From PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base
Basic Hard Drive Installation of PCLinuxOS
The following information will assist you in the installation of PCLinuxOS to either your PC or Laptop:
Note: If you wish to keep Microsoft Windows, you need to defragment your hard drive before installation. Note: If you wish to install on a USB, please see this page: Installing without CD/DVD
Click on the Install PCLinuxOS Icon on your desktop to start the installation process, you will be asked for the root password. The password for root is of course root.
Format and Partition your Hard Drive
Now you need to partition and format your hard drive. Please be very careful with your selection. If you select Use existing partitions or Erase and use entire disk it will auto select and FORMAT your partitions. All data on those partitions will be lost forever. In addition if you have Windows installed an additional option will be presented allowing you to re-size the windows partition to make room for Linux. This is an experimental feature and should be used with caution. Please make sure you have your Windows partition backed up before attempting to re-size it.
Custom Disk Partitioning
If you wish you can use Custom disk partitioning. Lets start by partitioning the hard drive.
You need to set up 3 partitions. A swap partition, a /home partition and a / partition (known as root). The swap partition is a temporary storage area in the event you run out of memory. Linux can swap memory to and from the swap partition as needed. As a general rule your swap partition should be double your memory.
Now we have our swap partition created.
Next we need a / partition. This is where all your data and programs are stored. A minimum of approx 4 gigs (4096 mb) is required though you probably want to make it at least 10 gigs (10240 mb) if you wish to install additional programs from the repository. Please note the default file system type is ext4. You cannot install Linux to a fat32 or ntfs formatted partition.
Now we have our /root partition created.
Finally we need to set up a /home partition. This is where you can store your personal data. The size of the home partition depends on your personal needs. Since I am using a small hard drive I selected about 2.0 gig (2000 mb). On large hard drives I would recommend at least 10 gigs (10240 mb) or larger.
Now we have our /home partition created.
In some situations where you have deleted and re-created partitions the installer will identify a partition as native ext2. In the event this happens please press the Toggle to expert mode and select Type and change it to Journalised FS: ext3.
Now we have our hard drive set up with a swap partition, a /home partition and a / partition. We are now ready to format the hard drive partitions and begin the installation.
The install is now formatting your partitions.
Copying PCLinuxOS files to Hard Disk
We are ready to copy the system files from the livecd to your hard drive. This process takes between 10-20 minutes depending on the speed of your computer.
Setting up Grub Boot Loader
Once the files have been transferred to your hard drive we need to set up the boot loader so that your new install can be booted from the hard drive. The system defaults to Grub Graphical as the default boot loader. If this is your only Linux install you can select to install to the MBR or Master Boot Record. If you already have previous Linux installs on other partitions you can select to install the boot loader to the partition for chain loading.
The Master Boot Record (MBR) will always be identified without a partition number such as /dev/hda, /dev/sda or /dev/sdb. As an example, if your /home partition and / partition is on /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda6 etc, you would install your boot loader to /dev/hda. If your /home partition and / partition is on /dev/sdb5 and /dev/sdb6 etc, you would install your boot loader to /dev/sdb. For our installation we will just choose the default selection.
These are the default entries. If you have other Linux installs, you can add them here.
Now we save our selection.
Installation Complete: Reboot
The installer has finished installing PCLinuxOS to your computer and you are ready to shut down and reboot.
User & Password configuration
On first boot you must set up a new root password. This is your administrator access password. Normally you run Linux as a user and elevate yourself to root access only when you need to perform various system functions. This keeps Linux safe and secure. Write your root password down and keep it in a safe and secure place. If you forget your root password you wont be able to perform system tasks such as adding software or configuring your system.
Enter the user name and password you will be using to log into the system. Once you are finished click the Next button.
If you run into something you don't understand please click on XChat from the PCMenu > Internet > Xchat IRC and it will log you into our help channel.
Help can also be found by searching and/or posting questions to the PCLinuxOS Community Forum