Chapter 4. Selecting System Options

Table of Contents

Navigating System Installation
Keyboard Layout
Load Firmware
What is firmware?
What is proprietary firmware?
Why would I want to load proprietary firmware?
What are the risks of using proprietary firmware?
Which option should I choose?
Disk Partitioning
Date and Time Settings
How do I know which time zone to select?
Computer Name
Software Selection
Which option should I choose?
Custom Software Selection
Software Choices
Startup Configuration
What is a bootloader?
What option should I choose?
What are the kernel options?
Root Passphrase
User Accounts
Begin Installation (Installation Environment only)

You use the Adélie Linux System Installation software to configure your new environment. This chapter introduces you to System Installation, and provides detailed information about your available options on each screen. For more information about how to use and navigate System Installation, see the section called “Navigating System Installation”.

The System Installation interface is divided in a series of pages, similar to a paper form. Each page has a title, a short description of the information needed to proceed, and input fields to collect the information.

When you are finishing filling in the information on a page, continue to the next page by clicking the Continue button at the bottom of the window or by pressing the F8 key. If you want to go back and review or change information on a previous page, you may go back at any time by clicking the Back button at the bottom of the window or by pressing the F6 key.

If you need more information about an option provided, you may open the Help screen by clicking the Help button in the lower left corner of the window or pressing the F1 key. You can also gain more information by clicking on the question mark in the title bar of System Installation, and then clicking on a field.

If you decide not to complete the installation procedure, you may stop by clicking the Exit button or by pressing the F3 key.

The System Installation software asks you a series of questions about the desired configuration for your computer. System Installation supports two modes of operation, or "environments". The typical mode is the Installation Environment. When you boot Adélie Linux installation media, you run System Installation in the Installation Environment. A less common mode is the Runtime Environment. When you run System Installation for one computer from another computer, you run System Installation in the Runtime Environment.

System Installation displays most of the same questions no matter which environment you are using. Where environments differ, the Handbook will describe the prompts for each environment.

The first page of System Installation introduces the system and describes how to use the system. In the Installation Environment, it also allows you to open maintenance tools to aid you with installation.

To launch a tool in the Installation Environment, choose "Launch Tool", then choose the tool you wish to open. You may open a Terminal (command interpreter), a partition editor, or a Web browsing window.

The Keyboard Layout page allows you to select the keyboard layout you will use in your new Adélie Linux environment.

In the Installation Environment, System Installation will change the active keyboard layout when you choose from the list. You may then use the provided input line to ensure this layout is correct before proceeding.

In the Runtime Environment, System Installation will attempt to determine the keyboard layout of your current system.

The Firmware page allows you to decide whether or not to install proprietary firmware.

[Note] Note

The Firmware page may not be shown depending on your chosen edition of Adélie Linux.

"Firmware" is a component of a hardware driver. This component is sent to the hardware device itself, which allows the hardware to perform operations or control itself.

For example, network devices sometimes contain firmware that allows them to perform checksum offloading.

Proprietary firmware is firmware that is released by the hardware manufacturer without source code. Usually, this proprietary firmware is provided without warranty by the hardware manufacturer. Since it is closed source and fully proprietary, it cannot be audited for security or reliability issues.

This means that when you load proprietary firmware on to a computer, we can no longer provide any assurances to its security or reliability.

Most wireless networking cards, and virtually all 3D graphics cards, utilise proprietary firmware. You may be unable to connect to a wireless network, or use certain radio frequencies (such as the 5 GHz band), without proprietary firmware. You may also be unable to use the maximum resolution of your graphics card, or utilise the 3D acceleration capabilities of it (including OpenGL and Vulkan), without proprietary firmware.

Your system may be compromised by security issues in the firmware. Your system may also become unstable due to improper programming in the firmware.

Adélie Linux allows you the freedom to choose whether or not you wish to install proprietary firmware on your computer.

If you have an elevated threat profile, you should always choose No.

If you want to utilise hardware that requires proprietary firmware despite the potential risk, you may choose Yes.

The Date and Time Settings page allows you to set your desired time zone. In the Installation Environment, you may also verify and change the computer's date and time.

If you're installing Adélie Linux on a desktop, workstation, or laptop computer, choose the time zone where you are located, or where you will use the computer the most. If you have another device with you that has Internet access, you may find your local time zone by using the interactive map at

If you're installing Adélie Linux on a server system, you should almost always use UTC. This ensures that Daylight Savings Time will not adversely affect running services.

The Computer Name page allows you to set the name of your computer. The name of your computer will appear in various places, such as the system startup screen, log files, and the Applications menu.

For more information about naming your computer, refer to the section called “Name Your Computer”.

The Software Selection page allows you to choose the software you want to install on your computer. You will have the option to add and remove software using the Package Manager once Adélie Linux is installed, so you can change your mind at any time.

Most users should choose Standard. This option will install software for everday computing: a Web browser, an email client, a media player, a word processor, and more. Mobile installs the same software as Standard, and adds additional tools and utilities that are useful for laptop and tablet computers. This includes touchpad software, tablet control software, and extra power management tools.

