SBdocs - SlackBuilder Tutorials - to_hard_drive

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Installing To Hard Drive

Booting it up

Once the usbboot image has booted up you will be greeted with a small message. Hit the enter key to login as root and the installer will fire up automatically.

Note: At this point you are running a live system and the usb stick can be removed. It is no longer needed. Unless you intend to install the image to hard drive. More about this later on.

The following screenshot is of the installer running in a desktop terminal.

Pre Configured Settings

You will notice that there are already some pre configured settings. At this point all you have to do is select a TARGET to INSTALL to. SOURCES with accompanying pkgslists and postinstall SCRIPTS are all pre set to factory default .
Learn more about the Installer here

Note: This is as good a time as any to explain that all settings are persistant but not permanent. You can set and reset device, partition, source, pkgslist etc... to your hearts content EXIT out of the installer and start it back up again to find all your setting are still saved. Nothing is set in stone until the INSTALL and even then all your setting will be safe. You can choose another TARGET and install again if you wanted to. Only a reboot will reset everything back to defaults. If using the installer from a running system and not the boot disk your SOURCES pkgslists and postinstall SCRIPTS will persist after a reboot but TARGET will not.


  • The HELP is not available yet.
  • I'll get around to it eventually. For now these tutorials will have to suffice.
  • The boot img comes with the lynx web browser and can be used to read this site.
  • Plus this is a bootstrap responsive website and works pretty well on a smart phone.

Connecting to a Network

NO Sources are provided on the boot disk except a handful of SlackBuilder stuff. You must have a network connection. So the first thing to do is select NETWORK and connect to your LAN or internet directly.

  • There is limited wifi support. If your card is not connecting its probably because the kernel modules and/or firmware are not present in the usbboot initrd.img.
  • You can make a request in the Forum to add support for your particular card. I may provide multiple images to meet this need.
  • Once you have SlackBuilder installed there is a usbboot image conversion suite that you can use. By providing your own script (in the same way as adding scripts to the installer) you can add the required modules &/or firmware to your own usbboot.img


After connection to a network the next option is ADDSWAP. This does nothing and is just a place holder. It's there because everyone expects it to be. I generally don't use swap partitions. Instead I prefer a swap file. This is easily setup after the first login by running the 'swapit' command. If you like to use swap partitions and have already added them to your drive just add them to your fstab file later.

Selecting a Target

If you have already partitioned your hard drive select PARTITION and format as needed. At this time only EXT4 is an option. I would really like to use BTRFS but as of yet slackware's mkinitrd command does not properly create an image to recognize it on a root partition. Even though it professes to. Cancel out to skip formatting. The partition will still be selected as the root device.

You can MOUNT/UMOUNT partitions manually if desired. The INSTALL should mount the root device automatically. If it fails to, try doing it manually and run INSTALL again.

Partitioning a hard drive

IF you have not already partitioned the drive then select DEVICE so you can do so. GPT and MBR partitioning are both available options. When selecting the GPT option if you are installing to a fresh drive then you will most likely want to do a fresh partitioning. Choosing so will automatically create a grub partition where the bootloader will go and a root partition will take up the rest of the drive, this may be undesirable especially if you have a large drive. When you are dropped into the partition manager just delete the second partition and create a new one to your liking.

An aside here. I normally install to just one root partition. No fancy schemas not even one extra home partition. Whatever partitions need to be mounted at boot time I just add to fstab post install. So at this time mounting complex partitioning arrangements is not yet supported as it is in the official slackware installer. This capability really should be supported and I will most likely add it at some future date.


Once the target is selected a message will show up in the dashboard of the installer that says...

Root Device: /dev/sdX#
If it is mounted it will look like...
Root Device: /dev/sdX#  /mnt/sdX#
Where sdX# is your drive partition.

At this point all source settings are set so all you have to do is select INSTALL and wait for the install to complete.

Post Install Configuration

After the INSTALL is complete it is time to CONFIGURE.

  1. Set a root user PASSWD. If left blank 'root' will be the password. A special distro user account is added from the postinstall scripts where passwd is also distro (be sure to change this later). All other accounts you can add after your first boot up.
  2. Select GRUB if you are installing that. If you are not installing Grub the postinstall script will create a /boot/grub-menu-entry file that you can just append to your existing grub.cfg. You can remove this script from running if you want to as installing Grub will set everything up for you anyway. I keep it around just for grins.
  3. RC lets you choose which xx.rc scripts run at boot time.
  4. When done with configuring select RUN to run the postinstall script.

The First Boot

If you chose to install Grub then your new installation should be ready for booting up now. Read number 2 above. If you have installed to a hard drive that already has a boot loader. Then be sure and add the appropriate lines to the configuration file. Slackbuilder does not use lilo at this time. If you use lilo then you probably already know how to add a new install to your lilo.conf file. If Grub is your boot loader then just append the /boot/boot-menu-entry file to your existing grub.cfg. And reboot to login to your new installation.

Note: There are still some things to configure after the first login; like setting the clock, network, adding user accounts etc...

Adding users

There is a special user 'distro' with password distro <-- (you need to change) you can login to to get started. Or...

As 'root' create user accounts with the 'adduser' command or whatever you prefer.
After the account is set up run 'group-user username' to grant proper access to things like the sound, video, netdev etc...

Starting the desktop

SlackBuilder installs with xfce4 availaible but has a custom Openbox desktop that can be started with 'startopenbox'.

To configure the display: From a terminal run the command 'Randr'. To reset the background image to fit a new resolution run 'setbg'.
To change the background image run 'Setbg'

To turn on/off session startup scripts run 'sbstartup'. Put your own scripts in ~/.config/sb_autostart/ and they will appear in the sbstartup app.

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By: Lance Peterson -- Slackerson