Installing Core Linux

Installing Core Linux is covered in this article (on the front page of coredistro.org as it happens!). The descriptions are clear; however, we will expand on the instructions listed there.

Let’s assume that you’ve already burned the ISO and booted with the CDROM. Once the system has booted, you’ll see this screen:

Core Linux Boot Screen

Log in as root (which has no password). First, figure out which disk to work with. The disk is most likely either /dev/hda (first IDE drive) or /dev/sda (first SCSI drive). You can see whether these disks exist by searching dmesg for sda and for hda.

Once the disk is determined, we must begin laying out the disk. In my configuration, I used fdisk to create three partitions:

  • /boot partition of 500M
  • Swap partition of 1G
  • / partition of the rest (about 7G)

With this configuration, it is then necessary to (of course) create the filesystems:

mkfs -t ext2 -j /dev/sda1
mkfs -t ext2 -j /dev/sda3

The -j option creates what is commonly called an ext3 partition – which is in reality, and ext2 partition with a journal file attached. But that’s another post.

After the filesystems are created, then they must be mounted under /mnt as the complete environment would be layed out. For this example, that means:

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

After this is done, the actual process of installing Core Linux can begin. At the prompt, type:

install_core /mnt

Messages will appear like these:

Core Linux Install Messages

Once this completes, a message comes back:

Install complete - the next step is to chroot into /mnt and install grub

Next installment… setting up grub.

One thought on “Installing Core Linux”

  1. The fdisk included with most Linux distro’s supports the “-l” switch, which I find helpful in figuring out where disks and partitions live:


    # fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x898c898c

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 7153 57456441 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 7154 14284 57279757+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda3 14285 14593 2482042+ 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 14285 14593 2482011 82 Linux swap / Solaris

    WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sdb'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.

    Disk /dev/sdb: 400.0 GB, 400088457216 bytes
    256 heads, 63 sectors/track, 48451 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16128 * 512 = 8257536 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00000000

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 1 48451 390708832+ b W95 FAT32

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