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Linux Install Error & FreeBSD Hang

Posted on 2000-02-14
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Installing linux & FreeBSD separately on the same 486DX2-50, 8M RAM, 2.8G HD, AIBIOS, sound blaster clone, both fail as follows.

1. FreeBSD reaches message: "Copying the boot floppy to /stand on root filesystem", then says "Starting an emergency holographic shell".  It goes on to read 35K in 1st block of /bin and stalls.  Progress display at 0%

2. SuSE Linux will install a single package without displaying progress.  Before starting the next package it stops installing w/ error messages: "An error occurred during installation!",
and on the ALT4 screen it says:
"Program Aborted!
ERROR: open output file, DETAIL 0, FILE: SystemCmd.cc, LINE: 530, YaST Return Code is 256 (errno=4)".

However, I can install them one-by-one!
 
SuSE linux can install with 4M RAM, FreeBSD with 5M RAM.

I removed the HD and put it into second machine, loaded both systems on that machine, then put the drive back in the 1st machine to see what happened.  Linux and FreeBSD ran, and would update.  I just cannot install!

The 2nd machine has 12M RAM, and still gives a "cannot allocate memory" error while installing.  Machine 1 has 8M RAM, machine 2 has 12M RAM.  Have changed every BIOS setting.
 
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Question by:test2654
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Author Comment

by:test2654
ID: 2528656
Adjusted points to 70
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Accepted Solution

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freesource earned 210 total points
ID: 2586569
This problem is related to only having 8MB of memory.  There was a time when this was sufficient for an installation, but these days that is pretty minimal.  Installation disks perform their magic in the memory, so behavior like this is not surprising.  The ability to install packages one by one, but not in one large operation confirms this.
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Author Comment

by:test2654
ID: 2588323
Docs for linux & FreeBSD are not correct.  See note below.

This was a  recent change and the docs don't always keep up with a moving
target.  I've been running FreeBSD on that '386 with 8M for years--it was
once my main mail server. :-)  I believe you can still run FreeBSD in less
RAM, but the installation stuff wants 12M.  So if you were in a crunch,
you could perhaps temporarily loan enough RAM to do the install, then go
back down to 8M to run the system.

Ken
ken@bolingbroke.com
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