1. System requirements
2. Preparing hard drive Partitions
2.1 Tools for Windows/DOS
2.2 Tools for Linux
2.3 VectorLinux Included Tools
3. Obtaining VectorLinux
3.1 Tools for Windows
3.2 Tools for Linux
4. Installing VectorLinux
4.1 Supported controllers
4.2 Direct ISO Install on a Windows Host
4.3 Direct ISO Install on a Linux Host
4.4 Bootable CD Install
4.5 USB Device Install
4.6 Network Install
4.7 Floppy and CD Install
5a. The Graphical Installation process: step by step
5b. The Text-Based Installation process: step by step
5c. Text-Based Post-install configuration
5c.1 Set up Lilo
5c.2 Configuring VectorLinux
7. Using the system for the first time
7.1 Login to VectorLinux
7.2 System administration
7.3 Create passwords and users
7.4 Reboot and Shutdown
For the users convenience and choice
VectorLinux releases several editions - called the Standard, SOHO,
Deluxe, Live and Light editions. The Standard Edition is our
"foundation" distribution - a fast and stable but complete distro
that fits on ~3GB of hard drive space and includes the xfce desktop
environment. It will work well on most older computers and
positively flies on newer ones. The SOHO Edition (Small Office,
Home Office) includes the more extensive KDE desktop environment
along with OpenOffice and many office and multimedia applications
for today's modern computers. The Deluxe Editions are available for
purchase in Standard or SOHO CD's along with a second CD with
1000MB of extra applications including FreeRock Gnome, KDE,
Enlightenment17, Opera and others. You help support VectorLinux by
purchasing our Deluxe Versions. The Live version enables you to use
VL's fast, secure operating system on any computer, or to try out
VectorLinux for the first time without actually installing. The
Light edition is for those with old computers, low RAM or dialup
Internet. Each edition has specific hardware requirements. Please
ensure you have read the requirements for the edition you are about
to install before proceeding. The good news is that the
installation procedure for all editions is basically the same and
following table lists system requirements for the various editions
|Hard Drive (root)
|Hard Drive (swap)
|Hard Drive (home)
||800x600 pixels, 16 bits color
||1024x768 pixels, 24 bits color
||1024x768 pixels, 24 bits color
||1024x768 pixels, 24 bits color
||800x600 pixels, 16 bits color
Of course, you
will also need a compatible keyboard, mouse, and a CDROM drive.
Other hardware components such as a network card, modem, sound
card, CD-writer, DVD, printer, etc., are optional. Linux also
supports modern USB devices including pen drives, digital cameras,
2. Understanding Hard Drive
For newbies this
is probably the most difficult but also the most important concept
to learn before installing any operating system on a
computer. Before an operating system or data can be stored on a
hard drive that drive must be partitioned and then each partition
must be formatted for a specific filesystem. A partition is a
physical or logical "part" of the hard drive. A filesystem is a
storage container and "database" for storing files. For more
details about partitions please read this and
for details on Linux filesystems go here.
In the Microsoft
Windows or default Ubuntu Linux install process usually only one
partition and one filesystem encompassing the entire hard drive is
created. In MS Windows this process tends to be hidden from the
user. So when you install MS Windows (or if you have a computer
with only MS Windows pre-installed) it tends to wipe out any other
partitions that may have existed on your drive. On the other hand
VectorLinux and many other Linux distros provide you with the
option and ability to delete, save, create or resize partitions and
to format those partitions with different filesystems. This enables
you to have more than one operating system on one hard drive (i.e.
"dual boot") and enables easier and more secure backups.
