Originally Published: Thursday, 27 September 2001 Author: IRC Staff
Published to: interact_articles_irc_recap/IRC Recap Page: 1/3 - [Printable]

Beginners Week: A Recap

Now that Beginners' Week is winding down on Linux.com, it's time to do a quick recap of all of the Live! events we had. Here are the logs from our three events: Installing RedHat 7.1, Setting Up a Home Network, and Configuring a Firewall.

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All IRC Live! events are moderated. This means that audience members message their questions to the moderator and the moderator asks questions in the channel, so any question that comes from 'lcModerator' is a question from an audience member. Thanks and enjoy the log.

Matt Michie, one of our staff members, walked our audience through a basic install of RedHat 7.1 in this log. There were many interesting questions raised througout the event that make for an interesting read when you want to install RedHat 7.1.

<influx> hey all
<influx> we'll be starting the red hat 7.1 install tutorial shortly
--- ChanServ gives channel operator status to starlady
<starlady> we're going to be starting in just a couple of minutes
--- ChanServ gives channel operator status to lcModerator
<seva> r] by ChanServ
--- ChanServ gives channel operator status to Dazman
<seva> er
--- ChanServ removes channel operator status from Dazman
<influx> hey all
<influx> i'm influx aka matt michie, and i'll be working through the install of redhat 7.1
--- influx sets mode +m #live
<influx> as i go, if you have questions please /msg them to lcmoderator and he'll que them up and post them for all of us
<influx> i'll be installing x86, redhat 7.1 from CD-ROM... i'll try to do it as generic as possible so it should apply to a wide variety of hardware/configurations
<influx> there are many good sources to obatin a redhat install including local retail outlets, cheapbytes.com and even just downloading and burning .iso's from ftp sites
<influx> redhat 7.1 includes some new install improvements such as partitionless installs, auto-partitioning, and security features... i'll try to touch on all of them
<LinuxWolf> If you miss anything there will be a log of this tutorial on http://www.linux.com/live in the coming days
--- starlady removes channel operator status from starlady
<influx> first, its a good idea to be aware of what hardware you have on your system... if you already have windows, check out the system tab in your control panel and write down some of the information
<influx> redhat 7.1 should mostly auto-detect these settings, but its always a good idea to have backups
<influx> you'll need at least a 386 and 1.5 gigs of free hard drive space for a default install... i recommend much higher than a 386 though :)
<influx> first, to install insert the first compact disc into your drive tray and reboot your system, i'll assume that your system supports booting from the cd-rom
<influx> if it does not, there are boot floppy images available for use
<influx> tallguy also told me to mention that you'll need at least 16 megs of ram for an install
<influx> preferably more for the GUI install
<LinuxWolf> use rawrite to make a floppy with the cd.img file on it
<influx> the kernel itself will not run on less than 4mb
<influx> after you've booted, you'll be presented with a text menu
<influx> for most users you can simply hit return for the install to load
<influx> it will attempt to load a GUI install, and if that fails will move into text mode
<influx> you'll see the install kernel booting as the text scrolls
<influx> it will then load anaconda which is the redhat install program
<influx> a cool feature with the redhat install is that there are different terminals which give expert users a chance to control things a bit better
<influx> you can scroll through these by pressing ctrl-alt-f1 through ctrl-alt-f7
<influx> particularly useful is the f2 vt which has a shell prompt
<influx> or f3 which has the install log
<influx> to get back to the gui hit the f7 terminal
<influx> continuning...
