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1. What's new?

Many others who have installed Linux on their Librettos have generously contributed suggestions and experiences. Where I've been able to try out these suggestions, I've incorporated them (with acknowledgement, of course) into the main text of this mini-HOWTO. In this section, I've summarized and quoted many of the ideas that I have not had a chance to try personally yet (my apologies if I've left anyone out inadvertently). The contributors of each suggestion are probably the best resources if you have questions. Please send a copy of your correspondence to me so that I can update the information here as appropriate.

Paul Couderc,, successfully installed Linux via the parallel port. He writes: ``By compiling a kernel with NFS-Root and PLIP support, I thought it would be possible to "loadlin" the kernel from the Win95 partition and then to NFS-mount a root filesystem over PLIP from a desktop PC.

``Unfortunately, when I tried this idea the boot process ended up with a "Root-NFS: unable to open at least one network interface" despite the fact that PLIP was correctly initialized. The problem comes from NFS-Root, which does not allow point-to-point IP interfaces to be used.

`` To fix this (nfsroot v2.3), edit nfsroot.c (in /usr/src/linux/fs/nfs) and change the following lines:

        /* First up the interface */
        old_flags = dev->flags;
                dev->flags = IFF_UP | IFF_BROADCAST | IFF_RUNNING;


        /* First up the interface */
        old_flags = dev->flags;
        if (old_flags & IFF_POINTOPOINT)
                dev->flags = IFF_UP | IFF_POINTOPOINT | IFF_RUNNING | IFF_NOARP;
                dev->flags = IFF_UP | IFF_BROADCAST | IFF_RUNNING;

And recompile the kernel. This fix is not very clean because no route is added to the destination point-to-point address, but the subnet route seems to work (I wrote a more complete patch with the the correct route added but I don't know if it is very useful).

``The rest of the installation is quite standard: repartition the disk with Windows's fdisk or FIPS to make room for Linux. Export a root filesystem from the desktop PC (like the Slackware root floppy). Copy the kernel image to the Lib's Win95 partition and boot it with LOADLIN, and don't forget to use the no_squash_root parameter to be able to mount the root read-write. Create Linux partitions with Linux's fdisk, and install the system with your favorite method (Personally I NFS-exported the CD-ROM distribution from my desktop PC and mounted it on the Libretto, but FTP would work as well).

``I sent the patch to the NFS-Root author, but as it address a specific problem I'm not sure that it will be included in future versions.''

David Bateman,, is writing a Linux driver for the Libretto's PCMCIA diskette drive. An alpha version of the driver, in binary format, is available from David, who expects to be able to supply a source version once the code is stable. (David explains that ``Due to the non-disclosure agreement I signed with Y-E Data to get the necessary programming documentation, during the testing phase I can only give out binaries of the floppy driver. Eventually there will be a source release, but the code will need to be shown to Y-E Data first for Intellectual property reason. Therefore passing the source by the Y-E Data legal department should be kept to a single pass. So I'd like to iron out as many bugs as possible before moving to a full source code release.'')

Kevin Tomlinson,, has constructed a set of diskette images that can be used to install Red Hat Linux 5.0 on a Libretto without requiring any other hardware. Read Kevin's instructions ( for downloading and using these diskette images. Thanks, Kevin!

Alex DeWolf,, reports success using PPP with a Viking 56K modem. He also reports that the Xinside X server does not appear to recover from hibernation properly, but that he was able to solve this problem by switching to XFree86.

Delbert T. Walsh,, writes about his UMSDOS installation: ``The reasons for a native partition are obvious but I installed Linux on a pc at work using umsdos so I would not have to repartition a system that I do not own. Umsdos works and performs quite well. No bench marks were run but I was not after stellar performance on the Libretto, I just wanted Linux running giving me a very portable workstation. Using this approach I got the parallel port BackPack cd-rom and copied the install files to the Libretto (using dos) and installed it. Quite simple and a cd-rom drive is an asset to the Libretto. I now use loadlin exclusively on my desktop at home and my Libretto. No more lilo, loadlin is quick, easy and fool proof. If you ever messed up a lilo config and ended up reformatting your hard disk and all that entails you know what I mean. This approach is perfect if the Libretto is the only system one has.

``An alternative is if you also own a desktop or other system with a cd-rom. For the price of the BackPack you can buy a pcmcia card, nic card for the pc, a hub and cables. With this setup you can use MS file sharing to copy the distribution to the Libretto and continue from there. Once up and running you can network both systems using linux, mount the cd-rom nfs and still have access to a cd-rom from the Libretto and also have the fun of running a Linux network at home. What a deal! Of cource I thought of this after buying the BackPack but the portable cd-rom drive is great for traveling. At home I just network the two systems and lay in bed with the Libretto and connect to work or the net and have a lot of fun.''

David Luyer,, reports success in installing Debian Linux off of a boot diskette after transferring the files to the Windows partition. He writes, ``Debian Linux only needs the first disk in the actual floppy drive and can then mount the second disk via a ramdisk to something to get the files off it if it's found on the local hard disk or network.''

Thomas Tonino,, writes ``I installed both Red Hat 4.2 and Red Hat 5.0 on my Libretto 50 using only a second Linux machine and a laplink cable. It worked perfectly. The installation works with the standard Red Hat boot floppy. Installation took about 1 hour from the 2 speed CD drive in my desktop, so I suppose this could get a little but not much faster. The trick is to do an NFS install - this does not need the second boot floppy.''

My thanks to everyone who has written!

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