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Introduction:

Porteus is a linux distribution that runs live, without being 'installed' natively like most other operating systems. Porteus creates its file system on the fly, within seconds, every time it is started up. This allows it to be run from many different kinds of media, including: 1)Writeable CD's or DVD's 2)USB Flash Drives (aka Pendrives) 3)External or Internal Hard Drives 4)Other writeable media, including flash cards, mp3 players, etc. (these installations are not covered by this Guide). Porteus comes in the form of an ISO image file. An ISO file is an 'image' of what should be on a CD/DVD. This file can be burned as a CD or DVD, or it can be mounted as a file system or upacked to gain access to the files for flash drive or hard drive installations. Burning the file to a CD is the easiest method of installation, but none of the changes you make (or files that you download) will be saved once the system is rebooted*. Installing Porteus to a flash drive or hard drive will allow you boot up more quickly, save changes to your flashdrive and add new files and programs easily. *Note that changes to your system can be saved to external media when running Porteus (from a CD or otherwise), using the 'changes=' cheatcode, and specifying the path to the desired storage location. You can find more information on this and many other useful cheatcodes in the file /porteus/cheatcodes.txt.

Downloading Porteus
Porteus has two editions: 32-bit (i486) and 64-bit (x86_64). If you are running a 64-bit computer system, then you can download either edition. If you are running a 32-bit system, then you must download the 32-bit edition. Both editions can be downloaded by going to http://www.porteus.org, hovering over the 'Download' tab at the top of the webpage, and selecting your edition from the dropdown menu. You will be presented with an Index menu from our server. Click on "current", and then click on the porteus .iso file to download it. Once your download is complete, you should also download the md5sums.txt file (from the same directory as the .iso file you just downloaded) and check to make sure the Md5 sum of your .iso file matches the Md5 sum listed in the md5sums.txt file. This will ensure that the .iso file was not corrupted while being downloaded. If your Md5 sum does not match, you should delete the .iso file and download it again, or Porteus may not run properly. If you do not already have software to check the Md5 Sum, you can use some freely available software, such as winMd5.

Burning an ISO file to a CD or DVD Disk


Most CD/DVD creation software has a function to 'burn an image to disk'. Please be aware that this is not the same as simply burning a file to disk or creating a 'data disk'. The end result should not be a disk that contains the .iso file, e.g. 'porteus-v1.0-i486.iso'. The end result should be a disk that contains two folders: one called 'boot' and one called 'porteus'. If your current CD/DVD creation software doesn't contain the function to 'burn an image to disk' then you can use some freely available software, such as imgburn. Steps to install (varies by CD creation program): 1) Insert a blank writeable CD or DVD. 2) Start your CD/DVD creation software and select 'burn image' or 'burn image to disk'

3) Navigate to and select the Porteus .iso file 4) Burn the file to the disk. 5) Check the CD to make sure it contains the 'boot' and 'porteus' folders. 5) Reboot your computer, leaving the disk in your computer. In order for your computer to run Porteus from the CD, you must make sure that your BIOS is set to boot to your CDROM device first, before booting to your hard disk. If you are unsure how to change the boot order in your BIOS, please see Appendix A.

Installing Porteus to a USB Flash Drive


From Windows:
Porteus is installed to a flash drive by copying the files from the .iso file to the flash drive and then making the drive bootable. Please note that you must be logged in as an administrator (or run the included 'win_start_here.hta' file with administrative priveleges) in order to make your drive bootable from Windows. In order to install Porteus to a flash drive, you must first extract the porteus .iso file so that you can copy the included folders ('boot' and 'porteus') to your flash drive. This can be done with archival software, similar to unzipping a .zip file. If your existing archival software cannot extract an .iso file, then try installing a free application, such as 7zip or winrar. Once installed, you can right click on the .iso file, choose 7zip from the right-click menu (or, open winrar and navigate to the .iso's location), and select the option to extract the file. *NOTE* you can also use a program called wincdemu, which will allow you to double click on the .iso file and then access the folders inside it as if it were a CD mounted in your CD drive. If you have already created a bootable Porteus CD, you can also insert that CD and copy the files from there. Steps to install: 1) Insert your flash drive and open it to view the contents. Make a note of the Drive Letter assigned to this drive (e.g. E:\) 2) Copy the folders 'boot' and 'porteus' from the .iso file to the top-level directory of your flash drive (meaning the files should not be placed inside any other folders on the drive. For example,

they should be located at E:\boot and E:\porteus, assuming your flash drive is device E:\). 3) Navigate into the boot folder that you just copied to your flash drive. You should see an HTML Application file there called win_start_here.hta. Right click on this file (make sure it is win_start_here.hta and not lin_start_here.sh) and choose to run it as an administrator. A window should appear with a menu. 4) If you are running the installer from Windows Vista or Windows 7 (users of Windows XP and earlier versions can skip this step), you must disable the User Account Control (UAC) program or it will prevent you from writing to your flash drive's MBR. To simplify this task, an application called MyUAC has been included with our installer. In order to temporarily disable UAC, click on the "Disable UAC" button on the win_start_here.hta menu, then read the instructions and click on the "Deactivate UAC" button. Then, click "Yes" to reboot your computer tol apply these settings. After your computer reboots into Windows, open the win_start_here.hta application again, and proceed with Step 5 below to install your bootloader. Once your installation is complete, you can run the win_start_here.hta application again, click on the "Disable UAC" button once more, and then click on the "Activate UAC" button. This will turn UAC back on the next time you boot up Windows. 5) From the menu, select 'Install Porteus'. A dialog box will open. Please read the information carefully, and be sure to confirm that the correct drive is being made bootable. This is important as the installation program will write to the master boot record (MBR) on the first sector of the device from which the script is run. Your flash drive will not be made bootable if you write to the MBR of another device, and it could make it so that your computer will no longer boot to Windows (if this happens to you, please read the file \boot\docs\restore-mbr.txt inside the Porteus ISO for recovery instructions). Press any key when you are done reading to complete the installation. 6) After running the installation program, you should be able to boot Porteus from your flash drive. Reboot your computer, and make sure that your BIOS is set to boot from the USB device first, before it boots to your hard disk. If you are unsure how to change the boot order in your BIOS, please see Appendix A. *NOTE* If you are having problems making your drive bootable from within Windows or if you do not have administrative priveleges, try burning Porteus to a CD or DVD using the instructions above, and then follow the instructions to install Porteus to a USB flash drive from within Linux, below. *NOTE* If your flashdrive is formatted with a Windows filesystem (e.g. FAT or NTFS), none of the changes you make to your system will survive between reboots (Porteus will default to "Always Fresh" mode). If you would like to save your changes, you can create a '.dat' file container for this purpose. See Appendix B below for more information about this very important feature, which is required for saving your changes to a partition formatted with a Windows filesystem.

From Linux:
*PLEASE NOTE* If you experience problems when running the Porteus installation scripts from your existing Linux distribution, please burn the Porteus ISO to a CD (see above instructions) and boot from that for the installation to USB. The method described below should work from most linux distrubutions, but full compatibility with every distrubtion is not guaranteed. *NOTE* You cannot install 64-bit Porteus from within a 32-bit linux system, nor can you install 32-bit Porteus from a 64-bit linux system (unless you are running in a 64-bit multi-lib environment). This is because syslinux and extlinux are not compiled statically and they require libraries from your running system for the installation. If this is an issue, you can burn the desired edition of Porteus to a CD and boot from the CD to perform the installation. Installing Porteus through Linux is similar to installing through Windows. You must have root (super user) priveleges on your system in order to run the installation script. Before installing, you must extract or mount the .iso file in order to copy the /boot and /porteus directories to your target device. Some archiving programs are capable of extracting the .iso, or you can simply mount it with the following commands:
mkdir /mnt/loop mount -o loop /path/to/file.iso /mnt/loop

If you are using Porteus for this installation, you can simply enter: mloop /path/to/file.iso And you can then navigate to /mnt/loop to access the necessary files. If you are running from a Porteus CD, you can navigate to /mnt/sr0/ and copy the files from there. Steps to Install: 1) Insert your flash drive. If a window automatically pops up when you plug it in, click to open the device. This will mount your flash drive and you can see it's path by opening a console and typing: mount If the device is not mounted automatically, then you can open a console and type: fdisk -l to get the path of your flash drive (e.g., /dev/sdb1), and then:
mkdir /mnt/sdb1 mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1

