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My experience with the debian installation

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  • docgoeken2000
    I got a second NSLU2 and decided to upgrade it to debian. (My first slug has been running unslung for more than a year.) I wanted to document my experience
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2007
      I got a second NSLU2 and decided to upgrade it to debian. (My first
      slug has been running unslung for more than a year.) I wanted to
      document my experience with the upgrade in the belief that it may
      help the developers make a great product better.

      I first took the stock slug, modified it for 266 speed, and then
      formatted a 250 GB usb disk just to make sure everything was
      working. Then I flashed using the rc1 debian installer from www.slug-
      firmware.net. Rebooted, did the ssh and followed the installation
      instructions. Everything went well until the `Formatting Partitions'
      step. Kept stopping at the 33% mark - similar to what has been
      reported before. (Ref: [nslu2-general] Problem installing debain -
      (not my misspelling)) (However, previous posts were related to using
      a 1 GB memory stick and I am using a 250 GB hard drive.)

      I watched the drive's activity light and noticed that it was flashing
      (green/red) as I expected for awhile, then would turn inactive
      (green), flash again, repeat for a couple of cycles, and finally turn
      red at which time the slug was unresponsive. I noticed that the
      automatic partitioning set it up for about a 90 MB swap partition as
      discussed. I manually partitioned the drive to have a 1 GB swap
      partition and tried the formatting step again with the same results.

      I then started two ssh's to the slug – one running the installer and
      the other running a shell. I repeatedly did a `ps' from the shell
      during the installation. During the `Formatting Partition' step, I
      noticed the PID on the formatting process increasing in step with the
      inactive (green) cycle time discussed above.
      (Process: mkfs.ext3 /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1)
      The program was stopping and restarting.

      Previous posts suggest partitioning the drive on a Linux PC. But I
      thought that I would try using the debian installer's shell to do it
      manually. I walked thru the installation, doing a manual
      partitioning and then issuing the command
      mkfs.ext3 /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1
      from the shell window. (I hope I did not leave off any other command
      line arguments.) It ran for a while and then quit/failed. Tried
      again, ran to a different point and failed. (From the command line
      mkfs.ext3 counts up the inodes it has created). (I also tried both
      USB1 and USB2 ports.)

      At this point I thought I had a bad drive, so I reflashed the slug
      with unslung. Formatted the drive using its interface with no
      problems. So back to debian. Reflash, walk thru installation,
      manual partition, this time did a swapon command to use the newly
      created swap space, issued the mkfs.ext3 command. It again failed
      the first 4 or 5 times, but then it finally successfully went to
      completion!!! I do not know why it was finally successful (but at 2
      in the morning I was just thankful). The rest of the installation
      was successful except for a couple of packages not downloading
      correctly the first time.

      Have the problems reported been only with a 1 GB drive and is my
      problem unrelated since I'm using a 250 GB drive? Could there be a
      problem with the formatting program (mkfs.ext3)?

      Which usb port is the best port to use with debian? Another
      interesting issue – when I was successful, the drive was plugged into
      USB2. However, the slug's lights show Disk1 attached. If I switch
      the drive to the USB1 port, the slug still boots and the slug's light
      still show Disk1 attached.

      Another question: installation gave me a choice of 3 kernels to load,
      which is the best to use? (I am currently using '2.6.18-3-ixp4xx'.

      I have not seen it discussed (I may have missed it or I'm doing
      something wrong since I did load apache already), but it should be
      pointed out that the debian load removes the web interface to
      configure the debian slug. Not a problem, nor a surprise, just have
      not seen it discussed. Probably the same for the other non-Linksys
      based loads - correct?

      If any of the developers want me to try additional tests, I can delay
      loading additional packages on the debian slug before I put it into
      full time use.

      Sorry for the length and for some of the ramblings, but hope this
      helps.

      Dave


      Notes:

      This slug has been modified to run at 266.

      The command `fdisk -l /dev/sda' now reports:

      Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
      255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
      Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

      Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
      /dev/sda1 * 1 30273 243167841 83 Linux
      /dev/sda2 30274 30401 1028160 5 Extended
      /dev/sda5 30274 30401 1028128+ 82 Linux swap /
      Solaris
    • Rod Whitby
      ... .. (posted to nslu2-linux as well) We really need to fix the charters for nslu2-general and nslu2-linux. The original intent was that nslu2-general was for
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2007
        docgoeken2000 wrote:
        > I got a second NSLU2 and decided to upgrade it to debian. (My first
        > slug has been running unslung for more than a year.) I wanted to
        > document my experience with the upgrade in the belief that it may
        > help the developers make a great product better.

        .. (posted to nslu2-linux as well)

        We really need to fix the charters for nslu2-general and nslu2-linux.

        The original intent was that nslu2-general was for stuff which was not
        related to nslu2-linux firmware (i.e. general questions about how to use
        the standard unmodified Linksys firmware, etc), and that all custom
        firmware and packages questions would be in nslu2-linux.

        -- Rod
      • janne5011
        ... first ... linux. ... not ... to use ... yes indeed this dont works to moderate anymore. Some members are already allowed unmoderated and grouprules dont
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 4, 2007
          --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Rod Whitby <rod@...> wrote:
          >
          > docgoeken2000 wrote:
          > > I got a second NSLU2 and decided to upgrade it to debian. (My
          first
          > > slug has been running unslung for more than a year.) I wanted to
          > > document my experience with the upgrade in the belief that it may
          > > help the developers make a great product better.
          >
          > .. (posted to nslu2-linux as well)
          >
          > We really need to fix the charters for nslu2-general and nslu2-
          linux.
          >
          > The original intent was that nslu2-general was for stuff which was
          not
          > related to nslu2-linux firmware (i.e. general questions about how
          to use
          > the standard unmodified Linksys firmware, etc), and that all custom
          > firmware and packages questions would be in nslu2-linux.
          >
          > -- Rod

          yes indeed this dont works to moderate anymore. Some members are
          already allowed unmoderated and grouprules dont works anymore.Rules
          are way to unclear.
          I told this to listowner months ago.
          In the end users lose time becuase of this (they got refused and so
          on)

          janne moderator
          >
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