TorgotonI'm doing a netboot install, low memory mode; being asked to select Installer components to load. Do I really need any of these, like nic-pcmcia-modules, or ide-modules?05:09
cjwatsonTorgoton: depends on your system; if you don't have a PCMCIA network card you don't need nic-pcmcia-modules; if you don't have an IDE hard disk (one that doesn't show up as (P|S)ATA nowadays; there are still a few) then you don't need ide-modules11:26
TorgotonThanks, cjwatson, but I selected those two since I am using a PCMCIA NIC and I wasn't sure about the latter. Right now it says Loading additional components; 45%; Retrieving partman-base.14:08
TorgotonIt's bad when the last log message (tty4) is over nine hours old, right?14:29
cjwatsonprobably means it's run out of memory15:13
cjwatson(at a guess)15:13
TorgotonIndeed. Out of memory was one of the last messages, killing tar I think was the last.15:15
TorgotonOh... netboot runs out of memory because it has to decompress everything it downloads, so that's why it's incompatible with such an old, 36MB-having machine, right?15:18
cjwatsonthe CD initrd has to load stuff into memory too ...15:22
TorgotonIs the bare minimum 32MB not valid any more?15:22
cjwatsonyour best bet is probably to try to set up a swap partition early (on a disk you aren't going to partition if possible; otherwise you'll have a little dance to swapoff while it rereads the partition table)15:23
cjwatsonyou didn't mention which release you were using ...15:23
Torgoton8.04 LTS15:23
cjwatsonI'd have to check, though. It does fluctuate up and down a bit, and lowmem is a difficult area for the installer15:23
TorgotonI can set up partitions before the install.15:23
cjwatsonI have done 32MB installations, but they can take a bit of hackery15:23
TorgotonSo not a tested, supported, just works(TM) kind of thing any more, alas.15:24
TorgotonMaybe I'll try 6.04 again.15:24
cjwatson32MB installations have never been well-tested on Ubuntu15:24
cjwatsonlargely because we don't expect the OS to work especially well after installation with that little memory, even if the installer works15:25
cjwatsonI mean, it's probably possible, but you're talking something fairly cut-down, probably removing a number of "just works" type things15:25
cjwatsonI would like to fix this problem of course, on general principles; I wouldn't be able to justify changing 8.04 for it though15:26
cjwatsonI'll see if I can arrange for it to work properly in 9.0415:26
Torgotonhahahaa that would be awesome.15:26
TorgotonI am on the installer mailing list, and would be happy to run tests on this old beast.15:26
Torgotonand I am a software developer; familiar with very low-level code, but I haven't done x86 assembly in a long time.15:27
cjwatsonthe installer involves almost no assembly15:27
Torgotonand never dug into the Linux kernel or drivers... yet.15:27
cjwatsonit's largely in C and shell15:27
TorgotonC and I go way back.15:27
cjwatsonthe worst long-standing problem with low-memory installations is localedef15:28
cjwatsonto generate a UTF-8 locale, it requires about 50MB of working set15:28
cjwatsonnow, this is after swap is up, but still, it'll thrash a small box to death15:28
cjwatsonI've been working on and off (largely on boring train journeys and the like) on some optimisations for this, but haven't quite managed to preserve correctness yet, which is sort of key ;-)15:29
cjwatsonI think I can shave 50% off without too much trouble once I figure out where the stupid bug is15:29
TorgotonIt could probably use some optimization, but I imagine there's quite a learning cliff to get into that...15:29
cjwatsonlocaledef is really, really hairy15:29
cjwatsonnot at all simple to optimise15:30
TorgotonI had an issue with a customer not getting proper printout of some Chinese characters (on a Windows 2000 system)... turns out the font my client shipped with the product so many years ago just didn't have those gyphs defined, so I have dabbled with UTF-8 just enough to know how hairy it can become.15:31
Torgotonand that's just the standard, not nearly-working code.15:32
cjwatsonin outline localedef's memory consumption is because it allocates structures to represent each codepoint, without any way to collapse ranges of codepoints with identical properties15:32
cjwatsonand it does fairly legitimately need to do it all up-front and then figure out what the output should be, rather than being able to stream it15:33
Torgotonunderstanding what it does doesn't help in understanding why... :)15:33
cjwatsonthe POSIX locale specification helps there15:33
TorgotonI bet15:34
TorgotonWhat's the best way for me to help?15:35
cjwatsonlocaledef is probably a one-man job, but I'm pretty sure there's work to be done on lowmem in general by somebody who cares about it; start by reading the links from http://wiki.ubuntu.com/InstallerDevelopment on how the installer's put together, and then start scratching your itches ...15:42
cjwatson(not that I get on with ESR in general but he's right in this case)15:43
cjwatsonInstallerDevelopment has links to how to get source code for things15:43
Torgotonjust because someone is... the way they are, doesn't mean they are always wrong.15:43
TorgotonExcellent. I'll start there.15:44
cjwatsongood patches in bug reports are like gold dust :-)15:44
cjwatson(or branches pushed for us to merge, if you prefer that)15:44
Torgotonbaby steps15:44
cjwatsonlowmem has some memory thresholds defined in it, which I try to update every so often, but often forget15:45
cjwatsonthat could use a maintainer who's testing the proper figures for Ubuntu15:45
cjwatsonI think of late I've just been merging the Debian changes to it, which probably don't quite apply here since this is all quite sensitive to things like kernel module layout15:46
TorgotonI'm not sure what I can promise.15:46
* cjwatson nods15:46
cjwatsonI have to do what my boss wants first, other things are luxuries :)15:46
TorgotonSpeaking of, I have to make up hours from the Inauguration.15:47
Torgoton(Fixing my functional tests on a Rails project...)15:47
techguy97Hello everyone... I need some tech help with installing 8.10 on a Compaq Desktop that keeps hanging during the install.19:31

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