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kd5giv 08-18-2006 11:20 PM

Removing Scientific Linux and installing Slackware

I am having a little problem here. I want to replace scientific linux with slackware. I've never liked red hat or it's remakes and I have had small problems everytime I try it. I just want my slackware back. I know how to use it. I am currently running scientific linux but I want to install slackware without messing with the partitions. I am also running Windows XP and when I installed scientific linux, I had a problem with the computer thinking I needed to reinstall windows. It was still there but I guess the GRUB messed it up. I don't want that problem again, so I just want to replace scientific linux with slackware. I don't know why my computer wanted to restore itself back to factory windows XP.

Also, if I have the packages downloaded is there an easy way to make an iso like you would download? I can still use the scientific installation if linux can do it or I have windows XP and a dvd/cd writer.

Bruce Hill 08-19-2006 06:42 AM

To install Slackware over Scientific Linux should not be hard.
Make notes of your partitions in SL by running and printing:

root@james:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sda1              1        729    5855661  83  Linux
/dev/sda2            730        1945    9767520  83  Linux
/dev/sda3            1946        2007      498015  82  Linux swap

root@james:~# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1            5.6G  3.3G  2.4G  58% /
/dev/sda2            9.4G  376M  9.0G  4% /home

That way you know what you have mounted where. Then when you install
Slackware, at the boot: prompt enter the appropriate kernel, such as
for normal IDE drives -- boot: bare.i
(I linked you to a good Slackware Linux guide at the Installation chapter.)

Then enter root and go directly to setup. When the installer comes to
TARGET Setup your target partitions
you will get a screen similar to this where you will be asked to
Select Linux installation partition:
and that's where you will choose the partitions you used with SL.
If you no longer need/want any of the SL information, then format
the partitions. If, for example, you had a separate /home partition
under SL, and you want to keep it, then choose to mount it but do
NOT format that partition.

As for the bootloader, there are many different methods. When you
install Slackware, the LiLO (Linux Loader) boot loader is going to
allow you to add Windows to LiLO. This is easy and painless for me.
I suggest you put LiLO in the MBR (Master Boot Record) and add the
Windows partitions to Slackware. You can easily tell it to boot
Windows -- again, there are instructions in the Slackware Linux Basics
guide I linked you to above.

I don't understand what you meant by:

Also, if I have the packages downloaded is there an easy way to make an iso like you would download? I can still use the scientific
installation if linux can do it or I have windows XP and a dvd/cd writer.
At first I thought you meant the packages for Slackware-11.0, but since
it hasn't been released yet, that's impossible. Please clarify and we'll
help with that, also.

kd5giv 08-19-2006 03:46 PM

Oh on the packages into an ISO. It may not be needed if your plan works on the above message. I will get 10.2 installed now and upgrade later. As far as I remember upgrading is easily done. I would rather make the ISO image like some mirrors have online by using the package files I have now since I have always had problems getting slackware to find the packages at the installation screen. It sounds like it may be possible to remove scientific linux by maybe doing a command like 'rm ' and what ever the option is to remove everything. I think it was rm -r or something like that. There isn't anything important in scientific linux now. It could be erased at any time and I wouldn't care. When I installed it and Windows xp wanted to reinstall back to factory settings, I have no idea why, back a lot of files in windows were still there. That's the major problem I am trying to avoid. I think this problem was caused because the windows booter, what ever that is, was written over by GRUB. This is a computer bought at a best buy store. So the hard drive wasn't clean. I think the windows can find out that the booter has been changed and goes back to factory installation if it is changed. I will try what you have written here and see how it goes. But if you know how the ISO images are made let me know because I would rather use them to do the installation, but it will be next week and a trip across town to get the ISOs.

Bruce Hill 08-19-2006 07:01 PM

Alien Bob in LQ has a script we use to mirror Slackware-current.
It will make CD and/or DVD ISO images of the files. That starts at
line 319 iirc.

If you can't understand it and adapt, post back. ;)

syg00 08-19-2006 07:01 PM

Been a while since I did a Slack install, but it should give you the option to (re-)format the partition(s). That's the best way to clean up an old install.

As for the Windows issues, maybe you have a vendor partition on that disk, and the SL installer chainloaded you to the wrong partition.
Generally just a simple loader config change to rectify.

Bruce Hill 08-19-2006 07:06 PM

In thinking about that Windows setup per syg00's comments,
what is the output of "fdisk -l" run as root from SL?

That should show if you have some secret partition...

kd5giv 08-19-2006 07:20 PM

I think you are right Syg00. I do have a fat32 partition that has the factory set windows XP. Something I did with GRUB triggered that partition to boot again I guess.

I think it would be a line starting with mkisofs -o ${SLACKRELEASE}-install1.iso . I can't read the language that it is written in. I think I will try that last. I have all the a series and so on all the way down. I may not even have the files anymore now, so I may just have to get the iso anyway. I burnt the directries to 2 CD's but now they seem to be gone.

kd5giv 08-20-2006 05:05 AM

I have a fat32, ntfs, ext3, extended, linux-swap partitions. The restore stuff is on the fat32 system. This is on one hard drive. The extended seems to be the same as the linux-swap. I have an sda hard drive. I guess we were posting at the same time Bruce so that is why I have two replies.

