In TarHeel Linux 7 installation, we treat all machines, laptop, desktop, server equally.  For portable device, we need to configure it to be able to function with and without internet access.  For TarHeel Linux running off campus, we need to configure it to be able to access the UNC campus network.  Any installation needs to be on campus with the wired network connection.

If the machine is going to use DHCP to connect to the network for the installation.  Register the MAC address for the wired network through the web site.  Have the machine connected to the wired network on campus.  If there is a problem obtaining IP address from DHCP, we can do the installation with static IP address.  In this care, make sure that you have the IP Address, Netmask, Gateway, Hostname, and 2 Nameservers readily available.  And the hostname has already registered to DNS.

There are 2 TarHeel Linux 7 installation iso images, Netinst/Everything.  With the Netinst installation, the iso image can fit into a CDROM disk.  For the Everything installation, it is about 7GB with all the packages loaded into the iso image.  Therefore, one would use a double-sided DVD or USB key drive to hold the iso image for installation.  Download the latest TarHeel Linux 7 Installation iso image from the “Installation” page.  Burn a disc (CDROM/DVD) with the iso image to become the Tarheel Linux 7 Installation disc.  If CD/DVD drive is not available, you can copy the iso image to a USB key drive by following the instruction published in the “Burning TarHeel Linux 7 Installation Iso Image on USB Key Drive” page.

Running TarHeel Linux 7 Installer

Insert the TarHeel Linux 7 Installation disk into the CD/DVD drive.  If using USB key, insert it to one of the USB ports of the machine.

Make sure that there is a network cable connecting your machine to the network port.  And the network port is activated.

Power cycle the machine.

As soon as you see the BIOS splash screen, tap the F12 key. Once is good, multiple hit 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.  If using USB key, look for the USB key entry.  Sometimes, booting from USB key needs to be enabled in the BIOS in advance.

Netinst Installation

If you are using Netinst installation, there will be a pause at a “TarHeel Linux 7.x” splash screen. By default, it selects “Test this media & install THL 7.x”.  Netinst installation is network based.  When you are ready to install TarHeel Linux, it will pull all the packages from TarHeel Linux management servers to do the installation.  Therefore, your machine needs to be on the network for the installation to succeed.

For installation using DHCP, hit enter to proceed.  The installer will proceed automatically after 60 seconds idling.  For installation using static IP, hit tab within 60 seconds and you will see the following line.

> vmlinuz initrd=initrd.img inst.stage2=hd:UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx quiet inst.ks=

Edit this line to become the following.  Replace x.x.x.x with the real values you have for IP Address, Netmask, Gateway, and Nameserver (DNS).  The “ksdevice=link” tells installer to bring up the first network interface with link up.  They are all in one line.

> vmlinuz initrd=initrd.img inst.stage2=hd:UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx quiet inst.ks= 
ksdevice=link ip=x.x.x.x netmask=x.x.x.x gateway=x.x.x.x dns=x.x.x.x

Hit enter to continue.  This will configure the network to pick up the customized Kickstart file together with all the necessary files and packages for the TarHeel Linux installation.   Once the installer receives the Kickstart file, it will perform all tasks programmed in that file.

Everything Installation

If you are using Everything installation, there will be a pause at a “TarHeel Linux 7.x” splash screen. By default, it selects “Install TarHeel Linux 7.x”.  Everything installation is not network based.  All required files and packages are already in the iso image.

However, you want to make sure that there is a network cable connecting your machine to the network port.  And the network port is activated.  During installation, the installer will look for an activated network port of the machine and set up the network properly.  If there is no activated network port during installation, installer will not set up network.  When the installation is finished and the machine is rebooted, it will have no network connection.

Hit enter to continue.

Configuring TarHeel Linux Installation

The installer is going to ask a few questions.  The answers of these questions will be sued to configure TarHeel Linux 7 properly.  First of all, the installer will ask if the TarHeel Linux will be running off DHCP or using static IP address once it is up.

TarHeel Linux 7.1 Installation
*                                                        *
*   How can this machine get IP address? [d/s]           *
*                                                        *
*   Answer d for getting IP address with DHCP            *
*                and MAC address has been registered     *
*                                                        *
*   Answer s for static IP address                       *
*                and Gateway and Netmask are known       *
*                and 2 Nameservers are available         *
*                and Hostname is in DNS                  *
*                                                        *

Getting IP address? [d/s]:

Enter “d” for DHCP. Enter “s” for static IP. For laptop, we use DHCP exclusively.  For server, we use static IP most of the time.  If static IP is used, you will be prompted to enter IP Address, Hostname, Gateway, Netmask, and 2 Nameserver.  These values will be used to configure the TarHeel Linux build.