<LinuxWolf> for those with keyboards that have to Cntrl keys use the left Cntrlkey
<influx> the first choice you'll need to make is language selection
<influx> i'll choose english and hit next to continue, obviously choose the language you speak the best ;)
<influx> next, is keyboard configuration... most users can simply choose the default and hit next
<influx> if you have something special, scroll through the choices and select your keyboard
<influx> the gui has a test area so you can make sure it works
<influx> the next option for the gui is mouse selection
<influx> with the new 2.4 kernels, even USB mice are supported... choose your brand of mouse and hit continue
--- ChanServ gives channel operator status to dlewis
<influx> its a good idea to emulate 3 buttons if you have a two button mouse
<influx> X makes use of the third button for pasting
<influx> continue until you get to the install options screen
<influx> here you are presented with a choice between a workstation, server, laptop, or custom install... here is also where you would upgrade from a previous install of redhat
<influx> install a server only if you intend to use the system as a dedicated server... otherwise just choose workstation or laptop if it is a laptop
<influx> if you are familiar with some of the previous redhat installs, you'll be glad to know that there is much improved default security
<LinuxWolf> Custom is also a good choice if your familiar with what services do what
<influx> if you choose workstation you won't even have inetd installed by default :)
<influx> next, we come to partitioning, one of the trip ups even veteran linux users stumble across
<LinuxWolf> a big missconception is a person turns on ftp as they think they need it. Unless youintend to offer your computer as a FTP-Server you dont need that service running
<influx> 7.1 will do automatic partitioning if you have 1.5 gigs free space on your hard drive
<influx> it is also possible to do a partitionless install with the linux system installed on FAT
<influx> this is good for testing out linux, but will seriously degrade performance
<influx> if you can not do automatic partitioning, disk druid does a pretty good job of things
<influx> i wouldn't recommend mucking with fdisk unless you are very familiar with how partitions work
<influx> i'll walk through a quick disk druid setup
<influx> we generally need at least two partitions
<influx> root or / and a swap partition
<influx> there are many rules of thumb on how big of a swap partition you need, but some would say 2 * amount of installed RAM
<lcModerator> Question: Does RedHat' Parition Software allow you to shrink an existing windows partition?
<influx> no, it won't but there are commercial and other free alternatives which do so
<influx> partition magic is a good commercial alternative
<influx> parted is the best free (free speech and free ber) way to do it
<influx> sometimes you'll also need to create a boot partition
<influx> the maximum you need is 32 megabytes for /boot
<influx> and like i said earlier i recommend at least 1.5 gigs for /
<influx> once you've allocated the partitions, click next and the installer will prompt you on formatting them to linux native file system
<influx> starlady informs me, that the url for parted is: http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/
<influx> and we also have information on how to use it on our linux.com debian install guide at: http://linux.com/learn/installguide/debian/
<influx> i generally don't check for bad blocks while formatting... i'd only select this if you have an older drive you suspect may have some bad clusters
<influx> it will slow things down dramatically
<influx> choose next and allow the file systems to format
<influx> the next screen is LILO configuration
<influx> LILO is a boot manager allow you to select different operating systems at boot
<influx> you can choose between windows and linux for instance... later once you are more advanced you can configure it to select different kernels at boot time
<influx> most of the time you can leave the defaults selected on this screen and it will do the "right thing"
<influx> hit next to continue
<influx> if you have a network card, you'll be presented with network configuration
<lcModerator> Question: Should you install lilo to the MBR or to the boot partition?
<influx> i generally install to the master boot record
<influx> this will work on most installs, apparently some OS's such as NT do not like lilo on the MBR and in these cases you'll do the boot partition
<influx> on network configuration, you'll get these settings from your network admin
<lcModerator> Question: Do you need to install Linux before or After an Install of windows for dual boot?
<influx> i was just informed by ninjaz_ that indeed NT will work with lilo on the MBR and it will also handle large disks
<influx> its easier to install linux after windows
<LinuxWolf> Nt's bootloader can also be configured to add linux to it's options IIRC
<influx> if you reverse the order, windows will overwrite the mbr, ruining your dual boot... you can fix this, but its simpler to install windows first :)
<influx> any other questions on partitioning/lilo ?
