3-5 Minute Read

Installation Basics

Calamares, The most delicious installer!

History of Calamares

Calamares was released at the start of 2015 by Teo Mrnjavac with support from Blue Systems. It was created to provide a single base for Linux distribution installers, instead of forcing developers to make their own, or fork from another installer that was meant for something completely different. Since then, it has been used in over twenty Linux distributions, so it is safe to say that the developers accomplished their goal.

Setting the Location

To get your computer to display the correct time and language, you will have to select an area on the map that appears after starting the installation. You can simply type the first few letters of the map while in either of the drop-down menus and it should direct you to a selection that matches it.

Keyboard Settings

Calamares will ask you to configure your keyboard layout, country, and standard. The default option for me was “QWERTY”, but this could differ depending on where you are located. Make sure to set this up correctly, because an incorrectly configured keyboard could allow characters to be incorrectly detected from a key press.


A “Partition” is just a section of your hard disk that is treated like a completely different disk, if that makes sense. Partitions can be in different sizes, have different file system types, and more. Calamares gives you a menu for this step, where you can split a partition in half, and install SDesk on one of the new partitions. You can also replace an existing partition with SDesk (Which is really only useful if you already have multiple), or erase your entire disk and install SDesk on the newly erased partition (Make sure to back up any important files or folders if you want to do this). You can also manually partition your disk if you know what you are doing.

Initial Users, Host-names, and more

When running SDesk off of a live USB stick, a temporary user is created, called “live”. This user is deleted after the installation, and as a result, Calamares will ask for a user to take its place (Without its privileges). You will need to give the user a strong password by default, but if you don’t need this extra security, you can simply type the following command (Replace “placeholder” with the name of your user) after installation:

sudo passwd placeholder

Calamares will also ask about what your computer should be called and what your name is.

Written by: Stephen Byrne