bootable cd observations - knoppix works, debian doesn't
I haven't been keeping up on this list recently, but a quick archive scan
suggests this hasn't come up recently.
My laptop (toshiba tecra 8000) won't boot from any debian 3.0 CDs _or_ the
normal debian floppy boot image, which makes it very hard to boot from when
you have a disaster (I just had a small one, prompting this message). To get
installed I had to use the 'sbm.bin' (Smart boot manager) floppy image,
which does work in the floppy drive and allows booting from the CD.
I don't know why the floppy image doesn't work (the error complains of
'invalid compressed format (err=2)' when trying to uncompress the kernel),
and it's not really relevant here, but the CD doesn't work because the
BIOS only understand 1.4MB images, not 2.8 MB images.
All this is fair enough - it's a middle vintage laptop and some of them
give trouble with CD booting (so does one of my desktop machines for
similar reasons). However I recently found that a knoppix CD boots just
fine and was wondering whether this discovery meant we could do something
to improve the number of machines our CDs work on by doing whatever it is
knoppix does on at least one of the CDs? Judging from the message that
flashes by knoppix uses syslinux v1.76
Non-bootable CDs is a real turn-off these days to a new user so this is
important for them, and it's very helpful to people like me too. Is there
any mileage in this idea - I admit I haven't been following x86 CD boot
stuff in any detail, beyond appreciating that we use a fancy syslinux
multiboot thing on CD1, and something else ('the old scheme') on the other
CDs. It seems that syslinux can be made to boot on 1.4mb only BIOSes, but
the config we use on debian CD1 doesn't. I'm happy to do any testing of
proposed changes if anyone who understands this stuff gets enthused.
Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK Tel +44 (0) 1223 811679
work: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/ play: http://www.chaos.org.uk/~wookey/