Yesterday was my birthday, and it was full of cookies, pies, magical pixie dust and things made entirely of sugar and spice!
The remainder of the day was spent re-installing Debian Lenny upon my EEE PC - Somehow I managed to completely screw the system.
Because the EEE PC is one of those ultra-portable machines I mostly used it when I was travelling, or outdoors. That mean I was generally receiving poor connectivity and the system packages weren't up to date.
While I was in bed I figured I'd dist-upgrade it to the recently released Lenny. Unfortunately I started the dist-upgrade inside X.org, once I realised this I figured I'd cancel the operation via Ctrl-c.
Bad news everbody: I think I was unlucky enough to interrupt an upgrade of libc, or something equally critical. Every single application gave segfaults afterward.
I had two open root terminals and I could navigate around via cd .., and "echo *", but all other commands such as sudo, dpkg, strace just gave segfaults. (Even static commands gave errors - so it might have been the dynamic loader that was borked, I admit I didn't look too closely.)
I figured reinstalling would be a good solution since the machine has a 4Gb root partition and /home was stored on a separate 16Gb volume. Unfortunately I managed to misjudge the installer's partitioning step and nuke the partition table on the external volume so I ended up losing the whole system.
Happily reinstallation was a breeze as my home network is setup to allow installation via PXE network booting (at some point I should document NFS-root PXE-booting). It took me longer to fiddle with the BIOS on the EEE PC to allow network booting than it did to complete a minimal install. Which I guess is good.
I still need to restore my backup of /home/, but that can wait a few days. Right now I'm loathe to touch the machine at all - although I did distract myself by getting KVM to PXE boot:
# create 4gb disk image
dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/img.img bs=1024 count=4096k
# launch KVM
sudo kvm -no-acpi
-boot n -tftp /var/lib/tftpboot/ -bootp /pxelinux.0
-net nic,macaddr=00:0E:35:be:de:ad -net user
It seems that KVM wants to have access to the local TFTP root directory so I just pointed it at that. Since my desktop machine is also my TFTP + DHCP host that works out nicely. (A quick scan of the manual suggests that QEMU/KVM has funky built-in TFTP code, so it doesn't actually forward TFTP requests over the network.)
DHCP requests were certainly passed around as expected though and were answered via my local dnsmasq installation. I did see errors at every DHCP request in syslog, but they seemed harmleess enough:
gold dnsmasq: no address range available for DHCP request via qemu0
ObFilm: Never Been Kissed.
Tags: birthday, dnsmasq, eee pc, lenny, pxe