(substitute sdb1 with the name of your device if it was listed differently in fdisk) Make note of the device's name, as this is the device which will need to be modified by a script later in the process. 2) Copy the files /boot and /porteus from the Porteus .iso file (or from a Porteus CD) to the root directory of your flash drive (meaning the files should not be placed inside any other folders on the drive. For example, they should be located at /mnt/sdb1/boot and /mnt/sdb1/porteus, assuming your flash drive is device sdb1, and is mounted at /mnt/sdb1). 3) Open a console and change directories to the boot folder that you just copied into the flash drive, e.g. cd /mnt/sdb1/boot Execute the lin_start_here.sh script: ./lin_start_here.sh *NOTE* If you are not running as root already, you must use the su or sudo command and enter your root password before starting this script, or it will not be able to configure your device properly. *NOTE* Some modern linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, etc, use 'udisk' to automount usb drives from within KDE/Gnome/LXDE, etc. In versions higher than 1.0.2, udisk will not automount these drives with executable permissions (attempting to run the script will result in an error stating that permissions have been denied), and you must mount your device manually as root in order to execute the script. For example: mkdir /tmp/media mount /dev/sdXY /tmp/media /tmp/media/boot/lin_start_here.sh (where sdXY is the device and partition to which you are installing Porteus) This script will bring up a menu. 4) From the menu, select the 'Install Porteus to...' option that matches the filesystem type of the drive to which you are installing. Most drives are formatted with a FAT filesystem at the factory, and should work with option number 7, "Install Porteus to a FATx partition (syslinux)". If you have formatted your flash drive to a linux partition (e.g. EXT2, EXT3, etc), then use option number 6 to install extlinux. Option number 8 will install LILO as your bootloader. LILO will work for any filesystem type (including NTFS), but it boots up with a text menu instead of a graphical menu like syslinux or extlinux. Once you have selected your bootloader, follow the instructions given by the script from here, and be sure to confirm that the correct device is being made bootable. This is important as the script will write to the master boot record (MBR) on the

first sector of the device from which the script is run. Your flash drive will not be made bootable if you write to the MBR of another device, and it could make it so that your computer will no longer boot (if this happens to you, please read the instructions in /boot/docs/restore-mbr.txt in the Porteus ISO for recovery instructions). 5) After running the install script, you should be able to boot Porteus from your flash drive. Reboot your computer, and make sure that your BIOS is set to boot from the USB device first, before it boots to your hard disk. If you are unsure how to change the boot order in your BIOS, please see Appendix A. *NOTE* If your flashdrive is formatted with a Windows filesystem (e.g. FAT or NTFS), none of the changes you make to your system will survive between reboots (Porteus will default to "Always Fresh" mode). If you would like to save your changes, you can create a '.dat' file container for this purpose. See Appendix B below for more information about this very important feature, which is required for saving your changes to a partition formatted with a Windows filesystem. *NOTE* if you are using a Porteus CD to install Porteus on a flash drive, you can use the 'Porteus-2-USB' script, located in the application menu, under System Tools. This useful script automates the installation process. It will format your flash drive into two partitions, copy the Porteus files, and make your flash drive bootable.

Installations to Internal or External Hard Drives:


Porteus can be installed to Hard drives, but it should be left in its compressed state (otherwise known as a 'Frugal' installation). Installing extracted files to a hard drive is not supported; it is suggested that you install Slackware Linux instead if you wish to have an Operating System installed to your system natively. Creating a 'Frugal' installation is very similar to installing on a USB drive. Porteus can be installed on it's own partition, or it can be installed side by side with Windows or another Linux OS on the same partition. If Porteus is the only Operating System that you are installing to a device (internal or external), follow the instructions given above for installing to a USB flash drive, making sure you tell the start_here script to write to the Master Boot Record of the desired drive. For directions on installing Porteus to a device that will also run other operating systems, please visit the documentation section and/or the community forum at the Porteus website, at

http://porteus.org. These installations are highly variable depending on whether or not Windows needs to be installed on the device, and on what bootloader is used for the system. *NOTE* If your drive is formatted with a Windows filesystem (e.g. FAT or NTFS), none of the changes you make to your system will survive between reboots (Porteus will default to "Always Fresh" mode). If you would like to save your changes, you can create a '.dat' file container for this purpose. See Appendix B below for more information about this very important feature, which is required for saving your changes to a partition formatted with a Windows filesystem.

