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

On Thursday, May 22, 2003, at 03:02 PM, Mike Simons wrote:
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
Thanks. As it turns out, I seem to have solved the problem, but there's still the open issue of why the chroot doesn't behave the way that it seems it should (more below).

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
... if you could explain what you are seeing I'll be happy to
I installed the package kernel-image-2.4.18-k6. The first sign that something was wrong was that apt-get complained that it couldn't completely install the package because mkinitrd failed. I would find it surprising if apt-get would upset about that if the kernel didn't require an initrd image to boot. I also read some threads in various newsgroups, and they all supported the idea that these kernels require an initrd image to boot. I haven't found any evidence to the contrary.

I've thought of compiling my own
kernel without initrd, but "make menuconfig" doesn't work in the
(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

  apt-get install libncurses5-dev

  the libncurses is the runtime part, -dev is what you need to compile
stuff like the kernel.
Thanks for the tip. I compiled a kernel without initrd, and successfully booted with it. I was then able to make an initrd image for the stock kernel, and now it boots properly. So it seems like something was definitely wrong in the chroot environment. One thing that's interesting is that now /etc/mtab contains an entry for hdb1, but if I try to run mkinitrd in the chroot, it still fails. I'm still curious as to why this didn't work quite as documented, except that maybe the 2.2 kernels don't require initrd (I don't even know if that feature was in 2.2). I'll have to follow this up by trying again on another system.

So now I seem to have a working Debian system, so I just need to learn to do things the Debian way.


Matt Holland
Population Biology Graduate Group
University of California
Davis, CA 95616

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