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Re: Woody Installation

Chris Tillman wrote:
Hi Chris

> > ISOLINUX 1.67/debian-cd 2002-05-14 isolinux: Loading spec packet, trying
> > to wing it...
> > isolinux; Failed to locate CD-ROM device; boot failed
> >
> > So Debian is still unable to boot from a mixed system, i. e. starting
> > from a scsi-device with ide-devices present. Will work the other way
> > round. No problem with windoze, OS/2 et. al. in such a situation.
> > (not a new bug, present since at least 2.0 (hamm? slink?)
> I don't believe this is true; if it is, it should be added to the docs.
> What is more likely, is that it needs a kernel with the correct scsi drivers
> (which you get by picking the appropriate boot flavor).
Take a fully configured linux system (condition is scsi AND ide, boot
sequence ide first) and invoke lilo.
Restart, and lilo will hang. Disable all ide drives and lilo will find
and write to the scsi drive.
I already asked this question a couple of years ago in the compuserve
*nix fora, but could not get a solution. Same situation with Suse,
Redhat, Caldera ...
Somehow Linux doesn't get the order right. My bios shows the scsi drive
as 0x80 / c: but thereafter you cant't run lilo. Revese it (ide first)
and you won't have any problems.
Also happens with a self-tailored kernel with the correct scsi-driver.

> Sources for all programs are required to be available from your vendor, and
> are also available online at http;//packages.debian.org/package-name (among
> others).
I called them, and, as I already say, they are now collecting orders and
will burn and sell the CDs for a nominal fee. I didn't know that the
kernel sorces are packed at buinaries. Found and unpacked them, so
everything shopuild be fine now.

> > Now, after inserting CD#1 into /dev/sr0 we are greeted by this charming
> > and encouraging little message:
> >
> > (If it fails try the other CDs)
> Do you have a suggested rewording? It seems to be succinct, accurate and
> to the point. A longer explanation would explain that we have tried hard
> to accomodate as many different machine architectures as possible, by
> providing differently configured boot kernels on the different CDs,
> one of which should boot on most any machine. But, that's covered in
> much more detail in
> http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-rescue-boot.en.html#s-install-cd
What about providing something like indicating a file which lists all
possible kernels on all CD's. should be a text file so that a simple cat
| more will sufice to read it.
> > So now we try CD #2
> > Whow, now we get a welcome screen
> > and - via F3 - are presented with a few options:
> > linux, ramdisk{0,1}, floppy{0,1}, and rescue. Not much of a choice for
> > kernels.
> If isolinux had worked on your machine, you would have been given a
> choice of kernels. Since it didn't you have the backup plan: try
> different CDs.
Might have something to do with the SCSI / IDE thing. Maybe a bug.
Sameone wiser than I might inspect it.
> > modprobe: modprobe: Can't open dependencies file
> > /lib/modules/2.2.20/modules.dep
> >  (No such file or directory)
> No worry, you haven't installed yet.
Worked fine after installing.

> > Install Kernel and Driver Modules : pressed enter : skipped by install
> > routine (not good)
> What happened? I don't understand. It did nothing? This would be the next
> dialog:
It just alternated between the two. Might have been caused by the wrong
CD being inserted.
A error message telling the user to insert the correct disk would surely
stop this.

> I don't think you need to insert a CD for modules; they are loaded at
> boot AFAIK.
I meant modules ( drivers = modconf
> I agree, the module installation process is cumbersome. The more advanced
> detection tools being used in the new installer should help a lot.
After some fiddling I got it to work, but many potential users might
throw in the towel at this stage.

