Saturday, November 15, 2008

Native Haiku install on EeePC 901?

This is something I've been considering for a week or two and which I've been discussing in the Senryu forum (posts between 31-10-2008 and 11-11-2008)

As you'll see in these posts my efforts were thwarted by my inability to get the Haiku tool DriveSetUp to see my added physical partition for reasons which I still don't understand. I have tried this partition formatted to ext2, ntfs, fat16 and fat32 but it is still not seen by DriveSetUp.
So, I decided to go the dd route and copy the Haiku image to my partition on the EeePC (/dev/sdb4) which is 2 GB in size. Because I couldn't get DriveSetUp to recognize my partition I was unable to use the format facility in DriveSetUp to format the partition to BeFS.
However, I understand that by dd-ing the Haiku image to my partition, the partition will automatically be formatted to BeFS. This is good, if true, as I cannot find any other means of formatting a disk/partition to BeFS.
I then downloaded a RAW (meaning not a VM) Haiku image from here and used this command to copy it over to /dev/sdb4

dd if=/home/paul/haiku-alpha.image of=/dev/sdb4

The image was about 400MB and after about 35 seconds, a message showed up saying that 400MB were successfully copied in 34 seconds.
Now prior to copying the image across, I formatted the partition to FAT32 and mounted it as /media/sdb4.
This showed clearly in Gparted as FAT32 formatted.
However, after the transfer, Gparted showed the FS in this partition as unknown and gave very low values for the "used" space on the partition. This is very similar to what I've seen with the FreeBSD partition on the Dell Desktop HDD where the FS is unknown and no used space at all is identified.
Also, typing "df -h" in a terminal shows this partition to be almost unused. Also, when I try to mount it in a terminal (VFAT is the FS used in /etc/fstab for this partition), it gives an error complaining about the wrong FS.
So, everything points to the FS having changed (BeFS??) or been corrupted.
OK, so time to see if it would boot. I added this to the /boot/grub/menu.lst in /dev/sda1 (Xandros)
title Haiku
root (hd1,3) #corresponding to /dev/sdb
chainloader +1

Then I rebooted, but selecting Haiku only gave
Failed to load OS. Press any key to reboot....

Pressing any key in practise did nothing so I had to hard reboot.
Looks like my partition is just not bootable and I can't use the Grub in the MBR as I don't have the kernel and initrd.img files for Haiku (if they exist at all).
Now once again my inability to access this partition from the Senryu VM means I'm unable to use the BeOS makebootable command which apparently would have solved all my problems.
Nevertheless, it seems that if I can build my Haiku image from source it should be automatically bootable. So, I'm going to use this guide to build the image directly in my special partition as described here.
We'll see how that goes although I have a feeling this is not going to be particularly easy if, indeed, it is at all possible.

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