If you intend to
dual boot your computer with both MS Windows and VL you should
install Windows first. This is because in its narcissistic
presumptions Windows takes over the entire hard drive. If you
intend to install Windows after VL then you will need to do the
- use the "gparted" application from a Live Linux CD to reduce
the size of your "/home" partition
- install MS Windows to the now free space on your hard
- re-run the lilo or grub boot loader install process from the VL
Install CD to overwrite the Windows master boot record (MBR). Lilo
or Grub will find the Windows partition and add it to the boot
already have only MS Windows on your hard drive the entire drive
will have already been dedicated to Windows (probably denoted as
C:). In order to install VL on the same hard drive which already
contains a MS Windows operating system you must reduce the size of
the Windows partition to give you room to install Linux. The
easiest way to do this is to use the gparted application from
Live Linux CD.
Almost all Live Linux CD's (including VectorLinux LIVE) contain the
gparted application. Documentation for gparted is available from
its Help Menu or online here.
If you are
simply installing VL and VL alone and you want to take over the
entire hard drive for VL then you do not need to do any of the
above. The VL install CD includes partitioning software that can do
partitioning during the install process.
2.1 Partitions Recommended for
For an efficient
Linux install the developers at VectorLinux recommend that when you
install VL you consider creating the following partitions:
You may prepare these partitions prior
to the installation by using partitioning software (such as
gparted) or you may actually prepare your hard disk partitions
during the install process (this latter method is easier and is
recommended for all newbies). You should at least know the
partition sizes you want for root, home and swap beforehand (see
- Root partition: this is the main
partition to install the Linux system and all software programs.
See the table above for our recommended minimum root partition
sizes for each VL version. You should also include additional space
to install other applications at a later date. As a rough guideline
make your root partition at least 5GB in size.
- Swap partition: required to enable
virtual memory. It expands the capacity of your actual random
access memory (RAM), so that you can run more programs at the same
time. It should be twice the size of your actual computer's RAM, up
to a maximum of about 1GB.
- Home partition: for storing your own
data. Only you ca determine how large this should be. If you intend
to store lots of music and video files it will need to be at least
10GB in size, probably much larger. Normally, most users use up as
much of the remaining hard drive space (after creating "root" and
"swap") as possible for their home partition. The advantage of
having a /home partition distinct from root ("/") is that at any
time you can simply image (ghost) the /home partition to preserve
your data files and you can also install a new version of VL
without overwriting all your setup files and data.
2.2 Linux partition naming
presents hard drive partitions to the user as: C:, D:. E:, etc.
However, Unix/Linux uses a different notation. Firstly, a computer
may have more than one hard drive. Linux maps each hard drive as a
device. For example:
If you have only one IDE hard drive, it
is almost certainly "/dev/hda". The second hard drive could be
/dev/hdb or /dev/hdc, depending on which controller it is
- /dev/hda : primary controller Master
- /dev/hdb : primary controller Slave
- /dev/hdc : secondary controller
Master IDE drive.
- /dev/hdd : secondary controller
Slave IDE drive.
- /dev/sda : first SATA/SCSI
- /dev/sdb : second SATA/SCSI
Next, each hard
drive can be divided into four PRIMARY partitions. For the first
hard drive (/dev/hda), they are mapped as /dev/hda1 .. /dev/hda4,
respectively. But what if you want more than four partitions?
Unfortunately, four is a legacy
limit you can do nothing about. The work-around is that one of the
primary partitions (/dev/hda2 .. /dev/hda4) can be used as an
EXTENDED partition. Inside the extended partition, you may create
more LOGICAL partitions. The logical partitions are named
/dev/hda5, /dev/hda6 and so on.
All SATA drives
will be labelled as "/dev/sda" and for the second drive as
"/dev/sdb", ... etc.
Each edition of
VectorLinux is distributed as an ISO (.iso) "image" file. To obtain
it and prepare it for installation the steps are:
If you don't have a good, fast Internet
connection, or a CD-writer, you may order a well-prepared CD from
- Decide which edition of VectorLinux
you want. Download the ISO image file (.iso) and the corresponding
md5 checksum file (.md5). The download sites are listed at the
download page and also in the Overview
- You should check the image file
before burning it to a CD, to make sure it has not been corrupted
during download transmission. For that, you need to do an "md5sum
check", that means comparing the "fingerprint" of your image file
(.iso) against the fingerprint stored in the checksum file
- Note that VL allows you to install
the .iso file directly without actually burning to a CD first (see
Install Methods below), so if you do not wish to burn a CD you
don't have to. If you do burn the image onto a CD using a CD-writer
and ensure that you burn the .iso image as an IMAGE, not as a data
file. If you burn the .iso as a data file you will not be able to
boot your new CD. Check your CD burning software documentation on
how to burn as an "image".
