Mepis Install

Creating Custom Partions from Blank Drive

For : Mepis Linux

by : je.saist

Installing Mepis is simple and straight forward, but there are many types of installations that can be accomplished with a Linux Operating System.

This guide shows how to install Mepis Linux onto a blank disc by manually creating the hard-drive partitions with QT-Parted.

1: The first step is to click on the Install Me icon on the Mepis LiveCD

2: From here we have the Mepis OS Center and some of the tools for the Mepis version of Linux.

Click on Install MEPIS on Hard Drive

3: At this point we should see the Mepis Linux Copyright. Click Next

4: We should now have up our primary installation screen. Currently the dot here is place on the Custom Install.

5: Click on Run QTParted

6: It may take a few moments for QTParted to load.  We currently see three drives listed here. Our hard-drive, our CD, and the little flash drive from AMD. Currently our primary hard-drive is a little empty.

Take note of the lower Left-Hand corner. This is where your drive information is located at. Currently this is a Samsun Hard-drive with about 30 gigs of space.

7: Right Click on the /dev/hda-1

You should have a Menu come up with Property and Create.

Left Click on Create

8: The box before us is the parition creation dialog. Currently QTParted is set to format the entire drive as ext3. Lets change some of our settings here.

9: Left Click on the button labled MB and the drop down box should display 2 items, MB and GB

This stands for Megabytes and Gigabytes. Lets Left Click on GB

Notice in the Size box that it has gone from 28667.95 to 27.99.  This tells you that the size measuments have been successfully changed.

10: 27gigs of space is overkill for what will become our /root partition. Because of this, lets put a number, say like 5, into the size box

Now the system has specified 5 gigabytes of space for our primary partition. Click OK

11: Now the right hand table should update itself to show two sections. One should be a our new 5gig space and the other should be the remaining portion of the hard-drive.

12: Right Click on our free space and we should have that Property and Create menu again.

Left Click on Create

13: Now we are going to change the Partition Type.

Left Click on the Down Arrow next to Partition Type.

We should now have a list of all of the formats that QTParted can create.

14: Select Linux Swap with a Left Click

15: Once the Linux Swap is selected, lets change the percent of space to access. On the right hand side of the box we should see Percent of unallocated space:

Change the number to 5

On the left hand side of the box, you'll see that the size changes as you play with the percentage of space on the drive. A general rule of thumb is that your swap space needs to be equal to your ram. But, since I have lots of space to work with, I'm going to leave the swap space at around a full gigabyte.

Once the space amount is selected, Hit OK

16: The right hand table should update yet again to now show the primary partition and our new linux-swap partition.

17: Right Click on our duck space and we should have that Property and Create menu again.

Left Click on Create

(what, you thought this was all copy and paste?)

18: This final amount will wind up being our future /home partition. Because of this, there isn't much to change here. Unless you want to add another partition in later, go ahead and

Clickfile:///mnt/flash1/install/install-18.png OK

19: And there we have all 3 of our partitions, ready to be used.

20: In the upper left hand corner there should be an icon shaped like a floppy disc. When you move the mouse over it, you should have commit appear.

Left Click on the Commit Icon

21: This will bring up a dialog warning you that you are about to format the drive.

Click YES

22: This shouldn't take too long to finish.

23: When QTParted finishes, it will give you a message stating that the Operations were completed successfully.

Click OK

24: Then click on the X to close QTParted.

25: When the Mepis OS Center loads back up, go ahead and Click Next

26: Lets talk about partitions for a second.

The /root partition is the actual Operating System section. Any and all programs that are loaded with the LinuxOS tend to go into /root. Applications obtained through apt also install to the partition.  If you plan on adding a lot of applications to your Debian Linux system using apt it is probably a good idea to have a large /root partition.

The /swap partition is the "virtual" memory of the computer. When applications exceed the onboard ram, they are written to the /swap. Those with large amounts (512meg+) of RAM can probably get away with having no swap file.

The /home partition is where all the user data goes. Any documents, music, videos, or whatever the user does are placed in /home. For the typical user, it is a good choice to have a large /home partition.

For some reason though, the Mepis installer almost always defaults to the largest available partition. Because of this, we need to make sure that our /root partition points to hda1

27: The /swap partition generally either has a listing for none or existing, or a listing for the specified swap.

In this case we have specified the formatted partition for /swap

28: Once the /swap has been chosen, lets take a look at the /home partition. Currently the installer wants to install /home on the same partition as /root

Lets change that.

29: Hit the down arrow next to root and select hda3 with a left click

30: There we go. Now our partitions are chosen for the install.

31: Moving on, the next item to look at is the FileSystem Type.  If you want to get fancy, you can set your /home partition to not be one of the native formats listed here, which are ext3, reiserfs, and ext2.  However, this guide doesn't cover those items.

ext3 is an enhanced version of ext2, and is a good choice for new users. It is not the fastest file system available, but it does work.

32: Once the file system type is chosen, there is the option to have the installer check the hard-drive for bad blocks if so desired.  This is not critical to a succesful install.

Go ahead and Click Next

33:  At this point Mepis will ask if it's alright to format the primary partition.

Go ahead and click Yes

34: Then Mepis will ask if it is okay to format for the swap.

Click Yes to turn the page

35: Thrice will Mepis ask, and the third time it shalt be questioned if Mepis shalt format for the /home partition

Click Yes to join the Brotherhood of the Twisted Pair

36: This part can take a while depending on how fast the systems I/O is.

That means it's dependant on how fast your CD drive and hard-drive are. Not necessarily how fast the processer is or how much memory the system has.  Have a slow hard-drive? Be prepared to wait a while.

37: Eventually Mepis will ask about the Grub Bootloader.

You can do a couple of things here. If everything works under Kernel 2.6, you might want to have Mepis install 2.6 only. It saves some space and simplifies the bootloader.

Do make sure that Grub is installed in the MBR

And also make sure that the system boot disk is HDA

38: Click Yes to install the bootloader

39: Click OK when the message comes up that Grub has installed fine. If it doesn't install...

well, use the browser to get online and post a message containing the exact error.

40: Fill out the Username and Password.

New to recent versions of Mepis is the requirement to specify a password.  Mepis will not allow you to continue if no password is set.

Click Next when the passwords have been entered.

41: Fill in with the network information.

If you are not planning on running Mepis on a Local Area Network, you do not have to fill these in.  If you do intend to run multiple computers on a network, make sure the Computer Name is different on each one.

Click Next

43: This is where you can set services to turn on when the system boots up.

Since this system uses XGI's volari, the option to install an accelerated driver isn't currently present.  Although the Volari is an excellent choice for a Linux box.

Click Next

44: If you have a non US keyboard, or want to change the system time, this can be done so from this dialog box.

Click Next

45:  Alright, Click Finish

46: And Click Yes to /reboot

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Document made with Nvu