Install MEPIS 11 Slideshow

1 - Start here

This set of installation steps is provided as a more in-depth instructional to supplement the Dual Boot with Mepis 11 video in the Video Tutorials section. The video is available via the following link

Clicking on the Mepis Install icon from the Live-DVD or Live-USB thumb drive starts the process of installing SimplyMEPIS onto your hard disk

2 - password is root

After clicking on Mepis Install, you'll need to provide the super administrators password. The super admin is root and the password is root.

If you logged in to the Mepis Desktop as root, you will not get prompted for the root password, however, we do not recommend running the LiveMedia as root, so it is always best to initially log in to the live session as demo and type the root password when requested.

3 - agree to license

SimplyMEPIS contains GPL2 and GPL3 licensed code, which is free to redistribute for non-commercial purposes, but not for monetary gain, unless you comply with the requirements of doing so, and the Mepis Magic is provided under the Creative Commons license.

Agreeing to this license is necessary before installation is possible.

4 - Run partition tool

If you have more than one Hard Disk Drive, carefully select the hard disk you wish to modify to make a partition for Mepis.
sda is the mass storage device connected to the systems first SATA controller
sdb is the mass storage device connected to the systems second SATA controller
sdc is the mass storage device connected to the systems third SATA controller

If you choose the Auto Install using entire disk, everything on your hard disk will be erased, so use with caution.

NOTE USB Flash drives are represented exactly the same as a hard disk drive, however, Linux classifies them after all hard disks have been accounted for, so if you have one hard disk and you booted your system with a Live-USB version of SimplyMEPIS, the hard disk will be located at sda and the thumb drive will most likely be located at sdb

5 - Make room for Linux

After shrinking the windows partition to make space for Mepis, you can add 2 or more Linux partitions for your new OS.

There are a few considerations you must keep in mind here. The example in this picture shows the simplest possible layout as is common to XP and earlier Windows systems, with only one OS partition. Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems by default have 2 partitions, one small System Reserved boot partition and a large partition for the Operating System. Even if you have XP, your computer manufacturer may have included a recovery and/or utility partition most commonly found at the end of the drive. If you want to keep this intact, first shrink the OS partition, then move the remaining partition to the left, up against the shrunken OS partition, then create your next partition.

    You have a good backup before you start
    You have spent the time to properly prepare your windows system by removing all unnecessary files
    You have defragmented all of your Windows partitions twice and have made no changes since the defrag
    Hard disks can only have 4 primary partitions. If you need more, the last primary partition you create and every partition thereafter must be an extended partition
    Shrinking Windows partitions can take time, do not under any circumstances cancel the operation once it has started or you will lose data, and most likely the Windows OS too
    After modifying a Windows partition using Open Source tools, the partition is flagged as requiring a disk check, this is normal and not an indication that the partitioner damaged your system. Expect Windows to run chkdsk next time it starts
    You are absolutely sure that you a very good backup before you start
    You take all responsibility for your actions
    If you break it, you get to keep both pieces
    6 - Create New Partition

    Here you can make a choice, let the Mepis Installer do the work for you, or you can take the hands-on approach to partitioning. The Mepis installer will give you the middle option below and swap will be relative to your hard disks free space and amount of installed RAM memory

    Right click the empty space, click on New .

    Choices are:

      Bigram -Desktop systems only One partition only with no swap - use this option only if you use a desktop, have stacks of RAM (min 2GB, recommended 4GB) and you never intend to hibernate your machine
      Most systems, recommended for Laptops Two partitions, one for root and one for Swap. We recommend a minimum size of 10GB for starters, more if you intend to store files or use Mepis as your primary OS
      Dedicated "/home" partition Also good for Laptops, with this option your hard disk free space is divided three ways (or more) so you can separate the OS and applications from your data. The root partition only needs to be 10GB for most users, /home can be any size you want and we recommend a minimum of 1GB for swap, or more if you have a laptop and wish to use hibernation
    7 - Partition Setup

    When you create a new partition, you need to make a few choices.

    Will this be a primary or an extended partition? You can only have 4 primary partitions, so if you already have 3 partitions as is the case with many pre-built systems, then your choices are limited. If you are choosing the bigram option as in the previous help entry, then a primary partition will suffice, but if you want 2 or more, then you'll have to make an extended partition.

    8 - Check the layout

    So far, no further changes have been written to your hard disk, so this is the time to review your new partition layout and make changes if you are uncomfortable with what you see.

    When you're ready to proceed, click on the green tick to commit the changes.

