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Still not tested nor finished
A much easier way of installing with floppies can be found at SmartBootManager.
The idea is to install on a system with no (working) CD-ROM drive, but a system that does have a floppy drive. You'll need a network connection for it, too.
The plan is to:
- Boot from Debian Etch install floppies
- Get far enough to have network access
- Use the Debian Etch installer to partition the hard drive
- Use debootstrap from gNewSense to put gNewSense there instead
# Grab the latest debootstrap_*.tar.gz from http://archive.gnewsense.org/gnewsense/pool/main/d/debootstrap/ and tar -zxvf debootstrap_*.tar.gz and follow directions to make and install the application. The pre-packaged deb binary will probably not work with dpkg -i because the Debian boot floppy may not meet gNewSense's dependencies. See "Getting debootstrap" below.
- Reboot, crossing some fingers.
STEP 1: Prepare the Etch installer
Download these floppy images http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/floppy/ :
Put them on floppies:
dd if=/path/to/floppy/images/boot.img of=/dev/fd0
STEP 2: Start the etch installer
ANOTHER WAY TO DO IT
... would be to make boot floppies for Knoppix.
This works only if you have a CD-ROM but you can't boot on it (old BIOS, non bootable SCSI adapter).
* Boot knoppix on another computer. * K Menu --> KNOPPIX --> Utilities --> Create bootfloppies for KNOPPIX.
Then put the first floppy in the computer to install, KNOPPIX CD-ROM in the player, start the computer, put the second floppy when asked and you will be in KDE.
A BETTER, SIMPLER WAY TO DO IT
... would be using a Smart Boot Manager floppy to boot the system. For more information take a look at the SmartBootManager
Q & A
Would be a bit rude of me to modify someone elses nicely built wiki page, but heres something that came to my attention:
"4. Use debootstrap from gNewSense to put gNewSense there instead"
Ok, I've created the Debian Etch installer floppies and booted, created partitions etc. But exactly -how- would I "Use debootstrap from gNewSense to put gNewSense there instead"?
Grab the latest debootstrap_*.tar.gz from http://archive.gnewsense.org/gnewsense/pool/main/d/debootstrap/ and tar -zxvf debootstrap_*.tar.gz and follow directions to make and install the application. The pre-packaged deb binary will probably not work with Debian because of the gNewSense dependencies. Anybody try this?
I don't know much about this but I have ideas: see http://archive.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/dists/warty/main/installer-i386/current/doc/manual/en/apcs03.html
Before you start
I have used the Debian GNU/Linux floppies to install the system I'm currently typing from. Sidenote: working with floppies almost always means one of them is broken and you might want to keep a backup computer with rawwrite/ dd ready. I took notes of what I did, but I might have made mistakes writing things down. This worked for *me* on a i386 laptop without a cdrom. My editor of choice was vim, you can replace those commands with nano or some other available editor). I used http://archive.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/dists/warty/main/installer-i386/current/doc/manual/en/apcs03.html
and http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-preparing.en.html (paragraph 3.7) as my guides.
be warned: I am absolutely no expert and some steps may be either way off, plain wrong or much more complicated than needed.
I used the boot.img, root.img and net-drivers.img files from Debian GNU/Linux Etch. Be advised! Internet access is badly needed every step of the way. I got the floppies from: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/floppy.
To create the boot, root and driver floppies, I used dd (windows users should use rawrite, explained in great detail in many places on the internet).
I put in the boot disk, made sure my networkcable was connected and at the "Enter to boot:" prompt, typed:
"Enter to boot:expert <Enter>
The "expert" setting gave the amount of control over the installation-process I needed. Next I was asked for the root disk and prompted for a language and a location. A correct language/location safed some time downloading. Then, when asked for it, I loaded the net-drivers from the floppy.
keyboard layout and detecting network hardware came next. pressing Enter a few times was my solution. My network is configured with DHCP. If yours is not, you probably know what to fill in. (ps, I always have to run "network autoconfiguration" twice).
