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SETUP(8)                    System Manager's Manual                   SETUP(8)

       setup - Install MINIX 3 on a hard disk


       This  appendix  explains  how  to  install  MINIX  3.  Standard MINIX 3
       requires a Pentium (or compatible) with at least 16-MB of RAM, at least
       200-MB  of  free disk space, an IDE CD-ROM and an IDE hard disk. Serial
       ATA, USB, and SCSI disks are not supported at  present.   For  USB  CD-
       ROMS, see the Website:


       If  you  already  have  the  CD-ROM (e.g., from the book), you can skip
       steps 1 and 2, but it is wise to check to see if a newer
       version  is  available.   If  you  want  to  run MINIX 3 on a simulator
       instead of native, see Part V first.  If you do not have an IDE CD-ROM,
       either get the special USB CD-ROM boot image or use a simulator.

       Download  the  MINIX  3  CD-ROM  image  from  the  MINIX  3  Website at

       Decompress the downloaded file.  You will get a CD-ROM image file  with
       extension  .iso and this manual.  The .iso file is a bit-for-bit CD-ROM
       image.  Burn it to a CD-ROM to make a bootable CD-ROM.

       If you are using Easy CD Creator 5, select Record CD from CD image from
       the  File menu and change the file type from .cif to .iso in the dialog
       box that appears. Select the image file  and  click  Open.  Then  click
       Start Recording.

       If you are using Nero Express 5, choose Disc Image or Saved Project and
       change the type to Image Files, select the image file and  click  Open.
       Select your CD recorder and click on Next.

       If  you  are  running Windows and do not have a CD-ROM burning program,
       take a look at
       for a free one and use it to create a CD image.

       MINIX 3 supports several Ethernet chips for networking over LAN,  ADSL,
       and  cable.  These  include  Intel  Pro/100, RealTek 8029 and 8139, AMD
       LANCE, and several 3Com chips.  During setup you will  be  asked  which
       Ethernet  chip  you have, if any. Determine that now by looking at your
       documentation. Alternatively, if you  are  using  Windows,  go  to  the
       device manager as follows:

       Windows 2000:
       Start> Settings> Control Panel> System> Hardware> Device Mgr

       Windows XP:
       Start> Control Panel> System> Hardware> Device Mgr

       System  requires double clicking; the rest are single. Expand
       the + next to Network adapters to see what you have. Write it
       down.  If you do not have a supported chip, you can still run
       MINIX 3, but without Ethernet.

       You can boot the computer from your CD-ROM if  you  like  and
       MINIX  3  will  start, but to do anything useful, you have to
       create a partition for it on  your  hard  disk.   But  before
       partitioning,  be  sure  to  back up your data to an external
       medium like CD-ROM or DVD as a  safety  precaution,  just  in
       case  something goes wrong.  Your files are valuable; protect

       Unless you are sure you are an expert  on  disk  partitioning
       with  much experience, it is strongly suggested that you read
       the    online    tutorial    on    disk    partitioning    at   If you already know how
       to manage partitions, create a contiguous chunk of free  disk
       space  of  at least 200 MB (even better: 400 MB or more).  If
       you  do  not  know  how  to  manage  partitions  but  have  a
       partitioning program like Partition Magic, use it to create a
       region of free disk space of at least 200 MB. Also make  sure
       there  is  at  least one primary partition (i.e., Master Boot
       Record slot) free.  The MINIX 3 setup script will  guide  you
       through  creating  a MINIX partition in the free space, which
       can be on either the first or second IDE disk.

       If you are running Windows 95, 98, ME, or 2000 and your  disk
       consists   of  a  single  FAT  partition,  you  can  use  the
       presz134.exe  program  on  the  CD-ROM  (also  available   at  to  reduce its size to leave room for MINIX.  In
       all other cases, please read the online tutorial cited above.

       WARNING: If you make a mistake during disk partitioning,  you
       can  lose  all the data on the disk, so be sure to back it up
       to CD-ROM or DVD before starting.  Disk partitioning requires
       great care, so proceed with caution.


