-   Slackware (
-   -   Slackware Install by total newbie (

TrevorS 05-08-2006 11:25 PM

Slackware Install by total newbie

Okay, here I go. I'm trying to enter the world of Linux. I'm a quick learner, but I'm about as green as one can be with Linux (I know a few commands and I can get around in vi if I have a reference card, etc.) I hope those of you with patience can help me.

I have a brand new (but nothing special) Dell sitting here with XP Home on it (computer #2). I want it to have Slackware Linux, and I have no need for Windows. Does Slackware require that I keep Windows and have a dual boot system, or is it okay to format the entire hard disk and just have a Linux-only machine?

Either way, I need to start at the very beginning, but all the help I find seems to assume I know how to create the boot disks and get started, which I don't....

I've downloaded the files for Slackware 10.0 onto computer #1. I don't know what ISO's are, so I have the full directory structure of files (approx 3.25Gb). I see the "bootdisks" folder, and I've read about RAWRITE, but I'm confused. The new computer has a CD drive but no floppy drive. I use "RAWRITE bare.i f:" to create a boot CD? And I do the same for a root CD?

So I change the BIOS on the new computer and boot off the boot CD. Then I use "format c:"?

And then I partition the drive?

And then I take out the boot CD and put in the root CD and run the install/setup program?

2damncommon 05-09-2006 12:10 AM

If this is not your only computer and you really want to try it, I say go for it.
If you can "get around vi with a reference card" you should be able to pursue any troubles you have. (I prefer to use pico or nano for simple editing but can get around vi if needed).
Linux does not require Windows be on a computer for it to work. It is a lot of fun to "go Windowless". But it can also be a headache and the only caveat would be trashing your only working system for an unknown.
ISOs are disk images. You do not just copy them onto a CD/DVD as is, they need to be burned as image files. The process may be slightly different for various burning software but just check the documentation for burning ISO or image files. You don't need boot disks unless you can't boot from CD.
"Full directory structure"? You have probably downloaded more than needed and perhaps not what you want.
Your last steps; format, partition, install (besides being in the wrong order; partition then format) can all be done during the Slackware install.
At a minium you would create a small swap partition (some factor of your RAM), and a "/" (root) partition.
Screenshots of Slackware are available here.

peteaxon 05-09-2006 12:34 AM

I highly recommend the Slackware book, it gets you going with your first install really well and takes you through everything you need to get started with Slack. You can download the book and have it for quick reference.


I've downloaded the files for Slackware 10.0 onto computer #1. I don't know what ISO's are, so I have the full directory structure of files (approx 3.25Gb).
Sorry to say but you will probably have to do more downloading, instead of getting the individual file you need the iso's and burn them to cd, like 2damncommon says. To get started you only need cd's 1 and 2. Cd's 3 and 4 only have source, extra, pasture etc.

Nylex 05-09-2006 01:16 AM

Is there any particular reason you downloaded Slack 10.0 and not 10.2 (or current even)?

simcox1 05-09-2006 07:02 AM

The sticky at the top of the slackware forum page is also a good reference for installing slackware from scratch. The link to download the slackware iso's from appears not to be working, but if you get slackware-10.2-disc1.iso and slackware-10.2-disc2.iso, those are what you'll need.

Here's a link to the how-to from

onebuck 05-09-2006 07:34 AM


To the OP, look at my sig for several good references.

arubin 05-09-2006 09:07 AM

It might be worth ckecking up on your hardware before you start especially if you are goint to delete windows. If you have a brand new Dell it might well have a graphics set up or on board network chip which is not supported by Slackware without some additional downloading. For instance you might have to install nvidia or nforce drivers. If you post your hardware you might get some pointers as to what to look out for.

Much as I like slackware it is not the best distro for supporting a brand new Pc without tweaking.

TrevorS 05-09-2006 11:22 AM

thanks - answers - more questions
WOW! Very cool posts and awesome links to resources. Thank you all so much. I'm feeling more confortable about getting started.

