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Installing Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 For Motorola 680x0 - Chapter 5
Methods for Installing Debian


As you initially install Debian, there are several steps that you shall undergo, in order:

  1. booting the installation system
  2. initial system configuration
  3. installing the base system
  4. booting the newly installed base system
  5. installing the rest of the system

Each step may have multiple methods. Note that different platforms will have different methods available to it; this document only describes the methods available for Motorola 680x0.

Booting the Debian installation system, the first step, can be accomplished with the following media:

These different choices are described in Choosing Initial Boot Media, Section 5.1.1. The first boot is sometimes the hardest, depending on your hardware. It is described in it's own section, Booting the Installation System, Chapter 6.

Once you've booted into Linux, the dbootstrap program will launch and guide you through the second step, the initial system configuration. This step is described in detail in Using dbootstrap for Initial System Configuration, Chapter 7.

The ``Debian base system'' is a core set of packages which are required to run Debian in a minimal, stand-alone fashion. Once you have configured and installed the base system, your machine can ``stand on its own''. The Debian base system can be installed from the following media: floppies, hard disk, CD-ROM, or from an NFS server. dbootstrap will perform this installation; it is described in ``Install the Base System'', Section 7.13.

The final step is the installation of the remainder of the Debian system. This would include the applications and documents that you actually use on your computer, such as the X Window System, editors, shells, and development environments. The rest of the Debian system can be installed from CD-ROM or any mirror of the Debian archive (on or off the Internet, via HTTP, FTP, or NFS). At this point, you'll be using the standard Debian package management tools, such as dselect or apt-get. This step is described in Installing the Rest of Your System, Section 7.23.

Note that the media you use for one step and the media used for another step do not need to be the same. That is, you can boot from the Rescue Floppy, install the base system from NFS, and then install the remainder of the system from the Internet. If you're downloading the system from the archive, you'll generally boot and install the base system from floppies, installing the complete Debian system from the Internet.

Below you will find a description of the different installation methods, and a description of files which might be required for installation. Which files you use, and what steps you have to take to prepare your installation media, will vary with the method that you select to install Debian.


5.1 Choosing Your Installation Media

First, choose the media to use to boot the installation system. Next, choose the method you will use to install the base system. As discussed above, these decisions can be made independently.


5.1.1 Choosing Initial Boot Media

To boot the installation system, you have the following choices: floppies, bootable CD-ROM, network boot (TFTP), or a non-Linux boot loader.

Booting from floppies is supported for most platforms. Amigas and Macs are an exception to this rule, unfortunately. Floppy booting is described in Booting from Floppies, Section 5.7.1. For most m68k architectures, booting from a local filesystem is the recommended method.

CD-ROM booting is one of the easiest ways to install. This is especially true for BVME4000/6000 VMEbus systems. If you're unlucky and the kernel on the CD-ROM doesn't work for you, you'll have to fall back to another technique. Installing from CD-ROM is described in Installing from a CD-ROM, Section 5.4.

Booting from the network requires that you have a TFTP server, a RARP server, and a network connection supported by the boot floppies. This installation method is described in Booting from TFTP, Section 5.5.

Booting from an existing operating system is often a convenient option; for some systems it is the only supported method of installation. This method is described in Installing from a Hard Disk, Section 5.3.


5.1.2 Choosing Media for Installing Base

The base system can be installed in the following ways: from floppies (Installing Base from Floppies, Section 5.7.2), from a CD-ROM (Installing from a CD-ROM, Section 5.4), from an NFS server (Installing from NFS, Section 5.6), or from a local hard disk (Installing from a Hard Disk, Section 5.3). You should choose whatever method matches the media you have, and whatever is the most convenient.


5.2 Description of Installation System Files

This section contains an annotated list of files you will find in the disks-m68k directory. You may not need to download these at all; it all depends on the booting and base system installation media you have chosen.

