Re: Installing onto external FireWire drive.
On Tue, Sep 30, 2003 at 10:07:32PM -0400, Zachary Brewster-Geisz wrote:
> Hello. I'm a new subscriber, so please kick me in the right direction
> if my question has been answered before (I have done a good deal of
> I'm trying to install Debian GNU/Linux onto an external FireWire drive,
> using the files from debian-imac.sourceforge.net (woody 3.0r0).
First off, good luck, you'll need it.
> I managed to get Open Firmware to boot into yaboot, I started the
> installer, and I get as far as the "partition a hard disk" step. The
> problem is that the installer only recognizes my internal HD
> (/dev/hda), and doesn't list the Firewire drive (even though it's
> booting from it!). I've confirmed this with fdisk--it's definitely
> listing the partition map of the internal drive.
As other have mentioned the install kernel doesn't support firewire, and
for good reason: It's twitchy.
> Is there any way to get the installer to recognize the firewire drive?
> (Do I need a different linux.bin and/or root.bin, and if so, where can
> I get them?) Failing that, is there any way to install on that drive
You'd need a new kernel that supported firewire. That'll work for the
installer, as it already has it's initrd and can wait for the kernel to init
the FW, and provides a nice shell for you to "jiggle the wires" to get the
drive to be recognized and function.
But that only works for the Installer. In order to actually be able to
boot you'll need to concoct your own initrd to spin it's wheels and "jiggle
wires" until it's able to find the FW drive and mount it. I have one that
works about 1/3 of the time, when it boots at all, but my linuxrc/fake init
doesn't retry yet.
My iBook I can get too boot with a little bit of luck, the G4 tower I was
playing with with a little more luck, I've not had any luck getting the
kernel to survive contact with a G5 yet, and the eMac I tried wouldn't
acknowledge the drive was connected.
Oh, and the yaboot config is a bit of a pain because Apple can't seem to
make up their minds about what to call the devalias for the firewire
controler. On the iBook it's fw, the G4 fwx, I think it's back to fw on the
> This is my first Linux installation, though I do have experience with
> Darwin, so I can understand some Unix-speak. :)
Ya picked a doosy.
 Jiggle the wire: echo scsi add-single-device 0 0 0 0 > /proc/scsi/scsi
and hope that's the right device, or try getting rescan-scsi-bus.sh to
run. mount by UUID instead of device would probably be a good idea too.
- Nick Lopez
-- Randomly selected signature --
We still need to do something about quik, ritual goat sacrifice is
somewhat tricky to implement in C...
- Ethan Benson on debian-boot 5-30-01