documentation/en SGML [patch] booting from hard disk using LILO
Below is the SGML source patch corresponding to the page I advertised
yesterday, corresponding to these HTML pages:
I think using this procedure behind an ADSL line can be convenient,
except that I suspect some issues related to PPoE or PPTP... any idea ?
I can produce and post quickly here the corresponding patch for the
french translation as soon as something not too different from this
patch will be committed to cvs.debian.org AND the committer has warned
me of it by email.
Please reply all and keep me in Cc: since I am not subscribed to the
list. Thanks in advance.
RCS file: /cvs/debian-boot/boot-floppies/documentation/en/inst-methods.sgml,v
retrieving revision 1.135
diff -u -r1.135 inst-methods.sgml
--- documentation/en/inst-methods.sgml 2002/07/16 03:07:41 1.135
+++ documentation/en/inst-methods.sgml 2002/08/01 20:52:39
@@ -860,10 +860,56 @@
The installer may be booted using boot files placed on an
existing hard drive partition, either launched from another operating
system or by invoking a boot loader directly from the BIOS.
+A full, "pure network" installation can be achieved using this
+technique. This avoids all hassles of removable media, like finding
+and burning CD images or struggling with too numerous and <qref
+id="unreliable-floppies">unreliable floppy disks</qref>.
<![ %i386 [
<p> The installer cannot boot from files on an NTFS
-file system. ]]>
+<sect1 id="files-lilo">Hard disk installer booting using
+This section explains how to add to or even replace an existing linux
+installation using <prgn>LILO</prgn>.
+At boot time, <prgn>LILO</prgn> supports loading in memory not only
+the kernel, but also a disk image. This RAM disk can be used as
+the root file-system by the kernel. Choose the flavor in <ref
+id="kernel-choice"> that best fits your taste, and you will be
+Copy the following two or three files from the Debian archives in a
+convenient location on your hard drive, for instance in
+<item><file/linux.bin/ (kernel binary)
+<item><file/root.bin/ (root image)
+<item><file/drivers.tgz/ (optional kernel modules) and extract recursively
+everything <em>now</em> (easier than later).
+Remember on which physical partition (e.g. <file>/dev/hda4</file>) are
+the <file>.o</file> drivers you just extracted from
+You can also replace <file/linux.bin/ and
+<file/drivers.tgz/ by your custom kernel and the carefully chosen
+drivers that you will need for the installation, for instance a module
+for your exotic and unsupported network interface. Do not forget that
+your custom kernel must have (at least) the <file>RAMDISK</file> and
+<file>initrd</file> features <em>built-in</em>. See the very
+beginning of <ref id="rescue-replace-kernel"> for the list of the
+other mandatory built-in kernel features required to boot and launch
+the installer. Do not go on and do not read there the irrelevant
+floppy-related stuff after the list of features.
+Finally, to configure <prgn>LILO</prgn> proceed to <ref
+ <!-- end %i386 --> ]]>
<![ %powerpc [
RCS file: /cvs/debian-boot/boot-floppies/documentation/en/rescue-boot.sgml,v
retrieving revision 1.113
diff -u -r1.113 rescue-boot.sgml
--- documentation/en/rescue-boot.sgml 2002/07/13 16:19:06 1.113
+++ documentation/en/rescue-boot.sgml 2002/08/01 20:52:42
@@ -729,8 +729,84 @@
precludes <file/install.bat/ from being used with the bf2.4
flavor. The symptom of the problem is an `invalid compressed format'
+ <sect1 id="boot-initrd">Booting from linux using <prgn>LILO</prgn>
+One <em>initrd=</em> line in <file>/etc/lilo.conf</file> is enough to
+configure two essentials things:
+tell <prgn>LILO</prgn> to load the <file/root.bin/ installer as a
+RAM disk at boot time;
+tell the <file/linux.bin/ kernel to use this RAM disk as its root partition.
+Here is a <file>/etc/lilo.conf</file> example:
+<em>root=/dev/hdXYZ</em> options in <file/lilo.conf/ will be ignored
+in this case.
+For more details, refer to the <manref name="initrd" section="4"> and
+<manref name="lilo.conf" section="5"> man pages. Now run <tt>lilo</tt>
+You can trace the <file>initrd</file> magic at work several times during
+before the kernel has even been loaded, <prgn>LILO</prgn> displays a
+much longer <tt>Loading <var>imagelabel</var>......</tt> line with
+more dots than usual, showing the progression of the RAM disk image
+You should see the <tt>RAM disk driver initialized</tt> notice, near
+the real time clock initialization, proving that your kernel supports
+the RAM disk feature.
+Finally, if you don't see <tt>RAMDISK: ext2 filesystem found at block
+0</tt> immediately after the partition checks, it's probably because
+your kernel miss the <file>initrd</file> feature.
+You should now see the debian installer <qref id="dbootstrap-intro">
+<prgn>dbootstrap</prgn></qref> running. If you do not use any
+removable medium, you want to check very early that your network
+connection is working and <em>before</em> irreversibly partitioning
+your hard disk. So you maybe need to <tt>insmod</tt> some additional
+kernel modules for this, for instance for your network interface. It's
+time <em>not</em> to follow the order of steps suggested by
+<prgn>dbootstrap</prgn>. Leap directly to <tt>Mount a
+Previously-Initialized Partition</tt>, and mount the partition where
+you stored the modules that <qref id="files-lilo">you extracted from
+<!-- Ideally, configure Device Driver Modules should support the
+following (insmod-ing from the hard-disk) and not only from a floppy.
+That would avoid the need to open a shell -->
+Then switch to an other virtual terminal and use a shell (see <ref
+id="dbootstrap-shell-log">) to find drivers
+in the just mounted <file>/target</file> directory. <tt>insmod</tt>
+the ones you need.
+Go to <ref id="configure-network"> in the <prgn>dbootstrap</prgn>
+installer menus, and <tt>ping</tt> your favorite debian mirror at
+Use <tt>Unmount a Partition</tt> if you have mounted one in the previous
+paragraph, safely go back to the partitioning steps at the start of
+<prgn>dbootstrap</prgn> and follow the regular procedure,
+with the network as a bonus. At this stage, it is even possible
+(only a bit risky) to completely wipe out all the previous partitions
+on your hard drive for a very clean installation. The only risk is that
+your hard drive will be un-bootable for a short period of time. <!--
+end %i386 --> ]]>
<![ %m68k [
<sect1>Booting from AmigaOS
@@ -1011,7 +1087,7 @@
<sect id="boot-troubleshooting">Troubleshooting the Install Process
- <sect1>Floppy Disk Reliability
+ <sect1 id="unreliable-floppies">Floppy Disk Reliability
The biggest problem for people installing Debian for the first time
seems to be floppy disk reliability.