Mandrake Linux

Installation Instructions


(contributors welcome!)

Required configuration

Installing Mandrake Linux is, in most cases, as simple as putting your Installation CD in your CDROM drive, and restarting your machine. Please refer to point 1.


Below are listed the different ways to install Mandrake Linux:

  1. Boot directly from CD
  2. Make a boot floppy with Windows
  3. Other install methods

1. Boot directly from CD

The Installation CDROM is bootable. In most cases, just insert the CD into the drive and reboot the machine. Follow the instructions displayed on screen: press the [Enter] key to start the installation, or press [F1] for additional help.


On some portable computers, the system may not reboot from the CD. If this is the case, try to boot from the second CD: it's also bootable, and uses a "safer" boot process. When prompted, change your CD. If the second CD doesn't boot as well, you should prepare a boot floppy. See point 2 for details.

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2. Make a boot floppy with Windows

If your computer cannot boot from the CDROM, you must make a boot floppy under Windows as follows:

To begin the installation:

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3. Other installation methods

If for any reason the previous methods do not fit your needs (you want to perform a network install, an install from pcmcia devices or ...), you will also need to make a boot floppy:

Here the list of boot images:

cdrom.img install from CD-ROM
hd.img install from hard-disk (from a Linux, Windows, or ReiserFS filesystem)
network.img install from ftp/nfs/http
pcmcia.img install from pcmcia devices (warning, most pcmcia network adapters are now directly supported from network.img)
hdcdrom_usb.img install from a hard-disk or a cdrom connected to USB
network_gigabit_usb.img install from network with a gigabit or USB adapter
blank.img install using your own Linux kernel

To use blank.img, build you own custom Linux kernel, compiling all the necessary support inside the kernel image (not as module). Then, after creating the floppy from blank.img, copy your "vmlinuz" kernel image onto the floppy.

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You can also use a text mode installation if, for any reason, you have trouble with the default graphical installation. To use it, press [F1] at Mandrake Linux welcome screen, then type text at the prompt.

If you need to rescue your existing Mandrake Linux system, insert your Installation CDROM (or any relevant boot floppy), press [F1] at Mandrake Linux welcome screen, then type rescue at the prompt.

See for more technical information.

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Below are the main stages of installation:

  1. Insert your Installation CDROM (or Installation Floppy disk if necessary) and restart your machine.
  2. Press [Enter] when the Mandrake Linux welcome screen appears and carefully follow the instructions.
  3. When the installation is complete take out the CD-ROM when ejected (and any floppy disk if present in drive); your machine will restart. If it does not, restart it manually.
  4. Mandrake Linux will start. After bootup, you can login on your machine under the user account setup during install, or as "root".

Important note:

The "root" account will give you unrestricted access to your Linux system. Do not use it except to configure or administer Linux. For every day use, use a normal user account which you can configure with the "userdrake" tool, or with the commands "adduser" and "passwd".

Good luck with Mandrake Linux !

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For additional support, see the following: