Freeduc-cd17 how to

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How to install Freeduc-CD 1.7 permanently on your machine :

Warning: Please note that, since Freeduc-CD 1.7 is very old, this installation process can't work anymore (the Freeduc dpkg doesn't support new .deb package format).

An additional hard drive is partitioned with gParted to install GNU/Linux

Freeduc-Linux is an independant operating system(OS). That means it will load itsefl on the computer instead of the usual OS(from Microsoft for example). If you carefully follow these explanations, you will be able to keep your current OS. A menu will appears at computer power-on, enabling you to choose the one you want to load. Notice that this guide don't covers installation on Apple Computers, although it could be done theorically if the Macintosh is based on an Intel processor. To achieve our goal, we'll need to partition at least one hard drive on the computer. Partitions virtually divide a hard drive in several independant parts.

Step 1 : What you need :

Qtparted, that you can find in the menus, enable you to re-partition hard disk drives, but could destroy NTFS ones in the process if it's an old version.
  • At LEAST 3GB of FREE SPACE(it's not the same thing as free space inside your existing partitions, read below) on hard disk, 7,5 GB are better if you will download a lot of supplementary packages on your future Freeduc-on-hd system. If you can add an internal hard drive on your computer, it would be a good thing to do in the case you want to keep your current OS next to Freeduc-on-hd.
A partitioned hard drive containing three OS, data partitions and a tiny non-partitioned space at the end.
You could use a intelligent partitioning software (Partition Magic, QTParted or DiskDrake) to resize your existing partitions in the appropriate step below. Begin to think about the size and the number of partitions you want. Also, reading documents about partitioning and about the way a GNU/Linux system install himself is needed,
  • a Freeduc-CD 1.7(obviously). Be sure that this one works and that most of the basic and usual tasks you want to do on the computer can be done from a live session of Freeduc-CD.
  • If the freeduc-on-hd system won't have a fast ftp internet access:
    • One of the following Post-install packages, to be put on a CDROM, an USB-key...; in the following we'll assume you have a CDROM :
      • post-install-full package if the computer won't have a fast internet access. Sadly, this would probably destroy Freeduc 1.7.
      • Or
      • light package if the computer is going to have a fast Internet access under Freeduc. This one perhaps will be put on Freeduc-CD in the future, so you won't have to download and save it.
    • reiserfsprogs if you want to use reiserfs. Put it near the post-install package.
This situation would be sad! Be careful!
  • Having securely saved your precious data.
  • Three empty formated disks.
  • Having written your computers carateristics: screen resolution and frequency, video card model, modem type, soundcard model...
  • Having your Internet/network link informations: provider's telephone number and domain name, DNS adresses, login name and password...
  • Time to follow carefully the process without being disturbed.

Step 2: Partitionning

We'll need to create several partitions for Freeduc-on-hd: Sa-30122010creationpartitiondansgparted.png

Swap :

  • The system will use it when there isn't enough free RAM to execute your tasks.
  • Size: 128MB is advised,
  • partition type: 82-swap,
  • No file system.

/ :

  • this is where the system files will be located.
  • Size: 6 GB is good if you can(will depend on the total amount of free space we'll have),
  • partition type: 83-Linux,
  • File system: a journalised file system(reiserfs, XFS, JFS, ext3fs...) is advised. Otherwise, the old ext2(why should we do that?).


/home :
  • Where your own documents will be saved(instead they will be mixed with system files on /).
  • Size: 1,5 GB seems the least necessary by our times!
  • Partition type: 83-Linux,
  • File system: a journalised file system(reiserfs, XFS, JFS, ext3fs...) is advised. Otherwise, the old ext2(why should we do that?).

Having free space :

If your hard drives are completely used:
  • Buy another one if posible.
  • Obtain free space by resizing existing partitions.
  • Obtain free space by destroying partitions. OS, applications and data that were on them will have to be restored. In the picture above, we can see that 2 partitions have been deleted(after having saved the files), so a big one for /home can be created.

Let's go

Once you've made your choices, make them become reality. Use recent versions of intelligent partition tool (gParted, Powerquest Partition Magic, QTParted, DiskDrake...).

Step 3 :

  • Turn on all computer's devices, so they can be automatically detected.
  • Boot Freeduc-CD (Explanations on :
    • Check your boot sequence in BIOS,
    • insert Freeduc-CD and switch on your machine.
    • If ever the computer isn't able to boot on CD, search on the Web an utility enabling to first boot on another device(floppy for example) and to pursue the boot process on CD.
  • Wait for Freeduc-CD to be loaded, and verify that it works.
  • With ctrl-Alt-F2 (or F3 or F4) swith to a virtual console.

