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Install Tiny Core on a Hard Drive without being 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 the hard drive of a computer not connected to the internet. It may be used by people who don't have an internet connection. It may also be used by people using wireless or dial up internet connections, which can't be connected to the internet until after Tiny Core is installed.

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.

The Parted Magic CD.

Either install.gz

Or the dosfstools-3.tcz and syslinux.tcz extensions. If you plan to use the USB zip option in the installer, you also need perl5.tcz.

Download Tiny Core

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

Download Extensions

Download either install.gz

Or the dosfstools-3.tcz and syslinux.tcz extensions. If you plan to use the USB zip option, also download perl5.tcz.

These may be downloaded from the same mirrors.

Download Parted Magic

Download the latest version of Parted Magic.

Run Parted Magic

Start the computer, running Parted Magic.

Partition the Drive

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

Start the 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 plan to 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

Create tce Directory and Paste Extensions

Open the file manager, select the drive (on the left side - this mounts it), then find the partition you created. It may be something like /media/sda1/.

If using install.gz, create a new directory in the partition, and name it “tce.” Copy and paste install.gz to the tce directory (not /tce/optional).

If using the .tcz extensions, create a new directory in the partition, and name it “tce.” Create a new directory in the tce directory, and name it “optional.” Copy and paste all .tcz files you downloaded to the /tce/optional directory.

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

Run Tiny Core

Put the Tiny Core CD in the drive, and restart the computer, so it runs Tiny Core.

Install Local

If using install.gz, skip this.

If using the .tcz extensions, open the App Browser, click Local, click on an extension, and click OK. Repeat this to install each extension.

In some situations, you may need to mount the hard drive before running Install Local. To mount the drive, start the mount tool. If the drive is green, it is already mounted. If it is red, click on it, so it becomes green.

Run the Installer

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.

Select Existing Partition. Then select the partition. Warning: If you select the wrong partition, everything on that partition will be lost.

Click on the square preceeding “Mark Partition Active (bootable)” so it becomes ticked.

Click the Forward arrow.

Formatting Options: Select No formatting, use existing.

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.