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Re: Debian install on a IIsi not working


>> Some points to note here, just to make sure we're on the same page (Goswin
>> isn't a real Mac expert):
>Sure, I never installed Linux on a Mac, but had nearly the same
>Problems on Amiga. (e.g. only 4 MB ram, no install disks,...)

Yea, I've heard that suggestion before. That's not the question ...

>> And for Debian, don't use the Installer at all.
>WHy not use the installer? WHats speaking against it? Any known
>serious bugs that will break it on Mac?

Do you sometimes listen?? I've obviously failed in getting everybody on the
same page in the section you clipped out. Again:

Installer: MacOS based application used to unpack tar archives on ext2
filesystems on a Mac, providing tar, cp, mv etc. and a simple shell. 
Not related to dinstall, not at all intended to be used with Debian/68k.

The most serious known bug that makes it break on Mac (it breaks on other m68k
architectures anyway; the proof is left as an exercise to the reader): the 
tool to import and convert files from MacOS seems to overwrite the old inode
instead of using a new one, without adjusting the file size appropriately. Or
maybe it just gets the file size wrong in the conversion procedure. Anyway, 
files that were edited in MacOS can end up with random garbage at the end.

Another bug that existed at least in older versions of that Installer: it used
inodes < 10.

>> What PC? And if he's already got the files on the Mac, why not keep them there?
>> Linux can use HFS just fine for these simple tasks. 
>He will need a raw_write to a partition, using the Linux on the PC is
>the easiest, since I don't know where to get a tool for MacOS to do it.

He doesn't have a PC. And last time I tried, I could boot the ClassicII (with 
4 MB!) just fine, using the old non-Debian ramdisk. Might go back slightly 
before your Linux times, but we've had these problems before, on lots of 
machines, and  the 1.4 MB ramdisk plus minimal video RAM usage plus a minimal 
kernel 2.0 was useful on 4 MB Falcons. 
Didn't immediately realize that my ClassicII has only 4 MB, otherwise my reply
would have been more precise.

Just for reference: the Debian install ramdisk works fine with a 2.0 kernel
on a 5 MB Mac SE/30. Booted it hundreds of times. Useful for SCSI driver
debugging, aside from Debian installations... I can't see the problem here.

Conclusion: 5 MB is enough for the Debian ramdisk, with both 2.0 and 2.1
(though you want to enable swap immediately with 2.1, but dinstall suggests
this anyway). 4 MB isn't enough, but still permits using the old simple 
ramdisk. A minimal, i.e. Mac only or modularized kernel helps in each case. 
The user had 5 MB RAM, so booting the ramdisk should work.

>Does Debian actually need more than 5 MB before activating a swap?
>Last time I tried on a low mem system it failed with 4, but worked
>with 5.

Glad you asked. It doesn't need more than 5 MB. The user didn't indicate that 
booting the ramdisk failed, did he? So what _is_ the problem?

Going back to the original question: the poor user was fooled into thinking
that Mac users need to use the Installer even for Debian. That's BS, and he 
got himself unnecessarily into trouble. Instead of suggesting complicated
things like manually fixing the incomplete installation, or booting the ramdisk
from disk (without editing fstab??), I suggest to just start from scratch and 
boot the ramdisk as usual. If that doesn't work, there is a problem with the
booter, I guess; yell at me. If it works, fine. 

Make sure you use 'mac5380=2' in the kernel options to keep the SCSI driver 
from going ballistic, use 2.0.33pl1-980618 and use a swap partition. Just 
booted it, has 2.6 MB usable RAM with the old ramdisk, 190 k free, works just 
fine. Now that James will crank out modularized Mac kernels, it should be even 
better. Other Mac related questions should be directed to the Mac ML. 

Moral? The obvious: try to understand the problem before giving helpful advice.
My apologies for being confused over the RAM size involved. The source is of 
limited use there :-)


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