    9 - Re-confirm changes

    Because this process changes your hard disk layout, the partitioner presents you with a "review" of the changes, which you have to agree to before continuing.

    10 - Applying Changes

    If you have any large partition, like 200-300GB, this process can take a few minutes as the partitioner lays down the building blocks of the new partition, but smaller partitions like 10GB should be completed within 10 seconds.

     11 - Custom Install

    Now that the partitioning has been completed, the initial Mepis installer screen returns.

    For Dual boot setup, you need to select the Custom install on existing partitions, then click the Next button

    Note: Mepis can operate in a multi boot setup where multiple OS versions reside on a single system just as easily as it does with a dual boot.

    12 - Select root partition

    Using the drop down selection box, choose the new partition you created for the root partition.

    The root partition in Linux is like the C: partition in Windows, but by virtue of design, it is far more versatile and scalable than the Windows setup.

     13 - Select swap partition

    The Linux swap partition is similar to the Windows swap file, but unlike Windows, Linux does not use it if it is not needed.

    A 64-bit Windows system with 4GB RAM will automatically have a 4GB swap file created, and a similarly sized hibernation file. When Windows starts, the swap file is populated whether it is needed or not, but being hard disk based, it is approximately 20-30 times slower than RAM, so any files read to or from the swap file will be done very slowly. When Windows enters hibernation, data that is not contained in the swap file but in use by the OS is copied to the hibernation file, so at any time, that windows system can have up to 8GB of hard disk space consumed by "system resources"

    Linux systems use the system RAM more efficiently, sequentially filling it until no space remains, then when more is required, the swap partition is used. If a Linux system starts to use the swap space, it is quite noticeable because the operator will see a definitive slow-down until the memory is freed up, but to give that perspective, in my 7 years of using Linux, I have only ever had 120MB of swap used during some very heavy workloads on a system with 3GB installed RAM

    When a Mepis Linux system hibernates, it usually uses the RAM and drops battery consumption considerably. An Asus eee netbook can go for a week in hibernation without totally exhausting the battery, but some users prefer to use the swap partition instead, which makes it possible to hibernate without consuming any battery power at all, hence the advice to have a swap partition in most laptops.

    14 - Choose FileSystem

    Windows uses a file system designed for Windows, FAT32 or NTFS.
    Apple use their own HPFS or HPFS+ file system
    Linux requires a file system type designed for Linux like ext3 or ext4

    We recommend using ext4 as many system tasks will run significantly faster than they would as compared to a partition with an ext3 file system. Another choice is reiserfs, however, this in infrequently used.

    Mepis Linux runs an automatic file system check at boot time if 100 days has passed since the last check, or if the drive has been mounted more than a predefined number of times. An ext3 partition measuring 100GB may take 50-90 seconds to scan, the same sized partition with ext4 will take only a few seconds and you may not even notice it at all.

    15 - WARNING

    This is a trap that we have seen on these forums a number of times, the user has chosen the wrong partition and/or file system, and most often, it is their Windows OS partition. Those that have pressed on ignoring the warning have lost their Windows installation, with no possibility whatsoever of recovery

    If you should see this type of notification, then you must cancel immediately, return to the previous screen and choose a partition with a Linux type file system.

    16 - Operation cancelled

    This error notification is presented when any error is found, in this case, the error was deliberate, so you can safely move forward.

    Another common situation we have seen is when people are re-installing, or they have prepped their system ahead of time and forgot to unmount the partition first after viewing it through the Mepis LiveMedia.

    The Mepis installer can only use a partition that is not currently in use, so if you have previously created some partitions, opened them with Dolphin, then tried this installer without first unmounting them, you will get this message too.

    17 - Corrected Selections

    Refer back to images 12 and 13.

    The difference here is the root partition now has a Linux type file system selected, and the swap partition is correctly set.

    While you're here, have a closer look at section 2b. There is an option for upgraders to preserve their /home location. This makes it possible to reinstall Mepis or to upgrade to a newer version without losing your critical data.

    18 - Formatting again?

    The partitions you chose in the earlier screen will be reformatted, despite you having formatted them using the partitioner.

    While this may sound a bit crazy, there is a reason for it. The partitioner is a third party tool, called up by the installer to perform a task, then closed when its job is complete and the installer continues where it left off. The installer requires a clean environment to work with, so it must reformat all partitions before proceeding.

    There is an exception for those that are reinstalling Mepis and wish to preserve their /home provided in the previous screen, which has been reported to work properly even when only 2 partitions are used, one for root (with /home included inside the root partition) and one for swap.

