Can I make a Debian bootcd containing ONLY the Partitioner?

If none of the more specific forums is the right place to ask

Can I make a Debian bootcd containing ONLY the Partitioner?

Postby arrenlex » 2005-08-26 06:43

*background info, can be safely skipped*
I use qemu emulator a lot on my debian system to emulate Windows 95 when I need it to test windows-only programs and am too lazy to reboot into winXP. However, rather than installing programs on my main win95 image, I make little 50mb images and plug them in as hdb, hdc, etc when I need them. The problem is that qemu images are created completely blank; windows doesn't even see them until they're partitioned. The Debian partitioner is the only program I know of that can successfully see and partition these images.

*problem info, can be safely skipped*
So here's my problem. To work with a qemu image, I have to insert the debian CD .iso as the cdrom and boot from it, sit on my thumb while it detects my CD, detects my hardware, sets up networking, etc. until it finally gets to the partitioner and I can do what I want to do.

*the point*
This is a time-consuming process and patience is a virtue I do not posess. Is there any way to create a bootable CD which only contains the debian partitioner and goes right into it when booted from? Does such a thing exist or do I have to make it myself? Is it possible?

Thank you! Please keep in mind that I'm still pretty much a newbie to Linux and can't do any programming, so no source code modifications or Einstein-oriented instructions please!
arrenlex
 

Postby phaeton » 2005-08-26 11:26

I have to admit that I'm not completely sure what you're trying to do. That said, I'll try to help.

Have you tried using cfdisk? I think you have to be root to run it.
Open a terminal and type su, then the root password when prompted. Then type cfdisk to run the program.
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I need to make a bootable CD from it.

Postby arrenlex » 2005-08-26 23:20

Here, I'll try to simplify the scenario.

I have a computer with a completely blank, unpartitioned hard drive.

For a variety of reasons, the partitioner in the debian installer is the only program that can read and partition the disk.

I do not want to install Debian on this box. Thus I have to pop the debian CD in, wait for all the useless hardware scans and networking to get set up, before the partitioner opens up and I can partition the drive like I want.

What I want to do is to have a CD that I can pop into a blank computer, have the computer boot from it INTO the debian partitioner, do the partitioning that I want, and reboot.

I don't want to install debian. I don't want the rest of the installer, only the partitioner. Can I CREATE a custom bootable CD that includes only the partitioner?
arrenlex
 

Postby anon » 2005-08-26 23:36

I belive the installer uses parted, it's available in knoppix, mepis and other live cd's.
anon
 

Finding it isn't the problem.

Postby arrenlex » 2005-08-27 01:28

It might well exist in other locations; finding a copy to use isn't the issue. I want to separate it from everything else it comes with and use it alone, without waiting for all the other things.
arrenlex
 

Postby phaeton » 2005-08-27 12:58

It sounds like you just want a "rescue disk" of some type. Have you looked at this:
http://www.sysresccd.org/

If you search the web a bit, there a several howtos on making your own rescue disk.

*disclaimer*
I've never uses the resue disk from the above site, so I have no idea how well it performs.
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It takes even longer!

Postby arrenlex » 2005-08-27 23:01

Unfortunately, the span of time from popping the CD in the CD-drive to being able to partition the hard disk with it it is actually LONGER with the RescueCD from that site than with the debian install CD. We're going backwards! The idea is to be able to use something quick to do the job. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
arrenlex
 

Postby phaeton » 2005-08-28 00:10

Well, it was worth a try. They are various howtos on creating a custom rescue CD that you could look into.

Most options will take a bit to boot because it has to load modules for all the file systems and hardware so it can partition the disk.
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Postby anon » 2005-09-05 16:24

I didn't really read you full post when I answered and now that I did I'm non the wiser; are you creating small partitions on your hd to be used with qemu and then wiping and recreating them when you need another one? Why not just re-use the one you have and create a new filesystem on it if you really want to make sure it's completely wiped? I also belive there's an option to force a reread of the partition table if it could save you the need for a reboot.
Another option if you really need a live cd would be to use the debian install cd but loo up the cheat codes to disable hotplug and use the expert (expert26) option to jump to the partitioner as early as possible.
anon
 

Postby arrenlex » 2005-09-16 03:39

I like to keep my extra qemu partitions the size I need and no larger. If a program says it needs 20 MB to install, I'll make a 25 MB partition; if it says it needs 100 I'll make a 105 MB partition for it, and so on. I can't use the same file over and over because it'll be too big for some programs and too small for others.

I've tried the expert option. Unfortunately, because it asks lots of questions about loading modules and other such useless things, it doesn't cut down at all on the time it takes to get to the partitioner.

What do you mean, 'cheat codes' for the debian installer?

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Thank you for your help.
arrenlex
 

Postby dawgie » 2005-09-17 11:15

I also use systemrescue
Another option is a system called Partition logic. It runs from a floppy,
http://visopsys.org/partlogic/
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