Most files are floppy disk images; that is, a single file which can be written to a disk to create the necessary floppy disk. These images are, obviously, dependent on the size of the target floppy, such as 1.4MB, 1.2MB, or 720KB. Which sizes are available depends on your platform (i.e., 720KB drives are Atari-specific). The images for 1.4MB drives have `14' embedded in their filenames, 1.2MB images have `12' somewhere in their filename, 720KB drives have `72' in their filename.

If you are using a web browser on a networked computer to read this document, you can probably retrieve the files by selecting their names in your web browser. Depending on your browser you may need to take special action to download directly to a file, in raw binary mode. For example, in Netscape you need to hold the shift key when clicking on the URL to retrieve the file. Files can be downloaded from the URLs in this document, or you can retrieve them from ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/slink/main/disks-m68k/current/, or the corresponding directory on any of the Debian mirror sites.

amiga/resc1440.bin, atari/resc1440.bin, atari/resc720.bin, mac/resc1440.bin, bvme6000/resc1440.bin, mvme162/resc1440.bin, mvme167/resc1440.bin -- the Rescue Floppy images
These are the Rescue Floppy disk images. The Rescue Floppy is used for initial setup and for emergencies, such as when your system doesn't boot for some reason. Therefore it is recommended you write the disk image to the floppy even if you are not using floppies for installation.

If you have a low-density drive on an Atari, you can use atari/resc720.bin. You'll also need atari/root.bin, described below.

amiga/drv1440.bin, atari/drv1440.bin, atari/drv720.bin, mac/drv1440.bin, bvme6000/drv1440.bin, mvme162/drv1440.bin, mvme167/drv1440.bin -- the Drivers Floppy images
These are the Drivers Floppy disk images. They contain the kernel modules, or drivers, for all kinds of hardware that are not necessary for initial booting. You will be prompted to choose the drivers you need during the installation process.

If you used a special Rescue Floppy image, you need to use the corresponding Drivers Floppy image.

common/base2_1.tgz (recommended), or common/base14-1.bin, common/base14-2.bin, common/base14-3.bin, common/base14-4.bin, common/base14-5.bin, common/base14-6.bin , or common/base72-1.bin, common/base72-2.bin, common/base72-3.bin, common/base72-4.bin, common/base72-5.bin, common/base72-6.bin, common/base72-7.bin, common/base72-8.bin, common/base72-9.bin -- the base system images
These files contain the base system which will be installed on your Linux partition during the installation process. This is the bare minimum necessary for you to be able to install the rest of the packages. The common/base2_1.tgz file is for installation from non-floppy media, i.e., CD-ROM, harddisk, or NFS.

amiga/amigainstall.lha (Amiga), atari/install.lzh (Atari), or mac/Install.sit.hqx (Mac) -- Operating system installers
Files you uncompress on your local disk in your pre-existing operating system. They contain parts of the Debian installation process.

amiga/rootamiga.bin, atari/root.bin, mac/root.bin, bvme6000/root.bin, mvme162/root.bin, mvme167/root.bin -- Root image
This file contains an image of a temporary filesystem that gets loaded into memory when you boot. This is used for installations from hard disk and from CD-ROM.

It is also used in cases where the root filesystem cannot fit on the Rescue Floppy for whatever reason. If you have a low-density drive on an Atari, you'll need root.bin.

bvme6000/tftplilo.bvme, bvme6000/tftplilo.conf, mvme162/tftplilo.mvme, mvme162/tftplilo.conf, mvme167/tftplilo.mvme, mvme167/tftplilo.conf -- TFTP boot images and configuration files
Boot images used for network booting, see Booting from TFTP, Section 5.5. Generally, they contain the Linux kernel and the root.bin root filesystem. For VME, TFTP support consists of the Linux loader programs and configuration files.

install.txt, install.html -- Installation Manual
This file you are now reading, in plain ASCII or HTML format.

amiga/install.txt, atari/install.txt, mac/install.txt, bvme6000/install.txt, mvme162/install.txt, mvme167/install.txt -- Install Guide
Quick reference describing the installation on the corresponding systems step by step, like a condensed version of sections 5 - 7 of this manual.

atari-fdisk.txt amiga-fdisk.txt mac-fdisk.txt pmac-fdisk.txt
Instructions for using your available partitioning programs.

basecont.txt
Listing of the contents of the base system.

md5sum.txt
List of MD5 checksums for the binary files. If you have the md5sum program, you can ensure that your files are not corrupt by running md5sum -v -c md5sum.txt.


