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Re: Installing from SuSE



David Liontooth wrote:
> I'd like to install Debian on an amd64 currently running SuSE. It 
> doesn't have a CD or floppy drive, so the simplest would be to install 
> from within the current installation. What can I do?

  http://www.hadrons.org/~guillem/debian/debtakeover/README

I used this process just this last weekend on an i686 system to
convert it to Debian.  I was very much impressed by how well
everything worked.  The author must have spent a tremendous amount of
time working through the details.  Very impressive work.  The script
is written quite cleanly and is easy to follow through the internals.

It is not perfect.  But certainly close enough to finish the job by
hand.  In particular in my case the password file remained the old one
and did not have all of the pseudo users needed for the new system
such as postdrop and others.  Also nothing is really done with respect
to the kernel and the one from the previous system is left in place.

The script was written to convert remote co-located servers.  Before
using this on a live production system you would want to have tried it
and tested it thoroughly on an offline system close at hand.  Only
when you are convinced that it will do what you want should you commit
to converting a remote system with this method.

I have not tried this process for amd64.  But if the system is a
64-bit amd64 system then I believe this should work.  But if it is a
32-bit i686 system then the bootstrap process will not work.  Or
rather it will work to convert it to another i686 system.  Remember
that the kernel is left as is in this process.

> Back in February I used John Goerzen's amd64_pure_test 
> <http://people.debian.org/%7Ejgoerzen/amd64_pure_test.tar.bz2> to 
> install into a chroot, which worked fine, but this  partition is no 
> more. Is it possible to install from a mounted iso image, such as 
> sid-amd64-netboot.iso?
> 
> The instructions in debian-amd64-howto.html for installing into a chroot 
> assume you're already running Debian.

The only step that is interesting on non-debian systems is getting
debootstrap or cdebootstrap.  You will need to download the tar.gz
file and unpack it manually and build everything up manually.  After
that you should be able to proceed the same regardless of system.  You
can get the tar.gz file from the debian.org servers.

  http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/debootstrap

Look near the bottom for the link which currently says
[debootstrap_0.2.44.tar.gz].

Another resource that you might find useful is the following.  It
also documents how to build a system from a chroot.

  http://www.inittab.de/manuals/debootstrap.html

Bob

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