If DragonFly is to be the only operating system on the target computer, preparing the disk is a short and simple process. Boot with the live CD, and log in as root to reach a command prompt.
First, the master boot record (MBR) must be cleared of any old information. This command clears all old data off your disk by writing zeros (if=/dev/zero) onto the system's master ata drive (of=/dev/ad0).
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad0 bs=32k count=16
The now-empty disk must be formatted.
Important: This will destroy any existing data on a disk. Do this only if you plan to dedicate this disk to DragonFly.
# fdisk -I ad0 # fdisk -B ad0
This example assumes that the target computer for installation has at least one operating system installed that needs to survive the installation process. A new partition for DragonFly needs to be created from the existing partition(s) that otherwise fill the disk. There must be unused space within the existing partition in order to resize it.
Important: The new partition is created from empty space in an existing partition. For example, an 18 gigabyte disk that has 17 gigabytes of existing data in the existing partition will only have 1 gigabyte available for the new partition.
Partition resizing needs to be accomplished with a third-party tool. Commercial programs such as Partition Magic can accomplish these tasks. Free tools exist that can be adapted to this task, such as 'GNU parted', found on the Knoppix CD, or PAUD.
Create a new partition of at least 5-6 gigabytes. It is possible to install within a smaller amount of disk space, but this will create problems not covered by this document. The newly created partition does not need to be formatted; the rest of the installation process treats that new partiton as a new disk.
Installing DragonFly to a separate disk removes the need for partition resizing, and is generally safer when trying to preserve an existing operating system installation.
This type of installation is very similar to installing DragonFly as the only operating system. The only difference is the disk named in each command.
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