[vox-if] Re: May Installfest on Sat the 19th

Christopher James McKenzie mckenzie at cs.ucdavis.edu
Mon May 21 12:33:41 PDT 2007

Replies inlined
> Thanks Chris, Decided to struggle along on my own.
> Got Slackware 11.0 installed on a computer with
> a bad DVD drive. 

Why did you do slackware?  I use it but my policy is to not recommend 
what I personally use except in rare instances.  I am asking because I'm 
hoping that you didn't install it because of me.

> Used a USB travel drive to grab
> bits at a time off a computer with a good DVD
>  drive

Large sequential blocks and checksums, especially with the "nofail" 
option on dd can help a lot to speed things up...

> -- tried to do a NFS install. The computers
> would ping each other, edited the /etc/exports file,
> followed instructions exactly to the best of my

Yeah, people that write instructions rarely try and follow them - I hope 
you ran rpc.portmap on the client machine.  NFS is a horrible 80s 
technology that I still use daily but I need to expunge somehow.  There 
are some debugging tools available - exportfs and showmount are pretty 
good ones to try.  nmap can help along with netstat.

> ability but no joy. Got rpc.portmapper timeouts,
> etc. etc. Bottom line, if you have to do an install
> on a computer that won't read the media, how would 
> you have done it? Since Slackware install is still

Unless the machine is an obscure architecture, rip the drive out and 
install it on some normal machine.  Then after you have the default 
install put it back.  If you insist on keeping the drivs in the machine 
than you are making your life difficult.

It sounds like you have a network, which is good.  I can think of a few 
unix like systems out there that will allow you to do a network install 
if you can easily get out to the net.  THIS IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION but 
simply a list of OS's that are currently active that I can think of 
offhand that have straight forward net installs.

gentoo linux
debian linux

There are probably quite a few more obscure elitest ones out there 
which, in my experience, usually translates into meaning "rarely 
updated, full of bugs, no support".

If you can't get to the net via ethernet, SLIP will get you an install 
at a blazing 10KB/s (which means bring a book) - but it's still much 
better then using the old 1.4 MB floppies which in my experience have an 
average transfer rate, minus seek time of about 30KB/s anyway (single 
speed CD is 176.4 KB/s)

And as a note, I have been able to bridge SLIP->ETHER many times since 
about my first attempt in the late 90's.  It's a matter of creating a 
tunneling and a slip device and then, I guess, today, on modern linux, 
writing iptables accordingly.  When it's done, you get full on internet 
over a null modem line.

Also, don't discount PCI add-ons and external devices.  A well behaved 
BIOS will probe the PCI bus and ask the devices if they have any 
interest to boot.  External SCSI, USB, and Firewire are not unheard of, 
and in fact, are things I used to do all the time to install.

Two things you never want t o do is install over FIR and do one of those 
tftp bootp ethernet installs, where there is a boot from ethernet card 
to fork an actual linux install.  In my experience, these are horrible 
hacks - as in, things that actually do not work.

Good luck.


> based on the old disk sets it is more forgiving
> than some others. Don't think I would have tried
> this with any other distro.
> Thanks for any insights.
>> Shorter
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