> Since the installation system was designed to fit on a floppy, and
> must work in a ramdisk, it has no documentation or manuals. I think a
> good suggestion for CD builders would be to add a documentation CD;
> in fact I just submitted a bug asking for one.
> Thankfully, I use powerpc where all modules I know of can autodetect.
Lucky you

> If it was a true error message, I'm sure it would have stayed
> visible. Probably just a progress type message.
Maybe usb was listed, but not available at the moment. As I don't intend
to use it (I just wanted to peek and see what's provides) I won't

> > (where does it hide the parameters to sb????
> >   Searching for files with almost the same datestamp as /etc/modules->
> > /etc/modules/conf)
> >   Couldn't the first line of /etc/modules be something like
> >   ... all parameters are in /etc/modules.conf )
> Well, modules.conf states at the top that it is controlled by the
> system, not to be directly edited. So that would be inappropriate.
Of course, but here you can see which paramters are being passed. Nice
place to look if something doesn't work.

> > Network
> > ...
> > DNS Server address : <blank>         With several ISPs, how do I enter
> Just one needed for installation, you can add more later.
Will ask later in debian-isp 

> > ??? where are all those data written to, why don't the respective boxes
> > mention this?
> You can read about it later in the docs, if you're interested. The normal
> user is not interested.
Will go hunting. If I don't find anything, I'll have to come back.

> > Archive path (only one available) : /instmnt
> We tried to not ask questions where only one response was possible;
> apparently this one was missed.
So it will be remedied soon.

> > ??? af_packet: what's that, who installed that?
> To answer that question (once your system is up),
> dpkg -S af_packet
> As someone else mentioned, it's needed by the installation system.

> > What can I delete?
> Are you really tight on disk space? With 20-40G disks, most users just
> don't worry about disk space at this level any more. You would be
> absolutely amazed how much of that M$ system you're leaving behind is
> useless on a particular machine.
I simply hate having anything unneeded on my box. Maybe I'm slightly
paranoid with all the stuff spying on you under windoze. (And I started
out with an extremely expensive 10 MB harddisk a couple of years ago. So
I'm still unwilling to waste space)

> As others have suggested, dselect / aptitude will happily show you
> what you have installed. It's proper for each package / program to
> handle their own config files, and let you know about them in their
> own docs. If errors occur during installation, you should in fact see
> errors generated by that package's install routines similar to what
> you envision. If not, it's the package that needs work.
> And, actually, everything that appears and that you type during the
> installation is logged. It's not usually needed until it's time to
> hunt down bugs: /var/log/installer.log
I will look into these later.
> We do have a doc-base system which collects some metadata about
> the installed docs, but it needs work.
> There is the _Securing Debian_ manual which will provide hours of
> reading pleasure for the budding paranoid and seriously responsible:
> http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-howto/index.en.html
Will soon be devoured.

> > Apt-Configuration
> > /dev/cdrom : yuck : changed to /mnt/cd32 = /dev/sr0
> not sure what your resistance here is; Assimilate! :-)
> > fstab : /dev/sr0  /mnt/cd32  iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
> > mount /mnt/cd32 works
> >
> > entering /mnt/cd32 in Ap-config causes error-message : /mnt/cd32 no
> > block device
> > mounting /mnt/cd32 solves this problem, but apt-config is skipped (very
> > bad)
> > No way back.
> Please submit a detailed bug report on base-config. There should be a
> way back. (BTW, reportbug is an excellent program to use to report bugs).
Will do this.

> If you had run tasksel, even without picking anything, the standard
> programs such as less would have been installed. This is covered in
> the manual
> http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-init-config.en.html#s-preselections

> > man apt.conf
> > man apt-config
> > apropos apt -> apt : nothing appropriate (that's ridiculous)
> Again, this is part of the standard installation you skipped.

> > Nothing tells me how to create apt.conf. As there was a graphical
> > interface in the install program, it would be nice if it could be used
> > outside the installation process.
> It can. As you wrote on the paper, just run /usr/sbin/base-config
Found it.

> Well the website is the closest thing to an organized directory of
> information. But, there's a lot there. There have been several
> attempts, dhelp, dwww, doc-base to organize everything. One problem is
> the herd-of-cats syndrome. Another is when programs constantly get
> improved that also means their docs are constantly getting out of
> date. The best solution, I think, is Google (with advanced search you
> can search within Linux).

