Before you begin

For a normal TarHeel Linux installation, you need to use the UNC DHCP service to obtain an IP address, and the MAC address of the machine will need to be registered. Find the MAC address of your machine, and go to ONYEN SERVICES to register it. The database update can take up to two hours, so do this well in advance of your install.

While you are at it, check to see if the network port you intend to use is activated. If not, you will need to submit a ticket to the UNC Networking group via Remedy. Mention in the request that the machine which will be connected to this port will be running DHCP.

Once the network port is activated, use a network cable to connect your machine with the port.  For VirtualBox installation, make sure that the host machine is on the network.

IMPORTANT: You will need to enter a root password in the installation. ONYEN rules are enforced, and there can be no dictionary words four letters of longer in the string. A tremendous amount of your host’s security depends on the strength of the root password. Thanks to the use of our campus Kerberos server for ONYEN passwords, the ONLY password encryption local to your machine is the one for the root account. Start thinking now. Use something memorable – but Strong!

The iso images for TarHeel Linux installation can be downloaded from the following URLs.  For both TarHeel Linux 6 & 7, only x86_64 version is available.

The Netinstall iso is for machines which can be attached to UNC campus network with DHCP or static IP address.  The Everything iso is to install TarHeel Linux without network.  However, once TarHeel Linux is installed, the machine needs to be on the network before the first boot to perform additional installation, update and other functions.

Once you have the iso images, you will burn a CDROM/DVD from it for TarHeel Linux installation.  The Everything isos are too big to fit onto a DVD disc.  You will have to use USB key with 16GB capacity or bigger.

Some machines do not come with CDROM/DVD drive.  In that case, you can attach an external CDROM/DVD drive to it.  Another way is to transfer files and directories in the TarHeel Linux Boot disc from CDROM to a USB key and install TarHeel Linux using a USB key instead.  Instruction in creating a TarHeel Linux Boot USB Key can be found elsewhere.  Contact us if you have problem creating a TarHeel Linux installation USB key.

Different kind of installation

The most popular installation is to completely erase the internal hard drive and install TarHeel Linux.

In case that you do not want to erase the internal hard drive but you want to run TarHeel Linux, we have tested the following ways to get you going.

First, since the target machines are x86_64 based, these machines are fully capable of running Microsoft Windows too. One way to do that is to build a dual boot system and one can boot to either TarHeel Linux or Windows.

Second, you can get an external USB drive, we can put TarHeel Linux on that drive.  When you are ready to run TarHeel Linux, you boot up the machine and direct the BIOS to boot from the external USB drive.  Then, you will be able run TarHeel Linux on an external drive without touching the internal drive.  A similar approach is to use USB thumb drive.  Drawbacks in using USB thumb drive are slower speed and not enough storage space.

Third, we can make use of the virtualization technology running TarHeel Linux as guest OS together with the original host OS (Windows 7 or Mac OS X).