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ISO Install Guide

Installing Source Mage is quite easy. In no time at all, you will be able to boot into a base system on which you can start building your dream environment. Without building a new kernel the install process only takes about 20 minutes.

This installation guide is a sort of walkthrough of the different steps and options of the Source Mage installer. Screenshots are provided to give an example of the interface and the options.

Know thy computer

As a preparatory step, it might be a good idea to take a good, hard look at your computer. Gather as much information as you can to help you not only in the installation, but it also getting to know more about your beloved machine. It will also be good to store this information for future reference.

The most important pieces of information you need for the installation would be:

Other pieces of information that might be needed at some point in time (like in compiling your own kernel):

Download Source Mage

In the example below we will use version 0.10.0 for x86. You can download the appropriate ISO from our downloads page.

You can also browse the Codex online on http://download.sourcemage.org/codex/listing.html to get a peek at the available packages.

Boot up

The first and most important thing you need to do (besides putting the installer CD into your CD-ROM drive) is to setup the BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM drive. Once you boot up, you will be greeted with a short welcoming message and copyright information, as well as instructions for entering special kernel parameters. Most users at this point would just press Enter to boot.


How to use the Installer

The Source Mage Installer is text-based and provides the step required to install a bootable Source Mage system. It is navigated by typing next after completion of the step's tasks. Other commands available are prev, todo, jump and help.

Many of the steps are self-descriptive, so we will give just a few notes on them where necessary.

Install welcome


Partition disk


At this point you will have to decide how to partition the drive. The simplest is to use two partitions, one for the system and the other to be used as a swap partition.

Depending on the file system you are using it may be important to have /boot on a separate partition. It is also useful to put /home on a separate partition so that the system can be reinstalled without touching the user files.

Format disk


After you have decided how to partition your drive you will need to decide what file system to use. This is a very personal choice. The commands are provided in the instructions for ext2, ext3, reiserfs, jfs and xfs. Most would use ext3 which is very stable, provides journaling and holds up pretty well to errors and unintended system power-offs. Source Mage is all about choice and you can choose whichever you believe works best for your situation.

Mount partitions


Select spells

Install/ISO/spells.png Install/ISO/spells2.png Install/ISO/spells3.png Install/ISO/spells4.png



Edit configuration files


Setup kernel




Setup boot loader

Note: lilo and grub2 (not covered here) are the only two options for x86_64 out-of-the-box.




User setup




Exit! Done! Finito!

And now you're done! All that's left is to reboot into your freshly installed Source Mage system, setup your internet connection, connect to the Internet, and update your system.

To setup networking you must create an interfaces file in /etc/network directory.
There is an example in /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples/network-interfaces.

Post-install steps

If you installed the "smgl-setup" man page (selected to be installed by default in the ISO), you should start with:

# man smgl-setup

Now is the perfect time to do a rebuild of your system. Once you have booted your new system, it's recommended to:

# cast -c binutils gcc g++ gettext glibc

Note: due to circular dependency of spell "gmp" (gcc depends on it), the command above may not be successful. In that case, you can temporarily disable casting "g++" with commands in following order:

# sorcery hold g++
# cast -c binutils gcc
# sorcery unhold g++
# cast -c g++ gettext glibc

Doing all of this will recompile your installed spells and optimize them for your processor. We highly recommend that you do this now, as it can speed up your system.
The longer you hold off, the more spells will be recompiled later on.

Once again, to rebuild your system anytime, type:

# sorcery rebuild

Welcome to Source Mage!