Checksum Tools for MS Windows
download the ISO image and MD5 checksum using any web browser, FTP
client, or download manager. However, some web browsers
(Internet Explorer, for instance) have a tendency to
rename .md5 files as .htm or .txt. You can
just rename it back to .md5.
integrity checking, download and unzip the GUI tool md5summer. On initial use it asks
permission to associate the extension .md5 with itself. If you
agree, you just need to double-click on a .md5 file to check the
integrity of the original file (as long as they are both in the
same folder). Otherwise, you have to manually browse to the .md5
file within the md5summer interface, then click on the
button and select the
.md5 file. If you get an OK for the VL .iso image file, you can
proceed to burn it as an image (see notes above re proper
After that, you may want to burn the ISO
image onto a CD (but you don't have to - see below). For this, use
the program that is provided by your CD-writer (e.g: Adaptech CD
Writer, or Nero Burner). Ensure you burn as an IMAGE not as a
3.2 Checksum Tools for Linux
Most Linux systems already have the tools
so you will not have to download any utilities. Here is how to do
that on Linux console/terminal in three steps:
Instead of the command line you can of
course use "k3b" for the above jobs.
Downloading the ISO image and MD5:
(** Replace the pathname ??? above with correct path **)
Checking the integrity:
md5sum -c vl-6.0.???.iso.md5.txt
Burning the ISO onto a CD:
cdrecord -v fs=6m speed=4 dev=2,0 vl-6.0.???.iso
To obtain VectorLinux you need to
either purchase a Deluxe CD from our CD Store or download an "iso"
image from a VectorLinux
mirror site. Once connected to the mirror site navigate to the
...distr/vectorlinux/veclinux-6.0 directory at the mirror site you
have chosen. Within that directory you will see two subdirectories:
/iso-release and /iso-soho (amongst others). The /iso-release
directory is where you will find iso images for the VL 6.0 Standard
and VL 6.0 Standard Live Editions. The /iso-soho directory is where
you will find iso images for VL 6.0 SOHO Edition (when available).
Then download your iso of choice.
starting the installation, you must know two things: 1) what type
of hard drive controller your computer has and 2) which method you
will use to install. Today, there are three common hard drive
controllers: IDE, SCSI, SATA and Adaptec(for CDROMS). You must boot
the installation using the kernel that supports your controller.
The default kernel works for SATA-IDE drives (which probably
includes about 95% of today's desktop/laptop computers). The second
concern is which install method to use. This depends on the
capability of the target computer. VectorLinux can be installed via
one of these methods:
- Direct ISO File from a Windows host.
- Direct ISO File from a Linux host.
- Bootable CD.
- from a USB device.
- from a network.
- Floppy disk and CD.
VectorLinux supports and can be installed on systems
using SATA/IDE/ATA hard drive controllers - the most popular ones
in laptop/desktop systems. Another well known standard is a SCSI
controller, but due to its high pricing, it is only common on
commercial server systems.
If you are
having difficulties using your SATA drives, make sure you have set
the BIOS correctly. In a nutshell, set the BIOS to "Enhanced
mode SATA only". This is counter intuitive, but it means use
enhanced mode only on the SATA, not just use the SATA and
turn off the PATA. If you set it to enhanced mode SATA+PATA, the
kernel will lock as it tries to use an IDE driver for the SATA
controller. Your symptoms will be that the kernel install may hang
after detecting hda - hdd.
