Booting the System

The first time you start the system, the only information stored on the key will be common to all users, so the system may take a little longer to do things as it will be creating configurations files that are specific to you.

  • Step 1 – make sure that USB HDD is the fisrt bootable device in your BIOS. Typically, press either F2 or ESC when the computer is first powered on, then look for “Boot” options in the menus
  • Step 2 – reset your computer and let it boot the USB key. You should see the GRUB boot menu
  • Step 3 – select the option that best suits your system. For documentary purposes, we’re going to use the cursor keys to select the second option (1024×768) and hit return. This option assumes a networked environment with a local DHCP server. If you are a home user and only have a modem, select the “1024×768 Dialup” option, then press
    <Return>.
  • Step 4 – wait while the system boots. The amount of time this takes will depend on the speed of your computer and how long each device takes to “declare” itself. Typically this should be less than a minute and after 10 seconds (or so) a progress bar should start to update on the screen to indicate things are running

Note: if you suddenly power off the computer (for any reason) without shutting it down “properly”, the USB key will be left in a dirty state. If this happens, the next time you boot off the key, it will scan the key for defects, fix any problems if finds, mark the key as clean, and then “reboot”. If the system suddenly restarts at this stage, this is probably what has happened.  (i.e. don’t worry .. unless it happens repeatedly and the system doesn’t boot)

  • Step 5 – the screen should clear and a login prompt should appear. Enter the word root , and then press <Return>.

Warning: There is initially NO PASSWORD on the root account, the FIRST thing you should do is set up a secure password on this account.

  • Step 6 – you should now see a default Gnome desktop. The first thing we’re going to do is to setup a password for the root user, then we’re going to add a normal user
  • Step 7 – from the menu in the top left of the screen, select Applications -> System Tools -> Users and Groups. Click on “Show all users and groups”
  • Step 8 – select root, then click properties. Make sure “Set password by hand” is selected, then enter a password of your choice into the “User password” and “Confirmation” boxes provided, then click Ok to confirm the change
  • Step 9 – click on the “Add User” button. Enter a name into the “Username” box to reflect you or the intended user of the USB key. Please make sure that you use between 4 and 12 lower case characters with no spaces or punctuation marks. Good examples might include fred, jim, john, mary etc .. Bad examples would be fred.bloggs or Harry (do not enter a “,” in the username or use upper case)
  • Step 10 – enter a password (as described for the root user) 
  • Step 11 – click on the “Other Groups” tab. Add your new user to the following groups: audio,cdrom,cdrw,disk,dialout,disk,floppy,usb,users,video,wheel. Now press Ok to confirm and Ok again to close the user admin application
  • Step 12 – select Actions -> Logout from the menu (top left). You should now be ready to move on to the next section

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