Linux by now
Old 01-23-2006, 12:58 PM   #9
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One other suggestion. With slackware, run either 'xorgsetup' or 'xorgconfig' before running 'startx'. It will setup a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file for you that SHOULD get you in Xwindows.

Also, the above post is correct, the Dell Diagnostic partition is the first on the HDD.

If you have more problems with Slackware, go to the Slackware forum, and then either there, or the Install subforum. You'll get Slackware specific advice. Most of the other distros never see a console except when they want to. Slackware is a more 'technical' distro, and as such, you may be better served in the Slackware forum.

BTW: Welcome to Slackware.


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