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The Debian Install Saga (long)

Here is some notes I took while installing the latest (at the time) stable
release of Debian.

I'm not actually subscribed to seul-dev-distrib@seul.org, so I won't see
any replies you post there. If you want to ask me more specifics, or if you
just want me to see your comments, post to seul-project@seul.org or
seul-dev-help@seul.org (where I lurk) or email me directly.
To Whom at Debian should I send a copy ?

David Cary <d.cary@ieee.org>
Debian Install Notes

lists several mirrors for the Debian distribution.

I downloaded the entire Debian distribution at the computer lab on campus
(I could have just done a "FTP installation", but the computer lab has a T1
connection, but my house only has a standard telephone modem). I burned it
on a CD using the "joilet" format.

Debian doesn't automatically mount CDs in "joilet" format properly. It can
see all the files, but all the filenames are truncated to 8.3 filenames. (I
still don't know if Debian *could* recognize this format, and if so, what
the magic "mount" incantation is -- but if not, what format *should* I have
used ?).

Blew a lot of dust out.

Did some planning on how to partition the disk:

3 Gig HD:
300 MB C: Boot Partition: Win95 (primary)(ended up 252)(hda1)
200 MB "/" Unix directory (primary)(hda2)
2 GB "/home" (logical)(hda5)
450 MB "/usr" (logical)(leftovers)(ended up 578.82)(hda6)
48 MB SWAP (logical) (must enter 50 to get at least 48; "49" just gives
47.25; "50" gives 51.19 MB; ended up "65" giving 66.94 MB.).(hd7)

2.5 HD:
2 GB "/home" (Raid 0)
450 MB "/usr" (Raid 0)
48 MB SWAP (Raid 0)

plugged in the hard drives,
then cycled through
  tweak master/slave jumpers and Primary/Secondary cables
  turn it on
  hit "DEL"
  select AutoDetect Hard Drives
until it recognized all the drives and they were where we wanted them.

Win95 is running on this machine; it tells me
Logitech Bus Mouse: Interrupt 5, I/O 23C-23F.
3com Etherlink III ISA ISA Mode; a sticker on the card says "3C509b-TPO"

I go through the
"Installing Debian Linux 1.3" html file (in the root folder of the Debian

My Network Admin says
IP address; Mask (is this the same as "broadcast
address" ?)
no gateway

Bios ("ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A59GT5J) Award Software, Inc.")
I switched from "Video BIOS Shadow: Enabled" to "Disabled".
(All other shadows were already disabled).
"PM Control by APM: No" to "Yes"
but I left "Power Management: Disable" (rather than 1 min or 1 hour).

The instructions under "Methods for Installing Debian"
mention that the Initial Boot Medium can be
floppy, CD-ROM, or a already-running DOS system.
Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any details on booting
from CD-ROM (Is this really possible on a PC ?
my Mac friends say that Macs can, while PCs cannot).
I randomly choose "loadlin on a running DOS system".
I copy "linux" and "root.bin" and "loadlin.exe" and "install.bat" from
(Why the install instructions say loadlin is in the (non-existent) "tools"
directory ?).
(install.bat merely contains the single line
  loadlin linux root=/dev/ram initrd=root.bin

From Win95, I "Start | Shut Down | Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode | Yes".
  cd \
  cd david
  cd linux
The screen flickers, stuff scrolls by, and then the screen clears and I see
  Debian GNU/Linux System Installation

The "Color-or-Monochrome" dialog box is unnecessarily ambiguous.
It asks "If your monitor displays color..." Well, I *thought* this was a
color monitor, but *now* my monitor
is only displaying black-and-white. This dialog box *should* (IMHO) be in
color, using some color scheme that is still legible on a black-and-white
monitor. Alternatively, it could ask "If you have a color monitor...".

I lie to the machine and pick "color".
There, much prettier.

I now see the message "This is the Debian Rescue floppy. Keep it...."
um, right. Keep what ? I haven't booted off a floppy in weeks.

