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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 8:58 pm    Post subject: Installation question Reply with quote

I want to install Gentoo on my laptop.

I've got some issue before I even start.

Firstly, the only CD drive I have for the laptop is an external parallel port thing that I can't use as a boot device. The bios doesn't see it (it needs it's own drivers). In fact, the bios has no options at all for booting from any type of CD drive (so I suspect if I had a usb drive it wouldn't be of much use either)

So - I had a look at the alternative instllation guide page at
which suggests I create a GRUB boot floppy, enable network support on this floppy and access the installation files via tftp.

Having downloaded the GRUB source and having perused it's readme files it would seem that it has no support for PCMCIA ethernet cards (which is, of course, what I'm using for the laptop). Thus, this second method would also appear to not be an option.

The idea of a "harddrive install" was mentioned to me. I'm currently running slackware on this machine dualboot with win98). Is there some way I could install without having to boot from the CD or floppy?
Alternatively, is there such a thing as an installation floppy as in some other distros?

thanks for your help

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Location: Helmond, The netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used slackware floppy's here, with network support. I don't know if the slackware net-bootdisks are ready for pcmcia cards, but it's a try..

After that, mount a nfs share, or the cdrom if it works, and extract the build-*.tar.gz as normal..
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 9:43 pm    Post subject: Had the same problem Reply with quote

I had the same exact problem, laptop couldn't boot a CD, and I couldn't find a bootdisk that included pcmcia drivers. I did try using Tom's Root Boot, but it was nice enough to shut-off the backlit on my monitor. :(

Anyway, I found a way as Roel mentioned, slackware boot disks work:
    1) Find some floppies on one put the bare.i image (make sure and use the 2.4.5 image, we need the mount -o bind support in the kernel to mount /proc), and on the second floppy put color.gz.

    2) Boot it up and get to the command line, now on another disk put the pcm245.dsk image on it, pop it in the drive, and run pcmcia (I think?). Now, you should be able to set up your networking and ping your gateway.

    3) This is the part that I tripped over the first time, the slackware bootdisks don't include support for bzip2, so once you get your NFS share setup correctly, you still can't extract it. So, first run bzip2 -d <build name>.tar.bz2 and it should leave you with just a tar file, now you can tar -xvpf <build name>.tar (don't include -j because it isn't in bzip2 form anymore).

    4) You should beable to patch the rest together now. The only disadvantage that I see to doing this is you can only use make ext2 and reiser filesystems. I made an ext2 and just tuned it to ext3 after gentoo was in.

    Maybe I forgot something, hope not, tell me how it goes. Another way instead of having to use slack disk is to try toms root boot. Looks like for the first time in a long time a new version was released. I tried 1.7 something and 2.0.9 was released today, and claims to have pcmcia support. I would check that out first: .

- Kyle Manna

Please, please SEARCH before posting.

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't.

Last edited by Nitro on Sat Apr 13, 2002 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 09 Apr 2002
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Location: Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to let you guys know how I've got on:

The slakware bootdisks work a treat.
I used the pportide.i bootdisk as this enables me to use my external parallel port cd drive to get the gentoo stuff.

Having booted this and given it the normal rootdisk (color.gz) I wrote myself a copy of the pcmcia floppy (pcmcia.dsk) and typed 'pcmcia' as nitro said which found my network card with no problems at all. From then on it was plain sailing...

thanks guys
Robert Heffernan
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