Coming together for Slackware
#41 Henry, Friday, 29 January 2010 10:51 PM (Category: Hardware)
(Tags: sony vaio c1xs slackware)

In 2003, I bought a Sony Vaio Picturebook C1XS. I struggled to get Slackware on this thing. I got Slackware 9.0 on it, then managed to upgrade it to Slackware 9.1 and there it got stuck.

I've learnt a whole heap of new stuff about Slackware recently, thanks to mfillpott. Armed with this new knowledge, I decided to make the Sony Vaio work again with the latest Slackware and keep it up to date so I could use it again. It has a 12 gig hard disk, which gives me a little more room than the 4 gig SSD in the Asus Netbook I have been talking about.

Matt suggested I use a PXE installation. This Sony is so old, I can't get a PCMCIA network card for it that will support a network boot. I had to find another option.

To get Slackware on the Asus, I created a USB stick as a Slackware installation disk. I couldn't make it work on the Asus, but all the data was there. Maybe I could use it with the Sony?

The problem with the Sony is that you can boot from the CDROM (a special PCMCIA device) but once you've booted, the CDROM is no longer available and you can't get the packages from it. But I have the packages on the USB stick.

I booted from the CDROM, set up my disks, inserted the USB stick, mounted it a new directory (mkdir /usb; mount /dev/sda2 -t auto /usb), and at the option where you can look for a CDROM, I choose the last option - install from an existing directory. I specified /usb and that didn't work, so I specified /usb/slackware (where all the packages are) and there they were and the installation continued.

Awesome. Just awesome. This liitle Sony Vaio will shortly be up and running, and I'll get it to date with Slackware current and it will be a useful little tool again.

Edit: Ran into one small problem. I booted from the Slackware 13.0 CDROM. This sees the hard disk as /dev/hda1. Then I installed from the USB stick which was Slackware current. This sees the hard disk as /dev/sda1. There was a kernel change between 13.0 and current. So at boot, I got a kernel panic. Booted from CDROM again, mounted the hard disk, modified lilo.conf to point root to /dev/sda, ran lilo, then changed fstab to sda1 and sda2. Rebooted. Set lilo.conf so boot=sda, ran lilo again. Perfect. Now to get this thing configured and I am back in business.