After a bit of tweaking, I present the alternative Debian Squeeze install method, which is more suited to installing to the internal flash. It can install both Lenny (stable) and Squeeze (testing). It can be used to be used to install to MMC too, as it uses the SheevaInstaller which is setup to flash either.
It uses debootstrap to build a minimal install (enough to get you booting) from the latest files form the Debian site. The resulting rootfs.tar.gz can then be used inplace of the Ubuntu rootfs.tar.gz that is supplied with the SheevaInstaller 1.0
The script as it stands is setup to use Squeeze. If you want to use Lenny, then change all the references in the script, and it should be good to go...
The stage1 build can be done on ANY Ubuntu or Debian system with Internet access, the Stage2 part needs to be done on a sheevaplug (you can of course just do the whole lot on a SheevaPlug with internet access). Download the attached script, give it execute permissions and execute the script directly with bash (do not launch it with sh, as on Debian and Ubuntu systems, this seems to use dash, and the script will fail to work fully)
The script can be executed from anywhere, however you need to have enough free disk space for the filesystem build and the resulting zip, therefore it's not a great plan to try and build this on the internal NAND!, also remember, the filesystem where the script is saved and executed from needs to be mounted to allow execution and creation of devices (It's not too happy running on mounted USB keys etc). If you want to build it on a USB key or something, make sure you mount the device with the following options:
mount -o dev,exec /dev/sda1 /myusb
At the end of the build process (which should only take about 10 minutes), you will be left with a rootfs.tar.gz that can be used to overwrite the one in the sheeva installer 1.0 download.
I have kept the package count low to not bring in too many dependencies, if you want more, just add them to the apt-get line near the end of the script. The current rootfs is 50MB zipped, and includes the base system, along with ssh for remote logins, and a few other essentials.Comments/Improvements welcome :-) Would also like to hear if it works or does not work for you (please no comments here about the Sheevaplug not working, post them in the SheevaPlug installer thread!!)Latest script and prebuilt images are all available for download here:
You should review the readme file before starting, there are some points in there to consider and some troubleshooting tips. Don't forget to change the root password after you are up and running, and if you use the prebuilt packages, you should also regenerate ssh keys.