This is considered the most difficult and time-consuming part of Linux. There are no specific tutorials on the net guiding you through the entire process. These three articles will ensure that you can install RHL safely and quickly. Remember we are dealing only with RHL 6.1. However any other distribution installation will only be slightly different.
Before we start, ensure you have a copy of RHL and at least two blank unformatted floppies. RHL can be obtained from either the Red Hat Company or from magazine such as PCQuest that give out free cds with their magazines.
The main problem I had was the cd-rom drive. If you have an old drive Linux will not have the drivers for it and you will have to boot from a floppy.
How to boot from a floppy:
Take a blank unformatted floppy. Go to the dosutils directory in the cd. Start a program called rawrite.exe. When it asks for the disk image source file, enter d:\images\boot.img where d: is your cd-rom drive. The target diskette drive is a: or your floppy drive. The floppy so created can be used to boot from.
How to boot from the cd-rom drive:
Reboot your computer. Press DEL on startup to access the BIOS. Go and change the boot sequence and set it to boot from a cd-rom drive. Save settings and exit.
Once you have changed these settings and rebooted (either off the floppy or off the cd-rom), you will have the opening screen coming up. Out of the various options present there, choose text mode and press enter. This mode is more powerful and twice the speed of the graphical mode. Also Red Hat has some bugs in the graphical mode, which they still have to iron out. In the next step, choose English language and US type keyboard.
Then comes the choice of installation. You can choose the server, GNOME, KDE workstation or custom configuration. When doing it for the first time choose the GNOME or KDE workstations. The custom part of it is pretty tough but I'll run you through it anyway. NEVER choose server as it will wipe out your entire hard disk and whatever is on it. GNOME and KDE occupy approximately 600MB of space leaving 400 MB for your work.
Let us assume you choose the custom configuration. (If you choose GNOME or KDE you will have to continue to the next part of the article). The next step will be to partition your hard disk. This will be done in the next article.