Linux Training : 4. Initial OS installation

OS Installation

RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the default system installed. The current version is RHEL 5.5.

Prior to booting, ensure the SATA controller is in AHCI mode in BIOS or formatting the disk will be very slow. Among other reasons.

After placing the installation disc in the drive, there are a number of boot flags from which to choose that decide what system will be installed.

The final required flag name is constructed as: architecture_(server/client)level. Where architecture is _32 or 64, server/client is server for headless systems or client for a GUI install, and level is one of o for outside, or 2, 3, or 4 for a P level.

For dual-monitor client setups, also use the flag NVIDIA=twinview.

After this step, the installation is fully automated and WILL erase and reinitialize the boot hard disk.

During the installation, more information can be found under the following virtual terminals: (ctrl-alt-f#)

  • 2: A shell
  • 3: Log messages
  • 4: dmesg
  • 6: The GUI installer

The log during execution of the post-install scripts can be viewed in the shell with tail -f /mnt/sysimage/root/RHEL5-configure.log. During the installation, the primary disk is mounted at /mnt/sysimage/.

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X Windows settings and techniques

Most desktop installs are running dual screens in Xinerama mode (where the two screens act a single large screen). The /etc/X11/xorg.conf that makes this happen is

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     "Default Layout"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"

Section "Files"
        ModulePath   "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules/extensions/nvidia"
        ModulePath   "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules"

Section "Module"
        Load  "extmod"
        Load  "glx"
        Load  "dbe"
        Load  "extmod"

Section "ServerFlags"
        Option      "Xinerama" "0"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Keyboard0"
        Driver      "kbd"
        Option      "XkbModel" "pc105"
        Option      "XkbLayout" "us"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier   "Monitor0"
        VendorName   "Unknown"
        ModelName    "DELL 1801FP"
 ### Comment all HorizSync and VertSync values to use DDC:
        HorizSync    30.0 - 80.0
        VertRefresh  56.0 - 75.0

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Videocard0"
        Driver      "nvidia"
        VendorName  "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName   "GeForce GTX 285"
        Option      "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"
        Option      "DisableGLXRootClipping" "True"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen0"
        Device     "Videocard0"
        Monitor    "Monitor0"
        DefaultDepth     24
        Option      "TwinView" "1"
        Option      "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-0"
        Option      "metamodes" "CRT: 1280x1024_60 +0+0, DFP: nvidia-auto-select +1280+0"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth     24

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