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experiences with boot-floppies

First, some things that were just surprises, not bugs:

1.  Unlike the previous versions of the scripts, one must have 
a kernel with loop device enabled, CONFIG_BLK_DEV_LOOP=m or y.

2.  The first error message that came up (on my system) was:
    MAKEDEV: unknown device or device group md
I have makedev_1.5-4 installed.  However, my kernel has
    # CONFIG_BLK_DEV_MD is not set
I'm not sure if (or why) I'd need md for the boot-floppies scripts anyway.
But the fact that the make-disks.sh script went into a mode where it was
working quietly just after producing the above error message made me 
think that the script had gotten hung.

3.  There are many error messages from dpkg during the make_disks.sh
execution, but these seem not to be fatal.  (so far).

4.  Toward what I think is the end of the execution of make_disks.sh, the
dpkg-ftp program is called.  There is essentially no output while it is
working.  This makes one wonder whether the script is hung, especially
given all the dpkg error messages that immediately preceed it.
(I can provide a typescript output if that would be relevant.)  
Anyway, a message like "still working" would be comforting.

5.  Unlike the previous bootfloppies script, the output of the currnet
make_disks.sh script is not written to a floppy, but to a set of files
in the directory "release", and each of these files is a disk image.
That's fine, but this and several of the other changes above should
probably be documented in /usr/doc/boot-floppies.

6.  For the newer kernels, syslinux version >= 1.30 is absolutely required.

Next, some things that are probably bugs:
1.  To get make_disks.sh to work I had to:
    cp binary-all/base-passwd*deb binary-i386/
    cp binary-all/dpkg-ftp*deb    binary-i386/

2.  All of the *.bin files were written to /usr/src/boot-floppies 
AND to /usr/src/boot-floppies/release; one of these must be redundant.

(3.  The mkrboot (0.6) program had a bug (which I've just reported) and
which prevented the completion of the program.)

Finally, some personal customizations:
1.  I had to edit the make_disks.sh script to correspond to the places
where I'd put my kernel and archive:

# diff make_disks.sh.sgk make_disks.sh.debian
< archive=/scr2/bo/binary-${architecture}
< rawrite_dir=/scr2/tools
> archive=~ftp/debian/rex/binary-${architecture}
> rawrite_dir=~ftp/debian/tools
< kernel=/usr/local/src/kernel/kernel-image-2.0.28_sk3_i386.deb
> kernel=~sr1/src/kernel-source/kernel-image-2.0.27_2_i386.deb 
< packages="$kernel"
> packages="$kernel \
>  `last $archive/admin/pcmcia-modules-${kernel_version}_*.deb`"


At last, I succeeded in getting the boot-floppies scripts to produce 
a loadable set of floppies.  

The boot-floppies scripts have made (my) life a lot easier
in the past, and it's nice to see they're being worked on again.
I hope the above comments are of use both to the new developers as
well as other users.

Susan Kleinmann

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