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Re: how to install debian....


On Thu, Apr 17, 2003 at 10:24:02AM +0100, svk svk wrote:

> Thanks Emile. But I dont get it..
> 1) How do I know if the machine has BIOS or not?

Every standard mainboard has one.

> 2) Where do I get floppy or cd to boot from? Is that
> the Debian distribution CD you are talking about?

Hey, excellent thinking ;-) (sorry.)

> 3) Even if I have the CD, how is machine going to know
> about the CD or floppy? Is that something the BIOS can
> handle?

Yes. Please read something about the IBM-compatible boot procedure.
Some ancient BIOSes cannot boot from CD, but PCs have been able to boot
from floppy since they were introduced in 1985 or so.

> 4) Same question as Q3 above , about other peripherals
> or cards etc..

The BIOS has some 'drivers' built in for standard IDE, VGA and keyboard;
most other devices will be initialized by the OS. Even for the devices
the BIOS has drivers for, the OS will provide its own, because BIOS
drivers are generally slow and limited because mainly intended for

> 5) If I boot from debian CD or floppy, when am I
> supposed to make partitions etc? Cant do it using some
> debian package after I have installed because it'll
> erase/damage installation, and cant do it beforehand
> because there's no OS to do that yet.

It's done as part of the installation process. The installer (which
boots from CD and/or floppy) includes a partitioning tool.

> 6) This is IMPORTANT and I've been losing sleep over
> this... I intend to use a LARGE hard disk. The
> partitioning guidelines in installation doc say that
> If over 6GB, it'll give problems. What shall I do? I
> want to make this a big machine, and I want to get a
> BIG HDdrive, because they come cheaper (in cost-per-GB
> terms) if I buy bigger sizes. e.g. if 20GB costs me
> 100 Units, 40GB is 165 Units and 80GB is just 270
> Units.

This should not be a problem for modern kernels (use bf2.4); you may
want to make sure that the partition that boots resides on cylinders
< 1024. This is all very well documented. Lots of people use debian with
disks >6Gb.

> 7) What will happen to the disk space that I dont
> partition/mount etc.. e.g. if I partition 20GB in 4
> pieces of 5GB each and name them L M N (no name for
> 4th) and mount them as /lll, /mmm, /nnn (4th not
> mounted) then what? did I just threw my money in
> water? What exactly should I do in order to use the
> extra surplus space?

You can only use space that you mount; the only exception is swap.

> 8) In Windows, it's easy to see and understand the
> partitions as they come to be represented as separate
> drives (c: and d: for example) but what happens in
> debian? Do I get two roots (/ directories) or what?
> How exactly does it work? How to differenciate between
> a simple directory and a directory that is actually a
> separate partition/drive.

You mount one partition as /, another as /home, another as /usr/local or
/var, and so on. All filesystems are assembled into one single tree; you
determine which part of the tree comes from which disk and partition by

> 9) How to add another Hard Disk a)for a day or two
> b)permanently and b.1)without partitioning or b.2)want
> to partition it before/during adding.
> 9.1) How many hard disks can I have at most?

2 per IDE channel; 7 per SCSI-II chain; 15 per ultra SCSI schain.



PS. Can you please do some googling before asking questions next time?

E-Advies - Emile van Bergen           emile@e-advies.nl      
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153           http://www.e-advies.nl    

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