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debian/alpha installation method proposal

In message "Re: Status of Debian for Alphas", mdorman@calder.med.miami.edu writes:

> brannon@bufo.usc.edu (Terrence M. Brannon) writes:
> > Well, my Alpha will not boot under OSF/1 anymore because I attempted
> > to mount /usr via NFS instead of locally. So I would appreciate any
> > method of getting a working Linux up on my AlphaStation 250 4/266.
> Unfortunately, I don't even remember the original bootstrapping
> methods---it's been six months.  Maybe someone else here could give
> you a pointer.
> The short answer is that there's a base.tgz file somewhere on
> ftp.debian.org.  You need to do a small installation of redhat on
> another partition, then initialize what you want to be your debian
> partition and untar base.tgz on it.  You now have an eight-month-old
> base system.  You can re-use the partition you have redhat on as /usr
> or /home or something.
> Then you need to start grabbing packages from ftp.debian.org, starting
> with libc6.1, and then dpkg, and then everything else.

I looked into installing Redhat, but it looks like a big pain if you
don't have a distribution CD. How about this for an Debian installation
method (modified from the HOWTO.bootstrap instructions):

Put your hard drive into a Linux/Intel box.
Set up root and swap partitions; run mkswap and mke2fs.
Mount the root partition somewhere.
Copy vmlinux.gz onto the root partition.
Untar base.tgz onto the root partition.
Setup /etc/fstab and /etc/hostname . ( /etc/passwd ? )
Put the drive in the Alpha box and boot.

I didn't mention a MILO partition because I have that burned into flash
on my AXPpci33. This might be needed on other systems. One problem is
where to get the kernel image from. Could someone put this on the FTP
site, at least the UDB/Noname/AXPpci33 versions? (Are these the same?)

Would knowledgeable persons please comment on this proposal? Unless the
boot disks are coming soon, I'd like to try someting like this; I'm
hesitant to mess around with Redhat if it can be avoided. I'm sure a lot 
of people could find a Linux/Intel system to use, if this is a viable
installation method.

Ian Willmott
Northern Telecom
Ottawa Ontario Canada

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