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Old 11-08-2005, 12:02 AM   #1
icekin
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Hoary : Installing base system halts and cannot continue


I have the following hardware and am trying to do a server-expert install :

Pentium 166 MHz CPU
32 MB RAM
2 GB Hard disk
Realtek LAN network card

I plan to use this as a web server, nothing more. The install said low RAM, so certain options, like language will be disabled. The install goes okay until the screen where it tries to copy the base packages to the system. At this stage, the packages are copied till 35% and the copying stops. The install screen with the various stages of install comes back. So, I try the same step again, but it again fails to complete.

Why are the packages not being copied to hard disk properly? The CD is alright because its new and I used it to successfully install Ubuntu on 2 other computers. I also got the following message when trying to boot from CD :

strange...kswapd0 not stopped

Is this normal? The install still proceeded. I tried running Mandrake 9.1 and that installed (except for video and sound). Anyway, I want some debian based distro rather than red hat based since apt-get and aptitude is nicer than yum.

Also, if this hardware is not good enough for Ubuntu, is there any other distro I could try, just for running a webserver with a basic window manager like fluxbox or fvwm. I don't mind trying even trying BSD or some hardcore thing like slackware like if it can detect my hardware and install Apache + PHP + mySQL properly.

My video card : S3 Trio64V2/DX
Sound Card : Opti 82C931

Thanks.
 
Old 11-08-2005, 02:02 AM   #2
avatarfx
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Seems to me that there is a problem with the Kernel linking while connecting to the Hard Drive. Why don't you try a live version of any OS? If another distro works, then check any Linux version with similar or greater kernel version.
 
Old 11-08-2005, 02:42 AM   #3
icekin
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Live OS : I tried Damn Small Linux v0.9.3 and Puppy Linux.

Both failed to boot

DSL said :

grep : etc/sysconfig/mouse : No such file or directory
xauth: creating new authority file /home/dsl/.Xauthority

giving up.

xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server
xinit : No such process (errno 3): server error

Puppy Linux said :

end_request : I/O error, dev hda
VFS : Can't find ext2 filesystem on dev loop(7,1)
mount: Mounting /dev/loop1 om /root failed: Invalid argument

Puppy was unable to locate the file usr_cram.fs

Sorry, cannot start X. File/usr/X11R6/bin/X missing. If X is supposed to be installed, probably Puppy was unable to mount usr_cram.fs on /usr
 
Old 11-08-2005, 02:45 AM   #4
icekin
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Mandrake Linux said INIT : version 2.84 booting

Is that the kernel version?
 
Old 11-08-2005, 04:09 AM   #5
wraycarr
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"2.84" is the version of init. I believe that is the current version of the inittools package, regardless of what distro you are using. I could be wrong as I have only used Slakware and Gentoo.

I have some hardware questions for you that might further illuminate the situation:

Did you mean 2G or 20G for the hard drive? If you are running a bare minimum kernel with just apache, your html/xml code, the cgi/perl scripts and normal networking, 2G is going to be very tight. If your live CD is trying to copy source code onto a 2G drive, it will certainly fit, after all, it's on a CD, but will there be space left for compile. Glibc and gcc combined use over 45M just for source code. I use a 1G SanDisc for my source packages, and I have to frequently flush out source that's already been compiled to make space for newer packages. 2G for source and run code is very tight.

One of your errors was regarding on Linux partition on /dev/hda. Are you installing your system on a different disk? Or, is your disk attached to a SATA controller, in which case you want to install to /dev/sda.

How is your cd/dvd drive attached? Is it on usb or firewire? One of the errors makes me think that although your BIOS can boot from the CD, your liveCD isn't loading the proper module(s) to continue running from that device. Plus, since most liveCD's I've used build a ramdisk and populate it with a virtual operating system, your 32M of ram may again be causing a problem.

You didn't metion a swap partition. With 32MB of ram, I don't think you will be able to compile an modern Linux kernel unless you have a swap partition or file. This may be kswapd's problem and the cause of the "strange" error. This is just a guess in the dark. I've never seen that error, but I've never tried to build Linux with less than 64M of physical memory, and that backed by a 512M swap partition.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
Old 11-08-2005, 07:11 AM   #6
icekin
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Hardware answers :

2 GB dude, you read that right; no typo. The website to be hosted is already done and full of the content. The site is about 50 MB now and will grow to about 100 MB at most ever the next 7 months. After that, I'll either find a real webhost or buy a bigger hard disk.

A basic Ubuntu Server install took 500 MB with apache + mySQL + PHP + phpmyAdmin and no X server. With X server, let's slate about 700 MB at most. With another 300 MB of swap, there easily at least over half a Gigabyte of spare space.

No, there is no SATA, only PATA. A regular CD ROM drive is present, attached to Secondary IDE as master through normal bus connector (ribbon cables). BIOS can boot from CD, its an Award BIOS v.1.00 and there is an option for 'boot from CD'. That's how I also got mandrake installed.

About Swap partition : Ubuntu said "Low memory, so install will proceed in limited mode (only english). You should enable swap as soon as possible. But before I could get to the stage where I had to partition the disks, the install failed. Now, if I make a swap parition using some 3rd party tool like Ranish Parition Manager, is there any way I can tell a linux install to start using this swap space for the install itself? There seem to be no parameters I can pass into the boot screen to do this.
 
Old 11-08-2005, 07:31 AM   #7
wraycarr
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I've just looked at the Ubuntu website. If you haven't already, you might want to look at http://www.ubuntulinux.org/support/releasenotes510#1.4 and go down to the section about
install server-mode Ubuntu. It appears that if you do an install in oem mode, you will have
some configuration options that you might not have when installing in server mode. Perhaps
this mode will allow you to setup your partitions before the install proceeds.

I'm impressed by the tiny footprint of this distribution of Linux. Good luck getting it running!

Raymond
 
Old 11-09-2005, 10:49 PM   #8
icekin
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Thumbs up

Problem Fixed :

I decided to try Debian sarge out. The same problem was there too, it stalled during base package install. Then, I tried the install again, saying no when it asked "This machine may have a PCMCIA card. Do you want to turn on PCMCIA devices?". This time the base packages were all copied fully and I was able to proceed with the partition and finish the install.

I think this will work to solve the same problem on Ubuntu as well.
 
Old 11-09-2005, 11:08 PM   #9
wraycarr
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Good for you!
 
  


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