> > Apt Configuration : final question:
> > security updates : How to do? Shall I connect as root ?????
> > How to do this with a second PC set up as a gateway?
> > So it's 'no' for the moment.
> Right. More, many more, answers in the _Securing Debian_ manual.

> > Desktop environment : how to run anything except kde? Like fvwm,
> > blackbox etc.
> It doesn't install kde either. As it mentions in the info box, you
> need a window manager. This is covered pretty well in the X
> documentation, but it's still confusing as hell to me.  You can
> apt-cache search x-window-manager for a screenful to pick from.
> > Dialup : Why woffle? What do I need this for? I don't want to cache
> > anything.
> > Why is anacron in dialup, I would expect it in base.
> cron is in base. anacron is only for those people who turn their
> computers off. It's included in the dialup task since it seems like
> it would be a good fit for a dialup user.
Makes sense. I always turn my machine off if I don't need it. Hard disks
also want some rest and power is expensive. (Yep, I'm cheap sometimes)

> > Eh? X installs bc, biff, binutils, bison, cpp, ispell, cpp, gdb?
> > Strange.
> All these standard apps are now getting installed because it's your
> first tasksel run.
Makes sense

> > xdm? I don't want any graphical login.
> Then you can delete it later. The idea of tasksel is to give you an
> easy way to pick groups of popular packages. if you want to pick package
> by package from the 11000 available, then aptitude or dselect is for you.
> Covered in
> http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-init-config.en.html#s-preselections
Just killed the link as usual. 

> > Binutils: Kernel link failure info. Nice. Affects which kernels? 2.2.*,
> > 2.4.*
> > 2.2.17 in Potato (2.2.r0) did link OK). Info should be saved to disk, so
> > scribbling down again.
> I hate that scary box.

> > less installs now? less part of X?????? Strange.
> standard package.
> > Locales: What does this do? Only prepare them? Changing anything? Change
> > the way programs run???
> > Do I need any ot them? When? What for?
> > So no info -> skip?
> >
> > Configuring Locales?
> > Leave alone ?  What does this mean. Why doesn't it tell me the current
> > locale?
> > What's none? Will my system run without a locale (if that's none's
> > meaning)
> > C?
> > Chosing C? (Might be damn stupid)
> Well, I understand your questions about internationalization. This is
> a place we need more documentation. But you see you were led to the
> correct conclusion.
As I have to work in many languages, some of them with non-Roman
letters, internationalization is very important and confusing for me.
> > Tcpwrappers? What's that? What does it do? Documentation?
> > Where are they. Man ?????
> >
> > SSH:
> > Do I need ssh 1? Sometimes? Never?
> > No idea, let's accept ssh 2 only.
> >
> > SSH SUID: Well yes. (No idea what I'm doing here)
> That's OK, as it reassures you.
> > Will I need sshd in a small peer-to-peer network?
> > Let's say yes.
> Back to _Securing Debian_. Good choice.
Will do

> > Xserver-common
> > Debconf
> > man debconf : no manual entry for debconf
> > So What is debconf, what does it do, what can it tell me, can I override
> > it / change it, how can I invoke it?
> Good point. It's the database of configuration questions you have
> asked and answered. The debconf man page is installed with
> debconf-doc, which is _not_ installed by default. Please write a bug
> on debconf asking that it either install a man page, or prohibit any
> other packages from using its name in vain.
Will do.

> > Only specific marked sections are handled by debconf...
> > Man Xwrapper     : no manual entry for debconf
> > Apropos Xwrapper : nothing appropriate
> > Well, yes
> Unfortunately, apropos doesn't work out of the box. You have
> to run mandb in order for it to build the apropos database,
> this is done the first time cron runs, but on a system like
> mine where cron never runs, well it just doesn't happen. Just
> mandb
Good idea.

