An activity I don’t miss from my university days: setting up a Linux dev box and/or partition. Ubuntu 9.10’s install wizard reminded me again when it recognizes no partitions yet the computer’s BIOS did.

Install Linux, Problem (Not) Solved

At work, we decided to get away from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (which would seriously take over two minutes to boot) and test out Ubuntu on a development box. However, the 9.10 installer was decidedly uncooperative. Firstly, it booted to a screen of garbled colours since the setup uses generic drivers and I had dual Dell 1907FPV monitors. The simple fix was to disconnect one of the monitors and install NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers for a GeForce 6800 after installation had completed.

The real showstopper came at step 4 of 7 for setting up the partitions where the above disabled screen appeared. The only selectable option is to click “Forward”, which provides this dialog error message:

No root file system is defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu.

Setup wasn’t recognizing the hard drive and playing with BIOS settings didn’t help. This machine didn’t require obscure drivers since it has an Intel; 82945G Express Chipset (mobo) and ATA Maxtor 7L250S0 250gb (hd)

Remove dmraid

The solution was to quit the installer, which then automatically boots into a mounted Ubuntu preview, and from the top menu select Application » Terminal, typing:

sudo apt-get remove dmraid

Running the installation from within Ubuntu now allowed setup to recognize my existing partitions for reconfiguration. The rest of the steps were relatively painless, aside from a file copy hiccup at 70% due to a DVD-R thumbprint (of course you can’t umount within the installation to eject the disc, clean, and insert back into to try again… so I had to start that whole install process again.)

NFS mount wants in on the troubleshooting action

When it came time to add a local NFS, inserting its entry to /etc/fstab and attempting the mount gave error message:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on ioyserver:/ioyhome, missing codepage or helper program, or other error (for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might need a /sbin/mount. helper program) In some cases useful info is found in syslog – try dmesg | tail or so

Nope, not enabled out-of-the-box, so I had to run:

sudo apt-get install nfs-common

Using Synaptic Package Manager to retrieve all the software development tools was a well-done process, so it must be the year of the Linux desktop!