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Installation Notes for Kanotix 2005-04

While installing 2005-04, I {WikiMiki?} kept a record of what I did. Deciding that it might help others, I posted it on the Kanotix forum. Others made suggestions, many of which I incorporated into my original and in the process made the document much better. It's certainly not a definitive guide but hopefully it will provide a structured process or outline for setting up and finetuning a new Kanotix hard disk installation.

1. Backup your data. Burn it to a CD, copy it to another hard disk. Whatever. If you have other partitions loaded with other distros, you may want to make a copy of your GRUB menu.lst file so you won't have to recreate it from scratch.

2. Download the Kanotix-2005-04 iso, check with Md5Sum, and burn the image to CD. Burn as DOA not TOA. (DOA is not the default setting.) You should burn at 8x speed or less. There are good wiki articles about Md5Sum and CD burning at http://wiki.kanotix.net/CoMa.php?CoMa=Md5SumEN and ..

3. Boot from the CD. (You may need to change your BIOS setup.) You'll be greeted with the feminine and familiar "Initiating startup sequence" message.

4. Select the Kanotix "fish" icon on the kicker and click "Kanotix-installer".

5. This will bring up a GUI installer. It's easy to use so just read and follow the instructions. There's an installation "How To" at http://kanotix.com/FAQ-id_cat-63.html#q275 with screenshots, which I think is quite good. I would recommend that you create your /home directory on a separate partition. It will make your life easier later when you upgrade (and as energic as Kano and his friends are, that will happen before you know it). It took only 13 minutes and 1 second for a full installation, including a reformat of my /root directory.

6. Reboot and login to your new Kanotix hard disk install.

7. Keyboard. So that the keyboard will respond in the manner you expect, you set your country and language with K Menu -> Control Center -> Regional & Accessibility -> Country/Region & Language.

8. Numlock. To switch on Numlock at startup, use K Menu -> Control Center -> Peripherals -> Keyboard and under Numlock on KDE Startup, select the radio button for "Turn on".

9. Desktop icons. Kanotix now implements udev and while udev has some real advantages, supplying informative names to desktop icons for your hard disk partitions isn't one of them. To change the desktop name, just right-click on the icon and select Properties. On the properties screen, you'll find a useful name like hda1 or hda3? (which unfortunately doesn't carry over to the desktop). Change the name slightly. For example, change hda1 to (hda1). The new name will stick and you'll have meaningful names for your icons. You can also instruct KDE not to display any of them with K Menu -> Control Center -> Desktop -> Behavior -> Device Icons. A third option is to edit /etc/fstab to prevent only certain partitions from appearing on the desktop by using "noauto" instead of "default".

10. Screen resolution. I have a 17" LCD monitor and Kanotix defaulted to a safe resolution of 1024x768. I needed something higher. So I again selected the Kanotix icon on the kicker, then Utilities and Change screen resolution. This runs a Kanotix script named change-res and after two tries, I was presented with a small window titled "Set Screen Size". I set resolution to 1280x1024 and then logged out with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. (From the root konsole, you can also type # fix-res 1280x1024 to accomplish the same thing.) When I logged back in, the desktop icons and print were crisp but too small for these old eyes.

11. DPI. To change the dpi, I used the konsole, logged in as su and typed # fix-dpi-kdm 102. After another logout with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, I logged back in and now the icons and print on the desktop were larger and easier to read. The default for fix-dpi-kdm is 100. (The larger the number, the larger the print.)

12. Sound card. Kanotix installed the proper driver for my pci sound card, but if it had not, as su I could run the command # alsaconf to load the correct driver.

13. Internet access. I have a dsl modem and a router for Internet access. Configuring my network card was simple. I selected the Kanotix icon from the kicker, then Network/Internet, and Network card configuration. To the question, "Use DHCP broadcast?", I answered yes and was ready to go.

14. Package Update. It was time to run apt-get update. You can do it either at the command line as su by typing # apt-get update or using KPackage. (K Menu -> System -> KPackage -> Special -> Debian -> Update)

15. Update scripts. Kano and his developers have created some superb scripts for hardware detection and related matters. To get the latest versions, as su type # update-scripts-kanotix.sh.

16. Video card. If you have an nvidia or radeon video card, there are scripts for installing the correct drivers. To use them, type Ctrl-Alt-F1, login as root, and type # install-nvidia-debian.sh (or # install-radeon-debian.sh). The drivers will be installed and x will restart.

17. Fonts. I wasn't satisfied with the fonts. Fortunately, there are several options. As su, I ran # fix-fonts and later # dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig. A third option is # apt-get install msttcorefonts.

18. Wallpaper, Screensaver. For a screensaver and a wallpaper, I used K Menu -> Control Center -> Appearance & Themes and chose Background and then Screensaver. You may want to do this after you download additional screensavers (see 25. below).

19. Printer. I configured my printer with K Menu -> Control Center -> Peripherals -> Printers.

20. Time Zone. To adjust the date and time, as su, type # tzconfig, # unfreeze-rc.d, # fix-time, # freeze-rc.d. (You can also use the Control Center.)

21. Trimming Down. I trimmed down what Kanotix loads at boot using the rcconf. First, login as su, then # unfreeze-rc.d and then # rcconf. Uncheck what you don't want and close the rcconf window. Type # freeze-rc.d and reboot.

22. Localepurge. Because Kanotix is used globally, Kano and his developers must add support for numerous language. You can remove the extra locales with # apt-get install localepurge and # localepurge.

23. Sudo. For sudo access, as su in the konsole, type # visudo and edit appropriately.

24. Application windows. If you want each application to open in the center of the screen, you can set that with Control Center -> Desktop -> Window Behavior -> Moving tab -> Placement dropdown -> Centered.

25. Downloads. With my working environment just the way I wanted, I decided it was time to download some development tools, a few games and some other stuff. You can use KPackage, Synaptic (after it's installed) or # apt-get install at the command line. With Debian, there are thousands of programs available. Here's a sampling:
  1. gcj -- the GNU compiler for Java which compiles Java source code into native machine language
  2. gdb -- the GNU debugger
  3. Kdevelop3? -- an IDE for C, Java and other languages
  4. Synaptic -- the other package manager with several different features
  5. Kscreensaver, xscreensaver -- contains additional screensavers
  6. gtk2?-engines-gtk-qt -- allows me to use KDE fonts in Firefox
  7. Ksudoku -- a good Sudoku program
  8. Mah-jong -- the traditional tiles game
  9. FreeMind? -- mind mapping application ["vym" - View your Mind, a non-Java app.]

If you download gtk2?-engines-gtk-qt, some programs may have black menus or unreadable menu options. Fix this with K Menu -> Control Center-> Appearance & Themes -> GTK Styles and Fonts -> Use another style > select Industrial.

I also downloaded the latest Java Development kit from Sun. There's a "How To" for Debian at: ..

6 Jan 2006
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