> > Configuring Xserver-xfree84 with debconf
> > /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 : well, might really be X 4.x
> > let's say yes. How can I change this afterwards?
> To change any setting which a package has asked you about, use
> dpkg-reconfigure package-name
didn't know that.

> Since you love details, try it with -plow .
> On the other hand, you're talking about changing the config file name
> to match the version. Don't, it'll just happily fail when it can't
> find it. It is the packager's jobs to name config files.
> > Select the server.
> > Nice. What do I chose here?
> > Whats nv, imstt, apm (power management???), sis?
> > Will mga be OK for a millenium 400?
> I don't have a clue, maybe a bug on xserver-xfree86 to please
> clarify what those acronyms stand for in the dialog.
Another one to file.

> > Framebuffer ???
> > Yes
> >
> > keyboard
> > -> xfree86
> > German keyboard -> pc105
> > layout -> de
> >
> > keyboard variant?
> > Gurus only. Must have memorized all variants. No help given.
> Include this in that bug...
Let's make it a long list.
> > keyboard options:
> > See lots of files not yet installed.
> >
> > Mouse port
> > com1: so /dev/ttyS0
> > let's try auto (It's a Logitec mouse, but have you ever been able to use
> > one of these using the logitec protocol?)
> not even in Windoze :-)

> > startx (I'm still root)
> >
> > (WW) Warning, couldn't open module mga_hal
> > (EE) MGA: failed to load module "mga_hal" (module does not exist, 0)
> > (II) MGA(0): Matrox HAL module not found - using builtin mode setup
> > instead
> > (--) MGA(0): Chipset: "mgag400"
> > (==) MGA(0): Using AGP 1x mode
> > (**) MGA(0): using framebuffer device
> > ...
> > (EE) Screen)s) found, but none have a usable configuration.
> >
> > Fatal server error:
> > No screens found.
> > Whow. What shall I do now, are there any setup programs?
> > What about:
> > Fatal server error:
> > No screens found in file /..../.../filename.
> > Use <this_program> to configure.
> > or
> > Sorry, there is no config program. Complete documentation of <filename>
> > format can be found here.
> > Enter / edit the following section.
> > Wouldn't that be just marvelous?
> These are great comments, which should be directed to xserver-xfree86. Be
> gentle, though, the dialog you saw with those messages was itself a recent
> innovation.
Will do it, keeping a really low profile.
> > write configuration to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XF86Config ???
> > shouldn't it write to /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 ???
> That's probably a typo in the dialog, or else that program doesn't work
> with version 4. Ask on debian-x?
debian-x will also be pestered soon.

> > (Answering no writes XF86Cionfig.new to /root. Also very strange).
> > Looks like xf86cfg cannot work on an existing config file. Always starts
> > at nothing. Very bad.
> >
> > cp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
> >
> > server runs, but with a wide black frame. xvidtune : bigger one not
> > supported by hardware. Strange, did work under 3.3.6.
> > (II) XINPUT: adding extended input devide Mouse0 (type: MOUSE)
> > (--) MOUSE0: PnP-detected protocol: MouseMan
> > Could not list font path element /usr/X11R6/lib/fonts/speedo/ removing
> > from list!
> > Could not list font path element /usr/X11R6/lib/fonts/Type1/ removing
> > from list!
> >
> > How do I find out the current resolution????? Fonts are way to small,
> > how to change?
> > And twm is way too ugly. So X is still unusable. And the wide black
> > column to the left side is simply ugly. Whre do I provide the RAM size
> > of my graphics adapter?
> twm is the minimalist of minimal window managers.
> The black column is probably from using a version 3 config with
> version 4 code (which you installed).
See one of my answers to Giuseppe. The modes were entirely missing.
Don't know, why xf86cfg didn't insert them. Solved manually.

> > apt-get install discover
> > creates symlink /cdrom/cdrom0 to /cdrom0 Why????
> >
> > No suddenly I have /cdrom, /cdrom{0,1,2,3}. Extremely weird. But no
> > entries in /etc/fstab for /cdrom?, only /cdrom. rm /cdrom{0,1,2,3}
> > Of course, there is also /floppy. Yucck
> Assimilate!
No big prob, just annoying.

> > Final question.
> > I have only 8 years experience with Linux and a few with Debian (started
> > with 2.0).
> Thank you for the time it took to write this all up. In the future,
> you'll be able to direct pieces appropriately within the bug system.
> I think your input is extremely valuable, because your point of view
> is unique. Many people installing Linux, or trying, are completely
> clueless and don't even know what questions to ask. I hope you
> continue to notice all the little things that don't go right, and let
> the right people know about it. You seem to have a good attitude, hope
> we don't frustrate you too much.
> We would certainly appreciate your help in the testing and
> documentation areas. There are all too few people in Debian who are
> good documentors.  Most are programmers who associate writing
> documentation with eating broccoli, and IMHO really appreciate having
> docs built for them by the people that can figure out how to use their
> programs. Most are willing to help you figure it out though.
As soon as I have everything in place, especially the networking /
gateway / securing part, I will come back. Offered translating already
over a year ago, but have never been able to get Linux work with my
modem / ISDN card. Now with DSL things should be better.
> > How shall I ever recommend Linux and especially Debian to anybody, if
> > the installation is still so clumsy, and documentation (especially on
> > how to configure something, the EXACT format with ALL options of config
> > files etc.) is still either nonexistent or only to be found by a long
> > time developer.
> You would have been helped a lot by the install manual, I think. Some
> of the details are properly hidden and defaulted until you investigate
> how else that program can serve you. There are many documentation
> weaknesses.
Found the manual, will read it now. (So far I could alway install
everything without to much trouble. Woody was the first version giving
me a real nightmare.)
Maybe it would be a nice idea to include a big file sumarizing all the
changes in a eays to scan format. Espacially changed config tools and
file formats. A list of changed app names was in the book included in my

> > Well, you could say, it's only for the guru or well informed initiated,
> This distribution is really trying to become more user friendly.
> It's a long, painful process though.
Please go on.

> > but
> > a) the time of gurudom in EDP should have stopped years ago.
> > b) don't you ever speak badly about M$ (it's a piece of sh*t, unsecure,
> > but at least it runs. Well their latest EULAs will take all of your
> > civil / human / whatsoever rights but in most cases it somhow runs and
> > can quickly be installed).
> It doesn't run on a powerpc, sparc, or arm computer like debian
> does. It helps when you're the 500-lb gorilla and can control the
> hardware too.
As I said (it's a piece of ... )

> > As much as I hate M$ I need a system to work with.
> > When I started out on Linux; I tool a pack of white paper and filled
> > most of them with questions, but despite reading all I could on Linux,
> > not a single book, not a single article has ever been able to answer
> > only one question.
> Well there are lots and lots of docs out there. What was the question?
> Did you ask Google?
Google and X is not the best combination. Maybe I didn't find the
correct keywords, but I now have a couple of links to look into.

> > When I started out on slackware it took me about half an hour to hae the
> > first runing system (finding the right kernel wat the bigest problem).
> > Then I wanted my modem to work and tried almost anything (Suse, Redhat,
> > Caldera, DLD, up to Debian). As Debian 2.0 also installed quite
> > smoothely, I continued using this. But the higher the version number,
> > the worse it's installation routine became. 2.2 was a pain in the a* (at
> > least if youn try to install X). And, as documented here, 3.0 is even
> > worse.
> Not really. More complex, maybe. But many people install it without a
> hitch. 3.0 is a world ahead of 2.0.
Well, I think I'll get used to it.

In closing, thanks for the very long and thoughtful answer.

Axel Schlicht.

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