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Re: Booting/Installing Debian Hurd from DVD not possible

From: Amos Jeffries
Subject: Re: Booting/Installing Debian Hurd from DVD not possible
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2015 12:38:00 +1300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.4.0

On 19/12/2015 6:53 a.m., Samuel Thibault wrote:
> David Renz, on Fri 18 Dec 2015 18:49:11 +0100, wrote:
>> if it really wouldn't be supported by Debian Hurd, then the installation
>> process couldn't even reach that stage, isn't it?
> Yes it would: loading the kernel and initrd is done by grub through the
> help of the BIOS legacy interface.
>> Basically Debian Hurd SHOULD definitely be able to work in a Virtual Box VM,
>> isn't it?
> Yes, in theory yes, but not many people actually test then, let alone
> Hurd developers (they use kvm/qemu), so issues with Virtual Box are most
> often not even known about.

FYI; I recently managed to get Hurd installed on a VirtualBox VM (itself
on Win7 if that matters).

I encountered some major issues doing so:

1) The normal CD .iso just kept crashing, but the netinst .iso managed
to work. I'm not certain if this was due to image differences and/or the
below two issues. There was a week delay between attempts with VM setup
from scratch and .iso freshly downloaded on each.

2) critical for Hurd was having the VirtualBox extensions and settings
identical to those documented for regular Debian Linux installs right
from the point of creating the VM image.
There are some fiddly issues with CPU and ACPI virtualization in VB.
Debian Linux installs but has runtime problems if these are wrong.
Debian Hurd will just crash on initializing the installer, or if it gets
past that the Mach kernel stage.

3) VirtualBox DHCP is a bit wacky. It might fail to allocate IPs
properly (same issue with Linux). I had to skip the installer DHCP step
and configure the /etc/networking/interfaces manually after install
through the VM terminal.

4) Since install was from the netinst .iso #3 above meant that I had to
explicitly de-select everything including "basic system packages" at the
environment selection stage.

... and no kidding about clock issues - 8 hrs to run the installer,
another ~48 hrs to run a dist-upgrade to Sid afterwards. Thats 8x longer
than regular Debian for the same.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will be repeating the install process
yet again. So if anyone is interested in making it easier for newbies to
get started let me know what (if anything) you want recorded from the


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