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installation impasse

I'm trying to migrate from a Slackware system with kernel version 1.2.9 to the
current Debian stable release.  I downloaded the boot, root, and 11 base floppies
for the "compact" version, and all went OK until I got to the part (after
re-booting from the boot floppy) about installing and configuring the rest of the
system, which requires access to the Net.

My connection is a PPP link, and it runs through a funny modem that uses port 2f0
and IRQ 2.  On the 1.2.9 system, this is simply configured by setserial in
rc.serial.  But this does not work on the Debian system, which reports "No such
device" although I made the /dev/ttyS14 entry with mknod.

It appears that the serial-port code now lives in a module; but where do I find

It also appears that many other people have had similar problems (mostly while
trying to install Winmodems) -- a search for "debian" and "ttyS14" turns up
hundreds of pages of similar complaints, but no solution.  This is not explained
in either the Serial-HOWTO or the Modem-HOWTO.

It would be helpful if the installation program provided the means of setting up
this special port for those of us who need it.

It would also be helpful if the instructions on how to do this were included in
one of the HOWTO documents.

Furthermore, it would be nice if the necessary module (which I suspect is
"generic_serial.o") were readily available from the Debian ftp site.  Apparently
it is buried inside a few multi-megabyte kernel packages, but not otherwise
available.  And, without having the installation finished, I'm not sure I could
extract the module from a *.deb package anyway.

Without getting the modem running, I can't proceed with the installation.  Any
Andrew T. Young

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