[lug] Challenge solved

Gary Hodges Gary.Hodges at noaa.gov
Tue Jul 19 13:06:21 MDT 2005

OK, with help from many of you here and and Debian amd64 mailing list, I 
finally managed to get sarge installed on this machine.  I've distilled 
down the steps I took and am listing them below.  Maybe they'll be 
helpful for someone else.  I don't claim this is the best way, but it 
worked for me.  Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond to my 


Hardware refresher:
Tyan K8WE w/2x Opteron 244s
LSI21320RB SCSI Controller
Plextor PX-716SA (SATA)

1.  Install with a beta version of the sarge installer.  I searched 
through the Debian amd64 mailing list archives and found a kind person 
hosting the older installer.  I think what makes it special is it used 
the 2.6.10 kernel before the installer team reverted back to 2.6.8.  The 
stable installer didn't see my SCSI controller.  The beta doesn't see 
the on-board NIC so you have to temporarily install an older NIC.  The 
beta installer has a bug in grub.  The K8WE board also has a BIOS bug (I 
have the newest BIOS installed).  It won't cascade down the boot list to 
find bootable media or drives.   You have to set the CDROM as first, 
then change that to SCSI drive after installing.  Oh, nothing ever sees 
the SATA Plextor drive so you have to temporarily install an IDE drive.

2.  After installing boot the system with (I used) an Ubuntu live 64 
CD.  Then you can chroot.  I actually tried this a lot the past couple 
of days, but was never able to get chroot to work.  Googling around 
today I found a comment about having to use a 64 bit live CD for 64 bit 
installs.  Makes perfect sense, but that rather important point was left 
off by all the folks who suggested chroot previously.  I'm sure a 
certain level of knowledge was assumed :-).  My steps were:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot
chroot /mnt

Add sid to your sources list and "apt-get update."  Then you can install 
the newest kernel and headers which today was 2.6.11-9.  There was an 
error that suggested mounting /proc as well.  Did that and it worked fine.

3.  Because of that bug in grub I then boot the machine with Knoppix (a 
32 bit version).  OK, so I wasn't patient enough to figure out what I 
was doing wrong in Ubuntu.  Like I said, I never claimed these were the 
most concise steps.  Once booted into Knoppix (3.9 I think):

mount /dev/sda2 /boot
grub-install /dev/sda

4.  Reboot the machine moving your Cat5 plug to the first on-board NIC.  
You will now be presented with a lovely grub boot menu.  Oh, don't 
forget to change the boot order in your BIOS to the SCSI drive first.  
Freaking BIOS bug.  Anyway...  The machine should now boot up OK and go 
into the usual configuration process.  I ran into one more glitch where 
after downloading all the packages the process hung.  I rebooted and 
followed the steps again and everything worked fine.  At this point X 
isn't working, but I'll get that figured out.  I'm just really happy to 
finally have sarge installed on this beast.

Oh, last week I did install Ubuntu on the machine and the Plextor SATA 
drive was found and worked fine, so I'm guessing I'll be able to get 
that to work with a little experimentation.

More information about the LUG mailing list