First up, I've posted this in the "...and any other methods" section because I'm open to all suggestions, since I don't seem to be getting anywhere with what I've tried up to this point.
What I'm trying to do: try out a Linux distro (Moblin).
Estimated difficulty: Piece of cake.
Actual difficulty: Impossible!
Up until now, I've...
- Tried burning two CDs which both failed (one won't even boot and the other causes the kernel to complain about corrupt sectors) - looks like my CD burner is on the fritz (as the ISO md5sum checks out)
- Tried booting the (live) ISO file in various VMs:
- qemu is too slow (single-core P4 FTL)
- VirtualBox's virtual CPU doesn't support PAE and the 2.6.29 kernel Moblin comes with has PAE compiled in, and
- VMware Player (I found a VMware VMX/VMDK of a beta of a slightly older release) seems to boot to a blank X desktop and hang - checking htop shows that vmware's using pretty much zero CPU - but since the VMware files weren't supplied with md5sums to check I don't know if the files were corrupt. They were in a bz2 which extracted without errors, so...
- Don't even get me started on Xen. Let's just say I don't want to drive myself insane.
So right now I have the ISO file of the latest version (which is 670MB) stashed on my server since my desktop has so little diskspace on it (2GB FTL) and the VMDK and raw image files of the older beta version on my desktop.
Said desktop currently has 512MB RAM (and while that has its ups and downs, for the most part I cope ;P) and I've been trying to boot the 1.5GB disk image directly on it. I know this image includes an MBR and partition table. Here's what parted says about the file (yes, it's in /var because I have some space there ):
GNU Parted 1.8.8 Using /var/moblin.img Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands. (parted) print Model: (file) Disk /var/moblin.img: 1573MB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: msdos Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 512B 1500MB 1500MB primary ext3 (parted)
All I've tried at this point is using GRUB4DOS to map the file to (hd0) so I can treat it like a real hard disk, but that doesn't work - without the --mem option, GRUB hangs (num lock won't toggle, I don't even have a cursor!), and with --mem, well, GRUB complains I don't have enough memory.
I've posted here because I'm outta ideas. Any suggestions (that don't involve buying new hard disks or RAM) will be appreciated.
I have 1.5GB left in / so I can pretty easily copy the CD ISO from my server back to my desktop and try and boot that as well, if you have any ideas on how I'd try that.