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Re: Still no base tarball

Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> writes:

> My neighbor was given a "junk" SCSI based P90 machine. It will not
> boot from the CD, so that path is out. It will not boot a Debian
> rescue disk.  (I haven't figured out whether it is disabled in
> hardware, or the LILO install requires an ext2 file system on the
> boot floppy. My next step there, is to build a LILO based boot disk
> as I think the boot process is chaining to an expected LILO on the
> floppy...)

The rescue disk uses SYSLINUX, not LILO, to boot.

The custom boot disk created during the install process, if any, uses

I would suggest trying something like Tom's Boot Disk.  If that too
fails, then it's probably hardware-related.

> It has a RH system installed, and if we can get the root password I
> can hack a Debian system into the machine through the floppy. If I
> can get a boot floppy to work I'll be able to hack the root password
> out of the system and proceed from there, but I may have to move the
> SCSI drive to my machine to do that...

Well, any rescue disk like Tom's Boot Disk would work.  The
boot-floppies rescue disk does have a dual function of being both for
the installer and a convenient rescue disk, but I'm afraid it fills
that latter function rather poorly, especially when compared with the
"single floppy distros" out there, which really specialize in this.
Yaboot is also pretty good I think.

> Anyway, even with a lot of luck, I'm going to need a set of floppies
> with boot, root, and drivers disks and the base system, either on
> floppies, or quicker by toasting a CD with the base tarball.

That doesn't necessarily follow.  Just because you can't boot from CD,
doesn't mean that you couldn't install the kernel, modules, and base
system from the CD.

> Putting all that asside, the CD install is not available before a
> release,

That's not true.  I get gold CDs for free from "The Computer Helper
Guy" (see http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/, near the bottom).
He might be willing to donate a set to you as well.   Any Debian CD
vendor can also provide gold CDs of unstable.  I know for instance
that GreenBush (sp?) does.

> so the testing group must resort to more primative methods to bootstrap
> the system in an attempt to test the install before it is released.

That doesn't follow, see above.

> If we had a way to distribute pre-release CDs to the testing group, that
> problem would be solved, but I'm not in favor of Debian becoming a CD only
> distribution for single user new installs.

Nobody's talking about CD-only -- no need to exaggerate.  I just think
using a fast net connection, if possible, or gold CDs, if not, would
expediate the  practical problem of doing testing now.

> Please, lets not restrict freedom of access to Debian by retiring a well
> used and still useful workhorse.

Well, let's not exaggerate.  We support more architectures, provide
more support for old and crappy hardware, low memory situations, etc.,
than any other major distro out there (that I know of).

I agree with you that we should *normalize* the distribution of
basedebs.tgz and a split version of the same, but are you aware of the
alternatives out there?  For you to not be able to test at all until
this is normalized would, would it not?, delay the woody release?

Anyhow, please do let us know with utmost urgency, if you guys hit
problems blocking further testing.  I think I can safely say the
basedebs.tgz, while not fully settled yet, at least is "stopgapped"
enough that your team can continue testing?

...Adam Di Carlo..<adam@onshore-devel.com>...<URL:http://www.onshored.com/>

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