Installation pains - Free Geek Chicago

I volunteered at Free Geek Chicago again on Sunday, and spent much of my day trying to get Xubuntu Feisty Fawn to install on some rather unique hardware. It didn’t go so well.

The machine in question was a PII with 256mb of RAM, and two SCSI hard drives - one 8gb and one 4gb in size. I tried to set up an LVM installation, but the installer hung after it had completed 85% of the software installation. So I also tried manual partitioning, setting up the root partition on the 4gb drive, and boot, home, and swap partitions on the 8gb drive. It hung at 85%, too. Even trying to do a command-line installation hung at 85%.

With frustration mounting, we just switched over to a new computer. I knew there had to be a way to view what was causing the install to hang, so I asked the folks in #ubuntu-iso what I could do to see these error messages. I talked the issue over with Stephane Graber, and he suggested that I check out some of the install messages in /var/log by pressing ctrl-alt-f2 and getting to run level 2 once the installation had hung.

I’m going to do that the next time I’m at Free Geek Chicago. If anything, I’d like to at least get a good bug report out of this. I haven’t done too much testing of SCSI drives, and also haven’t done to much LVM testing, so I think I might try and add that to my testing repertoire on this release cycle. I’m even going to trade in my standard PII testing box (which runs just fine, thank you) for this SCSI beast (assuming it has no hardware issues).