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Re: Boot Disks

On Mon, Apr 27, 1998 at 10:28:45AM -0700, vanco@sonic.net wrote:
> 	In my experience, debian's bootdisk problems are inherent to the
> entire "disk" method of installation. The way it is constructed (in hamm),
> it needs 9 brand-new disks, with no blemish. If even one disk has a few
> bad blocks on it (which rawrite doesn't tell you, and the inexperienced
> user won't notice until too late) it's too late to do anything.

That's wrong info. One may do zero floppies installs from disks
images files on the CD or on a MS-DOS partition in the same machine. One
may do two floppies installs if ther's access to a NFS server that
contains the base2_0.tgz file. And if using the 7 1.44 MB
floppies method (yes, 7. Latest boot-floppies set have rescue, drivers
and 5 1.44 MB base floppies) one can change any damaged disk in the
middle of the installation, without having to restart from the beginning. 
The problem only arises if we can't write the replacement floppies
(for example, because we are trying to install linux in our home
computer, and we wrote the floppies set at work).

> 	Additionally, the boot+root (single-disk) causes some problems. If
> one kernel refuses to boot on your computer, you are *required* to
> construct your own disks from a kernel and debian's rootdisk. This takes
> someone quite far along the larning curve, and should be avoided at a
> distribution's install level.

If you have the kernel file at hand, it's simply "copy vmlinuz a:linux"
(or "mcopy" in a Linux/Unix machine). We may help our users by providing
a set of different kernels in our FTP archives and CDs that they may
copy to the rescue floppy.

> 	I propose this: one disk with two or three kernels on it (one
> kernel completely bare, the other with support for some strange hardware
> such as proprietary mice, cdrom's, etc) and a modified ldlinux.sys that
> tells what to do for different kinds of machines...

I didn't get the "modified ldlinux.sys that tells what to do for different 
kinds of machines..." part. Can you elaborate on this please?

> 	One rootdisk. This will increase the amount of room available for
> the base rootdisk, making the rescue floppy much more user-friendly
> (perhaps bash and joe could fit on it -- two VERY important tools for a
> rescue floppy).

You mean every user that needs to boot from floppies (no CD, no MS-DOS
partitions) should need one more floppy to install Debian? (one
kernel disk + one root disk + one drivers disk )

As I said above, I think it would be better to provide a few 
different kernels in our FTP archive, and let the user download 
the one that fits his hardware, as we do now for Tecras-alike.

(Bruce suggested some time ago that we should make 2.88 rescue floppy 
images, with two or more kernels in them. Those should be used in the
bootable CDs and the new floppy drives. It's on my TODO list, but I think
it's too late to have that ready for hamm).
Enrique Zanardi						   ezanardi@ull.es

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