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Author Topic: [Martin Michlmayr's installer] Stuck at "Partition disks"  (Read 4884 times)
littlebigman
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« on: March 22, 2013, 07:21:18 AM »

Hello

I'm following Martin Michlmayr's "Installing Debian on Plug Computers" to upgrade my SheevaPlug from Ubuntu to Debian.

After successfully upgrading Uboot, I used a TFTP server to download and run MM's installer, but I'm stuck at this screen:
Code:
------------------------ [!!] Partition disks +-------------------------+
                                                                           
  This is an overview of your currently configured partitions and mount   
  points. Select a partition to modify its settings (file system, mount   
  point, etc.), a free space to create partitions, or a device to         
  initialize its partition table.                                         
                                                                           
              Undo changes to partitions                                   
              Finish partitioning and write changes to disk               
                                                                           
       <Go Back>                                                           
                                                                           
  +---------------------------------------------------------------------

I tried "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk" and hit ENTER, but it said:
Quote
No root file system is defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu.

So next, I tried "Undo changes to partitions", but I get a blank screen, nothing happens. Hit CLTR+C, got back to "Partition disks" menu, but don't know what else to try.

Any idea?

Thank you.
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littlebigman
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 07:30:46 AM »

The documentation says
Quote
The installer knows about all supported plug computers and will create a bootable kernel and ramdisk at the end of the installation. The installer will also offer a partition layout that is known to work. If you want to choose a different layout, make sure that you create a small (ca. 150 MB) /boot partition with the ext2 filesystem.

Could it be that upgrading Uboot wiped out the NAND and I first need to create an empty partition before running the installer?

If so, how do to this from Uboot?
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littlebigman
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 09:16:20 AM »

For the benefit of other newbies: Although the tutorial does say that...
Quote
The Debian installer doesn't currently support installations to on-board flash storage, but you can use it to install to USB, SD or eSATA. In order to proceed, you will therefore need either a USB stick (or disk), an SD card or an external disk with an eSATA port.
... I was confused because it said further down that it's possible to download the installer from a TFTP server.

But that was really the installer: Debian itself cannot be installed directly on the NAND flash memory, so you really need to first plug a USB stick into the Plug before downloading and running the installer.

With the USB stick plugged in, you'll get to this better-looking screen:
Code:
+------------------------ [!!] Partition disks +-------------------------+
                                                                       
The installer can guide you through partitioning a disk (using          
different standard schemes) or, if you prefer, you can do it            
manually. With guided partitioning you will still have a chance later  
to review and customise the results.                                    
                                                                       
If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk, you will next    
be asked which disk should be used.                                    
                                                                       
Partitioning method:                                                    
                                                                       
         Guided - use entire disk                                      
         Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM                        
         Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM              
         Manual                                                        
                                                                       
    <Go Back>                                                      

However, Martin's tutorial ends with:
Quote
Your plug computer is now ready to boot Debian from USB, SD or eSATA and it will automatically do so whenever you turn on the plug computer

Since the Plug has a 512MB NAND flash memory, it'd be too bad not to use it and be required to keep a USB stick plugged permanently to run Debian while this wasn't necessary to run Ubuntu.

Thankfully, Matthias Blaicher's tutorial explains how to copy Debian from the USB stick to the NAND flash memory: In the "Partition disks" where I used to be stuck, I chose the default option "Guided - use entire disk", and the Debian installer detected the USB stick as "SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) - 3.9 GB Kingston DT 101 G2", and completed the install onto the stick.

I'll report back once the installer is done copying Debian to the stick.
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littlebigman
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 03:44:52 PM »

Thanks to that tutorial, I now have Debian 6.0 running on my SheevaPlug Grin
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