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Install Tiny Core on a Hard Drive while Connected to the Internet - Version 3.6

There are more recent versions of Tinycore, with improvements and additional features, and easier installation methods. For these see the Index.

This method may be used to install Tiny Core on a hard drive, in a computer connected to the Internet with a broadband Internet connection.

Before installing Tiny Core, save a copy of all files you want to keep. All files will be lost.

Use the Latest Version

Use the latest version of Tiny Core. New versions have improvements and additional features.

To use this method of installation, you need Tiny Core 3.6.

Things You Need

A computer.

The Tiny Core CD.

A broadband Internet connection.

Download Tiny Core

Download the latest version of Tiny Core from one of the mirrors, and write it to a CD.

Recommended but Optional: Partition the Drive

Partition the drive before running the installer, if you want to include a swap partition. This is recommended when installing on a hard drive, and is particularly important when the computer has small RAM.

Before partitioning the drive, save a copy of all files you want to keep. All files on the drive will be lost.

While running Tiny Core from the CD, and connected to the internet, install gparted.tcz using the App Browser (There are also other partitioning applications which you may use. GParted may be easier for new users). Another option is to use Parted Magic.

Start GParted Partition Editor.

If you have more than one drive in the computer, select the correct drive. If you select the wrong drive, everything on that drive will be lost.

Delete existing partitions.

If you plan to install only Tiny Core using the entire hard drive, make an Ext4 partition and a swap partition. It is common practice to make the Ext4 partition first, using all of the space on the hard drive except that left for swap. A suggested size for the swap partition is double the RAM. If you will install Grub legacy in the future, use Ext3 instead of Ext4.

If Tiny Core will be the only operating system on the hard drive, set the flag of the partition to Boot or Active.

Also see Partition a Hard Drive to Install more than one Operating System

Option 1: Install install.gz

To use this method, you need to have partitioned the hard drive. If you have not partitioned the drive use option 2 below.

Using the App Browser, install wget.

After installing wget, open the terminal and paste

mount /mnt/sda1
cd /mnt/sda1
sudo mkdir tce
sudo chown tc:staff tce
cd tce
wget -c http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/3.x/starterpacks/install.gz

If using a partition other than sda1, use the correct partition.

For more information, see Download using Wget.

Restart the computer for install.gz to be loaded.

When installing from a hard drive or USB drive, put install.gz in the tce directory of the operating system you are installing from.

Option 2: Install Extensions

While running Tiny Core from the CD and connected to the internet, install dosfstools-3.tcz and syslinux.tcz, using the App Browser. If you plan to use the USB zip option, also install perl5.tcz.

Run the Installer

Before running the installer, save a copy of all files you want to keep. All files will be lost.

Run the installer from Control Panel, then HD/USB Install.

Select Tiny Core.

Select the location of either the tinycore iso file, or the tinycore.gz file.

Select Frugal.

If you did not partition the disk, select Whole Disk. If you did partition the disk, select Existing Partition. Then select the drive or partition. Warning: If you select the wrong drive or partition, everything on that drive or partition will be lost.

If you selected Existing Partition, click on the square preceeding “Mark Partition Active (bootable)” so it becomes ticked.

Click the Forward arrow.

Formatting Options: If you partitioned the disk, select No formatting, use existing. If you did not partition the disk, select Ext4. If you plan to install Grub legacy in the future, select Ext3.

Click the Forward arrow.

Boot options. Type:

opt=sda1 home=sda1 norestore

If not installing to sda1, change sda1 to the correct partition.

Click the Forward arrow.

Click Proceed.

Tiny Core will be installed.

Restart the Computer

You can restart the computer and run Tiny Core. Remember to remove the CD.

Have fun using Tiny Core.

Optional: Remove waitusb=5 from extlinux

The same installer is used to install Tiny Core on a hard drive or a USB drive. When booting from a USB drive, the computer may take some time to read the USB drive. To give it time to read the USB drive, waitusb=5 is included in the boot options. This tells the computer to wait 5 seconds.

When installing to a hard drive, waitusb=5 is included, but is not needed. If this is deleted, Tiny Core will start 5 seconds faster.

To remove this, open the terminal and type:

sudo editor

Open the file /mnt/sda1/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf. If installed on a partition other than sda1, use the correct partition.



Save the file and close the editor.

Tiny Core will now start 5 seconds faster.

You may also add or remove other boot options using the same method.

Save Application Settings

If you included the “norestore” boot option, backup will not be used.

If you install certain applications, you may want to save settings related to those applications. For example, if you install a printer, and want to save printer settings.

There are various ways to save settings.

1. The ideal method in most situations, is to make a new extension with settings. For more information, see Make Extensions for Settings.

2. Settings can also be saved in /opt. For an example of this, see Tiny Core Passwords.

3. Another option is to use backup. If you want to use backup, don't include the “norestore” boot option. Then edit /opt/.filetool.lst. If you are using persistent home and opt, delete all references to the home and opt directories. In the version I am using, that is everything. Add a list of files and directories you want backed up to /opt/.filetool.lst.

Also see Install Applications, Make Extensions for Settings, Backup and Options when Installed on a Hard Drive.

Use Passwords

If you want to use passwords to prevent other people from logging in, you can set up a menu, as explained in Extlinux Bootloader, and add passwords, as explained in Extlinux Passwords.

Another option is to use Tiny Core Passwords.