5.3 Installing from a Hard Disk

In some cases, you may wish to boot from an existing operating system. You can also boot into the installation system using other means, but install the base system from disk.


5.3.1 Installing from AmigaOS

Use the following steps to install Debian from your pre-existing AmigaOS setup.

  1. Get the files amiga/amigainstall.lha and common/base2_1.tgz.
  2. Unpack amigainstall.lha into a partition with at least 10MB free. We recommend you unpack it into the main directory.
  3. After unpacking, you should have a debian directory. Move common/base2_1.tgz into that same debian directory. Do not rename any files in this directory.
  4. Write down the Linux partition name for the location where your new debian directory is. See Device Names in Linux, Section 4.3 for more information on Linux partition naming.
  5. Prepare your partitions for Linux. See Partitioning Prior to Installation, Section 4.6.
  6. In the Workbench, start the Linux installation process by double-clicking on the ``StartInstall'' icon in the debian directory.

You may have to press the Return key twice after the Amiga installer program has output some debugging information into a window. After this, the screen will go grey, there will be a few seconds' delay Next, a black screen with white text should come up, displaying all kinds of kernel debugging information. These messages may scroll by too fast for you to read, but that's OK. After a couple of seconds, the installation program should start automatically, so you can continue down at Using dbootstrap for Initial System Configuration, Chapter 7.

If, on the other hand, you have problems booting, see Troubleshooting the Boot Process, Section 6.5.


5.3.2 Installing from Atari TOS

Use the following steps to install Debian from your pre-existing Atari TOS setup.

  1. Get the files atari/install.lzh and common/base2_1.tgz.
  2. Unpack install.lzh into a partition with at least 10 MB free. We recommend you unpack it into the ``main'' directory.
  3. After unpacking, you should have a debian directory. Move common/base2_1.tgz into that same debian directory. Do not rename any files in this directory.
  4. Write down the Linux partition name for the location where your new debian directory is. See Device Names in Linux, Section 4.3 for more information on Linux partition naming.
  5. Prepare your partitions for Linux, if you haven't already done so. See Partitioning Prior to Installation, Section 4.6.
  6. At the GEM desktop, start the Linux installation process by double-clicking on the ``bootstra.ttp'' icon in the debian directory and clicking ``Ok'' at the program options dialog box.

You may have to press the Return key after the Atari bootstrap program has output some debugging information into a window. After this, the screen will go grey, there will be a few seconds' delay. Next, a black screen with white text should come up, displaying all kinds of kernel debugging information. These messages may scroll by too fast for you to read, but that's OK. After a couple of seconds, the installation program should start automatically, so you can continue below at Using dbootstrap for Initial System Configuration, Chapter 7.

If, on the other hand, you have problems booting, see Troubleshooting the Boot Process, Section 6.5.


5.3.3 Installing from MacOS

Use the following steps to install Debian from your pre-existing MacOS setup.

  1. Get the files mac/Install.sit.hqx and common/base2_1.tgz.
  2. Unpack Install.sit.hqx into a partition with at least 10 MB free. We recommend you unpack it into the top-level directory of a volume with sufficient space.
  3. After unpacking, you should have a debian directory. Move common/base2_1.tgz into that same debian directory. Do not rename any files in this directory.
  4. Write down the Linux partition name for the location where your new debian directory is. See Device Names in Linux, Section 4.3 for more information on Linux partition naming.
  5. Prepare your partitions for Linux, if you haven't already done so. See Partitioning Prior to Installation, Section 4.6.
  6. At the MacOS desktop, start the Linux installation process by double-clicking on the ``Penguin Prefs'' icon in the debian directory. The Linux booter will start up. Go to the ``Settings'' item in the ``File'' menu and select the kernel and ramdisk images in the debian directory by clicking on the corresponding buttons in the upper right corner, and navigating the file select dialogs to locate the files. Close the ``Settings'' dialog, save the settings and start the bootstrap using the ``Boot Now'' item in the ``File'' menu.