You may choose Compact to install a desktop environment, LXQt, that is more suitable for less powerful computers. Compact also includes the light Netsurf Web browser, and the Featherpad text editor.

Advanced users may want to choose Text-Only or Custom. Text-Only installs only text-mode or command line software. You should select this option if you are installing Adélie Linux on a server, or if you do not want to use a graphical user interface on your computer.

The Custom Software Selection page allows you to choose exactly what software is installed on your computer. If you aren't sure what software you will need, go back to the previous page and choose Standard. You can always add or remove software later using the Package Manager.

"Highlighting", or clicking on the text of, a package from the list will display a brief description of the package. You may tick or untick software to choose to install or not install any package in the list.

After you finish with the Custom Software Selection page, a Software Choices page allows you to choose certain defaults and system services. The defaults used by standard installations of Adelie Linux are always on the left side. Most users do not need to change these options.

This section allows you to choose which shell will be used for shell scripts that use /bin/sh.

  • Dash: The lightweight Dash shell is an Almquist-style shell. This is the default shell used by Adelie for /bin/sh, and is used for /bin/sh on Debian-derived distributions. This option provides faster boot times and full POSIX compatibility.

  • Bash: This shell is popular on GNU systems. This option provides compatibility with non-portable scripts.

    [Note] Note

    By choosing this option, your system will no longer be able to conform to the POSIX standard.

This section allows you to choose which init system will be used to start up your computer.

  • s6-linux-init: The lightweight, customisable s6-linux-init init system has been designed from the ground up to be lightweight and efficient. Using this system provides full LSB compatibility with init control and shutdown commands.

  • SysV Init: The traditional Linux init system was at one time widely deployed, but has fallen out of favour recently due to issues with supervision and power usage.

This section allows you to choose which daemon will be used to manage kernel uevents.

[Caution] Caution

Modifying this option may cause improper system operation or failure to boot. Only modify this option if you know what you are doing.

  • eudev: The traditional eudev system provides a standard UDev-compatible interface. It is highly recommended that you use eudev unless you know it is inappropriate for your use case.

  • mdevd: The minimalist, lightweight mdevd system is the skarnet fork of the mdev system from BusyBox. Choosing this option on a desktop system will require manual intervention.

The Startup Configuration page allows you to choose options for starting up your computer.

A bootloader is the program that runs when you power on your computer. The bootloader is responsible for locating Adélie Linux and/or other operating environments on your computer, and then loading them in to memory.

Typically, you should always choose to install a bootloader unless you have a configuration that will use a different method of booting.

  • Install a boot loader: This option will install a bootloader to your hard disk, replacing any other bootloader if present.

  • Do not install a boot loader: This option will not install a bootloader to your hard disk. You may be required to configure a bootloader yourself before your computer will start up properly. Choose this option if you already have another operating environment with a bootloader, or if your computer has a bootloader in firmware (such as OPAL or UEFI).

[Note] Note

Kernel options are only available on certain computers and certain editions of Adélie Linux.

The kernel options disclosure allows you to choose which Linux kernel you want to use on your computer. You should only change these options if you have hardware that requires it, or your administrator or hardware manufacturer has told you that you need a special kernel. Changing these options may result in system instability or the inability to boot your computer.

  • Use the stable kernel: This option will install the LTS version of the Linux kernel, which is well supported and thoroughly tested. However, it may not support the newest hardware options.

  • Use the mainline kernel: This option will install the latest version of the Linux kernel, which has not been as thoroughly tested as the stable kernel. Use this option if you have hardware that requires a newer kernel version than LTS.

  • Other options: System Installation may provide other options in addition or instead of the ones shown here. Consult Online Help for more information about any other kernel options provided.

The Root Passphrase page allows you to set the passphrase for the root user. The root user is known in some other systems as the "Administrator" user. This passphrase is used when performing certain administrative tasks on the system, and for system recovery.

It is important that you set a unique passphrase for the root user, as anyone with the root user's passphrase can access any data on your computer. You should write it down and keep it in a safe place.

The User Accounts page allows you to personalise your system by providing the names of the people who will use it. When the system starts up, you will be able to choose who is using the computer. Each user's documents and configuration are stored in separate places on the system.

If you are the only person who will use the computer, enter your own name and passphrase.

It is important that all user passphrases are different from the root user's passphrase.

By selecting or deselecting the "Admin" tickbox, you can control which users have permission to administer the computer. This includes installing software and starting virtual machines. You can modify these permissions, and add and remove user accounts, after installation. Refer to the "Security" chapter in the Adélie Linux Administrator's Handbook for more information.

You're almost there! The Begin Installation page allows you to review all of the options you have selected before installation begins. Ensure that the information is correct, and then choose Install to begin the installation process.

[Caution] Caution

If you have selected to erase a hard disk drive, choosing Install will immediately erase it. You cannot cancel the installation once you have chosen Install.