Welcome to the FreeMiNT installation guide.
FreeMiNT runs on anything from a 4Mb ST and upwards, but 14Mb should be considered the minimal memory requirements for a usable system. A harddrive isn't required but highly recommended. There are some distributions which aim to fit on one floppy like CrippleMiNT.
Depending on your needs, FreeMiNT can be set up in many different ways. There are three common FreeMiNT setups:
- Basic setup, booting into the Atari TOS desktop.
- Basic setup but with XaAES replacing the TOS desktop and AES.
- Full "unix-like" setup. Not recommended on 68000-machines.
The first two are covered by this installation guide. The last is covered by the SpareMiNT installation guide or by other FreeMiNT distributions like EasyMiNT (based on SpareMiNT and highly recommended!) or Gentoo.
Installing FreeMiNT "by hand"
FreeMiNT can be installed using a simple installer, see below. But in some cases you'd want to do this manually. If so, please check this guide.
NB! This installation guide refers to a setup utility that's still in development. July 2011: I have stopped working on this tool until the FreeMiNT build has been revised. There might not be any need for an installer in the future :)
To install FreeMiNT, you need to go through the following steps:
1. Make sure you have a clean system
This means disabling all your autobooting stuff, autofolder-programs, accessories etc. It's important to do this to avoid initial confusion. When FreeMiNT is up and running you can enable the stuff you need. Very often you'll find that most of the stuff you had in your autofolder is no longer needed when running FreeMiNT. Some of it might even prevent FreeMiNT from working properly.
You must also make sure that there is enough free space on your boot drive. You only need enough to unpack the FreeMiNT archive.
Exception - some systems requires additional drivers or system tools to be installed before you can install FreeMiNT. Don't disable these!
2. Unpack archive
Unpack the freemint.zip archive in the root of your boot drive. You will now find a folder called MINT on your boot drive. Optionally, unpack the archive minttool.zip in the same place. This archive contains some useful extras.
It is safe to unpack these archives to your boot drive even if you already have a working MiNT/FreeMiNT setup. No files will be overwritten.
3. Run the installer
Open the MINT-folder. You will find a program called install.prg. Start this program. It will now ask you a series of questions you need to answer.
- The path to your home folder (optional).
- Do you want to use XaAES? (recommended!)
- The path to your desktop program (optional).
- The path where you keep your accessories (optional).
- Left- or righthanded mouse.
When you've answered these questions, the installer will configure FreeMiNT for you. It will also detect your hardware and copy the correct kernel to your auto-folder.
4. Reboot your machine
You can now start using FreeMiNT. You will probably want to tune it to suit your needs. Please refer to the user manual for details on how to configure and tune your FreeMiNT setup.
NOTE: If you use one of the systems mentioned in step 1, you will probably want to check and possible re-order the running order in your auto-folder before rebooting.