Step 4-First choice : install the system on a big partition :

  • Type
 # knoppix-installer
GIMP Icon.png
    • Tip:type knoppix-i and press tabulation key. Great, no?
  • Follow the instructions on screen.

Step 4-Second choice : install the system on several little partitions (better, but experts only) :

  • Type
 # IGNORE_CHECK=1 knoppix-installer
  • if you haven't managed you partitioning before start (bad idea), do it now by choosing "Partition". Check the hard drive you want to work on by pressing space. Cfdisk is then launched. You won't be able to rezize existing partitions without losing datas with this tool. You should follow the advices of the step 2 instead. If you use it (at your own risk), choose write when finished, then quit. Reboot typing
    init 6
    When restarting, the "2" parameter can be used to avoid the graphical mode.

Cfdisk must be used with huge precautions.

  • Choose "configure installation" and answer the questions. Use space to check and enter to validate :
    • If you don't know the answer to a question, keep the default choice and validate (but then you should perhaps follow the first choice instead of this second one),
    • if you want to use a non-listed file system, keep the default answer, you will change this setting later.
    • If the password is refused, perhaps that it's because it's too simple or because the install too hanged.
  • Choose "save configuration" in the main menu. Type /root/confinstall.
  • quit the knoppix-installer and edit /root/confinstall with joe or vim :
    • You can modify
      if default setting doesn't sound good to you for the "/" partition,
    • you must put in
      where you want your additionals partitions to be mounted, usually /home (look at the example picture). Example for 4 differents partitions ("/", "/home" "/boot" and "/var", we don't take SWAP in account) : "/dev/hde6:/home /dev/hde4:/boot /dev/hde7:/var",
    • Grub sadly isn't on Freeduc-CD, so write
      next to
    • kdm neither is on the CD, so we can remove it from SERVICES_START
    • Save and quit(Ctrl-KX in Joe).
  • File systems creation:
    • If you want reiserfs for the additional partitions (and/or if you have chosen reiserfs in the conf file above for the "/"), you must install mkfs.reiserfs now. Unpack reiserfsprogs that you should have saved in the beginning, or download it now. Put the
      file that has been unpacked in
      and type
      (found here).
    • Format the supplementary partitions you wrote in HD_MAP, in the filesystem you want, if it isn't done yet. For example:"mkfs.ext2 /dev/hde4", and/or
      mkfs.ext3 /dev/hde5
      , and/or
      mkfs.reiserfs /dev/hde7
      . Be sure to have correctly un-mounted any of the hard-disk partitions before using mkfs, and to have taken in account that their files(if any) will be destroyed!
  • Return in the
    IGNORE_CHECK=1 knoppix-installer
    and choose "Load configuration". Type
  • start installation and verify that the displayed information has been loaded from conf file (don't worry if the supplementary partitions aren't displayed),


  • Well done, if everythings went well, a minimal Freeduc-Linux is now on the hard disk and should be bootable !
  • If the bootdisk creation failed or if you want to create another ones, you can use mkbootdisk before restarting.

Step 5-Everyone:Boot loader :

  • Remove Freeduc-CD and reboot by typing
    init 6
  • if everythings is well, your new GNU / LinuxFreeduc system should start (if not, it's probably because you haven't done the right things about boot loader),
  • If you use a separate /boot partition (very good idea, especially if you don't forget to make it read-only when everything works, but it needs to be an expert), the installer should'nt be clever enough to install LiLo on it, so you should have to modify
    . Don't forget to set active the partition where LiLo is if it isn't in the MBR or to put it in the NTLDR menu. If you're a geek, you could be happy to learn that in some cases, installing three working boot managers is possible: NTLDR, LiLo and Grub!
  • We cant cover here all boot situations. If you have a problem at this stage(the harder with partitioning), ask for help.

Step 6-Post-installation packages :

