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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) pcmcia install on debian

After every Bay Area Linux User Group (BALUG) meeting, we head to a local deli named Max's to continue chatting until about midnight. Some of the Debian folk are becoming regulars, so Jim and I had a chance to ask a few questions.

From shy jo on Sun, 02 May 1999

Hi Jim, I don't know you're proper email address, so I'm using this one. At Max's tonight, your S.O. asked me about installing debian on a system that needs PCMCIA to use the cd drive and how to enable that.

(!) That was resourceful. I'm copying Heather on this reply.

(?) Well I dug around and the info she needs is at:

If the version of debian she's installing doesn't have a pcmcia entry on the menu, she should install the most recent one, it's documented to have it.

And in response to your own query about installing debian without rebooting, another possibility would be to grab:

This is a basic debian system, tarred. After you unpack that you should be able to run dpkg --root=/wherever -i foo.deb and install additional deb's if necessary. And you can chroot into it and play around. If you "sh root/pkgsel" in there, you'll get to the package group selection menu debian normally displays after the install from booth floppies.

(!) Sounds interesting. I'll try that soon.
Do you know of a project to complete a more complete system integrity auditing tool than debsums? I like that the rpm -Va command tells me about changes to permissions, ownership, and other metadata. debsums seems to be a light wrapper around md5sum.
On slackware systems I can just use 'tar df ...' to get this sort of info. When I met Patrick Volkerding at LinuxWorld I suggested he write a script to do that for a whole CD full of of tar files --- sort of an "auditors workbench." (I also suggested that he make this an option from the boot menu on the CD and that he make a custom boot floppy for system auditing; so that the Slackware sysadmin is encouraged to do proper audits of their system, from a clean boot off of a write protected floppy).
I'd like to encourage the Debian team to also come up with such a beast (and I'll try to devote some time and Linuxcare resources to actually DOING it). However, it occurs to me that the existing Debian hacks can probably do something like this practically overnight. (I'll be fighting a much longer learning curve before I'm ready to contribute a production quality package to this effort).
I've heard that Debian packages encapsulate .tar files. Is that true? Are they tar or tar.gz? (no problem, 'tar dzf ...' works). I suppose I could use alien to extract tar files from .deb files (one at a time) and then use tar df on each of those.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 42 June 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Techinical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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