Bruce Hill 08-20-2006 05:25 AM

Is it possible to actually post your "fdisk -l" output? And "df -h"?

And if you can't find the files, or the CDs, you should wait a little while.
From the latest Slackware-current ChangeLog text:

Sat Aug 19 23:58:27 CDT 2006
This is mostly frozen now unless bugs (or irresistible upgrades) come up, so
I'll call this update Slackware 11.0 release candidate 2. :-)
Or if you don't want to wait until Slackware 11.0 is released, use that script
of Alien Bob's that I gave you before, and burn Slackware-current CDs or DVD.
Then you will have very little to upgrade to get to Slackware 11.0.

By "I have an sda hard drive" do you mean an SATA or SCSI? Both drives?

Well, if you can post it, we'll see that from fdisk -l. ;)

The extended cannot be the same as Linux swap. But the extended could contain
only the Linux swap, depending upon how it's setup.

kd5giv 08-22-2006 04:19 AM

From 'df -h':
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3 74G 9.3G 61G 14% /
none 470M 0 470M 0% /dev/shm

Using fdisk:
Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1111 8924076 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda2 * 1112 20267 153870570 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 20268 30045 78541785 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 30046 30401 2859570 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 30046 30401 2859538+ 82 Linux swap

I had to run fdisk and use the 'p' at the prompt inside fdisk. For some reason 'fdisk -I or -i" didn't work.

If for some reason Patrick releases the version 11.0 before the thursday this week I will install the newest one. Otherwise, I have too much other work to do starting next Monday. I am a student and beginning calculus in the fall along with other subjects. I am currently on a little break between summer and fall semesters. I need to get the meteorology model running before Monday so I can have it running during somewhat of a storm season in the fall.

Bruce Hill 08-22-2006 08:08 PM

That command should have been "fdisk -l" (lower case L) for list.

Your setup looks good. Since you have no data you want to save, it
will be easy to install Slackware 'right over the top' so to speak.

You will need to remove GrUB, if you wish to run LiLO which is the
default with Slackware. NB: You can continue to use your GrUB
bootloader, but I don't know how to setup GrUB, only LiLO; so that
advice will have to come from another source.

You didn't answer whether you have a SATA or SCSI drive, so I assume
it's SATA.

I don't think Pat will release Slackware-11.0 by Thursday, but if he does
not, you can just use the mirror-slackware-current script of Alien Bob's
that I referenced you before. Monday's current (Mon Aug 21 14:54:08 CDT 2006)
is very close to Slackware-11.0, and it will be very simple to upgrade your
box once 11.0 is released.

To install Slackware, boot with CD1 and at the boot: prompt just enter
since sata.i (for the SATA kernel) is the default now.

Next enter setup and at the Slackware Linux Setup (version 11.0) screen,
you should first choose ADDSWAP Setup your swap partition(s), and the
installer should find your /dev/sda5 swap partition without any problems.
Follow the instructions to setup that as swap, then the installer should
show you other Linux paritions. You should choose /dev/sda3 for your / (root)
filesystem, format it (I choose reiserfs) and it will add / to /etc/fstab.

As you continue, the installer will automatically detect your FAT partitions.
When it asks you about them, select /dev/sda2 and mount it as /WinXP or
other appropriate name. It's your PC, so name it as you like. Don't mount
/dev/sda1 at all, just leave it for Windows to use as it must.

After that you can finish the install. My opinion is to install LiLO to the
MBR, use the expert option, timeout at 5 seconds, and install the Linux
partition /dev/sda3 and the Windows partition /dev/sda2 to boot.

I'm not sure if LiLO is going to overwrite GrUB or not. If it doesn't, and
GrUB loads when you reboot, immediately press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and boot with
the Slackware CD1 again. Then you'll need to issue at the boot: prompt
"sata.i root=/dev/sda3 noinitrd ro" to boot into your Slackware system. When
you get there, to remove GrUB you can search LQ and <Linux> Google for some
HOW-TO. It's probably quite easy. After removing GrUB, if you choose to use
LiLO, just open a terminal and as root issue "lilo" and that will reinstall
LiLO to your MBR and post errors if you have any.

Edit: Add link to Slackware Linux Basics: For Slackware Linux 10.2, Chapter 5. Installing Slackware Linux.

syg00 08-22-2006 08:49 PM

Boot-loaders never need to be "removed".
Each install of a new one simply overwrites the MBR, and points to itself. If you feel so inclined you can then remove the old directory(s).

kd5giv 08-23-2006 03:55 AM

Ok well I will get the files I need Thursday. I do have an sda hard drive. If anything goes nuts I will post here. I am doing this thursday because I will have to download these from the campus I attend which they have a T1 line. I can't use scripts so I will have to use the site on the upper right called "Download Linux" here.

Bruce Hill 08-23-2006 05:42 AM

You could download ISO images of -current from someone's server.
Try this location:

And if you have the files you could read these instructions for
making your own ISOs.

kd5giv 08-25-2006 06:05 PM

I have installed Slackware 10.2 and both it and windows xp is booting. I am using lilo to boot. How can I make windows be the default boot option? I am editing liloconfig myself.

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