[Posted on InfoWorld Electric]

YARTLL -- Debian chroot install under RH
Posted by: kmself
Date posted: Sun, 10 Oct 1999

...that's Yet Another Reason to Love Linux.

I've been trying to get Debian on my system in place of RH. Two attempts to trial the installation have ended up stuck.

First the Jaz disk I was trying to roll out to fritzed. Typical. I'd pretty much expected it. I think it may be kernel-related. The Debian install runs 2.0.34, RH 5.2 runs 2.0.36. I have few problems under RH, but Debian craps out with a corrupted filesystem (over 1000 inodes under lost+found....).

Second time I tried utilizing a couple of partitions I'd set up for the purpose of trying out other distros. 200 MB each for / and /usr wasn't quite enough. Ok...

I've got a large patition I'd been using for miscellaneous data storage. Hmm... Can that fit under /home. Yep. Cool. Since I've got an existing Debian system (it's just a little too tight where it's at right now), I can move the /usr partition to the large partition, once I've cleared it out.

Mount my Debian root and /usr partitions under /mnt. Ok. Delete contents of the partition previously known as /data. fsck checking for bad blocks. Transfer contents of Debian /usr partition:

find . -depth -print | cpio -padm /data

umount /data. Moment of truth:

cd /mnt; chroot . bash

Yes!! ...I'm now running a shell under RH 5.2 which thinks it's part of a Debian system. mount the partition formerly known as /data now called /usr. Fun stuff.

dselect comes up (though the "Update" function fails). The Select, Install, Configure, and Quit (<g>) functions work though.

...So I can proceed with the Debian install while I have full use of RedHat (utilities, net, X Windows, etc.). Suhweet.

Karsten M. Self

[Karsten later expanded on the subject here:
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Debian/debian-chroot-install.html ]