Installing Point Linux

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00. Point Linux Logo.PNG


Booting From A CD Or A USB Drive

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Insert the installation CD into the CD/DVD reader or plug the USB drive into a USB port. You may need to update the boot priority list in your computer's BIOS or EFI settings (depending on the model of your computer) to ensure that a bootable CD or USB drive takes precedence over the hard disk.

Please note that running Point Linux from a CD or DVD is very much slower than running it from a USB drive or hard disk.

Select the menu item Try Linux without installing and press Return.

Your computer will boot-up using Point Linux instead of its usual operating system. No software or configuration changes will be written to the hard disk during the test, so you can experiment with running Point Linux in complete safety. You can modify the appearance or any other settings but these will not be saved.

Point Linux is a general-purpose operating system which will run on a very wide range of computers, but performing a brief “live” test before committing to a full installation is always advisable.

Notes on the other boot options

The remaining boot options are intended primarily for trouble-shooting by experienced users:

Start Point Linux in safe mode - The operating system is started using only the essential components, such as the kernel and the basic drivers for the keyboard, mouse and display.

Check disk for defects - This checks the integrity of drive used to boot the computer.

Test memory - This tests the ability of your computer to store and retrieve data in its Random Access Memory (RAM).

Boot from first hard disk - This bypasses the test and boots the computer using its default operating system.

Starting The Installation Process

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Double-click the Install Point Linux icon. This begins the process of installing Point Linux onto your computer's hard disk.

You will be prompted to set a number of configuration options. All your choices can be undone by stepping backwards through the options using the Back button. You only commit irrevocably to the installation after all the options have been captured, when you will be explicitly prompted to click an Install button.

Language Selection

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Choose your preferred language and click Forward.


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Choose your timezone and click Forward.

Keyboard Layout

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Choose your keyboard layout and click Forward. You can test your selection before proceeding.

Creating The Initial User

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Enter the username and password for the initial user and the name chosen for the computer (hostname) and click Forward.

The initial user has administrator rights over the computer but these are not exercised by default. Programs requiring administrator rights (such as those managing the installation of new software) will request the password and cannot run without it.

The username and password will be required whenever the computer is rebooted unless the Enable autologin field is checked, in which case the computer will boot straight into the initial user's desktop.

Additional user profiles, each with different access rights, can be created after the installation is complete.

Select The Hard Drive For Installation

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All available drives will be listed. This will include any external USB storage devices and memory cards. Select the drive onto which you wish to install Point Linux.

Click Forward.


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A typical installation will involve overwriting an existing operating system with Point Linux, or installing Point Linux alongside an existing operating system; creating a dual boot system. There are potentially many partitioning scenarios, depending on the configuration of the computer before the installation, and how it is intended to operate the computer afterwards.

The image above shows the simplest scenario, in which there is one large empty partition into which Point Linux will be installed, with a Swap Partition, which may be used as temporary storage if an operation requires more RAM than is actually available. If the large partition already contains an operating system, its name will be shown in the “Operating System” column.

To create new partitions, or to delete or modify those already configured, click the Edit Partitions button. This launches the GParted application, which can be used to define any changes required, including the creation of a dual-boot system.

An in-depth discussion of partitioning considerations and full instructions for using GParted are available on its web site:

GParted Website

Point Linux can work with a number of file systems. For general use ext2, ext3 and ext4 are good choices, with ext4 being the most modern and popular.

With the partitions defined and formatted, the only other partitioning task is to choose the mount point. This determines where the files and programs required for booting Point Linux will be placed. A good choice for most users is “/”, which is the root of the file system. The mount point is set by right-clicking on the list entry for the main partition, and selecting “/” from the drop-down list.

Once the partitioning options have been selected click Forward.

Advanced Options / Boot Loader

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Advanced Options

Compiz is a compositing window manager which can create some advanced and visually interesting desktop effects. These may include animations and a "cube" workspace. A detailed overview is available here:

Wikipedia Compiz Description

Compiz imposes a greater load on your computer's processor and graphics resources than a conventional window manager. If you are uncertain of your computer's capabilities it is recommended that you initially install Point Linux without Compiz. It can be easily installed later from the online repositories.

Debian Backports are applications which are candidates for inclusion in the the next major release of Debian (on which Point Linux is based). Enabling debian-backport updates will result in the installation of more recent versions of some applications than would otherwise be the case. While these should mostly run problem-free, you accept that they may not have been so thoroughly tested with this version of Point Linux and, therefore, present a risk to stability.

Non-free Repositories are libraries of applications and other software components which are proprietary, or do not fully comply with the definition of free and open source software.

Boot Loader

Point Linux uses a boot loader to control the running of essential processes during the boot process. The default boot loader for Point Linux is called GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader). GRUB is very widely used and highly recommended for Point Linux. Alternative boot loaders can be used, but these need to be manually configured after the installation is completed, and should only be considered by advanced Linux users.

GRUB should normally be installed in the same partition as the operating system.

Click Forward.

Commit / Install

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All the selected installation options are summarised. This is the final opportunity to abort the installation.

Click Install to commit.

You will now have a few minutes spare while files are copied onto your computer's hard disk and the system is configured. Progress is displayed on a dialog throughout the operation.

On completion you will be prompted to restart the computer.

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As the computer shuts down you will be prompted to remove the installation CD/DVD or USB drive. This ensures that the computer will reboot from the hard disk rather than the installation media. The screen will briefly go blank and then the normal startup routine will begin. Depending on the configuration of your system (dual boot, etc), several boot options will be displayed, but the default will be to start Point Linux, which will happen automatically after a few seconds.

If you opted for autologin, the computer will boot directly into the desktop of the initial user. Otherwise you will be prompted for the username and password.

Point Linux is now installed and ready to use.

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