Recently, I wrote something about installing VMware server on Ubuntu Edgy, which should basically work with Debian’s Etch, too. There is an alternative to VMware: Qemu. This peace of software also emulates a complete PC hardware and is opensource. To make Qemu faster it comes with a kernel module called “kqemu” which is free but distributed under a proprietary license until version 1.3.0pre9 – and this is the version Etch ships with. You may download the latest software from here, but I installed the default Debian packages and therefor I’ll write about this kind of installation.
If you’re running Debian Etch for amd64 you might want to install some 32bit applications, too. As some browser plugins (like Adobe’s Flash oder Sun’s Java) are available as 32bit binaries only, you may need a 32bit browser. In Ubuntu that was done very easily whereas in Debian this task needs a bit of extra work. But no need to worry, if you know how it’s very simple! So, here we go. (The orginal post can be found in German on debianforum.de. Thanks to “Linuxpeter”!)
As mentioned in my last post, installing Etch was very quick and easy. If you need to boot the installation CD/DVD with special kernel options, they will be added automatically to grub’s “menu.lst” and will be there after each kernel update when the “menu.lst” file is regenerated. Responsible for this is a part of “/boot/grub/menu.lst” which looks like this:
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda2 ro noapic
Leave all the “#” in place as those parts should not be read by grub but by “automagic” which runs after each kernel update. The part which really makes grub boot the kernel looks like this:
Installing Vista did of course (and not surprisingly) overwrite the MBR so I couldn’t boot into Ubuntu anymore. I took this as an excuse for doing a clean Linux install and decided to go for Debian Etch. I downloaded a weekly snapshot from here, to be precise “debian-testing-amd64-kde-CD-1.iso”. You don’t need to download more than the first CD iso depending on your preferred desktop. Choosing the default “CD-1.iso” will leave you with Gnome as desktop. But you may change your mind later on and install one or the other desktop environment. OK, so download one of the “CD-1″.iso’s, burn it to CD and boot it!