The Penguin booter will output some debugging information into a window. After this, the screen will go grey, there will be a few seconds' delay. Next, a black screen with white text should come up, displaying all kinds of kernel debugging information. These messages may scroll by too fast for you to read, but that's OK. After a couple of seconds, the installation program should start automatically, so you can continue below at Using dbootstrap for Initial System Configuration, Chapter 7.

If, on the other hand, you have problems booting, see Troubleshooting the Boot Process, Section 6.5.


5.3.4 Installing from a Linux Partition

You can install Debian from an ext2fs partition or from a Minix partition. This installation technique may be appropriate if you are completely replacing your current Linux system with Debian, for instance.

Note that the partition you are installing from should not be the same as the partitions you are installing Debian to (e.g., /, /usr, /lib, and all that).

To install from an already existing Linux partition, follow these instructions.

  1. Get the following files and place them in a directory on your Linux partition. Use the largest possible files for your architecture:
  2. You can use any other functional boot method when installing from a partition. The following assumes you are booting with floppies; however, any boot installation can be used.
  3. Create the Rescue Floppy as discussed in Creating Floppies from Disk Images, Section 5.8. Note that you won't need the Drivers Floppy.
  4. Insert the Rescue Floppy into your floppy drive, and reboot the computer.
  5. Skip down to Booting the Installation System, Chapter 6.


5.4 Installing from a CD-ROM

If you have a CD which is bootable, and if your architecture and system supports booting from a CD-ROM, you don't need any floppies. Currently, the only Motorola 680x0 subarchitecture that supports CD-ROM booting is the BVME6000. Then put the CD-ROM into the drive, and reboot. Now you can skip down to Booting the Installation System, Chapter 6.

Even if you cannot boot from CD-ROM, you can install the base Debian system from CD-ROM. Simply boot using one of the other installation techniques; when it is time to install the base system and any additional packages, just point your installation system at the CD-ROM drive as described in ``Install the Base System'', Section 7.13.


5.5 Booting from TFTP

You need to setup two servers: a RARP server and a TFTP server. The Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) is one way to tell your client what IP address to use for itself. Another way is to use the BOOTP protocol. Yet another alternative exists on VMEbus systems: the IP address can be manually configured in boot ROM. The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is used to serve the boot image to the client. Theoretically, any server, on any platform, which implements these protocols, may be used. In the examples in this section, we shall provide commands for SunOS 4.x, SunOS 5.x (a.k.a. Solaris), and GNU/Linux.


5.5.1 Setting up RARP

To setup RARP, you need to know the ethernet address of the client (a.k.a. the MAC address). If you don't know this information, you can boot into ``Rescue'' mode (e.g., from the Rescue Floppy) and use the command /sbin/ifconfig eth0.

In GNU/Linux you need to populate the kernel's RARP table. To do this execute

     /sbin/rarp -s client-hostname client-enet-addr
     /usr/sbin/arp -s client-ip client-enet-addr

Under SunOS, you need to ensure that the ethernet hardware address for the client is listed in the ``ethers'' database (either in the /etc/ethers file, or via NIS/NIS+) and in the ``hosts'' database. Then you need to start the RARP daemon. In SunOS 4, issue the command (as root): /usr/etc/rarpd -a; in SunOS 5, use /usr/sbin/rarpd -a.


5.5.2 Enabling the TFTP Server

To get the TFTP server ready to go, you should first make sure that tftpd is enabled. This is usually enabled by having the following line in /etc/inetd.conf:

     tftp dgram udp wait root /usr/etc/in.tftpd in.tftpd -l /boot

Look in that file and remember the directory which is used as the argument of in.tftpd; you'll need that below. The -l argument enables some versions of in.tftpd to log all requests to the system logs; this is useful for diagnosing boot errors. If you've had to change /etc/inetd.conf, you'll have to notify the running inetd process that the file has changed. On a Debian machine, run /etc/init.d/netbase reload; on other machines, find out the process ID for inetd, and run kill -1 inetd-pid.


