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Bug#510271: installation-report: Lenny on a Slug - eventual success after a few tries and some fixups

On Jan 12, 2009, at 3:43 PM, Martin Michlmayr wrote:

* Rick Thomas <rbthomas55@pobox.com> [2009-01-12 10:13]:
If you send me a copy of your /dev/mtdblock1, I can verify whether you
set a domain name or not.

Here you go.

Yep, no domain is set.

Assuming that I did not set a domain back when I had the Linksys
firmware installed...  What can I do *now* to set it right and get
my parameters from DHCP?

I assume you don't want to do a new installation, right?

Actually, I bought this slug specifically for the purpose of helping test new d-i versions, so the truth is: Yes, I do want to do a new installation -- lots of them as new versions of d-i come out (and I have time for testing and writing up my results, of course!).

So the questions really are these:

1) What part of the current d-i documentation or d-i software needs to be modified so that normal folks don't make the same mistake I did.

2) Assume a user has a slug they've been using with the Linksys software for a while and wants to switch to Debian: What should they do to make sure d-i gets their network configuration right without having to resort to the fixups you describe below?

3) Is there any way to have d-i offer slug users the same kind of network configuration options as are considered normal for users of other systems? For example, it appears that there is room for some user-definable data at the end of the flash image (see the "-- payload" option in the upslug2 man page). Can that be used to preseed some d-i parameters, such as networking configuration?

4) And specific to my own case: Do I have to re-flash with the Linksys software to repair the network configuration for the next time I want to do a test install? Or is there a simpler way that can be done from the existing Debian setup?

If d-i uses info from DHCP for the hostname and domain, it will write
it to /etc/hosts, hostname, etc.  The installed Debian system doesn't
use DHCP for this.  So you simply need to change /etc/hosts, hostname
and every other file that mentions example.org and change it to
something else.

This will show you the files:
  grep -r example.org /etc

The other question is whether your NSLU2 should obtain an IP address
via DHCP or use the static address.  If it should use DHCP, you have
to edit /etc/network/interfaces

Thanks!  In fact, the above fixup is pretty much what I wound up doing.

Is there a note somewhere in the wiki or install notes or somewhere
that says what to do in a case like this?

Not really... at least not explicitly.  But my install page describes
where d-i gets the network values from.

That's true. And, as I said, when I looked with the right questions in mind, the answer was staring me in the face. But when I started out, it wasn't obvious what questions I should be asking, so I missed the significance of that part of your documentation.

It was ever thus: "The history of computer programming is a race between the software developers to make bigger and better and more idiot proof software, and the Universe to make bigger and better idiots. So far the Universe is winning!"

None of which excuses us from the duty of continually improving our software and documentation. Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to do along those lines...

Thanks for all your help! I hope my experience was useful for you too, and it results in an improved experience for other slug users.


Martin Michlmayr

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