<LinuxWolf> I have one
<influx> shoot :)
<LinuxWolf> some say swap= 2.5 times physical ram
<LinuxWolf> if on a machine with say 512mb of ram is this needed
<influx> for most cases, no
<influx> for a workstation you'll almost never need more than 512 MB of swap
<influx> in fact older linux kernels only supported a maximum of 128MB
<LinuxWolf> so should a user make the partion = to ram or 128mb
<influx> okay, in the networking, linux also supports DHCP, which will grab your settings automagically from the network if there is a DHCP server running
<influx> LinuxWolf: if i had 512MB, i'd probably go with a 128MB swap
<influx> you can always tune it later, or even just add a swap file
<influx> tallguy_ suggests that any kernel before 2.4.9, which the default 7.1 kernel is should have 2*RAM
<influx> as it will be needed
<influx> 2.4.10 has changes in the VM which deal with SWAP better :)
<influx> there are few hard and fast rules on the size of swap :)
<influx> as you are running, you can use the free command or top to see how much swap is being used
<influx> you'll be able to tell better from the workloads you see on your own system
<influx> once you've completed networking setup, the next step is firewall configuration
<influx> this is new for 7.1 and is a welcome improvement
<influx> its not a bad idea to just go with the default firewall rules and high security
<influx> especially with a workstation install, you've got a pretty good chance of remaining secure by default than previous redhats
<influx> as always, you'll still need to keep up to date with patches and security advisories
<influx> having a firewall doesn't mean you are completely invunerable, its just another layer of protection
<influx> once selected, hit next
<influx> here you can choose your timezone on a pretty little world
<LinuxWolf> especially important with usrs that have on-demand access like cable or dsl connection
<influx> exactly right
<influx> once you have your time zone, hit next
<influx> next is language support, if you only have one language you can just leave the default and hit next
<influx> here we come to account configuration
<LinuxWolf> sub-note
<LinuxWolf> choosing language also effects the way your computer uses language also. as in Brits use metric and most of the world. if you choose US then you would use F for tempature and so on
<influx> you'll be asked to set a root password and create at least one user account
<LinuxWolf> so your choice is important in more ways then 1
<influx> remember for root password, you should have a password length of at least six, with mixed caps, and numerals
<influx> a bad password would be: password, root, your name, birthday, social, spouses name, any word in the dictionary
<influx> a good password would be: jieufJ8
<influx> preferably even some special characters thrown in as well
<influx> also create a user account with a _different_ password from root
<influx> you should always use your user account only using the su command to switch to root for system level configurations
<influx> once you've added your accounts hit next
<influx> the next screen allows you to setup authentication... most users can leave on MD5 and shadow passwords ignorning the rest
<influx> NIS, LDAP, and Kerberos settings will be given to you by a network admin if you require them
<influx> MD5 and shadow passwords are an extra layer of security, leave them on if possible :)
<LinuxWolf> MD5 so you know is the replacement to yellow page
<influx> err NIS is the replacement to YP :)
<LinuxWolf> sorry NIS :)
<influx> md5 just allows 256 chars in the password field instead of 8 :)
<influx> okay
<influx> the next screen allows some basic package selection
<influx> most users can just use the defaults
<influx> note that GNOME and KDE are desktop environments
<influx> they include all kinds of nifty GUI programs, similar to a windows or mac system
<influx> you can install both and choose which one you prefer
<influx> hit next and we are in X config
<influx> X is the graphical system which handles the underlying GUI
<influx> red hat 7.1 does a great job of probing your video card
<influx> you can probably leave the default
<influx> otherwise select your card from the list
<influx> most modern monitors will also be autodetected
<influx> simply hit next or select your model
<influx> a note for video cards:
<influx> some of the newer NVIDIA and 3dfx don't include default support in linux
<influx> this isn't a flaw of linux, but the fact that some of these companies haven't released their specs or have only closed source drivers
<influx> nvidia for example does have drivers available for download, including opengl support
<influx> just be aware that they are closed source
<influx> its a good idea to check websites and newsgroups for which cards are best supported by which companies and buy from them :)
<influx> at this point, redhat is ready to install
<influx> it'll put the packages onto the hard drive
<influx> you may be prompted for the second CD-ROM
<influx> once they complete, you should have a working system, remove the cd, and reboot :)
<influx> any questions? :)
<influx> please note
<influx> that Red Hat Linux should be referred to with this capitalization and spacing :)
<LinuxWolf> <inshuru> asks do you need both cd's to do an install
<influx> the company is Red Hat and is traded by the symbol rhat on nasdaq
<influx> for most installs you do need both
<influx> if possible support Red Hat by buying their retail product
<influx> they also have support available
<LinuxWolf> gotta lovesupport
<LinuxWolf> :)
--- influx sets mode -m #live
<Spec> eLLo
<influx> i'll open the channel up for discussion/comments/questions
<spot> support is indeed, your friend. :)
<LinuxWolf> also a lot of computer manufactuers are now offering to ship your computer with either windows 2000 or Linux
<Dazman> it's spot
<Dazman> :)
<LinuxWolf> so the support of IBM, Dell, and HP is welcome also
--- ChanServ gives channel operator status to Dazman
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<LinuxWolf> as alloffer to ship your computer with Linux installed for you if you request it
* spot adds that if anyone has Red Hat Linux specific issues, feel free to drop by #redhat on this same network
<Spec> ops, sorry
--- Wintersun_afk is now known as Wintersun
<Hawkboy2k> you mentioned that 2.4.9 is the default but 2.4.10 has better VM...
<Hawkboy2k> As a newbie, should I venture into updating my kernel just for this?
