ShellFront.org - where shells come alive

Installing Litestep .24.5 For the First Time

Wow! You haven't installed Litestep yet!? Well, let's get going! You can skip this whole process and download the LsDistro distribution, or you can download the Litestep 0.24.5 distribution (dated August 1999) and upgrade from there.

Note: If you downloaded LsDistro, all you need to do is run the installation and set LsDistro as you shell. I suggest that you read through this installation tutorial and the upgrade tutorials in order to learn more about how LiteStep works, but it is not necessary in order to get started.


You'll need a program such as WinZip in order to install Litestep.

To install the Litestep .24.5 distribution, unzip the contents of the zip file (using WinZip or the like) into a temporary folder on your hard drive (such as C:\lstemp). Then run install.exe from your temporary folder. Choosing to set Litestep as your shell will allow Litestep to display as your shell instead of Explorer after you logoff/login or reboot. If you wish to set Litestep or any other program as your default shell manually and you're in Windows 95 or 98, then please follow these instructions:

  1. open up C:\windows\system.ini in a text editor (like notepad)
  2. find [boot] and look for a line starting with shell=. If you can't find such a line, create a new line and type one yourself. shell=C:\litestep\litestep.exe will set Litestep as your default shell (assuming that's where Litestep is located)
  3. save the system.ini file
  4. reboot Windows or logoff and back on

To set up Litestep or another program/shell as your default shell in Windows NT4 or 5 (Windows 2000), then please check out the instructions at LSFAQ and brembs.net's Windows 2000 LS page for installing Litestep on NT. The easiest way to install Litestep in NT now is to use Galois' Win2k Installer instead of doing everything manually.

It's actually recommended that you use a program like litespawn, ShellON, Carapace, or Shell Logon (for NT only (NT4 or 2000)). (ShellON and Carapace are the two most recommended shell managers)

Special Notes


  1. It will save you a lot of hassle if you keep Litestep installed in C:\litestep\. If you do decide to keep it someplace else, just make sure the path to Litestep.exe doesn't contain any spaces (C:\program files\ is a "no no"). I have LS installed in F:\litestep\ without any problems... but try and keep it in the root directory of one of your partitions.
  2. You have no reason to worry about what Litestep does to your system. It does nothing except what you do on your own. All Litestep needs is what's in the Litestep directory (more recent builds need an additional library file. This is explained in the upgrade to latest builds tutorial).
  3. If you happen to get a message from Windows after rebooting stating that Windows is messed up and you'll have to reinstall Windows IGNORE IT!. I can't say this enough. Countless people have "listened" to Microsoft and reinstalled Windows wrongfully. This error message is an error in itself. All it really means is that it can't find the litestep.exe file that you specified in your system.ini (Win9x) or registry (WinNT). Simply reboot into DOS (if you don't know how to do this, you seriously shouldn't be using an alternative shell yet) and type "edit c:\windows\system.ini" (Win9x). Find the shell= line and make sure it points to the correct location of your shell's .exe (litestep.exe in this case). If you're still in a bind, just type shell=explorer.exe and reboot. This way, atleast you'll be back in Explorer. Just do not reinstall Windows.
  4. Note that the main configuration file for all things Litestep is in the Step.rc file. If you wish to know "what to do" with this file, I suggest you check out LS Commands (link's dead :( ) and the official LS FAQ, as well as the module readme files included with each module.

The Next Step: 3rd Party Modules


A definite must for everyone who's installing Litestep is to install a few essential third party modules. I've created a simplistic list of suggested modules for you to look into.

Continuing the Tutorials


If you're looking to upgrade your .24.5 base install to a dev build , then you should read HOW-TO Upgrade to a recent build.

where would I be without winamp? metapad - the best vanilla notepad replacement available! Slackware Linux - I love it!
(hosted by Liquid Web!)
This site (ShellFront, http://www.shellfront.org), its name, its contents, means of organization, layout Copyright © 2001-2003 Joel D. Parker unless otherwise mentioned on this site.
News posted on this site (ShellFront, http://www.shellfront.org) is Copyright © 2001-2003 of the respective author (listed at the end of each post). All comments made on this site are Copyright © 2001-2003 of the respective author (listed on the left of each comment).
The organization, file naming scheme, and layout (Collection) of the Archives (LS modules, utilities, shells, source code, documents, reviews, et al) on this site (ShellFront, http://www.shellfront.org) is Copyright © 2001-2003 Joel D. Parker. The invididual files and source are copyrighted by the respective owners and licensed separately from any expressed license by ShellFront regarding the Collection.
Usage of content found on ShellFront elsewhere is strictly prohibited except as allowed by the Copyright laws of the United States of America or as allowed by the copyright holder.
ShellFront's Privacy Policy
The "ShellFront" name was created by NeXTer