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Re: Convert RedHat install to Debian ..

On Wed, Apr 29, 1998 at 02:37:00PM -0500, Nathan E Norman wrote:

> Now for the hashed over part.  Is there a sane and reasonable
> way to either convert an existing RedHat machine to Debian, or
> to start the Debian install from what I have now?  Remember, I
> can't use the Debian boot disk.  (I thought someone had a URL
> for this)

I did this once (but don't tell anyone because I wasn't supposed
to do that). What I did was take dpkg's package and extract its
contents using ar (.deb's are an ar file). I then extracted the
tar file (there are two tars in there, data.tar.gz and
control.tar.gz) on /. This gave me a dpkg to begin with. I
proceded to satisfy dpkg's dependencies (libc, libstdc++,
ncurses) by repeating the same procedure with the requiered
files. Please note this is VERY dangerous because you are
overwriting the libc (I did this with an RH 5 installation) and
many programs may break due to some sloppyness in RH. To get
dpkg working you have to touch some files (I cann't tell this by
heart) in /var/lib/dpkg. You also have to copy the control files
for the packages just "installed". The next thing I did, as I
got a working dpkg, was install every deb in base (this
conflicts with RH boot method and some other stuff, you have to
be patient here, and it's better if you have as little RH as
possible). From here everything went very smoothly, because
after installing base/*.deb it's just like having installed
Debian using the floppies. There are some gotchas left, but
nothing big, as I remember.

I hope this helps somehow...


PS: As I was on a stealth mission at the time I had to do
everything as quickly as possible, and I hadn't the chance to
take notes; maybe you can take some and share the results?

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