APPENDIX A: Configuring your boot settings in BIOS


In order to boot Porteus from a device other than your computer's hard drive, you must make sure that your BIOS is set to boot to that device before booting to the first hard disk. To enter the BIOS of your machine, you will need to press a particular key during your computer's startup procedure. The exact key varies from computer to computer, but is typically shown briefly during startup, and it is usually one of the following keys: F1, F2, F10, F12, Delete, etc. Once you press the specified key, you will be shown the BIOS menu. While in BIOS, the legend for using the keyboard is at the bottom of the screen. Inside the BIOS menu, you should look for your 'boot order' option, and set your desired device (CDROM or USB device) to the top of the list. Once you have changed your boot order, press F10 to save your changes and exit. If you are planning to boot to a USB device, make sure it is plugged in when you enter your BIOS, as some systems will only show the USB option when a USB device is present. Many machines also have another key to press during startup that allows you to choose which device to boot from, without entering the BIOS. While this is very handy, at some stage you will probably want to change the BIOS setting so you don't have to keep pressing this button at every boot. Be aware if your machine contains sensitive data and is used by other people that leaving the setting to 'boot from USB' presents a security risk. Others could also plug in a device and boot to their own OS and access the information on your hard drive.

No Boot from USB in BIOS?


Don't panic just yet, you may still be able to boot from your USB device. Porteus contains a boot loader called Plop. Using this boot loader, you can plug in your USB device as well as a Porteus CD. Boot to the CD and when the Porteus menu comes up, highlight the Plop Boot Manager and press enter to start up Plop. Within Plop, you can select 'USB', and press enter to boot from the USB device.

Appendix B - Saving changes to a Windows Filesystem


Porteus allows users to save their changes (i.e., system settings, downloaded files, bookmarks, browser history, etc) to a folder or image file (aka container) that exists outside of Porteus' core files. The 'changes=' cheatcode parameter sets the location for these changes. When you start Porteus with this cheatcode (enabled by default for USB installations), it will boot up the operating system and then apply your changes from this location. By default, Porteus is set to save these changes to /porteus/changes. If you are installing Porteus to a device that is formatted with a Windows filesystem (e.g. FAT 32, NTFS, etc), you are required to use a '.dat' container for your changes. This container allows you to retain linux permissions and symlinks, which are necessary for your system to run properly and securely. While starting up, Porteus will run a check to see if you are asking it to save changes directly to a device with a Windows filesystem. If you are, then Porteus will boot into "Always Fresh" mode. To create a '.dat' container file and start saving your changes, boot Porteus into KDE or LXDE. Then open up the menu and navigate to "System -> Porteus .dat manager" (NOTE: You can also access this program through the new "Porteus Settings Assistant" program which is included with V1.0 Final). Click on this application to open it. It will ask you for the location where you want to save it (e.g. /mnt/sdb1/changes, if sdb1 is your desired storage device). It will then ask you for a name to call the container. You can choose any name you like, for example 0, save, mychanges, etc. (upon creation, the .dat suffix will be added). You must then select the size of the container in megabytes and it will be created placed on your storage device. In order to start saving your changes, you will need to make a simple modification to the file that configures your bootup procedure. Here are the necessary steps: As root, open the file /boot/porteus.cfg. You will have several entries in this file, which look like this:
LABEL xconf MENU LABEL Graphics mode (KDE). KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz APPEND initrd=/boot/initrd.xz vga=791 splash=silent quiet autoexec=xconf;telinit~4 changes=/porteus/ TEXT HELP

Run Porteus the best way we can. Try to autoconfigure graphics card and use the maximum allowed resolution ENDTEXT LABEL lxde MENU LABEL Graphics mode (LXDE). KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz APPEND initrd=/boot/initrd.xz vga=791 splash=silent quiet lxde autoexec=xconf;telinit~4 changes=/porteus/ TEXT HELP Run Porteus the same as above. Lightweight LXDE to be launched as default desktop ENDTEXT

You will need to edit the end of the APPEND line, to make it read 'changes=/porteus/save.dat' (without the quotes, using the name you specified earlier). Save this file and upon reboot your changes will be saved to this container. *NOTE* If you need to gain access directly to the files in your save.dat container (if, for example, you boot into 'Always Fresh' mode and need to remove or edit one of your saved files), you can mount the container on a loop, using these commands in a console:
mkdir /mnt/loop mount -no loop /mnt/live/mnt/sdXN/save.dat /mnt/loop

where sdXN is the name of your device, e.g. sdb1. You will then have access to these files, in /mnt/loop