<influx> actually i think 2.4.2 is the default
<spot> in Red Hat 7.1? 2.4.2 is the default.
<influx> upgrading the kernel can be kinda tricky at first, 2.4.2 is pretty good for general use
<Hawkboy2k> Okay. Plenty of RAM here anyway... :-)
<influx> yeah RAM is cheap these days :)
<LinuxWolf> a small note though dont try save yourold config of the kernel and import it into Xconfig
<LinuxWolf> you cant use the kernel source tar ball and use a rpm based kernel as the config
<Hawkboy2k> Opinions on purchasing the Red Hat Deluxe Workstation Package? Easier to get basic and then just get the apps I need?
<LinuxWolf> it will bork on you as redhat and mandrake both path their kernels to death
<LinuxWolf> path/patch
<Hawkboy2k> Good to know.
<LinuxWolf> Hawkboy2k: your welcome I just thought I save you the trouble a guesthad for days on end is all
--- Wintersun has changed the topic to: Thanks for joining #live! The log from today's even will be posted in the next couple of days | Please join us on Wednesday at 6pmPDT for "Configuring a Firewall with Linux"
<LinuxWolf> wasnot his fault at all
--- Wintersun has changed the topic to: Thanks for joining #live! The log from today's event will be posted in the next couple of days | Please join us on Wednesday at 6pmPDT for "Configuring a Firewall with Linux"
<LinuxWolf> he was attempting to use a rpm based kernel as the config while trying to upgrade the kernel from source. it wont work
<LinuxWolf> I cant say that enough, PLEASE learn how to build a kernel from source, and not rely on rpms
<LinuxWolf> takesa few trys but onece ya can do it, its a breeze
<influx> yeah, just make everything as possible a module so kudzu can autodetect it
<influx> seems to work pretty well
<TallGuy_> linuxwolf: With the ac patches you can have both. make rpm is a handy build target... :)
<LinuxWolf> I prefere use source
<LinuxWolf> but of course is choice
<influx> btw, anyone know if there are ext3 patches for 2.4.10?
<TallGuy_> linuxwolf: You can do both. Build it by hand, then make an rpm for easy installation :)
influx info 22:01:42 <xeno42> influx: you don't want 2.4.10
<LinuxWolf> TallGuy_: that to me makes no sence really. as no 2 computers are identicall unless, you had a office and all machines are the same
<TallGuy_> influx: Haven't seen one yet, nor an ac patch
<TallGuy_> linuxwolf : It makes sense when wanting to retain a complete rpm database (which I do prefer for security reasons)
<influx> guess i'll stick with 2.4.9 for awhile then :)
<xeno42> influx: probably best off running 2.4.9acFoo
<xeno42> influx: but if you're feeling suicidal: http://www.uow.edu.au/~andrewm/linux/ext3/
<xeno42> ;-)
<TallGuy_> influx: Oh, and btw, up2date is a great way to update a 6.2 box to 7.1 :)
<influx> wow didn't know that was possible :)
<TallGuy_> influx: Doing that now on my alpha... *grin**
<Ghop> Has the tutorial officially ended?
<influx> Ghop: yeah
<Ghop> Great, thanks, most informative!!
<LinuxWolf> Ghop: yes it has but you can ask ?'s and if someone knows will try answer
<TallGuy_> influx: VersionOverride=7.1 ; /usr/sbin/up2date -u ; if necessary resolve some dependencies by hand. :)
<influx> sweeeet
<TallGuy_> influx: It's a great way to do small incrementals (7.0 - 7.1 works flawlessly), and is doable for major upgrades. :)
<TallGuy_> influx: You just need enough room in /var/spool/up2date :)
<influx> TallGuy_: good deal, thats a good tip
<TallGuy_> influx: That's what I thought when I thought of it... :)
<Ghop> I need to play for a while, is this forum usually available for Q&A?
<TallGuy_> influx: Only try this with high bandwith though... No modems apply... :)
<influx> Ghop: we are here for events, but #linuxhelp is 24/7
<LinuxWolf> Ghop: no just live events i suggest #linuxhelp for general questions
<Ghop> Excellent, later...
<influx> Ghop: thanks for coming by :
<LinuxWolf> be well
<LinuxWolf> hope the event helped you
<wem> yes, thanks and see you wed for firewall event
--- Wintersun is now known as Wintersun_afk
<Hawkboy2k> Thanks to all for the tutorial!

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