Please note that this is a general "guide" and it's only purpose is to outline what you should do when you are installing a Linux system. Therefore you should refer to your distributions manual for specific instructions. Distribution specific instructions can be found below.

Considerations prior installing edit

In order to use and administer your Linux server, obviously first of all you will need to install it. Prior to installation you must decide how you want to install it. Most of the distributions come with a variety of installation methods. For example you can download a bootable CD/DVD ISO image, burn it, then install it from that disk. This is the most common installation method. Some distributions (like Debian GNU/Linux) even allow you to download a couple of floppy images (5 for Debian),boot the installation system with those, then install the software itself from the Internet. The next step would be deciding where you want to install it: You can install Linux as the only operating system or you can partition your hard drive and install Linux to be the 2nd,3rd,etc operating system as it support multi-booting using Lilo, or Grub.

Starting the installation process edit

Usually as mentioned earlier one installs Linux with a bootable CD/DVD disk. In order to start the installation therefore one must insert the disk into the CD/DVD drive and start/restart the computer. Upon booting, the boot prompt will appear offering various options to choose from. Most of them required in special cases only, therefore one can proceed with the defaults. The installer can be either graphics (GUI) or text (console) based. Some of the distributions will offer either or both of them. The installation system will now boot and prepare itself for starting. After that one may proceed with installing

You can also make a pendrive(data traveller)bootable you can download an .iso file and there are softwares available who can make it bootable like "universal usb maker" and then you can make it bootable and then choose boot options as pen drive and do the installation process.

In case you are installing a server with out-of-band management (OOM) support, you can use their virtual media support for installing them using an ISO image remotely. Almost all enterprise grade servers support out-of-band management with different implementations and names, HP Proliant servers call it ILO, Dell call it iDRAC and IBM call it IMM.

The installation process edit

After the installation system started it will most of the time detect and configure, your hardware automatically. You will have to set your localization options such as location, time zone, keyboard layout, preferred language (if applicable). Then you will have to choose the installation medium you decided to use prior to beginning the installation. You will also set up networking, superuser password, optionally create a new account. The most critical parts are however selecting the installation target, or in other words telling the installer where you decided to install the system, and selecting the software which you will install.


Most modern installers have some built-in graphical (either gui or console based) partitioner. This makes your job easier since you will have to type less. Generally it is a good practice to use at least 3 individual partitions for your Linux, one of them should be mounted to "/", the other one to "/homes", and the third one should be a swap partition. The sizes are up to your decision, and depend on which software's you will install, but for the swap partition at least 256 megabytes size is recommended (1.5-2x the physical memory size would be optimal). You can choose from a variety of file systems for these partitions, which you will use depends on your needs, but generally you will most likely decide to use the ext3 or reiserfs journalling file systems. Also you will need to set the bootable flag for the partition you intend to boot from, this is usually the first partition.

Software installation

Today's installers offer you a user friendly software installation system as well. You just have to choose which software you want to install and you are all set. Mostly they will offer default selections, but for a server you will not need all of those, so here you should probably choose the minimal installation (or basic installation/basic system/minimal system, or similar) and install the software you will need later, after your system is installed.

Boot loader

The installer will offer you to set Lilo or GRUB up for you. Most of the time you can leave it unchanged and do what it wants to do, as it will recognize your installation layout, and will let you choose between when you are booting. However if you plan on using another 3rd party boot loader, you might consider not installing it at all.

Booting your new system

After you are done with the previous steps you may proceed to this part, when the installer will reboot your system, and you can boot your brand new Linux system. After that is done, you might go on and customize your system.

Distribution Specific Installation Instructions edit