Linux Mandrake

Installation Instructions

Required configuration

Installing Linux-Mandrake is, in most cases, as simple as putting your Installation CD in your CDROM drive, and restarting your machine. Please refer to point 1.


You can also install Linux-Mandrake onto a Windows 95/98/ME system, using Linux for Windows. This does not require disk partitioning, and installs Linux in a Windows folder. It is a convenient way to discover Linux-Mandrake without modifying your Windows system. It is however significantly slower than a regular installation. Also, your Linux-Mandrake installation is lost if you re-install Windows. Please refer to point 2 to use Linux for Windows.

Below are listed the different ways to install Linux-Mandrake:

  1. Boot directly from CD
  2. Installing onto Windows 95/98/ME
  3. Launch install from MS-DOS
  4. Make a boot floppy with Windows
  5. Other install methods

1. Boot directly from CD

The Installation CDROM is bootable. In most cases, just insert the CD into the drive and reboot the machine. Follow the instructions displayed on screen: press the Enter key to start the installation, or press F1 for additional help.


On some portable computers, the system may not reboot from the CD. If this is the case, you should prepare a boot floppy. See point 4 for details.

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2. Installing onto Windows 95/98/ME

To install Linux-Mandrake within a Windows folder, avoiding any disk partitioning, you should:

  1. Insert the first CD,
  2. Reboot the system,
  3. Press F1 when the Linux-Mandrake screen comes up,
  4. Type lnx4win at the prompt, then press Enter
Follow the instructions shown on screen.

Additional details on lnx4win can be found in the appropriate readme file.


When inserting the CDROM under Windows, a window will popup to give you access to an installation summary and to Linux-Mandrake demos and tutorial. It will also permit you to create directly the boot floppy described in point 4 .

If the window does not popup, run:
(assuming D is your CDROM's drive letter).

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3. Launch install from MS-DOS

If you have MS-DOS installed on your computer, you can boot the installation system directly from the CD without using any diskettes.

Note that this method will not work if run in a DOS window under Windows. It will not work under Windows ME either.

To do this (assuming your CD is drive D:), use the following commands:

C:\> D:
D:\> cd \dosutils\autoboot
D:\> D:\dosutils\autoboot> autoboot.bat

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4. Make a boot floppy with Windows

If your computer cannot boot from the CDROM and previous methods do not work, you must make a boot floppy under Windows as follows:

To begin the installation:

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5. Other installation methods

If for any reason the previous methods do not fit your needs (you want to perform a network install, an install from pcmcia devices or ...), you will also need to make a boot floppy :

xxxxx.img is the boot image :

blank.img is a minimal image to customize kernel installation.

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You can also use a text mode installation if, for any reason, you have trouble with the default graphical installation. To use it, press F1 at Linux-Mandrake welcome screen, then text at the prompt.

If you need to rescue your existing Linux-Mandrake system, insert your Installation CDROM (or any relevant boot floppy), press F1 at Linux-Mandrake welcome screen, then rescue at the prompt.

See for more technical information.

Below are the main stages of installation:

  1. Insert your Installation CDROM (or Installation Floppy disk if necessary) and restart your machine.
  2. Press Enter when the Linux-Mandrake welcome screen appears and carefully follow the instructions.
  3. When the installation is complete take out the CD-ROM when ejected (and any floppy disk if present in drive); your machine will restart. If it does not, restart it manually.
  4. Linux-Mandrake will start. After bootup, you can "Login" on your machine under the user account setup during install, or as "root".

Important note:

The "root" account will give you unrestricted access to your Linux system. Do not use it except to configure or administer Linux. For every day use, use a normal user account which you can configure with the "userdrake"tool, or with the "adduser USER" and "passwd USER" commands.

Good luck with Linux-Mandrake !

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For installation support see the Mandrake diffusion list and FAQs at Mandrake web site: