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Re: First dangerous crack at a riscpc installer

On Thu 30 Mar, Jim Studt wrote:

> In celebration of the RiscPC users popping out of the woodwork I've
> whipped up a first crack at a RiscPC debian installer image.

well done. I've played with it today, but it's hometime now, so here's
what I found in case it helps...

> It takes the form of a magic kernel+root that once running will take
> you through the normal debian install.  I suspect a thing called 
> `linloader' is going to be handy here.

Is is just me or does linloader have problems? I found I could only get
it to run pn RISCOS 3.5 or 3.7 machines by running !memfix first (from
!PC). The first time you get 'wildly outside array bounds', then you get
'physical pages not available'. The memory-page table-tweaking that
!Memfix does seems to be a workaround for now. On RISCOS 4 it wouldn't
work at all giving 'disc empty' messages (and curiously dismounting all my
Omniclient NFS mounts).

Trying to boot with !Linux (after upping the wimpslot) gave an assert
message about pointers not matching up. Perhaps due to the unusually
large image?

> To test this you need to...
>    - promise not to hurt me when something goes wrong.  
>        This is not release quality
>        This is not beta
>        This is not alpha
>        The greek alphabet does not start soon enough to express this.

It's doesn't seem to be too-bad, considering:
The 'configure keyboard' option is a trap, as all the available mappings
are completely different from the acorn ones so it's currently a
'rnadomise keyboard' command - don't go here:-) I've sent jim the a5k and
ps2 acorn files from russell's release with a couple of tweaks to put the
tilde and pound signs in the right place. I don't know if this is right
for the us keyboards (ie there such a things for an A5000?). Someone
should do the German keyboards, which are presumably relatively common.
An ether3-16 card is detected and configures OK. An EtherM card is not
detected (has the driver for this made it into the kernel yet?).
An EtherB card oddly reports (in the dmesg boot stuff) only the first 3
bytes of it's hardware address, and thus doesn't work.

ADFS drives with filecore/Linux partitioning are detected in the dmesg
info, and appear in the 'partition a disk' menu, but cannot be mounted or
initialised - I'm not sure what this means...

If the drive is partition using the PCBIOS scheme then it works and you
can set up swap , init a partition and proceed with install. You can even
use cfdisk but when you try to write the partitiono table it gives an
'illegal command' error.

Configuring network cards works OK (if you have the right one).

Trying to insatll off the net just hung.

Trying to install over NFS worked OK (except that I haven't got all the
files yet, and it's home time...so over to someone else for the weekend)

ADPL IDEFS drives are not detected (I think there is a driver for these).

I haven't got round to trying CDROMs or SCSI stuff yet.

Not being familiar with the debian install scheme I'm a bit confused
about the filesystem provided in base2_2/tgz and all the floppy images.
Do I need both of these, or are they the same thing in different formats?
The install appears to require the floppies?

And where do I get a look at exactly what goes on inside dbootstrap (what
commands it issues)?

Anyway, I hope that will save some of you some grief, and give a few
clues as to what needs fiddling with.

Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK  Tel (00 44) 1223 811679
work: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/     play: http://www.chaos.org.uk/~wookey/

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