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1. Introduction

Are you a Linux newbie ? Are you a Linux guru ? In both cases, you will find this checklist of great help to you. How many times have you found yourself fumbling in the middle of a Linux installation process, because some vital information about the target hardware is not known ?

Have you ever crossed your fingers when you were asked by the installation procedure, a simple question, like: to which COM port is the mouse connected ?

Let's face it, all of us have, at one time or another, felt we should have been better prepared before starting to install Linux. Here is a simple solution, brought to you by Algologic Research & Solutions

1.1. Copyright Information

This document is copyrighted (c) 2000 Algologic Research & Solutions and is distributed under the terms of the Linux Documentation Project (LDP) license, stated below.

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have any questions, please contact

1.2. Disclaimer

No liability for the contents of this documents can be accepted. Use the concepts, examples and other content at your own risk. As this is a new edition of this document, there may be errors and inaccuracies, that may of course be damaging to your system. Proceed with caution, and although this is highly unlikely, the author(s) do not take any responsibility for that.

All copyrights are held by their respective owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to make a backup of your system before major installation and continue to do so at regular intervals.

1.3. Translations

This checklist is available in:

1.4. Acknowledgements

Algologic acknowledges with gratitude the useful suggestions and inputs from many members of the Linux community, for preparation of this checklist. This checklist is proof of the cooperation and goodwill which exists between Linux users. Algologic submits this checklist to the Linux community, as a humble tribute to the spirit of Linux. Many thanks to the following people:

1.5. Who should read/use this?

If you are planning to install Linux on somebody else's machine, or in a location which is not your own work place, you must absolutely get this checklist completed in advance. It is important to get this questionnaire answered by your host, so that you go adequately prepared for the installation.

If you are planning to organize an "Install fest" (we Indians call it "Linux mela"), ask your participants to come with this checklist answered.

Conversely, if you are going to an Install fest (aka Linux mela), to get Linux installed on your machine, do your home-work. Go with answers to this checklist.

If you are going to ask someone to come over and install Linux for you, send him/her this questionnaire with as many responses as you know.

If you are the D-I-Y type, you must start by answering all these questions, so that you can save time for enjoying your Linux!

1.6. What does this checklist (aim to) achieve?

This is a memory aid which may make installation of Linux a pleasant experience for you. It fills an important role in the promotion of Linux.

It will help you to be prepared with all the answers which may be needed during the course of installation of Linux on your machine or on anybody else's machine. Sometimes, it is very inconvenient and even impossible to find out some details in the middle of an installation procedure. This becomes all the more difficult when you are installing Linux on somebody else's machine, and in somebody else's office.

This checklist, when filled up, will help you go through your Linux documentation and verify in advance whether certain hardware is supported by the distribution you are planning to install. It will also help you to be prepared with the packages you would need to install, and the configuration choices which need to be done.

The idea is to reduce the chances of frustrating surprises.

This checklist is only for installing Linux on PCs. You may use this checklist as a model for other classes of machines (e.g.SUN, Alpha, ...) also.

1.7. Where do I find more about Linux?

If you want professional (PAID) help with Linux -- ask Algologic. Algologic Research & Solutions is listed in the official CONSULTANTS-HOWTO of the Linux Documentation Project.

This checklist does not give any details about hardware compatible with Linux, or other details about actually procuring or installing Linux. If you want details, please reference the Linux hardware howto, the Distribution howto, and the Installation howto, which are all located online at the Linux Documentation Project.

If you are the impatient type, and want help on installation directly, please reference Section 3 and skip the pre-installation checklist.

ATTENTION: We are actually overwhelmed by the number of general inquiries about procuring, installing and using Linux. We DO NOT answer such general mail. We strongly advise you to check out the Linux Documentation Project for finding other sources of help. Please DO NOT send us any general Linux questions.

1.8. Conventions used


Warnings are admonitions which if disregarded, will result in an inoperable system , which may or may not be recoverable.


Cautions are admonitions which if disregarded, will result in an inoperable application or cause the loss of data, configuration files, or leave the system in an unbootable state.

Note: Notes state important facts which may be necessary to perform an operation.

Tip: Tips provide shortcuts or foresight to make performance of operations easier.

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