1. Setting up the filesystems

You will need to boot a linux capable of internet access and creating/mounting ext2 partitions. I recommend tomsrtbt linux which fits nicely onto a floppy and although a bit old will work well.

Once in linux, you will need to create the partitions with fdisk. If you need to reboot, you will be notified. Make sure your partitions are not more than 2gig, or not even close. I learned this the hard way. This is for version 9-17-2004, newer versions should not have this problem.

Assuming your root partition is on the first partition of the primary master run:

mke2fs -o hurd /dev/hda1

If you do not have enough memory to do this, you will need to create a swap partition using mkswap and enable it with swapon before running mke2fs.

2. Getting online

Now you will need to get online to download the needed base system. To do this check to see if you are already online.

If not, check the network by issuing ifconfig. If you have a device but it is not listed correctly, refer to the documentation on ifconfig to set it correctly. Even if you have dhcp you can usually issue a static ip that is in the correct range. An example may read:

ifconfig eth0 up netmask

Now setup the default gateway replace with your gateway

route add default gw

you may need to issue "route del default" a few times to remove incorrect routings.

Now just edit /etc/resolv.conf and put in your nameserver and you should be set.

3. Downloading the tar

Mount the filesystem to a directory (/mnt works) and cd to this directory.

Download the latest tar of the debian system http://eu.hurd.gnuab.org/pub/debian/base/ or another working link, the file will probably be in the format: debian-gnu-hurd-yyyy.mm.dd.tar.gz

use wget for the full path

now assuming tomsrtbt linux issue:

gzip -d<debian-gnu-hurd-yyyy.mm.dd.tar.gz|tar -xvf -

replacing yyyy.mm.dd appropriately

4. Configuring GRUB

Download the floppy image of grub with ext2fs support to a temporary directory, it can be found here: ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/ write it to a blank floppy

dd if=image of=/dev/fd0

now mount the floppy and copy the files to your partition

mount /dev/fd0 /fl
cd /fl/boot
cp -R grub /mnt/boot

you may also wish to put my menu.lst file in your grub directory which can be obtained here ftp://firethroat.com/hurd/menu.lst you will need to edit it to include a -s at the end of the line starting with kernel. Be sure modify the partition numbers, my system is using the third partition of the second harddrive.

More detailed samples for GRUB config files can be found at the GRUB page.

To install grub reboot using the grub floppy and issue:

root (hd1,2)
setup (hd0)

this will use the grub installed on the third partition of the second harddrive and install it to the master boot record of the first hard drive.

Now reboot without the floppy, be sure to use the option -s at the end of the grub line starting with kernel= to start in single user mode.

5. Booting GNU

You should have booted the kernel now, check output to see if it detects your network card. My smc card did not work so I switched to a 3com card.

6. Final notes

Be sure to issue

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Before running x run the console

console -d vga -d pc_kbd --repeat=kbd -c /dev/cons /dev/vcs

This forwards the keyboard device so x can use it. It also gives you 6 virtual terminals. I have had problems using it to forward the mouse, the system would lock. To exit issue ctrl+alt+backspace

To get a sample XF86Config-4 issue:

X -configure

My file is available ftp://firethroat.com/hurd/XF86Config-4 but it uses a serial mouse. You can use settrans to get mouse input (this is the prefered method) or accessing it directly works.

7. Works Cited - Referenced Materials

Grub Install Guide

tomsrtbt linux a general purpose linux distribution on 1 floppy.

A lot of help in the chat room IRC.


The license for this info work is under the GNU GPL. However, in the Hurd Wiki license all content under the GNU FDL. (Unless the topic is mostly code or otherwise stated in the text.)

-- ?SeanDEpagnier - 25 Dec 2004