[Soekris] Net4801 and debian

Joshua Ferraro jmf at kados.org
Fri Jan 21 19:13:50 UTC 2005

Jordan et al,

Thanks for the response.  I was able to use that pxelinux.0 to
boot off the nfs share.  Unfortunately my CF card (a LEXAR) was
not able to boot (it shows up as hdb).  So I bought a SanDisk
512MB card this afternoon and I was attempting to use the debian
'netboot' files (instructions are here:
files are here:
to boot from tftp into ramdisk and install using the regular
debian installer.  The config setup is very similar to Jordan's 
recommended one.  Here's what it looks like:
The only difference is that I changed 9600 to 19200.

So here's where the problems start.  When booting, I get two brief
unknown keyword in config file
missing parameter in config file

and then the kernel loads.  Here's the tail end of that:
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 8192K size 1024 blocksize
Initializing Cryptographic API
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP: routing cache hash table of 1024 buckets, 8Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 8192 bind 16384)
Linux IP multicast router 0.06 plus PIM-SM
VFS: Cannot open root device "" or 09:00
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 09:00

I also tried using Jordon's exact default file and I get the same
messages.  So can the net4801 use ramdisk?  If so, how do I 
set it up?



On Thu, Jan 20, 2005 at 05:21:47PM -0800, Jordan Share wrote:
> Joshua Ferraro wrote:
> >Hi everyone,
> >
> >I'm trying to install debian on my net4801 using the guide here:
> >http://www.cheapnet.net/~mike/soekris/
> >This guide is for the 4501 so I assume that's where my problem is
> >but here's what's happening.  I've got my host machine set up with
> >the files at that web address ... the soekris boots, gets a dhcp
> >address, grabs the whole pxelinux.0 file (I checked with ethereal)
> >and then promptly drops off the network and the serial terminal 
> >freezes.  I get no errors so I'm not really sure what's wrong.
> >Could it be that it can't read the pxelinux.0 file correctly and
> >as a result doesn't know where to grab the default file from?
> I installed debian on my 4801 with the normal installer
> I used the tweaked version of the pxelinux.0 as my bootloader (this is the 
> version that doesn't output to console, only to serial).  See:
> -=-=-=-=-
> Dave Johnson has a version of pxelinux that he hacked to only output to 
> serial:
> http://centerclick.org/net4801/pxelinux/
> -=-=-=-=-
> I booted to this config option from pxelinux.cfg/default:
> -=-=-=-=-
> label linux
>         kernel debian-installer/linux
>         append console=ttyS0,9600n81 vga=normal 
> initrd=debian-installer/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=9121 root=/dev/rd/0 devfs
> =mount,dall rw
> -=-=-=-=-
> The debian-installer directory on my tftp server has files dated 20040801. 
>  I can't recall which version they are for sure, but they would either be 
> the nightly from around then, or perhaps one of the installer betas, if 
> one of those was recent around that time.
> I went through the normal sarge install from that point on.  It even sets 
> the console=ttyS0,9600n81 in the /boot/grub/menu.lst properly.
> It did take quite a while to do the install, at different points.  I'm not 
> sure if it was CPU bound (seems unlikely), or if was the CF card (more 
> likely).
> Jordan

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