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Debian Install (long) plea for help

Hi Ian and all,

I do not consider myself stupid nor naive to Unix systems but have
exhausted my meager IQ trying to bring an ELF debian system up.  Maybe
you can correct me.
(threat:  I am about to commit the abominable sin of installing from
Slackware 3.0 - Beware of the sinner!)


100Mhz Pentium on an AMI MB with 32MB memory.  Same as nomis which runs
and failed Debian upgrade.
Adaptec 2940w with 2GB HD and an ancient SCSi CD.
Some no-name VGA (older than most of my children :-)

What I did:

1.  Compile and build 1.3.57 image.deb package - I think I know how to
do that by now - Thanx Bruce!

2.  Used bootdisk.sh  to create a new boot disk - no problem.  

3.  Downloaded the entire 1.0 and Incoming trees (over the last few days)

4.  For the life of me I could not find a root disk, nor a script to make one.
Oh, well... I'll use the one from Bruce's CD.

4.  Used basedisks.sh to try and create a new base disk - big trouble. 
Some packages are missing, some packages have the wrong name (?)  libc
is not there, libc5 is.  some packages are not on ftp.debian.org but are
on the CD Bruce made for me. but some I found neither head nor hind of. 
Librl is one of them.  The only package is the old one which builds
readline.a and librl.so.2.0.3 (where did it come from?  prep.ai.mit.edu
has only 2.0)  I gave up at this point and put the 1200 series on 3.5"
floppies and went to install.

5.  All the above is nitpicking compared to this:  Boot disk went in
perfectly (got to, i made it myself :-).

6.  Root disk does not go into ramdisk, stays on the floppy.  Oh, well,
must be a nice feature for those of us with 4 MB of RAM.

7.  The fdisk option refuse to complete installation.  It's excuse: an
error,  Go to a shell (no VC support, unlike the S-------e junk).  run
fdisk, ignore the warning about bad partition table (new drive, what did
you expect?), build the partitions you want, mkswap, swapon, mke2fs, get
a dump from mke2fs, discover the disk has no termination, enable
termination, try all over again.

8.  Start installation, obey the command to put in the boot floppy.

9.  ``VFS:  Prepare for armagaden...'' followed by an endless loop of
errors from dinstall (persistant little bugger :-), ctl-alt-del, get a
new boot prompt followed by ``!!'' - the boot floppy 

10.  Make a new boot floppy, write protect and try again.  Result?  See
8 above (minus the diskette wipeout).

11.  Swear and complain, write a mail to the ML, get the S-----e disks
and install a limpy, lumpy but functional ELF system.

A Note to FlameThrowers:  I like Debian, I maintain the kernel proudly
and happily, but I cannot figure out how to generate a usable
boot-root-base set from the packages I have seen.

[  The purpose of this machine?  news and Debian mirror ]


P.S.  How many of you will be interested in testing an NFS mount of the
archive instead of (in addition to) the ftp server?  Send me your
system.domain name...

Sincerely Yours,

Simon Shapiro                       i-Connect.Net, a Division of iConnect Corp.
Shimon@i-Connect.Net                13455 SW Allen Blvd., Suite 140
503.677.2911                        Beaverton, OR 97008

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