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Re: amd64 installation images

Goswin von Brederlow [u] wrote on 06/09/2004 21:04:

Sven Mueller <sm+debian@leogic.com> writes:

I am planning to deploy the amd64/pure64 version of Debian on a new
system. However while investigating the netinst images at
I noticed that the initrd misses something I would need in there: the
3ware 3w-xxxx.ko and/or 3w-9xxx.ko kernel modules.

Would it be possible to add those to the initrd? It seems that the
3ware 9000 series is pretty popular among AMD64 users.

The netboot images have no disk or cdrom drivers at all and don't need
any. They are ment for pure network installs and download exra modules
over the net.

Hm? I'm sorry I don't really understand what you say. Or at least I'm not certain I do. How do the netboot images work, if they don't have any cdrom drivers?
1) If they don't access the cdrom itself (apart from loading the initrd
   perhaps), why do the images include any packages at all? If what you
   said is correct, those packages can't be accessed, so they would be
   a waste of storage.
2) How do they store whatever they load of the net? In a ramdisc?

I must admit I never dissected any netboot image before, and I obviously can't try the amd64 image yet, since I don't have the hardware yet. But I am eager to learn, so what is the mechanism behind the netboot images? What do they load to which destination during each step of the boot and installation process?

If I get the idea correctly, this is what happens basically:
1) kernel and initrd get loaded
2) modules from initrd are loaded as far as they are needed to get
   additional software (packages, modules) from the net.
3) the installer starts and loads any modules needed to do the
   install (SCSI/SATA/PATA/whatever drivers primarily) from the net
4) destination media get's partitioned and mounted
5) the real installation starts

Is that more or less right?


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