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PLIP Install HOWTO: Installing RedHat 6.x Next Previous Contents

15. Installing RedHat 6.x

This section is written by Dr. Tilmann Bubeck, bubeck@think-at-work.de

I tried hard to install a laptop through PLIP with a RedHat 6.2 but the installer from RedHat is buggy and could not be used for PLIP. I verified that it was already broken in RedHat 6.1, but works in RedHat 5.2 as desired. Patches have been sent to RedHat and will hopefully be applied to the upcoming RedHat 7.0.

So if you want to install a RedHat 6.x over PLIP you must follow these instructions.

The problem is the "bootnet" disk. This disk should be used for PLIP installation but has 2 serious errors:

  • it does not contain the necessary driver "parport_pc"
  • it does not allow you to specify important module parameters to "parport_pc" (especially "iobase" and "irq").

15.1 Using a fixed "bootnet" disk

Probably the easiest way to solve the above problem is to use a fixed "bootnet" disk. You can get a fixed "bootnet" disk for RedHat 6.2 from http://www-ti.informatik.uni-tuebingen.de/~bubeck/bootnet-plip-62.img

Use the following command to copy the downloaded image to an empty disk:

dd if=bootnet-plip-62.img of=/dev/fd0.

Then insert the disk and turn your computer on. When you come to the point where you must choose your network device driver please do:

  • 1- Choose "Parallel Port Module for PC" and select "specify module parameters".
  • 2- Enter iobase and interrupt for your parallel port. Typical values are iobase=0x378 or iobase=0x3bc. Interrupt most often is "irq=7".
  • 3- Validate that the kernel loads the module and finds the parallel port. Use ALT+F4 to switch to kernel messages and look for a line saying: "parport: ... irq: 7".
  • 4- The installation will then try to access the network which is still not available. So the installer asks again for the installation method. Choose your method again.
  • 5- Now choose the "plip" module without any parameters. Again verify the loading of the module in the kernel messages.
  • 6- Network should be up and running, installation should proceed. If not, then check the modules parameters to "parport_pc".

15.2 Building your own "bootnet" disk

If the above bootnet disk is not suitable for your needs, I will present a small description of how to transform a standard bootnet disk for using "plip". This description is quite short and is addressed to the advanced user.

  • 1- make a copy of the standard bootnet disk by using "dd".
  • 2- insert this copy of standard bootnet disk and mount it with: mount /dev/fd0 /mnt
  • 3- gunzip initial ramdisk with cp /mnt/initrd.img /tmp/initrd.img.gz; gunzip /tmp/initrd.img.gz
  • 4- Mount initial ramdisk with mkdir /mnt2; mount -o loop /tmp/initrd.img /mnt2
  • 5- gunzip and extract modules directory with: cd /tmp; zcat /mnt2/modules/modules.cgz | cpio -ivd
  • 6- You should now have a directory called with your kernel version number (e.g. "2.2.14-5.0BOOT") containing a lot of modules. Check if the modules "parport_pc.o" is included in this directory (it is unfortunately NOT included in RedHat 6.0-6.2). If you can not find it, then please build a custom kernel with the EXTRAVERSION number like your bootnet disk (in this case: "5.0BOOT") and "parport" support as module. Copy the newly created parport_pc.o module to your new modules directory: cp .../parport_pc.o /tmp/2.2.14-5.0BOOT.
  • 7- delete a normally unused module, so that you have additional space on the disk: rm /tmp/2.2.14-5.0BOOT/sktr.o (driver for token ring network adapter).
  • 8- rebuild modules archive with: find /tmp/2.2.14-5.0BOOT | cpio -ov -H crc | gzip > /mnt2/modules/modules.cgz
  • 9- insert a new modules dependency line into modules.dep saying that module "parport_pc" needs module "parport": echo "parport_pc: parport" >> /mnt2/modules/modules.dep
  • 10- insert entry for parport_pc module into module-info so that the user can select the parport_pc module during installation. Append the following text to the end of /mnt2/modules/module-info:
            "Parallel Port Module for PC"
            io "Base I/O address"
            irq "IRQ level"
  • 11- unmount and gzip initial ramdisk with: umount /mnt2; gzip -9 /tmp/initrd.img
  • 12- copy initial ramdisk to bootnet disk and unmount: cp /tmp/initrd.img.gz /mnt/initrd.img; umount /mnt

By following these instructions, you get a bootnet disk containing all necessary modules and therefore allowing for a PLIP installation. Please follow the instructions elsewhere in this how-to on how to do the installation with the new disk.

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