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Re: Manual Install of SILO/Debian

On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 10:11 PM, Doug <dmcgarrett@optonline.net> wrote:
The following assumes that (at least) the Solaris drive is IDE, not SATA.  If it's SATA, then you need to
find out if there are "master" channels and "slave" channels driving the hard disks, and proceed as
suggested.  You can at least proceed with the Solaris drive disconnected, but then there may be a
problem getting the system to boot off the Debian drive, unless the MOBO has "master" and "slave"
SATA channels.

You now have two hard drives.  Disconnect the one with the Solaris system on it.  Set drive number 2--
the one you added--as master, and install Debian or whatever you want on it.  (I don't know what SILO
is).  Now make the Solaris drive a slave.  You should now be able to boot Debian, and operate on the
Solaris drive. 

The only way I can see this not working, is if there is some software on the motherboard, in a BIOS ROM
that's customized.  In that case, you may have to try and determine whose MOBO it is, and find a
generic ROM  for it.  The saving grace is that the ROM is almost certainly a plug-in part.  When you have
that information, someone on the list here may be able to help. (Not me, unfortunately.)

Well, that's what I'd try.  Somebody smarter than me may have a better solution.  Good luck!


Thanks Doug, unfortunately I'm not physically there where the machine is which is in another country but I do have serial/console access to it. So anything that needs to be done physically won't be possible. I have to make do with manipulating everything over the console using some cleaver tricks. SILO is just a boot-manager like LILO or GRUB I think. However I just realised that I don't need that since this isn't a Sparc machine...just an x86 machine with Solaris on it, so I may be able to simply install Debian for x86 on it which may be a little easier but again, I don't know how to do that manually without booting from a CD, USB or Network. I found netboot.tar.gz and other required files that linux uses to boot like initrd.gz and vmlinuz but I don't know how to "install" them such that they're read at boot time. Do I simply place them in the /boot partition of the drive and assume that it will boot from there? I don't think it would be that easy in my case because of the kind of hardware and the ROM that might be on this which seems to boot directly into the Solaris Configuration Assistant and then probably look for a Solaris boot image?

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