|I’m just thinking about it, I never tried that.
You’re acting from remote, ok? So you can
0. install the debian you want on a local hard drive and tar it
1. ssh into the remote server
2. resize the hard drive of the remote server
3. partition it
4. mount the partition
5. upload the tar you made before and unpack it into the partition
6. configure the debian inside the partition (the /dev filesystem, the configuration files, and so on)
7. mark the partition as bootable
8. install lilo by using the config file of the new debian (check the relative paths)
9. then reboot from remote?
IF everything goes smoothly at reboot the debian partition will be the bootable one and will start, and IF you managed to configure everything well (network, and such) you’re set.
I think it can be done, but it has to be VERY carefully planned, especially if you don’t want to scare the sysadmins of the colocation with the ‘beep’ of the server rebooting 🙂
issues: you could have used chroot, but I don’t know if a remote chroot breaks the ssh connection or not. If it doesn’t, you’re set. Gotta try it.
let me know at my address [kipple at muug dot it] how it went, or feel free to contact me