The chapter describes the basic method for installing a new diskimage on a NetWinder. The methods described in the other chapters are variations on the basic method, so this chapter makes for good background reading even if you are using one of the other methods. See the first chapter for an overview of the different installation methods.
This is the simplest method but requires considerable hard drive space - enough to hold the compressed disk image (about 250 MB for build #12) as well as the uncompressed image (about 650 MB). Add to this the space occupied by the existing disk image, and you'll see that this method is practical only on machines with hard disks of 2 GB or more capacity.
A new disk image is also required, of course. It can be downloaded (via
FTP) from netwinder.org as a
tar.gz archive. Alternatively you
might have received the image on CDROM or other media; you should transfer
the image onto the NetWinder by some means - FTP, NFS, SMB, HTTP - keep in
mind that the image is a binary file.
Some manipulation may be required to free up space on the partition where the new image is to be installed. While it is not strictly necessary for the partition to be empty, subtle problems can arise if old files are mixed with the new image. We recommend clearing the partition completely to avoid trouble. See also section 4.3 for more information on how to free up a partition.
df command will allow you to check disk usage. Typical output
from this command is shown below. Don't be alarmed if the values reported
by your system differ.
Filesystem 1024-blocks Used Available Capacity Mounted on /dev/hda1 1014784 645694 316651 67% / /dev/hda3 2792760 72888 2575451 3% /home
Here we see that the third partition
/dev/hda3 contains only 72 MB
of data, whereas there remain 316 MB of free space on the first partition
/dev/hda1. If we moved the data from the third partition into the
/dev/hda3 would be empty and we could install the new
diskimage there. Since unix doesn't allow files to be moved across
filesystems, we first copy the data from
/dev/hda3 and later delete
it. You must be root to run these commands of course.
cd / umount /dev/hda3 mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/hda3 cp -ax /mnt/hda3/. /home umount /dev/hda3
The data has now been copied to the
/home directory, which is now
/dev/hda1. To prevent side effects, you should also edit the
/etc/fstab file and comment out the line beginning with
/dev/hda3, or delete the entire line. Otherwise, your system may
have difficulty trying to mount
/dev/hda3 next time you reboot.
The free partition can now be cleared out, either by formatting it or by
deleting all the files (
rm -rf). Again this isn't strictly
necessary but it is recommended. Be sure you give the right partition
number otherwise you'll end up formatting the wrong partition. The
commands for formatting the third partition, and then mounting it on
/mnt/hda3, are as follows.
mke2fs /dev/hda3 mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/hda3
Now you're ready to install the new disk image onto
can use the
df command to verify the amount of free space if you
Special note: If you are running dm-3.1-15 disk image, then you
must pass extra flags to
mke2fs otherwise the firmware and kernel
won't recognize your filesystem correctly. To format a partition you should
use these commands
mke2fs -O sparse_super /dev/hda3
To install the image, use the
tar command to extract files from the
compressed image. If you have not yet downloaded the image, do so now
(placing it wherever there is enough room). Then use the following commands
to expand the archive. The example assumes that your "empty" partition has
been mounted on
/mnt/hda3 (as in the previous section):
cd /mnt/hda3 tar zxpf YourImage.tar.gz
YourImage with the name of the image you downloaded
(including the full path, if it's not located in the current directory).
This process will take 5 to 10 minutes, on average.
The etc/fstab file will need to be edited before the new image can be
booted. Using your favourite text editor, open the file
/mnt/hda3/etc/fstab. The line that begins with
should be deleted or commented out. The line that begins with
/dev/hda1 should then be changed so that it begins with
/dev/hda3 (or whichever partition you've just installed to). Save
the modified file and exit the editor. Then unmount the partition in
anticipation of rebooting:
sync cd / umount /mnt/hda3
While it should not be necessary with official disk images, you might want
to check that the file
etc/mtab does not exist in your
image (before you unmount it). Delete this file if it does exist (for
The last step is to change the firmware settings so as to boot from the new
partition. Reboot the machine (using CTRL-ALT-DEL for example) and then
upon reboot, at the `Press any key to abort autoboot' prompt, press a key.
Enter the following commands to switch over to
load-defaults setenv kerndev /dev/hda3 setenv rootdev /dev/hda3 save-all boot
save-all command may be omitted if you just want to test boot
the new image (you can re-issue it later on). See the Firmware-HOWTO at
The new disk image should now boot. If not, consult the Troubleshooting chapter at the end of this manual. To access your old disk image (perhaps to copy out some personal files, for example) you can mount it with a command like:
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt