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Umsdos support?


>   I've posted this question here before and didn't receive a single
> reply. Hopefully I'm more lucky this time.. I want to install Debian
> to an Umsdos partition. The installation disks don't seem to allow
> me to do that.

That's right.

>   - Does Debian not support installing to umsdos partitions?
>   - If not, is there a work around to get it working anyway?

It is possible to fool the installation process roughly as follows:

You need a DOS partition, say /dev/hda1, umssync, and perhaps other
things (it's been a while). Replace the boot-floppy kernel with one
that has FAT and UMSDOS compiled in.

Create a directory 'linux' in the msdos fs on /dev/hda1 and umssync it.

During the install process open the shell (alt f2) and:

rm -rf /target
mkdir /DOS
mount -t umsdos /dev/hda /DOS
ln -s /DOS/linux /target
create a swap file and swapon

Follow the rest of the installation procedure, but DO NOT run the make
bootable option as LILO will fry the MSDOS boot sector if you are not

The /target system is not quite ready, make sure fstab is set up
correctly (RW root partition and swap file set up OK). Modify
/etc/init.d/boot so that the root partition is never remounted (mount
seems very unhappy with pseudo roots).

>   I've even created a small partition to install Debian to,
> installed the base disks, and copied everything to the umsdos
> partition (changing /etc/fstab to reflect the new partition). Then I
> compiled a kernel with umsdos support built-in and booted it with
> loadlin. Unfortunately, after a message of VFS: Mounted umsdos
> filesystem as root (or similar), the system hangs in an endless loop
> continuously reading the harddisk.

You seem to have got most of the way. What messages does it give?

As an alternative, you could try my modifications to the boot-floppies
package to handle UMSDOS installs. There has just been a new
boot-floppies release, so I'll have do some merging before I have a
proper set of patches ready. Have a look at
ftp://pootle.magd.cam.ac.uk/ if you are interested (patches against
boot-floppies 1.2.5).

In your other message you mentioned a ZIP drive, can't you format a
disk as ext2? Or is that not a possibility for you?


ps Do let me know how you get on with your UMSDOS install.

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