Please know your hard drive
controller type because it determines the kernel required for
installation. The default kernel supports the SATA/IDE controllers
(this is the one for probably 99% of workstation computers on the
market). Otherwise, you need to specify either "scsi" or "adaptec"
kernel during the install.
4.2 Direct ISO on a Windows
This is a new method that will save you having to
burn a CD. Assume that you already have Windows running on the
computer, and the partitions have been prepared as suggested
- Download your iso of choice as
described above. Move it to the top level directory (C:\ or D:\).
Don't forget to check its integrity as explained
- You MUST now rename the iso to
follow DOS 8.3 filename specs (e.g. VL60.ISO, not
vl60.1.24vl6.iso), and the filename should be all capital
- The next files should be placed into
Get it from “install/loadlin/” directory within the FTP
Find it as “isolinux/initrd.img” within the FTP
- The kernel file that matches
your system (ide, scsi, sata, adaptec)
You may select one of them from “isolinux/kernel/”
directory within FTP site.
Then proceed with the
- Shutdown Windows to DOS
- Type “cd C:\loadlin”
<enter> (without quotes)
- Type “loadlin ide
root=/dev/ram rw initrd=initrd.img” <enter> (without
You should replace the
“ide” with the name of the kernel that you downloaded
earlier. The standard installation process will be
4.3 Direct ISO on a Linux
If you have another Linux running on the
computer, this method will be easy. You need to download the
following files into a directory (e.g: /home/download):
Now go to the text console (press
Cntrl-Alt-F1) and login as root. Proceed as follows:
- The chosen VectorLinux ISO image
Find it as “install/vinstall/vinstall-iso” within the
- Switch to run level 2 (or 3 in
init 2 <enter>
- Go to the directory where you
downloaded the files, i.e.: /home/download
- Now, install using the ISO file
./vinstall-iso vl-6.0.iso <enter>
4.4 Bootable CD
method if you already have the VL install CD, and your computer is
capable of booting it.
First, you may need to change the
boot order. Changing the boot order allows your system to boot from
different devices like your hard drive, floppy drive or CDROM
When you select an installation method, you might have to set up
your system to boot accordingly. To do this, immediately after your
computer starts up go to the BIOS options setup screen (1).
There should be an option for boot order (general options are C
drive, A drive, CDROM drive, etc). Choose which should boot first
(in this case CDROM drive), save out of the BIOS screens and
restart the computer. You can change the boot order back when you
are finished installing VL.
(1)Not all systems use the "Delete" key to enter the BIOS. Some
systems use one of the function keys (F1-F12). Some use a
combination of keystrokes. Often the initial boot screen when you
turn on your computer will tell you which keystroke to use to enter
the BIOS setup. If not, check your computer or motherboard manual.
Failing that check your computer manufacturer's website
documentation for your specific computer model #.
After the boot order is properly
set, place the VL installation CD in the CD drive and reboot the
system. The boot process will give you a prompt. This is the chance
for you to select the correct kernel that supports your controller.
If you do NOT have a SCSI or Adaptec controller (99% of machines
don't), then simply press [enter] to use the default kernel
(sata/ide) with the graphical installer. Otherwise, type the kernel
you want, e.g:
If you wish to use the text based install
procedure (recommended if you have installed VL before, are not a
newbie and/or prefer a slightly faster install process) then type
"linux" at the first line install prompt.
That's it. The chosen graphical install
procedure will then be started.
USB Stick Install
Two methods for
installing VL from a USB stick (pen drive) are discussed here on the
VL Forum. These methods have not yet been confirmed by other
users but do apparently work.
You may install
VL from a network as long as your computer is capable of booting
from a network (a PXE boot). This is useful for some laptops that
don't have an optical drive and are not capable of booting from a
USB device. The method is explained here on our
allows you to install VectorLinux using the VL CD (any edition) and
two floppy disks. You may have to use this method if the target
computer cannot boot from the CD (especially on older laptops). We
assume that you already have the VectorLinux CD prepared and ready.