5.5.3 Move TFTP Images Into Place

Next, place the TFTP boot image you need, as found in Description of Installation System Files, Section 5.2, in the tftpd boot image directory. Generally, this directory will be /boot in Debian, and /tftpboot in other operating systems. Next you'll have to make a link from that file to the file which tftpd will use for booting a particular client. Unfortunately, the file name is determined by the TFTP client, and there are no strong standards.

Often, the file that the TFTP client will look for is client-ip-in-hexclient-architecture. To compute client-ip-in-hex, take each byte of the client IP address and translate it into hexadecimal notation. If you have a machine handy with the bc program, you can use the program. First issue the obase=16 command to set the output to hex, then enter the individual components of the client IP one at a time. As for client-architecture, try out some values. Once you've determined the name, make the link like this: ln /boot/tftpboot.img /boot/file-name.

BVM and Motorola VMEbus systems will look for the files according to the following list:

Next, configure your boot ROMs or BOOTP server to initially load the tftplilo.bvme or tftplilo.mvme files from the TFTP server. Refer to the tftplilo.txt file for your sub-architecture for additional system-specific configuration information.

Now you should be ready to actually boot your system. After booting the VMEbus systems you will presented with the LILO Boot: prompt. At the 'LILO Boot:' prompt enter one of the following to boot Linux and begin installation proper of the Debian software using vt102 terminal emulation:

You may additionally append the string ``TERM=vt100'' to use vt100 terminal emulation, e.g., ``i6000 TERM=vt100 Return''.


5.6 Installing from NFS

Due to the nature of this method of installation, only the base system can be installed via NFS. You will need to have the rescue disk and the driver disk available locally using one of the above methods. To install the base system via NFS, you'll have to go through the regular installation as explained in Using dbootstrap for Initial System Configuration, Chapter 7. Do not forget to insert the module (driver) for your ethernet card, and the file system module for NFS.

When dbootstrap asks you where the base system is located (``Install the Base System'', Section 7.13), you should choose NFS, and follow the instructions.


5.7 Installing from Floppies

Installation from floppies, if supported on your system, is a nice fallback to have, althought it is generally not the more preferred or the fastest way to install. There are different degrees to which you can install from floppies, which are described below.


5.7.1 Booting from Floppies

To boot from floppies, simply download the Rescue Floppy image and the Drivers Floppy image. In some cases you may be required to decide which flavor of the disk images to use, as discussed in Description of Installation System Files, Section 5.2. Information in that section should help you choose which floppy images to use. Create these floppies from images as described in Creating Floppies from Disk Images, Section 5.8.

If you need to, you can also modify the Rescue Floppy; see Replacing the Rescue Floppy Kernel, Section 9.3.

Booting from the Rescue Floppy is supported only for Atari and VME (with a SCSI floppy drive on VME) at this time. On the Macintosh, you can boot from the HFS floppy image supplied as an DiskCopy format image, which is a raw disk image containing the Rescue Floppy image.


5.7.2 Installing Base from Floppies

NOTE: This is not a recommended way of installing Debian, because floppies are generally the least reliable type of media. This is only recommended if you have no extra, pre-existing filesystems on any of the hard drives on your system. Installing the base system from floppies is not supported on Amiga and Macintosh systems.

Complete these steps:

  1. Obtain these disk images (these files are described in greater detail in Description of Installation System Files, Section 5.2):
  2. Locate sufficient floppies for all the images you need to write.
  3. Create the floppies, as discussed in Creating Floppies from Disk Images, Section 5.8.
  4. Insert the Rescue Floppy into your floppy drive, and reboot the computer.
  5. Skip down to Booting the Installation System, Chapter 6.


5.8 Creating Floppies from Disk Images

Disk images are files containing the complete contents of a floppy disk in raw form. Disk images, such as resc1440.bin, cannot simply be copied to floppy drives. A special program is used to write the image files to floppy disk in raw mode. This is required because these images are raw representations of the disk; it is required to do a sector copy of the data from the file onto the floppy.

