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state of boot floppies

Not sure when Adam plans to release 2.2.5. Over the past few days some of us
have been testing out various builds of boot floppies on i386 to make sure
it works and to iron out some remaining bugs. some observations:

1. PCMCIA support is broken. drow said he might help take a look.

2. related to that, we don't have correct versions of pcmcia modules for the
   kernels used on boot floppies. I am not sure who the pcmcia-modules
   maintainer is. For now, you can use the debs at
   http://lully.debian.org/~tausq/unofficial-debs/. Because of modversions, 
   the pcmcia modules must match the kernel-image you are using.
   This actually brings up a related issue, in that it is difficult for users
   to add their own driver modules if they need them.

3. BenC was cleaning up dbootstrap a bit and seem to have fixed a net-fetch
   bug that was causing downloads to hang. I have one report so far that it
   works ok.

4. The "Make Linux bootable directly from harddisk" option is not working at
   all right now. It seems to not write a lilo.conf or something. This has
   been reported several times and seems to be a showstopper for releasing 
   2.2.5. Also, when the machine reboots, the drives are not umount'ed

5. Support for DAC960/Compaq raid. Right now the boot floppies build scripts
   explicitly remove the device entries for these devices, so you cannot use
   them. Erik Andersen has proposed adding makedev to root so that users can
   at least manually create the devices if they need them. This has been
   done, but not tested. (I'll test it if someone wants to donate equipment :-)
   The -compact kernels have dac960 and cpqarray support

6. The "small" boot floopies I mentioned earlier are now renamed 'compact' to 
   be consistent with the package.. not sure why i didn't call it that to
   start with. In any case, it has been tested by several people and (other 
   than the above common problems) seem to work. For those who missed what
   this is -- it's a kernel built with only the essential modules. i.e. no
   joystick, fbdev, etc stuff.

7. base-config : i've tried adding base-config support to boot floppies. Right
   now this is done by running dpkg-reconfigure base-config in
   /root/.bash_profile. It seems to work. This is not yet committed -- joeyh
   has some ideas on how he wants to run it through inittab directly. I'll
   let him experiment with it :-) People who have tried this so far seem to 
   like it a lot. 

8. modconf seems to work with dbootstrap now and has lots of descriptions.
   I've heard it still has some problems and will try to track it down
   (#55404 and some that were reported to me privately)

I think that's it. I've asked several people who have tested boot floppies
to send their observations to this list. I think we are close, but the
pcmcia and lilo issues definitely need to be fixed.

Debian Developer <tausq@debian.org>

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