ISOs: I will definitely get rid of whatever I downloaded and go with the ISO files. I'll burn CDs 1 & 2, and not the same way I do it for my family photos. Got it.

Step 1. Install, which will walk me through 2. Partition and 3. Format. Got it.

FYI: I'm using Slackware 10.0 because I'm hoping to support a web site that is installed on Slackware 10.0. It probably wouldn't matter if I used the latest version, but just to be anal about it...

Hardware: new Dell box has nothing on it I want; not the OS not the software. No dual boot for me. As long as all the hardware is going to be compatible. Does anyone see any issues with the following:
Dell Dimension B110
Intel Celeron D Processor 325 (2.53GHz) and 256K cache
256MB DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
160GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive
Integrated Intel 3D AGP Graphics
Integrated 2.0 Channel Audio
Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
56K PCI Data Fax Modem (which I hope to use to receive incoming faxes)
48X CD-RW/DVD Combination Drive

PS - I do plan to add more RAM later, but since Slackware was created 13 years ago, I assume I'm fine with 256Mb to get me through the install.

rje_NC 05-09-2006 01:07 PM

I would keep a small windows partition on the system and dual boot into Slackware (make Slack the default). Almost all the Dell Bios, utilities, and device firmware files require Windows to install the updates. It is much easier to keep a small Windows partition to boot into when you want to download and install Bios updates, DVD firmware updates, etc.

I don't think Slackware offers a partioning program that will resize an existing NTFS partition, so you might have to download a program and resize the drive to make enough free space for Slackware before you start the install. I have used Partition Commander (commercial program) for several years and it still works great for me.

Slack will involve a steeper learning curve, but it has been worth it for me, it is still my favorite distro (with Dropline Gnome) for me.


athanatos 05-09-2006 01:26 PM

I agree with rje_NC. You have a working copy of windows on your computer and a 160GB harddrive, so why don't leave windows on the disk? It won't need more than a few gigs. I don't want to encourage you to continue using windows, but if you already have windows, why delete it?

arubin 05-09-2006 02:21 PM

> Integrated 2.0 Channel Audio
> Integrated 10/100 Ethernet

I assume this means in the form of chips on the motherboard. You might have issues with them. I had problems with an installation of Slackware 10.2 and a new Pc. It will be a real problem if you haven't kept a windows partition and you have not got your network connection working. You should be able to get everything working. It might mot be working straightaway.

Do you have any more details of your motherboard and this integrated hardware.

I believe that the knoppix live disc has qtparted. You can use this to shrink your windows partition and then do the slackware installaion.

TrevorS 05-10-2006 11:18 PM

I don't really care about sound, but it would really hurt not to have network connectivity.

The only other thing I can tell you about the motherboard is that it has e210882 printed on it. Does that help? Otherwise, I'm not sure what other kind of information you mean.

elyk 05-10-2006 11:33 PM


56K PCI Data Fax Modem (which I hope to use to receive incoming faxes)
You might have problems with the modem. Most modems are "winmodems", meaning that they pass along their job to the processor, which requires drivers that are usually only available under windows.

Besides that, I doubt you'll have problems with the other hardware.

Nylex 05-11-2006 12:33 AM

Using the device manager (under System)( in Windows' Control Panel (assuming you still have Windows installed) may give you some info about your integrated network card.

TerryP 05-11-2006 12:52 AM

If it's a winmodem maybe this will help: yanked mine ages ago for a sound card so I've never had to use a 56K /w *nix

Knoppix does come with QTParted, and if I ever go into business I'm never leaving home without it!

Just srink windows down to like 5-10GB and you should be fine. If you want more then 3 partitions for Linux make an extended partition, make / in linux a primary, and puff the swap /whatever in the extended partitions logical drives. (Might also be good to have the stuff start at the beginning/end of the drive so swap and / & w/e else are close together)

256MB RAM will be fine, but you might be pushing it a tad if you want to run something like KDE or graphic itentisve programs. On an old box with 340MB RAM & Pentium III Katmai (500Mhz) KDE on FreeBSD6 runs faster then Windows XP Pro did so you should be fine even then ^^

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:18 PM.