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      Adding New Hardware

     

    All systems need to be modified and upgraded in order to increase there life span and usability. This page was created with that in mind, here are some ways that you can get more life out of your Linux system by adding/replacing Hardware.

     

      Hardware Upgrades

     
    Adding More Memory

    With older Linux distributions you needed to manually inform the kernel that is had more memory than 64MB (not sure on current new Distributions). Increasing the amount of memory in your Linux system is rather straight forward, simply follow these few instructions (it shouldn't be necessary to increase your swap disk space, in fact your could probably decrease it depending on your memory size):

    1. With your machine powered off, open the case and install the appropriate memory into the system in the correct memory slots.

    2. Power on the machine, once the system boots log into your system with the root account.

    3. Open the /etc/lilo.conf file with your favourite text editor and you should find something like this:

    prompt
    timeout=50
    default=linux
    boot=/dev/hda
    map=/boot/map
    install=/boot/boot.b
    #message=/boot/message
    lba32

    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.9-34
    label=linux
    root=/dev/hda2
    read-only
    initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.9-34.img

    You need to add the line append="mem=XXXM" (where XXX is the new total of memory, in megabytes) so it looks like this:

    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.9-34
    label=linux
    root=/dev/hda2
    read-only
    initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.9-34.img
    append="mem="XXXM"

    4. Now that you have entered the appropriate information in your lilo.conf file you will need to reload lilo by typing /sbin/lilo, this will check your config file for correct syntax and then load the changes.

    When you have completed this your system should recognise the total amount of memory (including the new memory), you can double check this by typing in free which will give you information on your memory (such as total, used and free etc).

     

    Adding Another Hard Disk

    In order to gain more Hard Disk space under Linux (as with any other Operating System), you would need to add a second Hard Disk (or replace your old one with something bigger, but since this would most likely require a re-install the first choice is preferable). In order to install a second Hard Disk under Linux theses are the steps involved:

    1. Turn your system off and open the case, install the new drive and plug it into a free connector on your IDE cables.

    2. Once your new hard disk is installed in your system, the drive should be autodetected boot time. In order to work out the drives device name under Linux you can simply work it from the list here:

    Primary Controller First Drive: /dev/hda
    Primary Controller Second Drive: /dev/hdb
    Secondary Controller First Drive: /dev/hdc
    Secondary Controller Second Drive: /dev/hdd

    You will need to know this information to setup the drive under Linux.

    3. Now that you know what your Hard Disk is referred to under Linux you will need to use fdisk to partition the drive e.g. fdisk /dev/hdb. The preferrable method is to select the old partitions and added a single Linux partition, making sure the partition type is 83 (Linux).

    Type n to "add a new partition"
    Type e to make it a "primary partition" (depending on how many partitions your creating)
    Type 1 for a single partition
    Enter the first cylinder e.g. 1
    Enter the last cylinder e.g. 1245 (depending on the size of your drive)
    Type w to write the partition table to disk and exit

    4. When the partition has been created you need to create the file system by running mkfs. If you only created a single partition then it should be called something like this: /dev/hdb1, so you would only need to type: mkfs /dev/hdb1 in order to create the single file system. (This would work for multiple partitions but then you would need to run mkfs on each partition, e.g. mkfs /dev/hdb1 then mkfs /dev/hdb2 and so on until all your partitions have a file system).

    This newly created file system should be created by default as ext2, if you want to create an ext3 file system (which is just ext2 + journal) then you will need to type tune2fs -j /dev/hdb1 (this will conver the ext2 to ext3) and the same for all partitions and file systems you created on your disk.

    5. The next step is to make a mount point where you want the drive to be mounted, this can be done similar to this: mkdir /dir and then you can test mount the new filesystem: mount /dev/hdc1 /dir. The filesystem can then be unmounted using umount /dir.

    6. Finally you will need to create an entry in /etc/fstab describing the new filesystem so it can be automatically mounted at boot time. This can be tested using mount all and observing that the new filesystem is indeed mounted. You will most likely need to add one or more lines similar to this:

    /dev/hdX#     /dir/to/mount      extY     defaults     0 1

    Where X is worked out from the list in part 2 above and # is the partition number. Enter Y as the file system you have created, i.e 2 for ext2 and likewise 3 for ext3.

    Once you have completed this your machine is now ready with its increase Hard Disk capacity.

     

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