You may use it to create the floppies on another Windows or a Linux
host. Preparation on a Windows HOST is as follow:
On a Linux host, the preparation is as
Now with the VectorLinux CD and the two
- Launch a terminal
- Insert the CD and mount
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
- Insert blank floppy #1, write the
kernel image into it using this command:
cat /mnt/cdrom/install/floppy/bare.i > /dev/fd0
- Take out floppy #1, Insert floopy
#2, enter this command:
cat /mnt/cdrom/install/floppy/rootdisk.img > /dev/fd0
- Set the computer to boot from the
- Insert the CD
- Insert the floppy #1
- Boot the computer
- On the boot: prompt, press
- After asked, replace floppy #1 with
- VL install screen will
5a. The Graphical (GUI Based)
Installation Process: Step by Step
When you launch the installation
process, the first screen presented to you lets you choose either
the default kernel (IDE/SATA) or another kernel (by pressing F1).
Normally you just hit the enter key unless you have a SCSI or
ADAPTEC hard drive. After a few seconds the graphical installer
will launch. For the most part the graphical installer is intuitive
and self-explanatory. However, the following sections will touch on
some of perhaps the more confusing issues that may be faced by
newcomers to VectorLinux.
The first GUI installer screen is
seen below. For all of the installer screens to following
- the leftmost
rectangular panel simply shows the progress of the install, with a
red dot indicating the current process
- the right panel is
the area where the user may need to make input choices
- the bottom buttons
will always be: "Back" to go back to the previous install process,
"Exit Installation" to immediately exit the Install (however, if
you have made changes to partitions these will already be made and
there is no backtracking from that process) and "Next" to go to the
next Install process after you have made choices in the rightmost
In this first
process you choose the language for both the install as well as for
the Linux operating system itself:
The second GUI
installer screen - "Find Installation Media" is seen below. This
screen enables the user to choose a particular VL ISO that may be
located on either one of your hard disk partitions, a USB device or
an optical device. In the vast majority of cases it will find the
VL CD you burned to install and the screen is really just for
information purposes. However, if you have a number of VL ISO files
on different devices then you click on the upper information widget
to choose which ISO you wish to install. Information is also
provided to you on absolute minimum hard drive space install
requirements. Then click Next.
Now comes the
disk partitioning process. If you are a newbie and have not already
done so please ensure that you have read section 2 above concerning
partitioning. At this point you are given the option to use
existing disk partitions which you may have already created with
other partitioning software, or to modify (and create) partitions
from within the installer. The latter option is the easiest
If you chose the
option to "Modify" above you are then presented with the "gparted"
application to either delete, resize, create, format new or
existing partitions. gparted documentation is available here so we
will not reiterate that information here.
The next step is
to choose the partitions for the VL install and how to use them.
Click the upper right Help button for more info. A complete list of
partitions found on your hard drives is presented to you. We
suggest you reread Section 2.1 above concerning recommended VL
partitions and then proceed by selecting the "mount point" (ie:
"root" / , "swap" swap and "home" /home). You should then choose a
filesystem (either ext3 or reiserfs are recommended for normal home
On the next two
screens the user selects whether to do a full install (recommended)
or custom install. The custom install is really only necessary
where the user has hard drive space limitations. The difference
between a frugal and full install is really only about 1.5GB of
space. By clicking on the left side of the package name the user
can choose whether or not to install a specific package. Obviously,
this should only be done if the user knows what the package is
actually used for!
The next screen
is an installation summary. Ensure your chosen partitions are
correct as are the packages you want to omit, because the next
stage is the actual installation to the hard drive of all the
system files and packages.
VectorLinux operating system files and packages installation is
then shown with accurate status bars. On modern computers this
process should take less than 15 minutes.
installation of system files is complete the system configuration
steps are started - the first of these being to install the
Loader - "lilo" boot manager. For newbies we suggest that you
go with the default values as presented to you and click the "Next"
button. Lilo will find any other operating systems on your hard
drives (such as Windows if this is a dual boot installation) and
will create and entry for all operating systems in the boot loader.
