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ANNOUNCE: Crude hack for installing Debian thru the loopback device.

scottg@coleen.mdc.com writes:

> Hello Folks on Debian-User,
> I have been using Debian for quite some time and am very happy with it.
> I have it installed on my (very) old Dell laptop and it runs perfectly.
> I want to do something different however.  I have the Debian 2.0 (Hamm)
> CD-ROM from Cheapbytes.  What I want to do is install Debian onto my D:
> hard drive partition in a file using the loopback device.  The problem
> is that the Debian installer program seems hard-wired to offer me only
> /dev/hda1 but not /dev/loop0.  I can switch to the second virtual console
> and mount the D: drive and use losetup to associate a loopback device with
> my file; but how can I get the installer to offer me /dev/loop0?

You can find a preliminary ALPHA version here:


Get root.bin for installation from harddisk or resc1440.bin for floppy
install. Beware: 

* ) You will not be forced to partition or even mount a harddisk,
    dinstall will nearly immediately offer to install the kernel and
    the base system. You have to change to the second console and
    mount the file from there. mount the file you want to install in
    on /target using /dev/loop7 as /dev/loop0 will not work (dinstall
    needs it to manipulate some files during the installation ---
    using loop0 will _not_ work).

    (BTW dd syntax differs a little bit: "dd bs=x count=y </dev/zero

* ) If the kernel does not work, you have to replace it with a one
    which is capable to use a loopback as root device (I didn't test
    the kernel, it should be a standard kernel_image with loopback
    root support, see howto --- It is late now and I want to go to

* ) I deliberatly removed all checks for a valid root device. As it is
    a quick hack you have to supply the right root and swap devices
    in /target/etc/fstab yourself. 

* ) You have to set up the initrd[gz].img yourself, too (see:
    http://www.gedanken.demon.co.uk/linux/looproot-2.html#ss2.3 ).  

    Consider this ALPHA software: I successfully used it to install by
    booting from DOS, but not for installing from floppy, etc. Please
    report problems to grimaldi@debian.org.

And as always: Be sure you know what you!

Good Night and happy linuxing,


P.S.: I will be Away From Keyboard till monday!!

P.P.S.: Yes, I want to integrate it into dinstall. But the
arrival of the looback root howto has increased the demand for 
support by debian, so I provide this preliminary version.  

P.P.P.S.: The changed files from 
/usr/src/boot-floppies/utilities/dinstall can be found at the above
URL, too. 
Jens.Ritter@weh.rwth-aachen.de       grimaldi@debian.org
KeyID: 2048/E451C639 1998/01/28
Print: 5F 3D 43 1E 24 1E CC 48  1E 05 93 3A A7 10 73 37
Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.

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