Minimal Linux Installation

Aims:

  • To complete a plan of an operating system installation on a host computer
  • To perform the tasks required during system installation

References:

LDP document on preparing to install Linux (Section 2)
Linux installation Datasheet (or your modifiied copy from last week's Tutorial exercise)
NetLab LabNotes

Exercises:

The following exercises are to be conducted by each tutorial group. In order to complete this exercise during the tutorial your group will need to be well prepared and not waste too much time. Your group will need:
  1. a removable disk from the TWO-series of drives to be allocated to your group and used in this and subsequent tutorials
  2. two or more neighbouring desktop machines
  3. a desktop hub and power pack
  4. a set of UTP network cables
  5. FedoraCore2 CD set
  6. a 1.44Mb diskette for use as a Linux Boot Diskette
Most of these will be organised for you by you tutor or can be downloaded from the Unit web pages in the Resources section.
It is very important that each member of the group take detailed notes of the steps followed during this tutorial, as this will help to prevent errors and make it easier to follow the correct procedure should you need to repeat it in future tutes. For example, it is entirely possible that you will need to reformat the hard disk and start again if there is some catastrophic error. Being able to refer back to detailed notes will make this a lot easier (:-).

Complete the Plan of an Operating System installation

    Refer back to your Linux Installation Datasheet from last week.
    Make sure that you have completed the sections on
    • BIOS configuration,
    • Disk partitioning,
    • NIC configuration,
    • IP configuration.
    Confirm the completed datasheet with your Tutor before proceeding.

Initial Linux Installation

This stage takes about 30-40 minutes and is described in Installing and Configuring a Minimal Fedora Linux Server,
but you may first need to:
  1. Switch off the power and plug in your group's disk drive.
  2. After seating the drive and turning on the power, verify that the drive is recognised by BIOS during the Power-On-Self-Test (POST).
  3. Press the Delete key on the keyboard shortly after the first "beep" during boot. This will open the BIOS configuration window. Confirm that the boot sequence shows the CDROM drive before the C drive.

Investigating the new Linux installation

  1. Using a local desktop hub, connect your new server and one or more other desktop machines into a local network. Make sure that this network is isolated from the ITS network by unplugging all unnecessary UTP cables.
  2. Does your newly created Linux disk Boot?
  3. Are there any failures or other errors during the boot sequence? How can these be resolved?
  4. List the services currently installed by typing in the ntsysv command. Which of the listed services are actually running?
  5. Where are the system log files? (Hint: look in /var)
  6. From another PC plugged into the same desktop hub, try logging into the server using telnet.
    Did this work? If not, why not?
  7. Try to connect to the server using secure shell ssh command (you may need to install putty or the TeraTerm  ssh 
  8. If you installed the tftp service, try it out by uploading and downloading some files from the /tftpboot directory on your new server. Examine the log files to confirm the server activity.
  9. Your Tutor may ask to see the working system and services and any notes take during the exercise.

Completing the Tutorial Exercise

Make sure that you clean up and reset the machinery before leaving the tutorial. You should:
  1. logout and shutdown your machines correctly
  2. remove the removeable drive and return it to your Tutor for safe storage
  3. replace any desktop hubs and reconnect any cables that you used so that the Lab network setup is returned to its standard hardware and software configuration. Remember that other students will be using the Lab after you, and have a care for the sort of environment they will find after you leave!!
  4. reinstall the ONE-series disk drive and make sure that the machine boots correctly, then shut it down correctly.
  5. Check with your tutor before leaving.