For more advanced users this panel enables you to:
- not /usr/share/vim/vim71/compiler/tidy.viminstall lilo (for
instance if VL is a second distro and you already have grub)
- install the boot loader to somewhere other than the MBR (eg: a
floppy disk or USB device)
- choose whether or not to include a specific operating system on
the boot menu
- choose the name for the OS as it will appear on the boot
- choose kernel boot options for each specific OS
- choose the video resolution for the boot loader; useful where
you might have an older 15" monitor
We now select
then prompts for a root password. If you want proper Unix based
security you must enter a hard root password on this screen.
You may now
enter as many users as you wish. You should always have at least
one user account which you will use as your normal account -
normally you would just use your first name in lowercase letters
for this account. Never use the root account for normal work. To do
so violates the basic strong security for which Unix/Linux is
famous. In the "Rights Management" panel we suggest you leave the
default values unless you are an experienced Linux user and have
specific requirements for access rights for a particular user. once
you have entered user details you must click then click the
"Create User" button. You may create a number of users on this same
On the Network
Configuration screen you must give your computer both a name and
domain name. It is recommended that for normal home network
configurations you keep the defaults as prsented, i.e. use WiCD to
manage the networks, use DHCP to domain name service, etc. If you
have a wireless device and a regular ethernet device they will show
as tabs: "eth0" and "ath0" or "wlan0". You can configure each
network device separately, but for newbies the defaults will
probably suffice. Manual DNS servers specifications are only for
networks where you have been given a specific IP address. Most
Internet Service Providers (ISP) use DHCP.
Hardware Configuration screen requires no input. It simply notifies
you that the VL installation is now complete and you may reboot the
computer. Upon reboot there will still be some hardware
configuration setup requiring input from the user. For that
information please jump to Section 5c.2 below.
5b. The Text-Based
Installation Process: Step by Step
When you launch the installation
process, the first screen presented to you lets you choose either
the default kernel (IDE/SATA) or another kernel (by pressing
The installation will take a little
while, so you may have a short break. The installation time will
vary depending on your system´s speed. It can be as quick as
10 minutes. After some minutes, your monitor screen may go blank as
it enters a power saving mode. If it does, press
[SHIFT] on the keyboard to restore your monitor.
DO NOT hit [enter] or [space] as you could inadvertently accept a
choice the install routine might have reached at that
- Start up – On the next screen
you have four options:
- Select the keymap to be used during
the installation. You should select this menu for the first time if
your keyboard in a non-US layout.
- Start the installation. The reason
why we are here!
- Repair lilo (Linux Loader). This is
a handy utility in case you have an installed Vector Linux, but
somehow you cannot boot it because of a corrupted LILO.
- Exit. This will bring you to the
Linux command prompt. It might be required if something is wrong
with the installation and you are capable enough at the Linux
command line to fix it manually.
- Once you start the installation, the
routine will look for the installation media in the following
If a media is found, it will ask you
to confirm. Select Yes to proceed, No to search another
- Any hard drive partition that
contains installation files
- Any hard drive partition that
contains the ISO file in the top directory
- CDROM drive
- The next screen shows you the hard
drive requirements of the soon to be installed edition. If you have
already set up your partitions, then start the installation now.
Otherwise you can create or modify the hard drive partitions using
the built in tools. RESIZE menu is a simple front end for
GNUParted. Meanwhile the FDISK menu will launch a menu-driven
partitioning program called cfdisk (see the three images
following). Warning: do not proceed to the INSTALL menu if you
don't have the required 3 partitions (root, swap and home) at the
required sizes, because the install will surely
- You are now presented with a list of
the next steps the routine will perform, it goes through each of
these steps in order.
- In the check-files screen, you may
choose which files are to be verified for any damage or corruption.