I hit "Enter" a bunch of times until I get to
"Partition a Hard Disk".
I see
  /dev/hda ...
  /dev/hdc First drive on secondary controller
cfdisk 0.8i
OK, I have /dev/hda all partitioned (2 primary, 3 logical partitions)
write and quit;
then I manually select "Partition a Hard Disk" again to do /dev/hdc
and get
  FATAL ERROR: Bad logical partition
        Press any key to exit fdisk
Well, I guess I'll just skip that.
Next: Initialize and Activate the Swap Partition
I keep pecking at "Enter"
long waits for bad block checking
Screen blanks out; I hit right-arrow to get the text back
about 25 minutes to check my 2GB partition
about 1 minutes to write inode tables
on 0.5 GB partition, total time about 9 minutes
  Select Installation Medium
what, you've already forgotten ?
Let's see if it can still see the stuff on the
no! wait! I think it really wants the Debian CD here,
not just those 3 boot files.
  Select Installation Medium
  /dev/hdb ATAPI (IDE)
  "not a valid block device".
ok, maybe it was
  /dev/hdd ATAPI (IDE)
OK, that seems to work
peck at Enter for a while
  Error: There is no directory containing resc1440.bin below /instmnt.
No, it's not OK, but I lie and hit
anyway because I have no choice.
  cd cdrom
hm, it's empty.
  cd /dev
  cd cdrom
  cd: can't cd to /dev//cdrom
think... think...
  cd /instmnt
  ls -al
ah, there it is.
  cd debian
well, there it is,
(hm, wonder why the filenames seem mangled ... the disk is in "joilet"
standard ...)
error messages.
This is bizzare -- it gave me error messages
as long as my alt-F2 virtual terminal was "at"
a directory on the cd, but then I
  cd /
and everything seems to be fine. Wierd.
  Select Base Archive File
  Error: There is no directory containing resc1440.bin below /instmnt.
No, it's not OK, but I lie and hit
anyway because I have no choice.
  /dev/hdd ATAPI (IDE)
  Select Base Archive File
What modules to choose ?
I pick "block | raid0" because I do have 2 physical disk drives I want to
play with it on;
hm, I don't see a selection for my NEC model CDR-4300A. I guess I'll just
choose "cdrom - Common routines".
But it says it is "loaded automatically"... I'll load it anyway.
hmm, I think I want "hpfs", "smbfs - Microsoft SMB, ... Windows 95 disk
sharing", "vfat". (Do I also need "umsdos" ? hope not...)
all I see under this menu is "rarp - Reverse Address Resolution Protocol".
What is it ? Do I need it ? I select it and hit enter to get the promised
"a page about the purpose of any module", but I am disappointed when no new
information is on that page. Hope I don't need it.
I think I want "Appletalk" to talk to the Mac elsewhere on my Ethernet,
"busmouse" (it replies "Logitech bus mouse detected, using IRQ5" -- good !),
"lp" (dunno what to put for command-line arguments, so I leave it blank),
"serial" (it replies
  tty01 at 0x2f8 (irq=3) is a 16550A
  tty02 at 0x3e8 (irq=4) is a 16550A
I want the "3c509" since I think I do not have EISA (dunno what to put for
command-line arguments, so I leave it blank). It replies
  eth0: 3c509 at 0x300 tag 1, 10baseT port, address 00 a0 24 0a b6 2d, IRQ 10.
  3c509.c:1.07 6/15/95 becker@cesdis@gsfc.nasa.gov
What a coincidence, that's exactly the same address that's printed on the
little sticker on my ethernet card.
"bsd_comp" hope this doesn't hurt ...
"dummy", "ppp", "slip", "slhc".
  I don't need pcmcia or scsi right now, so I
  Exit. Finished with modules.
  Next: Configure the Network
  host name: tiny
  domain name: Carybros
  IP address
(default is
(the default)
  IP broadcast address:
(the default)
  gateway: no
  DNS server: System tiny will be its own DNS server (
  Primary network interface: eth0

  Next: Install the base system.
  Error: there is no directory containing base1_3.tgz below /instmnt .
There it is,
  cd /

  Next: Install the base system.
  The basae system is being extracted
I Make a boot floppy
Reboot the system
password for root
Sure, let's have shadow passwords
dselect doesn't automatically recognize my CD ... but seems to work OK when
I specifically tell it where the files are,

Now what ? How do I start X windows ?

[I never got Raid 0 working, but that's no big deal to me.]

+ David Cary "mailto:d.cary@ieee.org" "http://www.rdrop.com/~cary/"
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