Welcome to Source Mage GNU/Linux

Contents

Source Mage is a source-based GNU/Linux distribution based on a Sorcery metaphor of "casting" and "dispelling" programs, which we refer to as "spells", and a package manager called "Sorcery". Our packages are designed to allow the user to customize the package any way they want (custom CFLAGS, LDFLAGS, ./configure flags, etc.) as well as offering as many of the package options as possible to the user up-front (you will not need to know what options a package has or what optional dependencies it can use ahead of time). All of our scripts are GPL'd and our package manager and packages are written in bash, so they are easy to learn and modify. Sorcery supports custom packages maintained by users, which can override the default package and will never be touched by updates. The magic is truly in your hands with Source Mage.

About Source Mage GNU/Linux

Introduction

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 idea 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:
  • Processor (name, model, type)
  • Hard drive (type, capacity)
  • Network card (ethernet, wireless)
  • Internet connection (dial-up, DSL/Cable, WiFi)
Other pieces of information that might be needed at some point in time (like in compiling your own kernel):
  • Input devices (keyboard, mouse, Wacom)
  • Video card
  • Sound card
  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Other peripherals and devices (Bluetooth, infrared, etc.)

Download Source Mage

The current version of Source Mage GNU/Linux for X86 is 0.10.0. You can download the appropriate ISO from our downloads page.

You can also browse the Codex online 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.

Boot Screen

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.

Install Welcome

Install Welcome Screen

Partition Disk

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

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. Personally I use ext3 which is very stable and 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 Disk

Select Spells

Install Setup

Edit Configuration Files

Setup Kernel

ISO Kernel Setup

Compile Kernel

Setup Boot Loader

Setup lilo

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

Setup grub

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

User setup

Reboot

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. There is an example in /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples/network-interfaces.

Post-Install

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:

  • ensure that networking is up (run ifconfig)
  • run sorcery update to update the sorcery scripts
  • run scribe update && cast smgl-archspecs to update the spell lists and tell sorcery the latest list for supported CPU architectures
  • configure sorcery (run sorcery, then go to Options)
  • update essential spells for compiling when gettext/glibc are updated to use your architecture specs) by using the command (compile in order): cast -c binutils gcc g++ gettext glibc

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
  • run sorcery rebuild to build everything with your chosen optimizations

Doing all of this will recompile your installed spells and optimize them for your processor. I 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. To rebuild your system type sorcery rebuild without the quotes.

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