If you are confident enough about them you could skip the
verification, but if the files are somehow damaged the installation
will probably fail later. If you have already done an md5sum
check on the .iso file then this step is probably
- Now the routine will present you
with any swap partition detected. Choose the swap partition to use
and select OK..
- The next step is to choose your root
partition. This is the partition on which you want to install
VectorLinux. You will have the chance to select a different
partition for your /home directory later.
- Then select the filesystem you
prefer for the root partition: reiserfs, ext3 or ext2.
ext2 is the older Linux filesystem, reiserfs and ext3 are both
newer and more robust journaling filesystems. ext3 is a general
standard and reiserfs is particularly fast with many small
- Next, you can choose to use a
different partition for your /home directory or use the same one
that is used as root. The "/home" is where files that belong to
users are to be stored, and "root" is where the Operating
System´s files and all packaged software will be
- The next two dialog screens allow
you to choose what main packages and individual software
applications you wish to install.
- You are now ready to install
VectorLinux to your system. You can review the choices you have
made and go back and do some modifications, or you can select OK to
continue installing VectorLinux. Once you hit OK, and the
installation proceeds, it will format the partitions you selected
for root and /home, and any information in them will be erased, so
please verify everything before
After the installation is done, you
will be required to do some basic configuration, as explained in
Once VL has been installed, a
configuration screen is presented. This allows you to configure
sound, video, network, etc. This screen can also be accessed later
using "Vasm" as root.
However, it is recommended that you
do not skip this configuration step at
5c.1 Set Up LILO
You will be prompted to set-up
“LILO”, the Linux Loader that boots the
Choose where to install
the root partition (if you installed VL to /dev/hda2, this would
install lilo to /dev/hda2)
- the MBR (master boot record) for the disk
- a floppy drive
If you want Lilo to take over the
boot process entirely, install to the MBR of the hard disk (this is
the most common scenario). LILO will detect other operating systems
on your hard drives and make an entry for them in its boot menu. If
you already have another boot manager installed on some partition
that can point to your Linux partition, then you can install Lilo
to the root partition where you installed VL. If you are not sure
and you don't want to cause any problems, install to a floppy. But
you must then ensure that your computer's BIOS is set to boot from
the floppy drive first. This is the slowest boot method, and only
suggested if you do not want to alter your existing boot manager.
For most systems installing to the MBR is safe and easy.
Choose to enable framebuffer or not.
This option affects how the boot process looks, and the onscreen
indications will let you know what option is best for
Add any additional parameter you
need to boot you system. If your system didn´t require any
special kernel parameters to perform the installation, then leave
this field empty.
If you have them, Lilo will detect
the partitions and Operating Systems on your hard disk and allow
you to select which ones you want to have available in your new
After you have installed VL, you can
change the lilo configuration by using "vasm" as root, which will
bring up the configuration screen again, or, also as root, you can
/etc/lilo.conf file by hand. After editing the file, be sure to
issue the following command as root: "/sbin/lilo -v". This will
commit the changes to the lilo bootloader.
Once Lilo is installed, the next steps are to
configure this new system. If you installed with an ISO file
directly from a Linux host the system will have to reboot first
before doing this next configuration step.
screen shows the configuration steps, and allows you to choose
which ones are to be performed. The wise decision is to select them
all, unless you have experienced problems with a particular step
previously. At this point you are walked through a series of
screens to configure the keyboard, auto-setup the basic hardware,
select network settings, set the video, sound, and time zone. The
configuration will try to detect most of the settings
last step, the configuration asks you to change the root
(superuser, administrator) password and add the first ordinary
user. Please don't skip this step for your own security. On any
operating system, working daily as root is not advisable, so you
should set up a normal user and use that for normal tasks and
resort to root only for administering the system.
When this is done, you simply press
“OK” to restart the system and boot into VectorLinux
for the first time.
Using the system for the first time
7.1 Login to
If you chose to boot into RunLevel 4
(the X GUI system), when the VectorLinux boot process has been
completed you will be presented with a graphical login screen where
you should enter your personal username and password (do not use
root unless absolutely necessary). After logging in the desktop
environment will load and within seconds you will see the desktop.
