6.2. First Stage

The installation of Skolelinux/Debian-edu is divided into two stages, referred to as firststage and secondstage. The first stage starts when the machine boots from the Skolelinux/Debian-edu CD, and ends with the first reboot. The second stage starts when the machine boots from GRUB, and ends when the installation is finished and the machine reboots for all services to properly restart. It's during the second stage that you type the root password.

firststage usually takes about 10 minutes on a relatively fast machine, while secondstage takes a bit more, about 15-45 minutes.

The Different Steps in the First Stage of Installation

  1. Power up your machine, making sure it is able to boot from the CD-ROM. See Section 5.1.

    If your machine is able to boot from the CD-ROM, then you will be met by this picture:

Figure 6-1. Starting up Skolelinux/Debian-edu from the CD

There's not that much to do here, at least not under normal circumstances, other than pressing ENTER

Although you might want to investigate the possible different boot-options you can use.

6.2.1. Different bootoptions

Under certain circumstances, it might be useful to know about some of the different bootoptions you can use when installing Skolelinux/Debian-edu. Less automatic installation: expert mode

It's possible to choose a less automatic installation, by booting with the option

Press F1 for help, or Enter to boot:expert

If you want to boot in expert mode with a 2.6-kernel, you use

Press F1 for help, or Enter to boot:expert26


Note that the keyboard layout at this stage is set to US, which means that the keys might be placed differently than what you are used to. The equal sign (=) key is 1 key to the left of the BACKSPACE, and the plus sign (+) key is SHIFT plus the equal key. The minus key (-) is placed 2 keys to the left of BACKSPACE. The underscore key (_) is SHIFT plus the minus-key.

6.2.2. Choosing language

Here you must choose the language you want to use during installation. This language will be the pre-selected language for the all users. This doesn't exclude the use of any of the other available and supported languages in Skolelinux/Debian-edu. If you later want to change the default pre-selected language, have a look at the files /etc/environment, /etc/kde3/system.kdeglobals, /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf and /etc/X11/XF86Config-4, and the command update-locale-config. The command man update-locale-config will give you more information about this command, and supported languages. The command dpkg-reconfigure locales might also be helpful.[2]

Notice to the right in this screenshot the #-sign. This indicates that there is more text available, but that it's not possible to display all of it in one screen. Use the Arrow UP/DOWN or PageDown and PageUp keys to scroll through the whole text.

At this point in the installation, it's possible to jump to a Virtual Terminal(VT) with the key combination ALT+Arrow LEFT/RIGHT or ALT+F1,F2,F3,F4. On F2 you have a VT where you can edit files during installation.

6.2.3. Virtual terminal VT

Sometimes it's necessary to manually load driver modules during installation in order to get certain hardware working, such as for certain Compaq/HP RAID controllers, cciss and some 3ware controllers, 3w-xxxx. You reach this VT by pressing ALT-F2 And to return to the original screen you use ALT-F1

6.2.4. The special case of SATA-disks and the missing cdrom

6.2.5. Information about profiles

As you can see from the slider to the right, there is more text than fits one screen, use the UP/DOWN arrows to scroll down and read the rest.

6.2.6. Manually adjusting the partition size for automatic partitioning

If you know that the partitions that the automatic partitioning tool ,autopartkit,will make are either too small or too big, or you need more or fewer partitions, and you don't want to fiddle with resizing them afterwards, like in Section 8.5.2, then you have to choice of altering the tables that autopartkit uses. This is achieved in a virtual terminal, VT#2 using preferably the editor nano . The files are located in the directory /etc/autopartkit during installation. If you want to change any of these, than you must do so before you choose what profile to install, switch over to VT when you see the screen that describes the different profiles.

The different *.table-files corresponds to different profiles, like this:

If you wanted to increase the size of /usr when installing the profile Mainserver, you would in VT2 write nano /etc/autopartkit/Main-Server.table there you will see the line

/usr                  lvm:vg_system:lv_usr:default  448    4096
meaning that the partition /usr will be minimum 448MB big, and maximum 4096MB big (if the overall harddisk size allows this). If you want /usr to be 8000MB big, then you would edit the line to look like this
/usr                  lvm:vg_system:lv_usr:default  448    8000

If you would like to have a backup-partition on a machine installed with the profile Workstation, maybe when you have setup a simple backup-machine, like described in Section 9.4, then you would in VT2 write nano /etc/autopartkit/Workstation.table and add this line

/backup                  lvm:vg_system:lv_backup:default  10000    20000
that would create a backup-partition withe min/max-size of 10000MB/20000MB


You can of course add/delete, and change this later as you wish have a look at Section 8.5

6.2.7. The Various Profiles in Skolelinux/Debian-edu

Have a look at Section 5.2 for a short description of the various profiles.

Have a look at the sidebar Keyboard Layout for a brief explanation of the different keyboard keys used during installation.

You choose the profiles you want to install by placing a mark in front of the desired profile by using the SPACEBAR to place the mark. To navigate between the different fields, you use TAB, and when you are done, move to OK and install by pressing ENTER.

If your hard drive is not recognised, then you may need to manually load the driver module for your hard drive, SCSI-controller or your RAID-controller; do this in VT#2, see Section 6.2.3

As mentioned in Section 2.7 it is fully possible to combine different profiles, in this case the machine will be installed with Main-server and Thinclientserver.

After you have chosen which profile to install, the necessary packages are installed. Hopefully, you have only chosen hardware that works out-of-the-box with Skolelinux/Debian-edu.


Everything you have on your hard drives will be deleted when installing Skolelinux/Debian-edu- don't try to avoid it. Skolelinux/Debian-edu will not easily co-exist together with any other operative system.[3]

To continue with the installation, you must choose Yes.

6.2.8. Installation complete

Make sure that the CD is not in the CD-ROM when you restart the machine. If you forget to remove it, the installation will start all over again.



There will be a GUI based installer available for the next stable release of Debian, see GUI for DebianInstaller


No matter which language you use during installation, your users can choose another language- French, German, English, Spanish, etc.


For the brave and foolish, there is always a way. If you answer 'no' here, two times, you will be taken to a menu, like in expert-mode, see Section, where you can manually partition the harddisk. This is done with partman, use the *.table files in /etc/autopartkit for reference.