Work In Progress I suck in wiki syntax, please feel free to fix this page

While my shiny Ubuntu Dapper completes its install over coLinux, perhaps it's time to document the steps. Hopefully, I'm reducing the drudgery for some friend.

Before we start Edit

Before we start Even before we start, we should have some nice software on the desktop

  • colinux 0.6.4 .. of course. We don't need the rootfs download. I've no idea about Bridge networking, since i don't know how to use it.
  • Squid for NT .. When installing over the network, this is GREAT. Highly recommended, if you are going to do some experimentation of your own.
  • A couple of preformatted file systems. You can find that elsewhere. I'll just assume you have a 'ubuntu.ext2' and 'home.ext2', which are empty ext2 file systems of 2GB each.
  • The initrd from ubuntu net install. Pick initrd.gz from netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/ of your favorite ubuntu mirror (or Edgy from the primary archives at While there, also get pxelinux.cfg/default, from where we'll derive our bootparms

Let's beginEdit

  1. First we need to make sure SQUID doesn't reject the proxy requests from our ubuntu installer. Selet 'Edit Configuration' form 'Squid' menu, and change IP1 to and IP2 to Try to use other menu items, to restart the server. Don't forget to check etc/squid.conf ( search for that your changes were indeed accepted. If something is not set right at this stage, then later, our ubuntu installer will report inability to locate mirror, and we can fix the squid then.
  2. I keep my colinux files away from coLinux installation ( C:\Program Files\colnux) to a directory D:\colinux\. Hence my ubuntu.xml looks like this
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <block_device index="0" path="\DosDevices\d:\coLinux\ubuntu.ext2" enabled="true" />
  <block_device index="1" path="\DosDevices\d:\coLinux\home.ext2" enabled="true" />
  <bootparams>root=/dev/ram0 base-installer/kernel/linux/extra-packages-2.6= pkgsel/install-pattern=~t^ubuntu-standard$ pkgsel/language-pack-patterns=  
pkgsel/install-language-support=false DEBCONF_PRIORITY=low vga=normal ramdisk_size=14409 rw  -- </bootparams> 
 <initrd path="ubuntuinstall-initrd.gz" />
 <image path="C:\Program Files\colinux\vmlinux" />
 <memory size="256" />
 <network index="0" type="tap" />

Note that ubuntu.ext2 and home.ext2 are ALREADY FORMATTED to ext2, and initrd is the ubuntu's netboot initrd

  1. Time to jump in the installation ...
 "C:\Program Files\colinux\colinux-daemon" -c ubuntu.xml -t nt
  1. You should see the 'expert' screens.
  2. Don't forget to set the proxy to, if you have enabled squid. If mirror is not found due to this it's time to restart and check squid.
  3. Avoid going into the partition manager (selecting 'Go back' instead ). Even if you by mistake enter the partition manager, just switch fo Alt-F2, and kill the process which look like part. Thankfully the installer does go ahead properly.
  4. Switch to Alt-f2 and mount few things
 mknod /dev/cobd0 b 117 0
 mknod /dev/cobd1 b 117 1
 mount /dev/cobd0 /target
 mkdir /target/home
 mount /dev/cobd1 /target/home

There is no mke2fs available, hence it's important to have already formatted partitions. A few lines about the previous commands may be in order.

 mknod /dev/cobd0 b 117 0

This command creates a block special device file /dev/cobd0 with major code 117 and minor code 0. The major code 117 indicates that we are referring to an Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) device - 0 referring to 0 = /dev/evms/block_device (EVMS block device).

After you have setup package manager, you can switch to Alt-F2, and chroot /target, and feel your new installation.

  1. Now you are just waiting to kill this installation, and jump into actual run. While you are here, feel free to install anything. But we can also install / uninstall later.
  2. fix /target/etc/fstab , /dev/cobd0 at /
  3. halt / shutdown

preparing the run Edit

  1. clean bootparms and put root=/dev/cobd0
  2. use initrd from colinux.
  3. boot, and see that modules are injected.
  4. fix any other things...


after the install Edit

  1. aptitude install x11-common will crash colinux. after aptitude install laptop-detect, edit /usr/sbin/laptop-detect to exit 1 in second line.

PS: I'll do all it again, and fill in the missing pieces. Meanwhile, please feel free to fix this page factually and visually. -- Vardhan Varma <>

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