A close shave: Debian Etch floppy images

That was close. I didn’t realize that Debian’s latest release would eclipse Etch, and remove most every reference to the old installer structure from the main servers and mirrors. It’s only really important to weird people like me, who consider the floppy installers to be an excellent tool.

I kept copies of the boot.img, root.img and other floppies around because occasionally I still used them to build systems, skipping from Etch to stable or even testing. There are machines that still work, that don’t have a CDROM at all — this being one of them.

But when my disk jammed in the old Celeron machine, I lost my only copy of the boot.img disk, and this morning I realized that image isn’t around any more. And yes, the irony of that happening on the sixth-month anniversary of celebrating them is not lost on me.

Luckily I found an old, out-of-date repository here. Searching for directory tree structure “/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/floppy” did the trick. Of course, searching for “boot.img” would just be pointless. … :roll:

My fear now is that I haven’t needed or tried using those floppies in a long time, and it’s possible that the expiration of Etch means that there are no repositories for the floppy install to download from. So maybe it’s pointless to keep them around. That would be the way my luck would work.

But for the future, and in the odd case that they’re still usable and still needed, I’ll upload a copy here. Trim off the .doc extension and decompress, and maybe they’ll be useful somehow. :|

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5 Responses to “A close shave: Debian Etch floppy images”


  1. 1 JP Senior 2010/07/22 at 10:26 AM

    Pxe boot is always a handy ally in this situation but cannot be relied on without much preparation. My lab network has a few tftp server images and dhcpd network for just such an occasion.

    I’ve been a fan of the debian netinstall image for my older, broken, proprietary-network-driver systems.

    I have to admit though my old 486dx2 laptop hasn’t ever been upgraded… No cdrom and a barely functioning floppy drive. Woe was me!

  2. 2 johnraff 2010/07/23 at 1:14 PM

    There are still Debian repositories available at http://archive.debian.org/debian/dists/
    You have to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file that the installer puts in to point at them. See this page:
    http://www.debian.org/distrib/archive
    for a bit more info.

    (I discovered this trying to install Woody.)


  1. 1 A close shave: Debian Etch floppy images | Debian-News.net - Your one stop for news about Debian Trackback on 2010/07/30 at 1:59 AM
  2. 2 In praise of floppies « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/09/30 at 9:58 AM

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