       By  now  you  should  have  allocated at least 200 MB of free
       space on your disk.  If you have not done so yet,  please  do
       it  now  unless  there  is  an  existing  200-MB  (or larger)
       partition you are willing to convert to MINIX 3.

       Insert the  CD-ROM  into  your  CD-ROM  drive  and  boot  the
       computer  from  it.  If you have 16 MB of RAM or more, choose
       Regular; if you have only 8 MB choose small.  If the computer
       boots  from  the  hard disk instead of the CD-ROM, boot again
       and enter the BIOS setup program to change the order of  boot
       devices, putting the CD-ROM before the hard disk.

       When  the  login  prompt  appears,  login  as  root.  After a
       successful login as root, you will see the shell prompt  (#).
       At  this  point you are running fully-operational MINIX 3. If
       you type:

          ls /usr/bin | more

       you can see what software is available.  Hit space to  scroll
       the list.  To see what program foo does, type:

          man foo

       The manual pages are also available at

       To start the installation of MINIX 3 on the hard disk, type


       After  this  and  all  other  commands, be sure to type ENTER
       (RETURN).  When the installation script ends a screen with  a
       colon,  hit  ENTER  to  continue. If the screen suddenly goes
       blank, press CTRL-F3 to  select  software  scrolling  (should
       only  be  needed  on very old computers).  Note that CTRL-key
       means depress the CTRL key and while holding it  down,  press


       These steps correspond to the steps on the screen.

       When  you  are asked to select your national keyboard, do so.
       This and  other  steps  have  a  default  choice,  in  square
       brackets.   If  you  agree  with  it, just hit ENTER. In most
       steps, the default is generally a good choice for  beginners.
       The  us-swap  keyboard  interchanges  the  CAPS LOCK and CTRL
       keys, as is conventional on UNIX systems.

       You will now be asked which of the available Ethernet  driver
       you  want  installed  (or  none).  Please  choose  one of the

       If you are tight on  disk  space,  select  M  for  a  minimal
       installation  which  includes  all  the binaries but only the
       system sources installed.  200 MB is enough for a  bare-bones
       system.  If  you  have  400  MB  or more, choose F for a full

       You will first be asked if you are an expert in MINIX 3  disk
       partitioning.   If so, you will be placed in the part program
       to give you full power to edit the Master  Boot  Record  (and
       enough  rope  to  hang  yourself).  If you are not an expert,
       press ENTER for the default action,  which  is  an  automated
       step-by-step  guide  to formatting a disk partition for MINIX

       Substep 4.1: Select a disk to install MINIX 3

       An IDE controller may have up to four disks. The setup script
       will  now  look  for each one. Just ignore an error messages.
       When the drives are listed,  select  one.  and  confirm  your
       choice.  If you have two hard disks and you decide to install
       MINIX 3 to the second one and have trouble booting  from  it,
       please   see   for  the

       Substep 4.2: Select a disk region

       Now choose a region to install MINIX 3 into. You  have  three
          (1) Select a free region
          (2) Select a partition to overwrite
          (3)  Delete  an  existing  partition  to free up space and
       merge with adjacent free space
       For choices (1) and (2), type the region number. For (3) type


       then give the region number when asked.  This region will  be
       overwritten and its previous contents lost forever.

       Substep 4.3: Confirm your choices

       You  have  now  reached  the  point of no return. You will be
       asked if you want to continue. If you do,  the  data  in  the
       selected region will be lost forever.  If you are sure, type:


       and then ENTER. To exit the setup script without changing the
       partition table, hit CTRL-C.

       If you chose an existing MINIX 3 partition, in this step  you
       will be offered a choice between a Full install, which erases
       everything in the partition, and a Reinstall, which does  not
       affect  your existing /home partition. This design means that
       you can put your personal files  on  /home  and  reinstall  a
       newer  version of MINIX 3 when it is available without losing
       your personal files.

       The  selected  partition   will   be   divided   into   three
       subpartitions:  root, /usr, and /home. The latter is for your
       own personal files. Specify how much of the partition  should
       be  set  aside  for your files.  You will be asked to confirm
       your choice.

       Disk block sizes of 1-KB, 2-KB, 4-KB, and 8-KB are supported,
       but  to  use  a  size  larger  than 4-KB you have to change a
       constant and recompile the system. If your memory is 16 MB or
       more, use the default (4 KB); otherwise, use 1 KB.

