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If you have downloaded Descent OS from the website (or via torrent), you will have obtained an iso image. What this is is an image of an optical disc.

There are two ways of using this - the traditional method would be to burn it to a (Re-)writeable DVD. The second, and increasingly more popular, is to burn it to a USB stick. (There are other, more complicated methods, such as putting it on an SD Card or putting the image straight onto your hard drive, but these are for more advanced users and will not be discussed here).

Burning the image to DVDEdit

To install from a DVD, you must first burn the image to DVD and then reboot your computer to install. The majority of the difficult is usually found with the burning the image, which this topic covers, and the actual installation process is covered later.

Burning the image in WindowsEdit

Most operating systems come with a method to burn an image to disk - in Windows you may have to download a program to do it (such as Infrarecorder - which is a free and Open Source piece of Software).

In this example, we will use Infrarecorder to copy the image to disk.

First, download Infrarecorder from the website, and then run the installer. Then open the programme and select the "Write image" option from the menu that comes up. Select the .iso image from where you have downloaded it it, select the target, and then simply select "OK" and wait for it to finish.

Burning the image in MacOSEdit

Grab "Burn" from

Drag and drop .iso file into application window.

Click 'Burn"!

Burning the image in Linux/Unix/BSDEdit

In Linux (and similar operating systems), there are many possible ways to burn a DVD - I would imagine that you have most likely already done this once to get it onto your system, but in case you have forgotten how, or the tool isn't readily available to hand, here is a brief explanation of one of the many ways you can burn a DVD in Linux.

The easiest way to do this is from the command line with a programme called "cdrecord". First, if you do not have cdrecord installed, you should get it. You can either obtain it through your distribution's package manager (if it is available), or download it from the website. The suggested method is through your package manager, for reasons too lengthy to go into in this short article.

Once you have it installed, go to the command line and type:

cdrecord -scanbus

That should return three numbers in the format:

... dev=x,y,z... 'CDRW/DVD...'

The label after the CD/DVD will vary depending on manufacturer and model, but it should be obvious which is which. If you only have one DVD drive, it will likely be "0,0,0".

To burn the iso, you then type:

cdrecord -v speed=8 dev=x,y,z -data -eject nameofdescentOSisohere.iso

You will notice there I set the speed to "8". This is a speed that most DVD writers ought to be happy with, but you should use whichever speed you are comfortable with using. Your DVD Writer will have a maximum write speed (usually listed on it), as will the DVD you are writing to. Pick the lower of those two. If you want increased write chance, consider lowering the number a little - as letting it run slower will make it more likely to successfully write to disk.

Please remember to put in the name of the iso that you are burning. In the case of the 2.1 release, the correct name would be:


However, use whichever name you have downloaded.

Once this has finished burning, it should eject the DVD. Simply put it back in, restart the computer, and boot from DVD. Depending upon your BIOS/EFI settings you may have to press a hotkey to boot from an alternate medium, or set up alternate booting in your bootloader. Again, a full explanation of every combination is too lengthy for this short description, but for many PCs, "F11" is the boot menu button - you should press it as your computer boots up. Otherwise, go into the BIOS/EFI settings and set your boot order to boot from the DVD drive first.

Copying to USBEdit

To install from USB, you will need to copy the disc's file hierarchy exactly. This is not always a simple thing to do, but there are several tools which allow you to do this easily.

Perhaps the simplest is UNetbootin. It is also a free, Open Source piece of software that functions in Linux, Mac OS and even Windows. It even has its own set of instructions on its download page.

Instead of selecting a distribution, instead select the "Diskimage" that you have downloaded, the drive letter, and then click "OK". This will begin the copying process.

Installing Descent OSEdit

Once you are booted into the live session, you should see an icon on the desktop that says "Install DescentOS- 'precise'". Click on that, and fill in the information, and then the installer will do its work. Installation will take around 10-20 minutes.

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