This is a quick guide to the NORLUG-style installfests. If you'd like to see the complete guide all at once, hit the 'printer-friendly' link at the bottom.

Installfest Overview

Table of Contents:

  1. What is an Installfest?
  2. Installfest Schedule
  3. How to Get Installed...
    1. Linux Distributions
    2. Requirements
    3. Preparation
    4. What to bring
  4. How to Help at an Installfest

A. What Is An Installfest?

An Installfest is a free workshop held by Linux user groups like ours.
Computer users get together to help each other install and configure the
Linux operating system. Simply bring your personal computer to an
installfest and people will help you get Linux up and running on it, for

B. 2006 Installfest Schedule

Announcements from the coordinators are sent out to the mailing list
confirming commencement of installfests.

The current 2006 schedule:

Sunday Sep 24 (starting at 9:00 AM) - Please register!)

badbrain computers400 Washington St. Northfield, MN
55057Map of Location

Please arrive on the time that you register for. We like to stagger when
installees arrive, but if you arrive past your confirmed time, we cannot
help you. Typically, installing Linux from scratch takes about 3 hours.
However, be prepared to spend the entire day.

C. How to Get Installed

It is imperative to read over the following

  1. Linux

    Which Linux distributions NORLUG will support an an Installfest
  2. Requirements

    What kind of hardware you'll need to use Linux.

  3. Preparation

    How to prepare yourself and your computer prior to attending an

  4. What To

    Which components you'll need to bring to an Installfest.

D. How to Help at an Installfest

Want to help or just watch an Installfest first-hand? The more the
merrier! Feel free to come to our Installfests just to hang out and watch,
chat with other Linux users, and learn more about Linux and how to install

If you'd like to help, please contact the Installfest Coordinator
(Patrick Arnold) to let him know. If you have a particular distribution of
Linux that you feel the most comfortable installing and configuring, we can
even burn a copy of it just for you to use during Installfests!


Installfest Home «

Installfest Preparation

The following is a list of what to do before coming to an Installfest. Items marked in red are required.

  1. Read the and PRINT release form (here) which you will be asked to sign when you arrive at the Installfest.
  2. REGISTER with NORLUG using the Installfest Registration Form. Those who show up to the Installfest without registering will not be helped by any officially designated installer (unless some nice soul decides to help you).
  3. Back up any important data on your hard disk! There is a chance that you can lose some or all of your data and programs when trying to install Linux, or even while transporting your computer to and from the Installfest!
  4. If you plan to partition (divide) your hard disk, so that you can share (dual-boot) the disk between another Operating System (like Windows) and Linux, run a disk error-checking tool and then a disk defragmenter immediately prior to coming. (Note: Defragmenting a drive can take a long time, especially if you have a large hard disk with lots of data. We suggest you run the defragmenter overnight, the night before the Installfest.)
    We also recommend that you review this article if you plan on dual-booting Fedora Core 2 and Windows (or any other distro using the 2.6 Linux Kernel in conjunction with Windows).
  5. Be prepared for a traveling environment. (What if it rains? Bring plastic covers to protect your hardware!)

Installers are asked to keep track of what they do to your computer using a simple Installation Log.

PC Requirements

Installfest Home «

Intallfest PC Requirements

Due to how quickly things change, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this document.

Also note, we only support installing Linux on PC-compatible hardware. We cannot install Linux on Macs at this time.




Hard Disk Space

Input/Output Devices



Network Peripherals


Note: If you're wondering to yourself why some hardware is so poorly supported under Linux, realize that this is due to the manufacturers not releasing drivers, or even specifications, for their hardware. Many companies are changing this policy and supporting Linux. On the other hand, other companies go so far as suing developers who are reverse-engineering hardware so it can be used under Linux!

For more details on supported hardware, see the Linux Hardware HOWTO!

Supported Distros

Installfest Home «

Linux Distributions NORLUG supports at Installfests

The Linux distributions that will be available at the installfest are:

Why were these distributions chosen? They are all distributions that are currently used by members of NORLUG. We also wanted to keep the number of distributions low so that we could concentrate on these three.

You may bring whichever Linux distribution of your choice to the installfest. However, be aware that if it is not part of NORLUG's supported distribution list, you may only get help if a kind soul has time. Otherwise, installers will be booked with installs on supported distributions.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

What to Bring

Installfest Home «

What to bring to the Installfest

You need to bring more than just your CPU! NORLUG does not have any extra equipment to lend!

It is also recommended that you bring your own copy of a Linux distribution.

If you have any questions, please contact us.