Chapter 16. Steps to Get You Started

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16.1. Pre-Installation

The installation process assumes a basic familiarity with the IBM eServer System z platforms. For additional information on these platforms, refer to the IBM Redbooks available online at:
This manual assumes you are familiar with the related Redbooks and can set up logical partitions (LPARs) and virtual machines (VMs) on an IBM eServer System z system.


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Before you install Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you must perform the following steps:
  1. Allocate sufficient Disk Storage Space using DASDs [8] or SCSI[9] partitions to provide suitable disk space (for example, 2 GB is sufficient for server installations, while 5 GB is minimally required to install all packages).


    Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 cannot use unformatted DASDs when installing with kickstart and the cmdline user interface. Refer to the clearpart documentation in Section 31.4, “Kickstart Options” for a method to ensure that DASDs are formatted during installation.
  2. Acquire a minimum of 512 MB RAM (1 GB is strongly recommended) to designate for the Linux virtual machine.
  3. Determine if you need swap space and if so how much. While it is possible (and recommended) to assign enough memory to z/VM and let z/VM do the necessary swapping, there may be cases where the amount of required RAM is not predictable. Such instances should be examined on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Decide on the environment under which to run the operating system (on an LPAR or as a guest operating system on one or more virtual machines).
  5. Finally, it is important to review sections 3.3 through 3.8, and Chapters 5 and 6 of the IBM Linux for System z Redbook, as it explains the different configurations and install scenarios available on the zSeries platform as well as how to setup an initial LPAR or Linux virtual machine (z/VM).

[8] Direct Access Storage Devices (or DASDs) are hard disks that allow a maximum of three (3) partitions per DASD. For example, dasda has dasda[123].
[9] Using the zFCP driver over fiber and a dedicated switch, SCSI LUNs can be presented to the linux guest as if they were locally attached SCSI drives.
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