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Re: Install on SS4

> I recently obtained the Debian 2.1 releas I tried to install it on my
> Sparc Station 4. Booting the CD-Rom failed with both kernels. It
> displayed similar behavior as others have mentioned about the bus
> reseting and not connecting. I also tried tftp from an Intel Linux box
> with not luck. I do have an existing install of RH5.1 running. My
> question is if I boot using the installed system, how could I start the
> Debian install program to wipe away the existing Red Hat version.

It is probably not possible to run dbootstrap (the Debian install
program) once the system has started running; dbootstrap is likely to
get very confused if it finds that its root file system is not a RAM
disc, etc.

What you could probably do, however, is reboot your system, stop it
when it says "SILO", then type some arcane incantation at SILO's
"boot:" prompt that causes it to boot Red Hat's kernel with Debian's
installation root file system taken from the CD. You could then install
Debian as if you had booted from the CD.

You would have to make sure that you substitute by hand Red Hat's
kernel (or a kernel you made yourself) for the kernel that dbootstrap
installs before you reboot, however, because the kernels that come with
Debian 2.1 don't work on your hardware, apparently. (So make a copy of
your working Red Hat kernel in a safe and accessible place beforehand.)

Obviously you shouldn't attempt this unless you are sure that you can
reinstall your Red Hat system, if necessary.

If you want to know what the arcane incantation should be, try
comparing and merging Red Hat's /etc/silo.conf with the silo.conf on
Debian's CD. Personally I don't really understand how booting from a CD
works; I don't have one on my SPARC.


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