How to install DSL to the hard drive

Forum: DSL Tips and Tricks
Topic: How to install DSL to the hard drive
started by: jhsu

Posted by jhsu on May 25 2007,04:10
(UPDATES: removed the step of erasing the hard drive, added the "dsl home=hda3 step)

1. Boot up DSL from the live CD.
2. Back up all files on your hard drive to an external memory device.  You MUST save all of your data, because installing an OS to the hard drive involves wiping out its entire contents.  DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THIS STEP.
3. When the hard drive erase program is finished, reboot.
4. Boot up DSL again from the live CD.  Go to XShells -> Root Access -> Dark
5. Enter the command "cfdisk".  You are now in the cfdisk application.
6. Delete any and all existing partitions.
7. Create a new partition (hda1) for holding the original DSL image file.  Make it a primary partition with a size of 55 MB.  Place it at the beginning of the drive, and make it bootable.
8. Select hda1 and make it type 83 (Linux).  Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
9. Select the Free Space and create a new partition for the swap drive.  Make it a primary partition with a size equal to double the RAM.  Place it at the end of the free space.
10. Select hda2 and make it type 82 (Linux swap).  Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
11. Select the Free Space and create a new partition for the main drive.  Make it a primary drive and use the default size (rest of the hard drive space).
12. Select hda3 and make it type 83 (Linux).  Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
13. Select Quit to exit cfdisk and format the partitions.  Enter the following commands:
sudo mke2fs /dev/hda1
sudo mke2fs /dev/hda3
sudo mkswap /dev/hda2
14. Reboot the computer.  When the big DSL splash screen appears, do nothing or press Enter if you are booting from the live CD.
15. When you are in DSL, go to DSL menu -> Apps -> Tools -> Frugal Install -> Frugal GRUB Install
16. Use hda1 as the target partition to hold the image.  Install from the live CD.  Select y to format.
17. When the hard drive installation is finished, reboot the computer, and remove the DSL CD when you are instructed to do so.  When you are asked to select one of multiple DSL options, choose the first (default) option.  At the DSL X setup, select cancel for the default configuration.
18. To save your configuration settings to the image file on the hard drive, go to DSL menu -> System -> Backup/Restore and backup to device "hda3".  If you mess up the configuration, restore from device "hda3".  Please save your configuration settings every time you successfully make the change you want, such as setting up the printer.
19. Reboot DSL with the live CD.  When you reach the splash screen, press F2 and enter "dsl home=hda3".  This saves the home directory to /mnt/hda3.

Posted by jpeters on May 25 2007,14:57
Interesting.  I always thought that reformating got rid of data while simply erasing did not. One suggestion; create more space for hda1 so that you can include a mydsl folder with apps that you want to load on bootup.
Posted by dougp on Aug. 02 2007,03:38
Just what this noobie needed: a take-me-by-the-hand & walk-me-thru-it.  I realize we can't all be nurse-maided all the time but what seems obvious to many is a complete mystery to others (like me).  
So this is really appreciated, especially how to save the configuration. Now if I could just figure out how to keep all those wonderful extensions I've downloaded so they're still there next time I reboot. ;)

Posted by kaKashi on Aug. 11 2007,10:56
how do you think, will it work for usb-hdd ?
Posted by curaga on Aug. 11 2007,12:11
why not. Just remember it's sda..
Posted by tinker on Aug. 11 2007,13:18
Just some minor points which might let you streamline your method.

I don't understand why you need to erase in step 3, you're going to repartition and format in later steps. Your note says you removed this step but it still appears as step 3.

While you are in cfdisk I believe that it is only necessary to do the write to disk operation once at the end and it will pickup all the changes made during that cfdisk session. If I was doing this I would choose to reboot after that operation to make sure the system sees my changes.

In step 13 you formatted hda1 and then in step 16 you chose to format hda1 again. Probably formatting a partition once is enough.

Posted by W6LQR on May 31 2008,19:35
I did a Frugal install, added several applications, did a system/backup, rebooted and did a system/restore but all my applications are gone!

can a .unc file be converted to a .dsl so I can go back to using a hard drive install which did save everything.


Posted by roberts on May 31 2008,20:11
mydsl extensions are NOT in your backup/resrtore.
It would take forever if that was the case!
Please read Getting Started again!

hint: Use a mydsl directory to save the downloaded extensions.

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