How to in­stall an OS

APC Australia - - Feature -

Hi. If you’re read­ing this, then you’ve never in­stalled an OS be­fore. Don’t worry — there’s noth­ing to be em­bar­rassed or ner­vous about, we were all OS in­stall vir­gins once. In­stalling an OS seems like some­thing of a dy­ing art; mil­len­ni­als and their damn em­bed­ded ‘smart’ de­vices — tsk. An OS is soft­ware like any­thing else, it just hap­pens that part of its job is to load the OS ker­nel and gen­er­ally boot the sys­tem to a us­able state, the clever scamp, which means that in­stalling it re­quires you to boot the sys­tem off an in­stall me­dia — a DVD or USB drive, in other words.

At the start of the walk­through (back over the page), we di­rect you to down­load an ISO file of OMV. An ISO file is a stan­dard file for­mat main­tained as ISO9660; shout out to our epic friends at the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Stan­dard­iza­tion!

To use that im­age, you need to do two things: burn it or write it to a suit­able me­dia, and then boot your tar­get PC from that me­dia. If you have DVD drives (USB DVD drives for the win), you’re set, as Win­dows will just write that ISO to any blank disc. For USB drives, our gen­eral go-to soft­ware is UNet­bootin, from https:// unet­, cross-plat­form, open-source ISO-writ­ing good­ness. Down­load, in­stall, fire it up, ig­nore the Dis­tri­bu­tion op­tion, jump to Diskim­age and se­lect the ISO file.

Now to boot from that me­dia. Many PCs of­fer an early Boot menu, ac­cessed by tap­ping a key while pow­er­ing up: F9 (HP), F12 (Dell, Len­ovo), F8 (Amibios), or F11 (Award BIOS). Al­ter­na­tively, use the BIOS/ UEFI to ad­just the drive boot or­der. Again, tap a key dur­ing powerup — usu­ally Del, but some­times F1, or F2. Some UEFI PCs re­quire ac­cess via Win­dows: hold­ing Shift, se­lect its Restart op­tion. while even OMV is go­ing to work more ef­fi­ciently with more mem­ory to buf­fer file trans­fers, though its stor­age re­ally re­mains small.


Win­dows 10 wins here, right? It sup­ports ev­ery­thing — what can beat that? It’s a touch un­fair to com­pare Win­dows 10 Pro against OpenMediaVault. One is a con­sumer­level OS de­signed for sin­gle-user sys­tems, and the other is based on a multi-user, en­ter­prise-grade, open-source OS.

“Sure, there are cloud so­lu­tions, but who knows where your data is go­ing to end up be­ing stored.”

Both do many sim­i­lar ba­sic things out of the box, such as hard­ware sup­port, user man­age­ment, sched­ul­ing jobs, multi-lan­guage sup­port, net­work sup­port with IPv6, wake on LAN, soft­ware RAID, disk quo­tas, print sup­port and mon­i­tor­ing. The bor­ing stuff. It’s the ex­tra bor­ing stuff where OMV tends to ex­cel. For man­age­ment, OMV de­liv­ers a web-based in­ter­face. Win­dows does pro­vide Re­mote Desk­top, but in many ways, it’s not stream­lined for man­age­ment, and only sup­ports sin­gle-user ac­cess. OMV sup­ports net­work Link ag­gre­ga­tion for net­work re­dun­dancy and band­width im­prove­ments, Win­dows 10 Pro doesn’t. IN­STAL­LA­TION AND UP­DATES We’re go­ing to just say it: OMV wins hands down here. It in­stalls in 10 min­utes or so, is up and run­ning, and fully up­dated in that time. It’s li­censed un­der the GPL v3 (copy­left open source), and based on one of the big­gest Linux dis­tros, De­bian. So as long as the project has devel­oper sup­port, you’ll get all the up­dates and sup­port you need, for free, for­ever. We think you know where you stand with Win­dows 10 on these points.

An as­so­ci­ated is­sue with in­stal­la­tion is driver sup­port; in the past, you could have claimed Linux suf­fered from poorer sup­port, but that’s rarely the case now. In­tel gen­er­ally puts open-

source driver de­vel­op­ment first; AMD is push­ing its dis­play driver stack to be­ing en­tirely open source and part of the ker­nel. The main ar­eas of con­tention are odd Wi-Fi don­gles, but a touch of Google re­search typ­i­cally un­earths a Linux driver. But, then, print­ers and scan­ners can be a pain on Linux, too.


A key dif­fer­en­tial is how OMV and Win 10 han­dle ser­vices and ad­min. With Win­dows, you can sup­port all man­ner of ser­vices through clients, but it’s all done with sep­a­rate in­ter­faces and Re­mote Desk­top, hardly ideal. With OMV, all ad­min and ser­vices are in­stalled and con­trolled through the same web in­ter­face from any net­work-con­nected de­vice. It’s the head­less func­tion­al­ity that en­ables you to tuck your NAS away at the end of an Eth­er­net ca­ble that makes ev­ery­one’s life eas­ier.

While we’d say OMV has a slightly higher en­try level of re­quired knowl­edge over Win­dows, if you’re ca­pa­ble of in­stalling an OS from scratch, you’re go­ing to get on with ei­ther op­tion. You’ll find help in abun­dance for both, while you’ll bal­ance the un­bri­dled flex­i­bil­ity of Win­dows ver­sus the slick sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of OMV. The truth is, we’re all win­ners here; no one is forc­ing you to use OMV, it’s just an­other tool in the com­put­ing ar­mory.

They say in­stalling an op­er­at­ing sys­tem is hard to do...

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