Chapter 3. Installing Red Hat Linux

This chapter explains how to install Red Hat Linux from the CD-ROM. The following topics are discussed:


If you already have another operating system installed and want to create a dual boot system so that you can use both Red Hat Linux and the other operating system, please read Appendix G for more information.

The Graphical Installation Program User Interface

If you have used a graphical user interface (GUI) before, you will be familiar with this process; simply use your mouse to navigate the screens, "click" buttons, or enter text fields. You can also navigate through the installation using the [Tab] and [Enter] keys.


If you do not wish to use the GUI installation program, the text mode installation program is also available. To start the text mode installation program, use the following boot command:

boot: text

Please refer to the Section called The Text Mode Installation Program User Interface for a brief overview of text mode installation instructions.

A Note about Virtual Consoles

The Red Hat Linux installation program offers more than the dialog boxes of the installation process. Several different kinds of diagnostic messages are available to you, in addition to providing a way to enter commands from a shell prompt. The installation program displays these messages on five virtual consoles, among which you can switch using a single keystroke combination.

These virtual consoles can be helpful if you encounter a problem while installing Red Hat Linux. Messages displayed on the installation or system consoles can help pinpoint a problem. Please see Table 3-1 for a listing of the virtual consoles, keystrokes used to switch to them, and their contents.

Table 3-1. Console, Keystrokes, and Contents

Console Keystrokes Contents
1 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F1] installation dialog
2 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F2] shell prompt
3 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F3] install log (messages from installation program)
4 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F4] system-related messages
5 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F5] other messages
7 [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[F7] X graphical display

Generally, there is no reason to leave the default console (virtual console #7) unless you are attempting to diagnose installation problems.