       The  setup  script  will now scan each partition for bad disk
       blocks. This will take several minutes, possibly  10  minutes
       or more on a large partition.  Please be patient.  If you are
       absolutely certain there are no bad blocks, you can kill each
       scan by hitting CTRL-C.

       When  the  scan  finishes, files will be automatically copied
       from the  CD-ROM  to  the  hard  disk.  Every  file  will  be
       announced  as  it  is  copied.  When the copying is complete,
       MINIX 3 is installed.  Shut the system down by typing


       Always stop MINIX 3 this way to avoid data loss  as  MINIX  3
       keeps some files on the RAM disk and only copies them back to
       the hard disk at shutdown time.


       This section tells you how to test your installation, rebuild
       the  system  after modifying it, and boot it later. To start,
       boot your new MINIX 3  system.   For  example,  if  you  used
       controller 0, disk 0, partition 3, type

          boot c0d0p3

       and  log  in  as  root.  Under very rare conditions the drive
       number seen by the BIOS (and used by the  boot  monitor)  may
       not  agree  with  the  one used by MINIX 3, in which case try
       other drive numbers.  This is a good time to  create  a  root
       password. See man passwd for help.

       To test MINIX 3, at the command prompt (#) type

          cd /usr/src/test

       and  wait until it completes all 40 compilations.  Log out by
       typing CTRL-D,

       To test the system, log in as bin (required) and type

          cd /usr/src/test

       to run the test programs. They should all run  correctly  but
       they  can take 20 min on a fast machine and over an hour on a
       slow one.  Note: It is necessary to compile  the  test  suite
       when running as root but execute it as bin in order to see if
       the setuid bit works correctly.

       If all the tests work correctly,  you  can  now  rebuild  the
       system.   Doing  so is not necessary since it comes prebuilt,
       but if you plan to modify the system, you will need  to  know
       how  to rebuild it.  Besides, rebuilding the system is a good
       test to see if it works. Type:

          cd /usr/src/tools

       to see the various options available. Now make a new bootable
       image by typing

          make clean
          time make image

       You  just  rebuilt  the  operating  system, including all the
       kernel and user-mode parts. That did not take very long,  did
       it?  To update the boot image currently installed on the hard
       disk, type

          make hdboot

       To boot the new system, first shut down by typing:


       This command saves certain files and returns you to the MINIX
       3  boot  monitor.   To get a summary of what the boot monitor
       can do, while in it, type:


       For              more              details,               see  You can now remove
       any CD-ROM or floppy disk and turn off the computer.

       If you have a legacy floppy disk drive, the simplest  way  to
       boot MINIX 3 is by inserting your new boot floppy and turning
       on the power. It takes only a  few  seconds.   Alternatively,
       boot from the MINIX 3 CD-ROM, login as bin and type:


       to get back to the MINIX 3 boot monitor. Now type:

          boot c0d0p0

       to boot from the operating system image file on controller 0,
       driver 0, partition 0.  Of course, if  you  put  MINIX  3  on
       drive 0 partition 1, use:

          boot c0d0p1

       and so on.

       A  third  possibility  for  booting  is  to  make the MINIX 3
       partition the active one, and use the MINIX 3 boot monitor to
       start MINIX 3 or any other operating system.  For details see

       Finally, a fourth option is for you to  install  a  multiboot
       loader  such  as  LILO  or  GRUB (
       Then you can boot  any  of  your  operating  systems  easily.
       Discussion  of  multiboot loaders is beyond the scope of this
       guide, but there  is  some  information  of  the  subject  at


       A  completely different approach to running MINIX 3 is to run
       it on top of another operating system instead  of  native  on
       the  bare  metal.  Various  virtual machines, simulators, and
       emulators are available for this purpose. Some  of  the  most
       popular ones are:

          o VMware (
          o Bochs (
          o QEMU (

       See  the documentation for each of them. Running a program on
       a simulator is similar to running it on the  actual  machine,
       so you should go back to Part I and acquire the latest CD-ROM
       and continue from there.