Installing TarHeel Linux 6.3 on Desktop and Server

Building TarHeel Linux 6.3 on Desktop and Server

Download the latest TarHeel Linux Boot 6.x iso image from the “Installation” page.  Burn a disc with the iso image to become the Tarheel Linux Boot 6.x disc.

Insert the TarHeel Linux Boot 6.x CDROM in the drive. If you machine has two drives, use the uppermost, as that is generally the only one the BIOS will see as a boot option.

Power cycle the machine.

As soon as you see the Lenovo ThinkCentre splash screen, tap the F12 key. Once is good, twice is often better. This will cause the BIOS boot menu to be displayed. Use the arrow keys to choose the CDROM drive (look for CD or CDROM or CD/DVD – this will vary), and hit the “Enter” key.

There will be a pause at a “Welcome to TarHeel Linux 6.x!” splash screen. Use the up and down arrow keys to select i386 or x86_64 installation, server mode or not.  Hit enter to continue.

Now, it’s time for the TarHeel Linux kickstart server to do the work.  After some initial setups, it will pop up the following message asking for input.  Make sure that you understand the warning message, then, enter “yes” to proceed.

*                                      W A R N I N G                                      *
*                                                                                         *
*      This process will completely erase the hard drive and install TarHeel Linux 6.2.   *
*                                                                                         *
*           Do you wish to continue? (Type the entire word "yes" to proceed.)             *
*                                                                                         *

Proceed with install?

Then, TarHeel Linux 6 installer asks for the ONYEN of root user.  Root is the user who owns the root password, the system administration password.  Enter the ONYEN and hit Enter.  Enter “y” if you enter the correct ONYEN.

Enter ONYEN of the Root User for this TarHeel Linux Machine
ONYEN of Root User:

Once the ONYEN is entered, it will ask if it is correct or not.

Is this correct? [y/n]:

Enter “y” to continue.

For TarHeel Linux 6 installation, root password needs to be established after installation.  This is a very important step of the installation.  The installer will pop up the following message to remind you on that.  Enter “yes” if you understand that.

*                                   IMPORTANT NOTE                                        *
*                                                                                         *
*         This installation requires setting up root password by the root user.           *
*                                                                                         *
*                        After installtion, log in as root user                           *
*                   and run "root_passwd_unc" to set up root password.                    *
*                                                                                         *
* It is absolutely essential that a strong password be used.  Root password is set to use *
* the same rules as teh ONYEN password, with one exception.  The password may NOT contain *
* ANY dictionary word of four characters or greater.   Consider using the first character *
* of every word in a memorable passphrase.  The length can be between 8 and 12 characters *
* and must include upper and lower case letters, and at lease one number, and one special *
* characters.                                                                             *
*                                                                                         *
* Do you wish to continue? (Type the entire word "yes" to proceed.)                       *
*                                                                                         *
Proceed with install?

The installer will ask if the root user is also the primary user of the system.  If yes, enter “y”, hit enter to proceed.  If not, enter the ONYEN of the primary user, confirm with “y” and proceed.

Is ONYEN also the primary user of this machine: [y/n]:

IMPORTANT: This build will reformat your hard drive. If this is not what you intended, remove the CDROM NOW. If you wish to continue with your TarHeel Linux build, all you need to do is to enter “yes” and hit the Enter key.

Now, let the TarHeel Linux kickstart server do the rest of the work. You can go get a cup of coffee, although friendly and helpful messages will come up now and again to help you pass the time. If you are really interested in what software is being loaded, all the packages are listed with short descriptions as they are loaded.

Once the load is complete, the boot disk will be ejected, grab it.

The system will be rebooted all by itself. When this boot is complete, you will have your very own TarHeel Linux host.  The whole setup takes about 15 minutes.


Terminal Window

A right-click of your mouse anywhere on the wallpaper will display a menu which will enable you to open a terminal window. In that window, choose Edit/Profiles…/Default/[Edit]. The General menu allows you to choose a font size – which is probably the easiest way to control the actual size of your window. Check out the Color menu to choose background and font colors you like. Under the Effects menu, you can add transparency to the terminal background.

Root Password

IMPORTANT: It is a very Bad Idea to log into a Linux machine directly as root. Always log in as yourself.

The first time you log in to the machine, you may want to change the root password.  Log in to the system as the root user, then, run the following command in a terminal.

prompt% root_passwd_unc

It will prompt you for primary user’s ONYEN password, enter that.  Then, enter your new root password.

To become root, one can use the following command.

prompt%  su -

The “minus” will create a shell with root’s complete environment – including having the various sbin directories in the PATH. This action gets properly logged – in the case that you would ever want to know if anyone else tried to do something as root. The person who holds the root password can also use the sudo command to easily run single commands as root without needing to invoke a root shell. This means that you must protect your own password every bit as carefully as you protect the root password!

Adding New Users

We have an adduser program which will take an ONYEN as an argument, or the name of a file with a list of ONYENS, and will create accounts for those people on your machine using the correct NumericUID, NumericGID, and shell information from the UNC LDAP server for complete compatibility across systems. By default, home directories are created in /home. However, you can also specify the location of the home directories – even if they will reside on a remote server. You will need to be root to run this program. It is called “adduser_unc” and lives in /usr/local/sbin:

# adduser_unc  chen


# adduser_unc  -f /path/to/onyenfile

The format of this file is as follows:

# cat /path/to/onyenfile

For home directories exported from remote hosts:

# adduser_unc  -h /mnt/remote/home  onyen

The administrator of the remote machine will have to create the actual home directories and make sure that the NumericUID and NumericGIDs match. If you have skel files you want each user to start with, you must give copies to this administrator. The default is to use the “dot” files in /etc/skel on your TarHeel Linux machine. You will have to put the proper entry in /etc/fstab and create a mount point to make sure this remote volume is properly mounted.