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Booting Into Your New BlackWeb Linux System

The Moment of Truth

Your system’s first boot on its own power is what electrical engineers call the “smoke test”.

If you did a default installation, the first thing you should see when you boot the system is the menu of the grub or possibly the lilo bootloader. The first choices in the menu will be for your new BlackWeb Linux system. If you had any other operating systems on your computer (like Windows) that were detected by the installation system, those will be listed lower down in the menu.

If the system fails to start up correctly, don’t panic. If the installation was successful, chances are good that there is only a relatively minor problem that is preventing the system from booting BlackWeb Linux. In most cases such problems can be fixed without having to repeat the installation. One available option to fix boot problems is to use the installer’s built-in rescue mode (see Section 8.7).

If you are new to BlackWeb Linux and Linux, you may need some help from more experienced users. For direct on-line help you can try the IRC channels #BlackWeb Linux or #BlackWeb Linux-boot on the OFTC network. Alterna-tively you can contact the BlackWeb Linux-user mailing list ( You can also file an installation report as described in Section 5.4.7. Please make sure that you de-scribe your problem clearly and include any messages that are displayed and may help others to diagnose the issue.

If you had any other operating systems on your computer that were not detected or not detected correctly, please file an installation report.

Mounting encrypted volumes

If you created encrypted volumes during the installation and assigned them mount points, you will be asked to enter the passphrase for each of these volumes during the boot.

For partitions encrypted using dm-crypt you will be shown the following prompt during the boot:

Starting early crypto disks… part_crypt(starting)

Enter LUKS passphrase:

In the first line of the prompt, part is the name of the underlying partition, e.g. sda2 or md0. You are now probably wondering for which volume you are actually entering the passphrase. Does it relate to your /home? Or to /var? Of course, if you have just one encrypted volume, this is easy and you can just enter the passphrase you used when setting up this volume. If you set up more than one encrypted volume during the installation, the notes you wrote down as the last step in Section come in handy. If you did not make a note of the mapping between part_crypt and the mount points before, you can still find it in /etc/crypttab and /etc/fstab of your new system.

The prompt may look somewhat different when an encrypted root file system is mounted. This de-pends on which initramfs generator was used to generate the initrd used to boot the system. The example below is for an initrd generated using initramfs-tools:

Begin: Mounting root file system… …

Begin: Running /scripts/local-top …

Enter LUKS passphrase:

No characters (even asterisks) will be shown while entering the passphrase. If you enter the wrong passphrase, you have two more tries to correct it. After the third try the boot process will skip this volume and continue to mount the next filesystem. Please see Section 7.2.1 for further information.

After entering all passphrases the boot should continue as usual.


If some of the encrypted volumes could not be mounted because a wrong passphrase was entered, you will have to mount them manually after the boot. There are several cases.

• The first case concerns the root partition. When it is not mounted correctly, the boot process will halt and you will have to reboot the computer to try again.

• The easiest case is for encrypted volumes holding data like /home or /srv. You can simply mount them manually after the boot.

However for dm-crypt this is a bit tricky. First you need to register the volumes with device mapper by running:

# /etc/init.d/cryptdisks start

This will scan all volumes mentioned in /etc/crypttab and will create appropriate devices un-der the /dev directory after entering the correct passphrases. (Already registered volumes will be skipped, so you can repeat this command several times without worrying.) After successful regis-tration you can simply mount the volumes the usual way:

# mount /mount_point

• If any volume holding noncritical system files could not be mounted (/usr or /var), the sys-tem should still boot and you should be able to mount the volumes manually like in the previous case. However, you will also need to (re)start any services usually running in your default runlevel because it is very likely that they were not started. The easiest way is to just reboot the computer.

Log In

Once your system boots, you’ll be presented with the login prompt. Log in using the personal login and password you selected during the installation process. Your system is now ready for use.

If you are a new user, you may want to explore the documentation which is already installed on your system as you start to use it. There are currently several documentation systems, work is proceeding on integrating the different types of documentation. Here are a few starting points.

Documentation accompanying programs you have installed can be found in /usr/share/doc/, un-der a subdirectory named after the program (or, more precise, the BlackWeb Linux package that contains the program). However, more extensive documentation is often packaged separately in special documentation packages that are mostly not installed by default. For example, documentation about the pack-age management tool apt can be found in the packages apt-doc or apt-howto.

In addition, there are some special folders within the /usr/share/doc/ hierarchy. Linux HOWTOs are installed in .gz (compressed) format, in /usr/share/doc/HOWTO/en-txt/. After installing dhelp, you will find a browsable index of documentation in /usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html.

One easy way to view these documents using a text based browser is to enter the following commands:

$ cd /usr/share/doc/

$ w3m .

The dot after the w3m command tells it to show the contents of the current directory.

If you have a graphical desktop environment installed, you can also use its web browser. Start the web browser from the application menu and enter /usr/share/doc/ in the address bar.

You can also type info command or man command to see documentation on most commands available at the command prompt. Typing help will display help on shell commands. And typing a command followed by –help will usually display a short summary of the command’s usage. If a command’s results scroll past the top of the screen, type | more after the command to cause the results to pause before scrolling past the top of the screen. To see a list of all commands available which begin with a certain letter, type the letter and then two tabs.

booting_into_your_new_blackweb_linux_system.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/10 18:53 by admin

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