Bootable image available
I've made up a bootable image. Right now I'm in the process of
uploading it via a 28.8k modem, it should be done uploading in an
I'll append the release notes at the end.
Have fun! (but be careful)
Debian-ARM for the NetWinder
bootable image - October 6, 1998
Jim Pick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I've prepared an image of the Debian base system that can be
installed onto a partition on a NetWinder, so it can be booted directly
It can also be used as a chroot environment - without affecting the
software that Corel supplies.
It is minimally configured - containing just enough installed packages
to make it easy to download the official ARM packages from Debian and
some additional non-official/local packages from my FTP server.
*** WARNING ***
DO NOT use this image as your only means of booting your NetWinder. It
is strongly suggested that you keep the Corel Red Hat image on a separate
partition - or after installing the Debian successfully to one partition,
install it to another partition. You want to preserve your options for
booting. It is highly likely that this development image will break at
one time or another during upgrade. You could also set up a network
boot environment via DHCP in case you get into trouble (however, I believe
that NettROM 2.0.1 will not netboot the old a.out kernel, so you may have
to wait for the ELF kernel to be released). See Stany's Rescure HOWTO.
You have been warned!
In particular, we are using Corel's a.out bash because it doesn't have any
floating point code in it (we need to use it before the FPU emulator is
loaded during the boot process). If you make the mistake of upgrading to
the Debian bash package that is currently available, you will render your
Debian partition unbootable. Using the old bash has some undesirable
consequences, as some scripts use features from the newer one. We hope to
have this problem fixed fairly soon.
The Debian port is still a work-in-progress, watch for falling objects.
Here's what you do (as root):
1) Download the image from:
The filename should be something like: debian-image_981006.tar.gz
It's approximately a 12MB download.
2) Upgrade your flash to San Mehat's latest NeTTROM. Get it at his
developer's page on the restricted access portion of netwinder.org:
Read the instructions very carefully (unfortunately, they are buried
in the web page - there isn't a separate doc). If you mess up when
burning your flash, it would be inconvenient. I recommend printing
off this page before you try to redo your flash.
Install the upgrade, and ensure that you can reboot normally.
2) Pick a partition where you want to install it. Hopefully, you have a
free partition available. There isn't currently a good way to
repartion your system - eventually, it should be possible to boot from
flash and repartition from there - but you'll have to wait for that.
3) Go to the base of that partition, and untar the file, ie:
# tar xzvf debian-image_981006.tar.gz
This will untar the files into a directory called "image" below
your current directory. You'll want to do a "mv image/* ." to
put all the files in the correct place, and do a "rmdir image".
4) You'll want to edit etc/fstab to make sure the base partition listed
is the same as the one you actually installed it onto.
5) Reboot the system, and interrupt the booting sequence to get the
NettROM prompts. If you installed the image to /dev/hda4, you would
set the NettROM up like so (assuming you had defaults for all the
setenv kernconfig fs
setenv kerndev /dev/hda4
setenv rootconfig fs
setenv rootdev /dev/hda4
save-all (or just "boot" if you want to try it out for one time only)
6) Hopefully it boots, and you will be inside Debian!
7) You'll want to do several things:
a) reset the root password
b) configure your hostname (in /etc/hostname)
c) set your timezone "tzconfig"
d) setup your networking (in /etc/init.d/network)
8) You might want to edit /etc/resolv.conf to point to your nameservers.
Or you can just leave it pointing at mine.
9) Install additional packages. You do this using the "dselect" program.
Dselect has been configured to use the "dpkg-http" access method. It
will look for package files via http from an official Debian mirror,
and also via ftp from the collection of un-official packages on
10) You should have a functional Debian environment set up now! You might
want to go on and add some users (using "adduser"), and do some
You might want to join the debian-arm mailing list, by sending a
message contain the word "subscribe" in the body to
Also, feel free to check our website, which is at:
If you have any questions, please direct them to the mailing list. If
you have a correction/clarification for this set of instructions, please
send me a note - <email@example.com> .