As well as the GUI desktop, you will
get six text consoles. You may switch between them by pressing
[Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F1] through [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F6] on the keyboard. You
will be asked for a username and password. If you did not change
the root´s password during installation you should use root
as username and leave the password empty. Otherwise, use the name
and password of the account you created earlier. You may return to
the GUI by pressing [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F7]
If you chose to boot into RunLevel 2 (a
text console environment) you may switch to RunLevel 4 (GUI) by
Alternatively, you can launch the GUI
login mode by switching runlevel into 4 or 5. Please login as root
on the console, then type:
root:# init 4
If you want to further configure
your VL system, you should launch VASM (Vector Administration and System
Menu) from either a terminal or from the desktop menu. You will
be asked for root's password. This utility is explained in detail
in the previous link and will not be reiterated here.
7.3 Reboot and
There are many ways to reboot the
- From a console (not GUI) press
- From a console or GUI terminal, type "reboot"
- From a GUI windows manager, choose "reboot"
Meanwhile, to turn off the system,
"halt" or "poweroff" from a console.
- Select "shutdown" menu from a windows manager if
installation gives you a message
saying that it can't find the vector bz2 kernel and / or saying
that /dev/xxxx is not a valid block device.
This error usually appears when you
have more than one optical drive (CD/CD-RW/DVD/DVD-W) and you are
trying to install Vector from the second unit. Move the
installation CD to the first drive.
Installation halts or does not
start properly after a seemingly correct installation or you get
messages about CRC errors during install
That kind of issue often suggests
file corruption during download or a faulty burning
The first thing to do, if you
haven't already done so, is to check the .iso file for corruption;
please refer to section 3 of this manual. If the .iso file passed
the md5sum integrity check , then you could try burning the file at
a slower speed or use higher quality media.
Remember to burn as a cd image, not
as a conventional file!
You get one of these two
Kernel Panic: Aiee, killing
In interrupt handler - not syncing.
Error! There was a problem!
Code: 39 36 75 03 5b 5e c3 5b 89 f0 31 c9 ba 03 00 00 00 5e e9
Installation not complete
Please press enter to activate this console
Those errors are usually related to
old hardware, and could mean that you need to pass some kernel
commands to the boot process. It could also mean that there is some
sort of hardware problem with your computer, but if you had it
working previously with another operating system then it is
probably one of the following:
Some commands you may try
linux mem=16M (replace 16
with the correct amount of memory in your PC)
linux ide=nodma (disable udma access, for old hard
These commands disable power
management, Notebooks often require them:
Your SCSI or SATA hard drive is
not available to install VL on it.
The required driver for your SCSI
card is not being loaded, and therefore your disks are not seen by
the install routine.
Installing from CDROM drive fails
with this error: "mount: /dev/scd7 is not a valid block
Your CDROM or CDRW drive requires
scsi emulation. When the installation greets you with the first
prompt (where it says "boot:" at the bottom left) you should type
(where x is your cd-rom
If that doesn't work restart and try
(where x is your cd-rom
Note: The Linux Kernel 2.6.x
treats CD-Rx drives in a different way than previous kernels, so
this problem shouldn´t arise, it is still mentioned here for
The installation halts somewhere
near the end during the install of packages and the install process
gives you an error message that it cannot proceed. This often
indicates that you may not have apportioned sufficient hard drive
space for the "/" (root) partition. VectorLinux requires a minimum
of 3GB to install, 3.8GB for the SOHO edition. You will need to
increase the size of the root partition before proceeding to
re-install the system. This can be done using cfdisk during the
second install screen.
The installation locks up, with no
response from the keyboard, and often occurs right near the
beginning of the install process when you see the kernel-loading
messages. This usually indicates that you have faulty RAM. Use a
Live Linux CD and run "memtest" to confirm that you have a faulty
RAM memory module on your computer.