original language: english
last update: 13/11/2000

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Booting

    1. From Windows, DemoLinux doesn't boot when I clic on go640.bat (or go800.bat or go1024.bat)

    You have a compatibility problem between the configuration of your CD reader on DOS and on Windows, or your CD reader is not configured under DOS. Try another way of booting DemoLinux.

    2. DemoLinux starts to boot but stops when detecting some hardware (USB, PCMCIA, PCI cards ...)

    You have some hardware that is not properly handled by the kernel in your version of DemoLinux. Try to boot adding on the command line some options to disable the detection of the problematic hardware. These options are detailed and described on the third screen available pressing the F3 key at boot. Typically, you will find something like:

    • nopcmcia skip pcmcia detection
    • nousb skip usb detection
    • nomodem skip modem detection
    • nosound skip sound card detection

    3. My machine has 512Mb of RAM, but DemoLinux only sees 64Mb.

    Add the option mem=512M at boot.

  2. Graphics

    1. DemoLinux boots, but never reach graphic mode. Instead of that, it oscillates between a black screen and error messages...

    Your graphic card is not supported. Read the manual to find a solution.

    2. You are using DemoLinux 2.0 on a i810 machine.

    Depending on the version, the device needed to boot in graphic mode may be absent or corrupted. If booting using an svga mode (1024svga, 800svga or 640svga) fails, then do the following:

    • boot using an svga mode, but without launching X. For example:
      boot: 1024svga 3
      brings the system up in text mode, but with all X files ready for 1024x768.
    • log as root, with no password
    • type
      mknod /dev/agpgart c 10 175
      this will create the missing device
    • launch X, with the command
      init 2
  3. Network configuration

    1. DemoLinux 2.0 boots, I tell it that there is a DHCP server running, but once booted, the network is not configured at all...

    Depending on the version, DemoLinux 2.0 may refuse to use the DHCP server information on a machine whose network card is not a PCMCIA card. If this is your case, there is a quick fix:

    • boot normally, say yes to DHCP
    • press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get a text login screen
    • log in as root (no password)
    • run the dhcp client by hand, typing
    • log off from the root account
    • go back to the graphical display by typing Ctrl-F7
    Now the network should be running.

  4. Professional support

    1. I want to develop a custom version of DemoLinux. Where can I find the necessary instructions for making Linux bootable CDs?

    DemoLinux is a modern evolution of what is known as a Live File System. General instructions on how to make a Live File System are available in many places(like LinuxGazette), but we would like to recommend the excellent HOWTO by Hans de Goede as a reference.

    You may not know it, but you already have all the sources, under GPL licence, of what we did write or modify: they are available in the /misc directory for 1.0 CDs and in the /.demolinux/sources directory for 2.0 CDs, so we did nothing to prevent you from reproducing (with due credits) our work, and you could try to do it yourself again.

    Nevertheless, it would be far from honest to promise you that without a reasonable deep knowledge of the Linux system, as well as configuration and customization of a distribution, you will be able in a week-end to make a DemoLinux CD: it is simply not that easy, despite our effort to simplify the structure of the system going from 1.0 to 2.0.

    We are working on a whitepaper on how DemoLinux 3.0 is organised and what is needed to rebuild one, BUT please understand that, apart from the archives of the mailing list accessible from the home page, we cannot provide professional support to anybody willing to modify/rebuild/adapt DemoLinux to their specific purposes: it is too wide a subject and too time consuming for people living in Academia.

    Anyway, we really did want to provide an accessible solution to anybody willing to customize DemoLinux, be it to show off a commercial product, to create Demo CDs for special events, to propose a live support for Linux courses and the like. This is why we had set up a partnership with Linbox, a French based software and hardware company specialising in Linux-based information systems. They knew how to build a custom DemoLinux system to your specification, with reasonable delays and the quality level you may expect, and they are not specifically bound to a given distribution, so you could expect them to answer positively a request to create a DemoLinux based on distribution XYZ, while this openness would probably be less evident if we had chosen an established distribution editor as a partner.

    You may contact Linbox about custom DemoLinux at info@-removethis-linbox.com.

    Nevertheless, Linbox has undergone recently a serious restructuration, so in the case you do not get from them a fast and satisfactory answer, please make sure to post your request for professional support on the DemoLinuxDev mailing list accessible from our website.
  5. DemoLinux on a Mac?

    DemoLinux can now run on a Mac! Renzo Davoli made a few modifications to allow DemoLinux to boot properly in VirtualPC. His new boot floppy will be available from the ftp site, with instructions on how to boot. This very same floppy can be used on PCs whose broken BIOS cannot show the splash screen.