  • as root:
A network:Debian-edu's one
    • if the computer is on a network with a DHCP server, Freeduc will take an IP address automatically during the post-installation. If you want to be in a static network configuration, type :
ifconfig ethx IP
Replace x by the number of your card (if there is only one network card, it's 0), and IP by the address you want to put, eg
ifconfig eth0
route add default gw iprouter
by the IP of your router.
  • as simple user:
    • If you haven't got one of the postinstall packages, download one of them(see the top of this document).
    • If the postinstall is on a media (cdrom or modify the commands for others medias):
      • mount /mnt/cdrom
      • cd /mnt/cdrom
  • As Root:
    • Go in the folder where the package is if needed,
    • Type(replacing the name here by the real name of the postinstall package you choosed):
      tar xjvf freeduc-post[..].tarbzip2 -C /root
    • cd /root/freeduc-postinstall
    • if you use a proxy, modify the apt.conf file, and proxy variables of the
      (both in the
    • if you're absolutely sure you won't ever use reiserfs, you can delete the directory beginning by 110.
    • if you haven't got a lot of diskspace, you could eventually delete the directories beginning by 250, 300, 350 and 400, 700, 800. Make your choice in fonction of the name of each. Be aware that the deletion of the three last ones can create problems.
    • if you're not using french as main language, delete
    • if you don't want numlock to be activated(especially if you're on a laptop), edit
      in the
      folder. There is a
      parameter inside, the number indicates how much console screens will have numlock activated. Change this number according your needs. You can delete the value after
      to have numlock off on every console.
    • ./ [--download | --install-net | --install-local] [ethx] [staticip]
      • If you've got a good internet link, choose
        could work(not tested yet!) only if you choosed the "postinstall-full" package, but there might be problems if the package isn't made for 1.7 version.
      • Replace x by the number of the network card to use to go to the Internet (usually 0).
      • Write
        if you have already set up the network card manually a few times ago.
      • Example:
        ./ --install-local eth0 staticip



{Documents used for help in writing this text : <>, thanks to you Fred.} . This document, in french, from Alexandre Aupetit(is he still alive?) is very good, especially from "Quelles modifications apportera Linux à mon PC ?" to the FAQ. You should keep it under the eye while installing Freeduc-CD, the following explanations going in the "Pendant l'installation", "Les étapes de l'installation" and "Premier démarrage" chapters.

= Step 6-If you really know what you're doing, you can edit
to set several disks at once), modifying and enabling configuration commands inside it.

Step 7-Monitoring hardware :


  • Replace /dev/hdx by each smart hard drive you own (eg /dev/hda)
    • Type
      smartctl --smart=on --offlineauto=on --saveauto=on /dev/hdx
    • You can consult the values of the hard drive by typing
      smartctl -A /dev/hdx
    • To enable the monitoring, un-comment the smartd line in
      but you certainly need to learn a lot more about S.M.A.R.T to understand the values you'll obtain.

Energy :

To change the settings of the automatic screen saving, edit :
For this we need ACPI (working badly on most computers. Be sure to have the latest version of your BIOS, and you may have to write
as kernel option).
, automatically installed by the
post-install process, contains some tools described below. To verify that it's working, type
cat /proc/acpi/info
acpi -V
Datas can be read from files in
manually too.
  • Here is the list of non-compatible computers.
  • Here you can find if your computer need a patch.
  • You may have to configure
    . They are by default set for maximum support, but there are great chances that you have to adapt them, especially concerning sleep state, "mem" needing acpi 2.1 and a perfect design of the computer. But even if you use "standby" instead of "mem", let "ACPI_SLEEP" to true. Any other value (including nothing) would desactivate sleeping on the computer.
  • According to an old explanation, we can use:
    • Scripts in
      that will be executed when events in
      happens. For example, there is a problem with the power button : kids often press it. The best is to put the computer's unit behind a door, but you can modify the
      script, replacing the shutdown command by anything you want. To make it go to sleep, replace
      by a link to
      in the <powerbtn> event.
    • athcool to save energy and warm if the processor is a 32 bits Athlon or Duron and if you know what you're doing(edit /etc/init.d/ to launch and configure athcool).
    • sleepd to put the computer to sleep when unused. In
      we must type
      -u delay -U delay -s script
      inside the quotes near
      replacing delay by the time in second before sleep and script by the script file wich will be executed to make the computer sleep (we can use "" for example). To temporary desactivate automatic sleeping, we can use

Step 8-Configure LiLo

  • WARNING, you MUST have a copy of the MBR. This should have been done a long time ago, but if you arrived here by miracle without having done so, type
    dd if=/dev/hdx of=/root/mbr bs=512 count=1
    , before moving the mbr file that you obtained on one or several removable disks.
  • You can comment in </pre>/etc/lilo.conf</pre> lines regarding non-used kernels.
  • You can add
    in the sections of the kernels that will require a password to boot.
  • Type

Step 9-Setting up network

  • You should be able to apt-get as much as you want, or use synaptic for this.
  • Bacula
    service can be uninstalled, it seems to be non-userful in most cases.
  • To share documents between several HD-installed-Freeducs, you can use nfs.

Step 10-miscalleneous :

How to create a new Freeduc-CD meeting your needs

  • become a member of OFSET
  • join the development team
  • you will use the following HOWTO

How to burn Freeduc-CD iso image on a CD


  • use a rosting software like k3b (tools -> CD -> burn a CD image)


  • from command line:
  - cdrecord -v speed=16 dev=0,0,0 /buffer/mycd.iso

(replace 0,0,0 by the physical location of your CDW driver, given by # cdrecord -scanbus)

Download addresses:

[1] [2]

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