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InstallDebianEtchFromIso

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Howto Install Debian Etch image from scratch Edit

Before you start: Edit

Version Notes:

coLinux 0.7.1-2.6.12: This required creating the /dev/cobdX entries in the installer before the iso, destination, and swap devices could be mounted and used.

coLinux 0.8.0-2.6.15: This worked as usual out of the box with, the usual partioning problems, and trouble detecting a cdrom device.

I did the following procedure with both version 0.7.1 of coLinux as well as 0.8.0. It can be done in either, it is a little easier and less user intervention required if done with coLinux 0.8.0. The reason for this is Etch's installer is built for use with udev which needs the newer kernel version of 0.8.0 to work properly, so I recommend anyone doing this use 0.8.0 if possible it takes care of the /dev entries for you. It can be done with 0.7.1, but you have to create /dev entries for the device you want to mount during the install.

What you will need:

Debian 4.0 rX (i did these with 4.0r0 at the time) ISO of some sort.

a means to get the initrd.gz from the above ISO (program to browse/mount an ISO in Windows, or an Linux/coLinux instance to loop mount the iso and get the initrd.gz)

An blank or preformatted root file system image file or actual partition

An swap file system image file or partition

Choosing an ISO image Edit

Release Installer Page provides an link to the official installers. If you have a decent network connection, then use the [1] image or another tested option is the smaller [2] image.

For Business Card ISO: Edit

Use tools (see tool links section below/at end) to mount or open the ISO Image file and from the /install or /install.i386 directory get the initrd.gz file, I saved this file as initrd-40r0.gz just to keep it named enough different from other already existing files.

place the initrd-40r0.gz file in the same directory as the iso and your other file system image files.

Booting the installer for installation Edit

You can create an configuration file, but I just used the following command-line
(one long line without ^ please):

colinux-daemon kernel=vmlinux mem=64 ^
  initrd=C:\Downloads\Linux\initrd-40r0.gz ^
  hda1=C:\Downloads\Linux\fs_768Mb ^
  hda2=C:\Downloads\Linux\swap_256Mb ^
  hdb=C:\Downloads\Linux\debian-40r0-i386-businesscard.iso ^
  cofs0=C:\Downloads\Linux ^
  eth0=slirp ^
  root=/dev/ram0 -t nt

Boot colinux normally and wait for the installer to load.

  • initrd-40r0.gz is the initrd.gz gotten from the ISO
  • fs_768Mb is an blank or formatted file system that will be mounted as / and installed to (ie becomes /target)
  • swap_256Mb is an blank file system that will be mounted as an swap space
  • debian-40r0-i386-businesscard.iso is the ISO that was downloaded and be used as the source of some of the install files after the install has started.
  • choose lang, country, keyboard
  • use ALT+F2 and Enter to switch to an console
  • in the console confirm/check the /dev/cobd* returns some devices
  • if not, create /dev/cobd0, /dev/cobd1, /dev/cobd2 with:
mknod /dev/cobd0 b 117 0
mknod /dev/cobd1 b 117 1
mknod /dev/cobd2 b 117 2
  • after cdrom fails to detect, and you get past the prompts for loading cdrom modules (which you don't need), go back to the console (ALT+F2)
  • run:
mount /dev/cobd2 /cdrom
  • I chose the lowmem udeb to be loaded from the cdrom
  • set Hostname and network and mirror
  • You will get a warning "No kernel modules were found", and asked if you want to continue without modules. If the coLinux kernel has the filesystems you need say Yes, if not: mount cofs0 and use it to install the vmlinux-modules.tar.gz or modules-2.6.11-co-0.7.1.tgz file contents to /target/lib/modules/
  • The partition step more or less failed for me.
  • Use the console to turn swapon & format (if necessary) and mount /
swapon /dev/cobd1
mke2fs -j /dev/cobd0
mkdir /target
mount /dev/cobd0 /target
cd /target
  • getting Base installer

Making all supported 32 nodes: Edit

mkdir -p /target/dev/cobd; for ((i=0; i<=31; i++)); do mknod /target/dev/cobd$i b 117 $i; done

Preparing fstab: Edit

mkdir /target/etc
echo "/dev/cobd/0 / ext3 defaults 1 1" >> /target/etc/fstab
echo "/dev/cobd/1 swap swap defaults 0 0" >> /target/etc/fstab
  • continue with the installer as normal
  • DONOT install LILO or GRUB (coLinux acts as the bootloader in this situation and they aren't needed)
  • have to halt after installer, reboot at end just reboots you into the installer

Configuring networking before rebooting (optional) Edit

Before restarting, this configures your network (assuming dhcp):

 cat <<EOF >>/target/etc/network/interfaces
 auto lo eth0
 iface lo inet loopback
 iface eth0 inet dhcp
 EOF

Final notes Edit

 Should be at a fully working (yet minimal) debian Etch install! Don't forget to adjust your network configuration (like /etc/resolv.conf).

Boot, login as root,

  • apt-get update
  • apt-get upgrade
  • apt-get install module-init-tools
  • apt-get clean (cleans-up the downloaded files from previous steps)

History : Edit

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