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Re: from `zip' to sid via network - A general outline needed

Harry Putnam wrote:
Hopefully I will already have accumulated enough knowledge and skill
to do this with minimum help:

Summary: Beginning with no Debian OS at all, and over the network,
get a minimal install, and finally a full blown installation of `Sid'.

-SNIP- <
I'm a retired heavy construction worker so have plenty of time to
mess around with stuff I `have no business' with. (hehe).  I like to
tinker with stuff that is mostly over my head, so in some ways I may
become quite a pest here over time.

The description above isn't much of lead into getting help, but it
probably comes sort of close to describing quite a few posters here,
maybe mostly in a somewhat younger age group, but still people who
like to tinker with stuff they don't fully understand.
Anyway, what I'm asking for is a general outline  of steps required to
go from zero to a full install of `sid', over the network.  I'm
equipped to burn any CDs required.

Hi Harry!

Us "retirees" have to stick to gether <grin>.

The absolute "best" way to get a minimal install that I have found, providing you have a fast internet connection (Cable, DSL, T1, etc), is to grab some boot-floppies and start from there. I just did this for Debian Woody 2 night ago, and it was quite easy. It took about an hour from finding the proper boot-floppy images on the Debian Archive, to writing the images to floppy disks on my end to finalizing the "base" install!. I am using a Cable Modem connection here. Here are my steps:

1. Grab a set of bf2.4 boot-floppy images from: http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/current/images-1.44/. You will need to get the "rescue.bin", "root.bin", at a minimum, and probably should also get the "drivers-1.bin" through "drivers-4.bin" just in case. Put all of these in a common directory.

2. If you are using WinXX to get these files, you will also need to grab rawrite2.exe from: http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/current/dosutils/. Put this into the same directory as in #1

3. Get youself 6 floppies and format them (assuming Winders being used) and label each one with the file names above.

4. Go to the directory where you stored the files and start the rawrite2.exe program and follow the directions for each file you d/l. At the end of this process you should have all the image files you d/l on the floppies. You are now ready to install the base system.

5. Note: You can do all of the above using Linux and the "dd" command. I have never done this, so you will have to read around the install docs to figure this one out.

6. Set up your computer for the Debian install by making sure it can boot from the floppy drive. I find it convenient to prep the HD by creating a swap partition and all the other partitions you might want at this point. You will probably need a minimum of ONE "root" (/) partition of at least 2 Gigs. You can do the partitioning later if you want by running either fdisk or cfdisk in a separate terminal after the system has booted. If done now, you will have to have a separate boot-floppy that has the partitioning programs on it. I like the floppy version of "parted" for doing this sort of stuff.

7.  Insert the "rescue" disk and boot.  Follow the directions.

8   Insert the "root" disk when asked and hit enter.

9. When the welcome screen comes up, here is where I would exit to another terminal (ctrl-alt-F1) and run the partitioning software (fdisk, cfdisk) if you want. Dunno if you get a chance later on, but it looks for partitions to setup pretty quickly after this point. I have always pre-created my partitions before starting the install.

10. Answer the questions on the screen until you get to the ones about installing the kernel and drivers. One of the choices of source media is "network". If you choose this one, you will be asked to set up your network and after a few screens it will begin d/l these from the Internet! If this works, you can put away the "drivers-X" disks. You won't need them. If it doesn't, then you will have to repeat this and choose "floppy" as the source and follow the directions. This will ask you for various disks (rescue, and the drivers-X disks). Later on you will be asked to install the "base" system. Here again try the "network" option. If it worked before, it will work here.

11. At the end of this process it will offer to make the HD bootable. I recommend you write the lilo image to the MBR of your HD and also tell it to add any other OSes it finds.

12.  Reboot (you won't have any choice beyond a certain point).

13. Answer the next questions as you wish. Towards the end it will offer to set up the "root" and "user" accounts, and it will also offer to run "tasksel" then "dselect". If you choose "no" to both of these you will have a minimal Woody system installed.

I don't recommend stopping here, though. I HIGHLY recommend running tasksel and getting a functioning Woody system installed. You will probably have to work through some specific Debian "gotchas" like config of the printer, sound, X, etc. It is easier to work through these on a "stable" platform, IMHO. Once you have done this, you can probably start the upgrade to SID. You probably WILL have further problems with that jump, IMHO.

To get to SID, all you have to do is edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file and change all the instances of "stable" (or woody) to "unstable". Do an "apt-get update" and then do a "apt-get dselect-upgrade" and sit back and watch....(probably about 2-4 hours??).


-Don Spoon-

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