Bug#57133: marked as done (dbootstrap problems [mostly done] - dir chooser, config net (ppp), init-chroot, doc suggestion)
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From: "Andrew Schulman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: potato dbootstrap problems
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 17:46:56 -0500
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Hi. I'm installing Debian 2.2 from the "frozen" distribution. I know
this is a development version, so problems are expected. What follows
is a report of several problems I encountered in dbootstrap.
First, a general comment: I'm installing from scratch, but before now I
ran Debian 2.1. I had to install it several times, so I became very
familiar with the installation procedure :) and with dbootstrap in
particular. In Debian 2.1, dbootstrap was pretty hard to get wrong,
even for a novice (my problems were elsewhere!). But the latest version
is more confusing in several places, which I detail below. I think that
novice users will find Debian 2.2 significantly harder to install than 2.1,
if dbootstrap isn't improved.
Here are the installation steps in dbootstrap, and the problems I had
Setting up install/rescue disks, booting the installation procedure: no
problems, well documented in install_en.txt.
Partitioning and mounting disks: no problems, although I had already
done this step before so I didn't go through all of the steps this
time. If it's the same as in 2.1, it's fine.
Install kernel: here's where the trouble starts. I choose to install
from harddisk, and choose my partition.
- Dialog box asks for the debian archive path. A little confusing: is
this just the name of the directory where my rescue.bin and root.bin
files are? Or is there some archive directory structure I should know
- I guess and enter the name of the directory where rescue.bin and
root.bin are, and press return. More confusion: the cursor goes to the
right and rests on "<...>". I press return again, it stays there. OK,
I press TAB and the cursor moves on. But what is this "<...>"? Is it
for browsing the file system? If so, how do I activate it? I press
enter, space, anything I can think of except TAB, the cursor just sits
there. And why did my cursor go there after "enter", and then not leave
when I press "enter" again? Does this mean that the directory name I
typed here was wrong? (See previous confusion.)
- Ignoring this problem, I TAB onto OK and proceed. From here the
dialogs guide me more or less automatically to finding rescue.bin and
root.bin, so it turns out okay.
Configure modules: again I had some minor confusion at this step because
I didn't find the psaux or generic CDROM drivers, or anything about my
modem except ppp. Partly I was confused because I expected to find the
psaux and generic CDROM drivers, as in the old dbootstrap. So I just
guessed that they were already built into the kernel, and that turned
out to be true. But it might be helpful here to provide a message about
things you don't have to look for because they're already in the kernel.
Configure network: trouble.
- I enter a hostname, then am told that dbootstrap can't find a network
interface. Minor confusion: does this mean it can't find my modem?
- I'm asked whether I want to proceed with network configuration
anyway. But no matter whether I answer Yes or No, this step ends and I
go back to the main dbootstrap menu, with "Configure network" still at
the top of the list of things to do next.
- This step is never completed; from here forward, "Configure network"
is always at the top of the list. I try going back to it but can't
complete it. Moreover, once I do finally get my system up and running,
the hostname hasn't been set; my login message says '(none) login:', and
'hostname --fqdn' fails, causing a broken installation of "at" and some
other packages. /etc/hosts is missing.
The old dbootstrap asked me whether I wanted to configure the network
now, and offered the helpful advice that if I connect via modem, I
should say "no" here and configure the modem later. Then when I said
"no", the "Configure network" step was complete and my hostname was set.
At some point around this step, I saw briefly at the bottom of the
screen the message: "Cannot create /root/dbootstrap_settings: directory
nonexistent." The message came and went quickly, and I can't remember
exactly when. But this shouldn't happen; I'd already initialized and
Install base system: dbootstrap never recognized that this step was
complete. I did complete it without problems, but from here forward, my
proposed next step was always "Configure network", and the proposed
alternate was always "Install base system". So the suggested choices
were useless, and I had to scroll down to find what I wanted.
Make boot floppy: no problems, but there used to be a progress report
during the formatting, which was helpful. Now there's none.
Now I scroll down and see two choices: "Start new system" and "Reboot
- Confusion: what's the difference, and which one do I want? They sound
very similar, and the messages that go with each don't clarify; "Start
new system" sounds like maybe starting over. Maybe this will be easier
when one of them is the suggested next step.
- I guess and choose "Start new system", and the dialog pops up. Should
my boot floppy be in the drive before I continue? Dialog doesn't say.
- I press return, and get the message: "Could not setup init-chroot for
starting the new system. Try simply rebooting instead." This is
disconcerting (would be more so to a novice), and anyway it shouldn't
happen; I haven't done anything wrong that I can tell.
- I reboot, and get dumped into the "(none) login:" prompt. I type
"root", and there's no password prompt, a shell starts right away. The
installation system doesn't continue, so I haven't set up the root
password or a user account.
I reboot and rerun the installation process from the start. I do one
thing differently this time, which is to install the "dummy" network
protocol, hoping that will solve my network configuration problem. It
doesn't, but when I "Start new system" again (and again get the "Could
not setup ..." error), this time the installation process continues and
I choose the root password, etc.
In dselect, the "Apt configuration" screen refers to a "uri" (what's
that?) and "componenentz".
A final note about the installation documentation: install_en.txt is
very good, but I didn't print it out so I couldn't refer to it while I
was installing. I suggest that install_en.txt encourage the reader to
print the document for reference during installation. That might have
solved some of the confusion I decribed above.
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To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Subject: bugs fixed in the boot-floppies
From: Adam Di Carlo <email@example.com>
Date: 12 Aug 2000 17:46:59 -0400
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This bug has been fixed as of boot-floppies 2.2.16, available in the
Debian potato release. Please let us know if you still experience the
problem and we will reopen your bug. Thanks!
.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>