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Bug#106201: Clearer instructions for driver-# floppies

Package: boot-floppies
Version: 2.2.23

This is a bug report against the Debian Install Manual.  At the end of
this message is a suggested fix.

The manual is lacking in a description of how to deal with installs
where the hd controller is not recognised on the initial boot and
therefore the hd cannot be partitioned.  

This can be either because the rescue floppy does not have the necessary
driver compiled in, or the user failed to enter correct boot parameters.
However, a new user can be unaware this is the cause and may instead
believe the driver-# floppies are required in order to load the driver
as a module.

It's not clear to a new user whether the setup process should prompt for
the driver floppies automatically, or whether the user needs to do
something to make the setup process prompt for the floppies.  So the
user may wonder if the problem is due to user error or a bug.

After the hd is partitioned, it becomes clear, but this is no help if
the hd is not accessible due to driver problems.  

I'm reporting this because I had trouble with my first floppy install of
Debian, for which I could not find the answer in the install manual.  My
search of the debian-user list for recent months only found similar
confusion about how to make use of driver-# floppies:


I think bug #96237 is related, but I'm not sure, which is why I opened a
new bug.  The response to that report was to RTM.  Well I *have* RTFM
and the problem stands.

Below is a modification to the Install Manual text that I know would
have helped me, and I think would help other new users too:

5.4.3. Driver Files

     These files contain kernel modules, or drivers, for all kinds of
     hardware that are not necessary for initial booting.  Getting the
     drivers you want is a two step process: first you identify an archive
     of drivers you want to use, and then you select which particular
     drivers you want.
     The driver archive floppies are not used until after the hard drive
     has been partitioned and the kernel has been installed.  If you need a
     particular driver for initial booting, or to access the hard drive,
     choose a kernel with the necessary driver compiled in and supply the
     correct boot parameter arguments.  Please see Section 5.2. `Choosing
     the Right Installation Set' and Section 6.1, `Boot Parameter

     Remember that your driver archive must be consistent with your initial
     kernel choice.


-Bernie Boudet.

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