There are different techniques for creating floppies from disk images, which depend on your platform. This section describes how to create floppies from disk images for different platforms.

No matter which method you use to create your floppies, you should remember to flip the tab on the floppies once you have written them, to ensure they are not damaged unintentionally.


5.8.1 Writing Disk Images From a Linux or Unix System

To write the floppy disk image files to the floppy disks, you will probably need root access to the system. Place a good, blank floppy in the floppy drive. Next, use the command

     dd if=file of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 conv=sync ; sync

where file is one of the floppy disk image files. /dev/fd0 is a commonly used name of the floppy disk device, it may be different on your workstation (on Solaris, it is /dev/fd/0). The command may return to the prompt before Unix has finished writing the floppy disk, so look for the disk-in-use light on the floppy drive and be sure that the light is out and the disk has stopped revolving before you remove it from the drive. On some systems, you'll have to run a command to eject the floppy from the drive (on Solaris, use eject, see the manual page).

Some systems attempt to automatically mount a floppy disk when you place it in the drive. You might have to disable this feature before the workstation will allow you to write a floppy in raw mode. Unfortunately, how to accomplish this will vary based on your operating system. On Solaris, make sure vold isn't running. On other systems, ask your system administrator.


5.8.2 Writing Disk Images on Atari Systems

You'll find the atari/rawwrite.ttp program in the same directory as the floppy disk images. Start the program by double clicking on the program icon, and type in the name of the floppy image file you want written to the floppy at the TOS program command line dialog box.


5.8.3 Writing Disk Images on Macintosh Systems

Using DiskCopy (version 4.2 or later), you can create a MacOS floppy from the mac/Debian-m68k-2.1-Mac.img file in the same directory as the Macintosh installer files. Start DiskCopy and select the ``Make a Floppy'' option in the ``Utilities'' menu. Select the disk image file in the file select dialog.

There is no MacOS application to write the mac/resc1440.bin and mac/drv1440.bin images to floppy disks (and there would be no point in doing this as you can't use these floppies to boot the installation system or install kernel and modules from on Macintosh). However, these files are needed for the installation of the operating system and modules, later in the process.

Be careful whenever transfering files on the Macintosh. Files with the suffix .bin or .tgz always need to be transferred using binary mode.


5.8.4 Writing Disk Images From DOS, Windows, or OS/2

If you have access to a PC running one of these systems -- we might never like to admit it, but these do exist -- you can use it to write the disk images.

You'll find the rawrite2.exe program in the i386 section of a Debian archive, in the same directory as the floppy disk images. There's also a rawrite2.txt file containing instructions for using rawrite2.


5.8.5 Floppy Disk Reliability

The biggest problem for people installing Debian for the first time seems to be floppy disk reliability.

The Rescue Floppy is the floppy with the worst problems, because it is read by the hardware directly, before Linux boots. Often, the hardware doesn't read as reliably as the Linux floppy disk driver, and may just stop without printing an error message if it reads incorrect data. There can also be failures in the Drivers Floppy and the base floppies, most of which indicate themselves with a flood of messages about disk I/O errors.

If you are having the installation stall at a particular floppy, the first thing you should do is re-download the floppy disk image and write it to a different floppy. Simply reformatting the old floppy may not be sufficient, even if it appears that the floppy was reformatted and written with no errors. It is sometimes useful to try writing the floppy on a different system.

One user reports he had to write the images to floppy three times before one worked, and then everything was fine with the third floppy.

Other users have reported that simply rebooting a few times with the same floppy in the floppy drive can lead to a successful boot. This is all due to buggy hardware or firmware floppy drivers.


[ previous ] [ Abstract ] [ Copyright Notice ] [ Contents ] [ next ]
Installing Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 For Motorola 680x0
version 2.1.11, 28 August, 1999
Bruce Perens
Sven Rudolph
Igor Grobman
James Treacy
Adam Di Carlo