It asked for a hostname, I went with the default: debian (you can change this later), next the domain name: (you decide, I did <Enter>)
I chose a mirror close to me, which ment just pressing <Enter> a couple of times. I didn't bother with the extra installer components and chose to continue. Next, I let debian detect my computers hardware. I again ignored the prompting about modules and declined to be asked for module parameters. Then, I partitioned the disk, a simple task with guided partitioning. I chose to erase the entire disk and put everything in one partition. The end result (using Default options):
#1 primary 9.6 GB ext3 / #5 logical 444.1 MB swap swap
If I were not running in expert mode, the installer would now go and install the base system. This is where the document about debian on an existing unix/linux system and the gnewsense from floppy installation start to merge.
To get to a real console (the "exit to shell from the debian GNU/Linux installation menu has problems with vim) type:
A df -h told me the harddisk was at: /dev/ide/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1, and mounted on /target. /target sounded like a good place to put gnewsense into.
mkdir work cd work wget http://archive.gnewsense.org/gnewsense/pool/main/d/debootstrap/debootstrap_1.0.13~hardy1_all.deb cd / zcat < /work/data.tar.gz | tar xv /usr/sbin/debootstrap --arch i386 deltah /target http://archive.gnewsense.org/gnewsense/
This retrieves and validates the files into /target, then it starts to install them.
configuring the basics
chroot /target /bin/bash mount -t proc proc /proc
(Mounting the /proc is VERY IMPORTANT. Trust me, I had a fubar-ed installation (well, three) because I failed to do this correctly. mounting the sys as suggested in the guides wouldn't work and didn't matter). I did not have to edit the /etc/fstab file. It looked correct already. (I edited the /etc/network/interfaces, because it had no local loopback, for starters):
vim /etc/network/interfaces auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto eth0 iface eth0 inet dhcp
my /etc/resolv.conf looked correct (nameserver: 10.0.0.2).
In honour of the floppy install, I chose "debian" as my hostname:
echo debian > /etc/hostname
I forgot this, but editing /etc/hosts at this point might be a good idea... (yet by mistake I proved that it works by doing this afterwards, see the Post Scriptum for more). I added the following, simply by looking at the /etc/hosts from a working gnewsense deltah install:
vim /etc/hosts 127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain locahost debian
setting up the gnewsense system
It prompted me for some things: I added a user, I chose http for mirror-type, Netherlands for a country,
And then off it went, retrieving, verifying, selecting, unpacking and setting up. Powernowd (?) gave errors, because I used the incorrect kernel (~gosh~). Did not seem to matter though. I initially got some errors about my fonts, but they seemed to solve themselves. Registering documentation took forever, so don't be alarmed.
Finishing up (important)
Language settings might be a good idea:
This way of installing doesn't come with a kernel, so I needed one:
apt-cache search linux-image apt-get install linux-image-2.6.10-5-686
The "do you want to stop now" prompt when installing the kernel should be answered with "no". The suggested link from initrd.img sounded like a good idea to me: "Y".
Next, I really needed a bootloader:
apt-get install grub grub-install /dev/hda update-grub would you like menu.lst generated? "Y"
All seemed well, so it was time for a reboot:
ctrl+d (get out of the chroot) reboot
It worked, although as I stated above, one last thing needed to be done. A hostname line in /etc/hosts, to be exact. I forgot this and as a result my USB mouse, network interface, and gdm login failed. So, after I tried to fix it with a reboot yet again (and I arrived at the graphical login):
Ctrl+alt+F1, username password sudo -s (I got an error about gethostname() or something alike. No, really!?) password vim /etc/hosts (I added the following, taken from a working gnewsense deltah install:) 127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain locahost debian
Then, I did the windows thingy yet again: reboot.
This ended all of my problems. I am finishing this document from a working gnewsense desktop!