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Re: amd64 installation images

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

> 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.

That is the reason that the netboot doesn't contain any packages and
it is only 4MB big.

> 2) How do they store whatever they load of the net? In a ramdisc?

tmpfs or ramdisk depending on the architecture and kernel.

> 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.

Additional software is called a "component" afaik. Those are the
udebs. Some components contain kernel modules like the disk drivers,
others the programs to partition the disk or install base.

> 3) the installer starts and loads any modules needed to do the
>     install (SCSI/SATA/PATA/whatever drivers primarily) from the net

Actualy it installs the extra components containing the kernel modules
and then a component with the full discover data file that then also
runs discover again with all modules present.

> 4) destination media get's partitioned and mounted
> 5) the real installation starts

Which again are just some components being run.

> Is that more or less right?


> cu,
> sven


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