    19 - Installation

    When the formatting is complete, the installer copies the LiveMedia to your hard disk and displays some helpful hints along the way.

    20 - Nearly there

    Just another shot of the installer in progress.

    If you're installing from a Live-DVD, on a Pentium4 3.2GHZ system with 1GB RAM, this process is likely to take 7-10 minutes, on a late model system it takes about 4-5 minutes, restricted only by the speed of the DVD reader.

    If you're installing from a Live-USB, on a Pentium4 3.2GHZ system with 1GB RAM, this process is likely to take 3-4 minutes, on a late model system it takes about 1 minute, once again restricted only by the speed of the USB port and quality of the media, so unless you are a speed reader, you will likely not have a chance to read the helpful text as the installer progresses.

    21 - Installing GRUB

    Mepis requires a bootloader to be run at system startup to enable the selection of any of the installed Operating Systems. When GRUB is installed and showing the boot options at startup, it will have a 10 second timeout before the first OS in the list will be automatically started.

    The GRUB bootloader will automatically pick up your Windows installation and add it to the boot selections.

    The defaults on this page are normally correct, unless you have 2 or more hard disks, for which you may require additional advice from the friendly folk at the Mepislovers Forums.

    22 - déjà vu

    Yes, there it is again, a second chance to reaffirm your choices, once again for obvious reasons, critical changes to your hard disk deserve a second look.

    23 - GRUB complete

    Congratulations, you now have a shiny new bootloader called GRUB

    FYI, GRUB is an acronym for

    Now that you know that, I am sure you will sleep better tonight ;)

    24 - Services selection

    For most people, these defaults are usually fine.

    25 - Network ID

    Every system connected to a network should have a unique name.

    Replace mepis1 with whatever name you wish to call your system so it can be identified by Windows machines. HINT for dual-booters, we recommend using the same name that you Windows system uses to avoid confusion.

    If you are not connected to a Primary Domain Controller, you can leave the example.dom as it is.

    If your Windows machine has XP Home and you have never changed the workgroup name, then it will most likely be MSHOME, for XP Pro and later version of Windows, it is normally WORKGROUP. If you have no other machines on your network, you can leave mepisgrp as it is, otherwise, change mepisgrp to whatever you wish to use.

    26 - Locale settings

    Choose your keyboard layout and locale from the drop-down combo boxes.

    NOTE, if you choose a locale other than US, you may wish to check section 5.9 of the Mepis Manual post installation and reboot to learn how to install language packs and how to change the default locale setting within System settings to fully match your chosen locale.

    27 - Set Timezone

    Once again, a drop down combo box selection.

    As with the locale, this can be further refined after installation and restart by right clicking on the clock in the tray, choosing Adjust Date and Time, then selecting the appropriate options for your preferences.

    28 - User Accounts

    Type in a name and password for the primary user account, then enter a strong password for the root account. If you require additional user accounts, these can be added later, when Mepis is running from your hard drive.

    HINT - Linux may permit the use of both upper and lower case in the name, but you should never use any blank spaces in the user name you choose so as to avoid frustrations once you have Mepis running from your hard disk. The installer may reject any white space and capitals for the user name field.

    29 - show passwords

    If you are at all unsure, you should click the option to show the passwords. We recommend this as a general practice for anybody performing an installation.

    30 - Finished !

    Congratulations, you now have a fully installed Mepis Linux OS on your hard disk.

    31 - Reboot

    After clicking the Finish button, you will be presented witht he option to reboot or continue your Live Linux Session.

    Surely you are itching to test drive you shiny new installation by now and can't wait to do it, but for some, there are good reasons for not rebooting immediately.

    You can close the installer and use Dolphin to check that everything is intact and as you expect it to be, for example, that Windows is still there and your files are still intact on the Windows partition, you may want to write something down from something you experimented with using the LiveMedia to re-do on the finished product, or you may wish to push the timer button on your stopwatch because the entire process was just so darn fast that you want to gloat to your friends about it.

    32 - Dual Boot Complete

    Having just gone through the process of shrinking the Windows partition and installing Mepis, you might want to consider starting up Windows first so it can clear the hard disk check flag that was created by the partitioner tool when shrinking the partition. Windows will no doubt want to reboot for having found a new hardware configuration, so follow the recommendation.

    There is no need to actually perform the full reboot back into Windows, you can now select Mepis and start having fun with your shiny new OS.