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2003 May 22 22:32

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Re: [vox-tech] Conversion
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Re: [vox-tech] Conversion

On Thu, May 22, 2003 at 02:27:27PM -0700, Matt Holland wrote:
> On Thursday, May 22, 2003, at 01:39 PM, Mike Simons wrote:
> >On Thu, May 22, 2003 at 12:59:21PM -0700, Matt Holland wrote:
> >>The main problem is that I
> >>can't get the system to boot, and I think this is because I can't get
> >>mkinitrd to work.
> >
> >If you have physical access:
> >  Step one - Format your old root partition,
> I'm trying to do this while keeping the old system around; hence, I 
> added a second drive (hdb) and made two partitions: hdb1 for root, hdb2 
> I followed the instructions in section 3.7 of the 
> Woody installation manual (Installing Debian GNU/Linux from a 
> Unix/Linux System).

  I'll have to look over those instructions to comment.  Maybe next week.

> >  Debian does not (at least upto woody) use initrd for the base
> >system...
> >I don't think it even uses initrd for the install process... it loads
> >a compressed ramdisk filesystem as root.  Unless I'm mistaken this is
> >not initrd, it was available _long_ before initrd became available
> >(which is a little root like filesystem does some setup and then
> >either disappears or trades place with the "new" root filesystem).
> Debootstrap doesn't install a kernel, but in order to boot the system 
> after setting it up in the chroot, you need to install a kernel, and 
> all of the appropriate images that I see in "apt-cache search 
> kernel-image" seem to use initrd.

  I'm not familiar with debootstrap... but I did learn on my first
install that untaring the base.tgz leaves a few gotcha's around on the
filesystem that need to be manually cleaned up... which was the problem
the first time I did a remote install.
  So I wouldn't be surprised if those steps are on some .img you need
to boot... I am surprised that they can't be done manually inside the
chroot environment.

> all of the appropriate images that I see in "apt-cache search
> kernel-image" seem to use initrd...

  Hrmmm... I don't see what you mean.  The kernel-images depending on a
package called initrd-tools, but those are only needed if you plan to
build an initrd image that works with the kernel-images provided.
  I maintain the standard Debian boot process does not use initrd images.
... if you could explain what you are seeing I'll be happy to investigate.

> I've thought of compiling my own 
> kernel without initrd, but "make menuconfig" doesn't work in the chroot 
> (some complaint about missing ncurses, even though libncurses is 
> installed and other curses interfaces [e.g., setting up apt] work 
> fine), and I'm too impatient to survive an old-fashioned "make config".

  apt-get install libncurses5-dev
  the libncurses is the runtime part, -dev is what you need to compile
stuff like the kernel.

> >> My Grub entry for Debian looks like:
> >>
> >>title=Debian
> >>root (hd1,0)
> >>kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.18-k6 root=/dev/hdb1
> >                                             ^^
> >  Perhaps someone more familiar with Grub can comment, but it appears
> >you are passing the wrong partition to the kernel... if the fstab above 
> >is correct.
> How so?  (hd1,0) is Grub-speak for /dev/hdb1, and /dev/hdb1 *is* the 
> root device.

  For some reason I thought that you were using hda1 for root... after
rereading I see that is not the case.  I highlighted the wrong portion,
I would have highlighted the "hd1,0" ... I didn't think grub used 0 for a,
but that makes more sense.

  If the kernel panics on boot not able to find the root filesystem...
the kernel is normally right... are you using any fancy hardware that
might interfere with accessing the filesystem (for example: UDMA IDE 
controllers on 2.2.* kernels where a problem)?

  Are you sure you have the right filesystem type listed?

  When the system boots do you see the hard drive being detected and
the right partitions being seen?

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