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Re: Installation instructions.

On Fri 04 Dec 2020 at 22:56:41 (+1100), David wrote:
> On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 20:00, David <bouncingcats@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 03:39, <peter@easthope.ca> wrote:
> > > > David, the current procedure is simple enough.  Have you or anyone you
> > > > trust run the procedure with the specific three (iso, vmlinuz,
> > > > initrd.gz) files you cited?
> > > Yes ...
> > Looking now, I can confirm that I did a Debian installation here on 20
> > Oct 2020 using these files. There is no doubt because they are still
> > on the hard drive.
> Actually it was 14 Oct, just for the record :)
> I have just now done another fresh install, this time using the same 3 files
> on a blank hard drive, it worked to completion without your complaint
> occurring.
> Due to actually going through the entire procedure on a blank drive
> so as to catch any unanticipated hiccups due to the process being
> different to my usual one, I can add some more thoughts about that:
> 1) grub needs a partition table on the target device so it can do
> embedding, so the target device can't be an entire block device (eg
> sdx) it must be a partition[*] (eg sdxN where N is some natural number)
> 2) And you probably need at least N=2 on an older machine.
> If there is sufficient RAM, the installer offers to load itself
> into RAM which frees up the partition where the iso is, so that it can
> be overwritten by the new install. If the RAM is insufficient this is
> not possible, so the partition where the iso is must be specified
> "do not use" because it is mounted and in use by the installer, so
> the new install must be done into another partition. I would
> deal with this by converting our installer boot partition to a /boot
> partition manually after the install is complete and rebooted
> into the new partition.

With such a small disk, I'd try modifying that suggestion: dispense
with /home, but only during the installation, making partition 3 the
one used for the iso ( and marked "do not use"):

  Part 1 labeled ROOT.  7 GB.  Format ext4.
  Part 2 labeled SWAP.  1 GB.  Format swap or linux-swap.
  Part 3 labeled HOME.  4 GB.  Format ext4. (The LABEL doesn't affect things.)

When the installation has completed, you can now, as root,

  . mount Part 3 as /mnt
  . clear any installation files off it
  . cp -a /home/<sysadmin> /mnt/ (which should be user 1000's ~,
    containing just the files that were copied from /etc/skel)
  . edit /etc/fstab to mount LABEL=HOME on /home
  . umount /mnt/
  . mount -a (to mount /home)
  . login ordinarily, as sysadmin.

That increases your space on /home by 14%.

> 3) The grub.cfg I used was
> menuentry 'Debian Installer' {
>   insmod part_msdos
>   insmod ext4
>   set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
>   linux /vmlinuz priority=medium
>   initrd /initrd.gz
> }
> I suggest the use of priority=medium which allows you to
> choose which [*]partitions are searched for the iso, which might help.
> Once the problem is resolved you can remove that or
> change it to what you prefer: low or high (which eg specifies
> that only a few high priority questions are asked during install).

… and low gives you expert installation.


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