Ok, so because someone more Evil than Seitan sent me a set of Debian install disks, and I am easily swayed, I ended up putting the system on my desktop machine. It replaced a seriously updated Red Hat 7.2 + Ximian Gnome install (and despite what the support pages say, Ximian works fine with the current[ish] Debian). I'd used ext3 for the linux partitions with Red Hat, and Debian reads 'em fine, but isn't using the journaling info since they're currently mounted as ext2. The default kernel doesn't have ext3 support compiled in.
Lost most of the readership with the first sentence, didn't I?
Anyhow, am getting the 2.4.19 source and headers using all-the-rumors-are-true dselect, and will actually be following the simple, clear instructions from Debian Reference
Chapter 7 - The Linux kernel under Debian. Instead of my usual, I don't need no stinkin' docs method of screwing up my system. Wacky idea, I know.
The really, truly important bit is:
cp /boot/config-2.4.18-386 .config # get current config as default
Never did that before with a new kernel, meaning I always ended up setting every friggin' option in a (usually unsuccessful) attempt to re-create the current config with whatever new feature I was looking to include. Supposedly, doing it this way, I only gots to turn on ext3, ignore everything else (meaning less chance of, say, losing the ability connect to the 'net, which yes, I've done in the past, because I Am Dumb), and let make-kpkg clean do it's thing, and be all set.
But I'm making a boot floppy just in case.
And I'm still wondering why my BIOS now thinks lilo is a virus, and warns me whenever I try to start either Linux or Windows, when it ignored such things under Red Hat. . .
And obviously, I write and post this before the attempt, in case I lose the ability to connect to the 'net. And because, like everyone else, I always say I'm going to fully document this sort of thing for posterity/next time I do an install, and never, ever do.
Although someone more Crueler than Cruella claims he'll be doing just that with the refurb laptop.
Update: Yep, I'd say the link to Lesbian GNU/Linux proves my characterization of the man as more Cooler than Jesus.
Update II: Or, if I'd just scrolled down further, I would have seen that I don't need to recompile at all. Did I mention that I Am Dumb? Ah well, since I also turned on ACPI support, guess it's not a complete loss. . .