need to be able to create a (clone) installation for a different platform

From: Rob Prowel (
Date: 10/31/05

  • Next message: Rob Prowel: "A bug in the text based ISO installation CDs?"
    Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 16:14:01 -0800 (PST)

    some background:

    I have a xeon machine running suse8.2 and fc4 dialects
    of linux, an LFS (linux from scratch) instance, plus
    doze-xp, all booting thru grub, and I write linux
    c/c++ code for autonomous robots, so I know a wee
    little bit about what's going on behind the bling

    My new housing situation allows me to piggyback my
    landlord's wireless cable internet connection but my
    computer room has terrible link signal because the
    access point is way on the other side of the my dual xeon doesn't work well in smp or
    hyperthreading mode with the limited support b/g
    wireless cards that are available for linux. I ended
    up having to use the rt2500 in non-smp mode: a
    non-optimal solution!

    Anyway, my solution is to install a bare linux distro
    on a legacy MB8500-TVX mobo (pentium classic) that
    will sit in an optimum wireless reception point in my
    apartment. Then I'll use that machine as a firewall
    and wireless ethernet bridge: wireless on one side and
    wired 100bt on the other. The machine will provide
    iptables firewalling/NAT, caching only DNS, mail
    server, etc. The target platform is pentium classic,
    there is no working floppy controller on the machine
    (presumable fried by the previous owner because there
    was no key on the ribbon connector port), and the old
    1995 BIOS is too buggy to allow booting the CDROM.
    That leaves me with only one option if I intend to use
    that machine: I must prepare the hard disk on my xeon
    machine and move it to the target platform.

    I don't have time or motivation to recompile my LFS
    distro for the pentium classic because I originally
    prepared it specifically for the xeon and that took me
    two months. Enter option 2) I tried to use the FC4
    distro CDs (on my xeon) to install on a usb2 connected
    hard disk that I would move to the target machine as
    the primary IDE hard disk.

    It seems that even though the FC4 CDs are listed as
    pentium friendly the folks who prepared them may have
    generated kernels that don't work on the pentium
    classic, or at lease the penium classic in combination
    with an ISA/PCI combination architecture. OOPS! I
    tried a workaround of genning my own 2.6.11 kernel and
    sticking it into the target disk as a bootable grub
    image, but then once the kernel is running it cannot
    run init which resides on an ext3 partition...All I
    did was take the stock CD kernel and change the target
    platform setting to pentium classic. Again, I suspect
    compilation that was done for the higher end pentium
    platforms to be on the CDs.

    After reading the FC4 release notes the indication is
    that pentium classic (should) be, the
    question is: did the guys who prepared the ISOs make a
    goof? Did they test the ISOs on all supported
    platforms before releasing them? and I'm quite
    hesitant to suggest the last option because it makes
    an easy out even if it isn't true: Did the CD install
    procedure that I did on the xeon pick a kernel package
    that was optimized to what it thought my platform was?

    Comments, questions, suggestions?


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