Next, the installer will ask you about hard drive partition.

*                                                        *
*   Do you want to partition the hard drive? [y/n]       *
*                                                        *
*   Answer y for partitioning the WHOLE hard drive       *
*   Answer y for erasing the WHOLE hard drive            *
*   Answer y for partitioning a VIRTUAL drive            *
*                                                        *
*   Answer n for setting your own drive partition        *
*   Answer n for installing dual boot system             *
*   Answer n for installing in non-default drive         *
*                                                        *

Partition the hard drive? [y/n]:

Enter “y” if you want the installer to do the hard drive partition.  The installer will look in the size of the drive and partition it accordingly.  Enter “n” if you want to partition the hard drive manually.

The following warning message will show.  Enter “yes” if you understand that the hard drive will be erased.

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

Proceed with installation?

The next part of configuration is about user.  The TarHeel Linux installer asks for the ONYEN of the primary user.  Primary user is the user who owns the root password, i.e., the system administration password.  The following will show.

*                                                        *
*   Enter ONYEN of Primary User for this machine?        *
*                                                        *
*   Primary User is the ADMINISTRATOR of the machine     *
*      and the one who owns the SUPERUSER password       *
*                                                        *

ONYEN of Root User: 

You entered: ONYEN
Is this correct? [y/n]:

Enter the ONYEN of the primary user and hit enter.  Enter “y” if you enter the correct ONYEN.  Otherwise, type “n” to enter your ONYEN again.


*                                                        *
*   Enter Password of Primary User for this machine?     *
*                                                        *
*   Primary User can log in with either this password    *
*      or ONYEN password.                                *
*                                                        *
Enter desired primary user password: 
Confirm primary user password:

In TarHeel Linux, you will log in with your ONYEN account and your ONYEN password.  In case you are having problem with your ONYEN, TarHeel Linux installation would like to create a temporary local password for you.  You are welcome to enter the same password as your ONYEN password.  Or, you can enter something different.  Please follow the ONYEN password rule to enter a strong password.

If your ONYEN with ONYEN password has no problem, you can use that to log in to the TarHeel Linux system and you can ignore the password you enter here.


*                      IMPORTANT NOTE                     *
*                                                         *
*   This installation requires setting up root password.  *
*                                                         *
*       You will be prompted to enter root password.      *
*                                                         *
*     After installation, log in as root user and run     *
*    "root_passwd_unc" to set up STRONG root password.    *
*                                                         *
*   It is absolutely essential that a strong password be  *
*   used. Root password is set to use about the same      *
*   rules as the ONYEN password. The password may NOT     *
*   contain ANY dictionary word. The length must be at    *
*   least 8 characters and must include 1 upper case, 1   *
*   lower case, 1 number and 1 special character.         *
*                                                         *
*                 Do you wish to continue?                *
*          (Type the entire word "yes" to proceed.)       *
*                                                         *
Proceed with installation? 

The installer is warning you about root password.  For TarHeel Linux 7 installation, you will be asked to enter root password.  Please follow the ONYEN password rule to enter a very strong password.  If you are not sure about the strength of the root password, you are urged to change the root password with the “root_passwd_unc” command right after installation.  If you understand that, type”yes”, hit enter to continue.


Enter desired root password: 
Confirm root password:

Enter root password and then confirm it by typing it again.

The installer has got all the necessary information to proceed.  TarHeel Linux installation will start.  If you configure it to partition the hard drive manually, it will proceed to another window for you to do that.  Once that is done, the installation will proceed.

TarHeel Linux Installation

Now, let the TarHeel Linux Kickstart server do the rest of the work. Once the load is complete, the screen will tell you that the installation is finished.  Hit “Reboot” to reboot the machine.  If you have CDROM/DVD or USB key, you can eject or pull it out.

The machine will reboot and the first time it boots up, it will do more installation to configure the system.

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, select “Open in Terminal”. In that terminal 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

The first time you log in to the machine, you may want to change the root password.  Log in to the system as the primary user, then, run the following command in a terminal.  Make sure that the wired network cable is still connected at this point.

[onyen@tarheellinux ~]$ root_passwd_unc

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