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Re: booting on a microway alpha box

Jon Leonard <jleonard@slimy.com> writes:

> On Wed, Jul 24, 2002 at 01:47:27PM -0500, Douglas Fils wrote:
> [ Snip: continued problems booting alphas off CDROMs ]
> > Question:
> > I should be able to boot into Debian from the CD (disk 1) correct?
> > 
> > thansk for everyones help and time with this..
> > I'm really hoping to wipe all our alpha machines to debian 3.0, (we have
> > about 30+ of these beasts and they are running old RH 6.2)
> Maybe it'd be easier to accomplish that goal differently.  (That, and I'm
> out of ideas on how to make it work.  It looks like SRM may be able to
> boot from CD, but that doesn't work with MILO.)

srm boots aboot normaly but it can boot milo too.

But if you have problems heres another method:

Since you have RH installed you already have partitions and a
bootloader in place. You most likely also have a swap partition.

- Copy the debian kernel next to your redhat one.
- gunzip the root.bin and copy that onto the swap partition (swapoff first)
- add a boot entry for the debian kernel with root=/dev/<your swap>
- reboot

That should give you the debian installer and access to the cdrom and
network and from there on everything goes by the docs. Only difference
is that you need to reboot if you repartition your harddrive, since
linux won't reread the partition table of a used drive.

Alternativey to using the swap partition you can use a zip or mo disk
or a spare drive, but one doesn't allways have that around.

> It's possible to do a Debian install from an existing unix or Linux system,
> which is how I wound up migrating from Redhat to Debian Slink.  Apparently
> the process is better supported now, and documented under:
> http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/alpha/ch-preparing.en.html#s-linux-upgrade
> In particular, the section starting:
> 3.7 Installing Debian GNU/Linux from a Unix/Linux System
> The basic idea is to make disk partitions (at least one) and untar
> debootstrap into it, then boot with that as the root filesystem.
> It might also be easier to clone hard disks after you have one system up,
> saving the effort of doing the common part of the configuration repeatedly.
> Does that look viable for you?

Theres a package just for that, hopefully thats mentioned in the above
url. Its called "debootstrap" and should also work on non-debian
system. It sets up a complete chroot for you which can be converted to
a real systems with a few adjustments, like adding a /etc/fstab,
setting the hostname and such.


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