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New root floppy helps installation on 4MB systems

I have uploaded a new root floppy that should help installations run
on systems with 4MB memory. It is in
ftp://ftp.i-connect.net/debian/unstable/disks-i386/root_floppy.gz .
It was built on May 2, and the file has a date of May 3.

Please try this floppy if you have a 4MB system that you have not yet
installed Debian 1.1 on. You may (and probably should) use the other
mirror systems to get all of the floppy image files other than
root_floppy.gz .

The floppy has a few changes to make it use less memory in the critical
time before you've enabled your swap partition.

1. The second virtual console now waits for you to press return before
it starts the shell. That should save about 200k as long as you refrain
from using the second virtual console before you enable your swap
partition. That should allow most 4MB systems to squeak by. If that
doesn't work, please try numbers 2, 3, or 4 below.

2. Boot the system with the arguments "linux tty2=off" at the "boot:"
command line. That will save a few more K. If that doesn't work, try
the next strategy:

3. The above may not be enough to get some systems started. Thus, here's
a strategy that will use even less memory.
If you give the command "linux single" at the "boot: " prompt, it will
boot to the shell instead of the installation system. You can then add
your swap partition using "cfdisk", "mkswap", and "swapon". You then
should start the installation menu using the "dinstall" command. 

If you do this, you will have to select "Do without a swap partition"
to fake out the menu system because you added your swap manually. You
then must edit your swap partition into /target/etc/fstab manually just
before you reboot to the installed system on hard disk.

I realize this is a hassle, and will come up with a simple menu that runs
in small memory and allows the disk to be partitioned and the swap enabled
before we bring up the full menu system. It will take at least 10 days for
me to do that due to prior committments, so please test with one of the
above strategies for now.

4. There's also a way to boot without the RAM disk, by using the commands
"linux load_ramdisk=0". This will boot a 4MB system just fine. However,
you must have _two_ floppy drives to do this, and you will need versions
of the boot and root floppies that fit in the first drive, and versions
of the boot and base floppies that fit in the second drive. You won't be
able to remove the root floppy from the first drive while the installation
is running.

OK. One of the above should work for all people who are having problems
with 4MB systems. Please write back and tell me which one works for you.


	Bruce Perens

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