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RE: Debian Installer - Problems Partitioning

Not to sound like a wet blanket, but if you have to have Linux I say
give it up already and buy an Intel box, the more "standard" the better.
But expect to have problems there too, especially with the Broadcom NICs
that every new Intel box has these days.

I spent six months, on and off, trying to get Linux, any Linux (actually
I never tried SuSE...hmm...), to behave itself with Alpha 4100s.  I
tried Debian and Red Hat, threw money away on new SCSI controllers,
tried firmware upgrades, trolled the internet, gave up on having any
kind of hardware RAID, all to no avail.  I found lots of smart folks who
had teased the things into life but I'm just too dumb.  At the very
least you should ditch the DAC960s if they don't work after a week or so
of faffing around.

With Intel I can get Debian running although I had to install an old
fashioned 3Com NIC and if you have an eight-way box expect Debian only
to be able to handle seven of them.  I do think if you have to have
Linux it should be Debian.  Once you have accomplished the Herculean
task of making Debian work, it will probably stay that way, unlike Red
Hat.  Plus on Intel you will need to hit "bf24" at the first prompt of
the Debian CD (a non-2.4 kernel won't recognize your hardware, a 2.4
will recognize everything but the Broadcom NIC).

I hear rumors Debian 3.1 will have a new installer; if it provides a
nicer way to incorporate new hardware drivers it could really change the
world for morons like me.  I am pleased to see that HP are providing a
free Debian-for-Dummies wrapper for Itanium (http://hpde.linux.hp.com);
I will be trying it on an eval soon.  The one they did for Red Hat on
Alpha wasn't perfect but got me halfway there.  If you do try Red Hat on
Alpha you should use it.

Best of luck

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim and Kelly Younkin [mailto:jimandkelly@younkin.com] 
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 7:36 PM
To: debian-alpha@lists.debian.org
Subject: RE: Debian Installer - Problems Partitioning

Is there anything more I can do to get the necessary information for
someone to be able to diagnosis the problem and suggest a solution?

Should I try RedHat, or another flavor of Linux that supports Alpha?

If I cannot get some version of Linux running on my Alpha by Tuesday I
will have to order an Intel box.  I have fallen way behind on this

Thanks to all for you help.


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Langasek [mailto:vorlon@debian.org] 
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 3:39 PM
To: debian-alpha@lists.debian.org
Cc: Helge Kreutzmann; Jim and Kelly Younkin
Subject: Re: Debian Installer - Problems Partitioning
Importance: Low

On Sat, Jun 05, 2004 at 06:36:34PM +0200, Helge Kreutzmann wrote:
> Hello,
> On Sat, Jun 05, 2004 at 12:10:33PM -0400, Jim and Kelly Younkin wrote:
> > I am ashamed to admit, but I *still* don't get how I am supposed to
> > FDISK so I can get to an FDISK prompt.

> There is nothing to be ashamed of!

> > ~# fdisk /dev/sda
> > /bin/sh: ~fdisk: not found

> I don't know the PATH on this busybox. Try 
> cd /sbin
> ./fdisk /dev/sda

> and then (after partitioning) return to the installer.

This will absolutely not work, you must use devfs-style paths to all
devices when running inside the debian installer.

But this is an exercise in futility anyway -- if the disk could be seen
by the kernel, partman would've let him partition it to begin with.  It
doesn't matter which partitioner he tries to use, he is *not* going to
be able to partition the disk until we figure out why the DAC960 module
won't load for him.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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