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Debian installer on Qnap TS-419P


I just wanted to report success on using the debian installer on a Qnap
TS-419P. Martin's instructions [1] still recommend a manual
installation, but I found this post [2] where he suggests the installer
might work just fine.

For some reason, I first found this installer [3] which booted okay, but
I decided to try the regular sid installer [4] anyway; I completed the
installation of debian squeeze with the sid installer (in expert mode).

After making a backup of the original firmware, I used the recovery mode
with a TFTP server to get the installer image on the device (after I
finally noticed that it's trying to get the image from ethernet port 2,
not 1). Everything went fine except two glitches.

First, partman wouldn't let me format any partition with btrfs, although
mkfs.btrfs was present and I saw partman-btrfs being downloaded. After
formating the partition manually (i.e. using mkfs.btrfs) and
unsuccessfully trying to mount it, I noticed the btrfs kernel module
wasn't loaded; trying to modprobe it gave me the error:

FATAL: Error inserting btrfs (/lib/modules/2.6.32-5-kirkwood/kernel/fs/btrfs/btrfs.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)

Turns out, btrfs.ko depends on crc32c.ko, which wasn't included. So I
downloaded linux-image-2.6.32-5-kirkwood_2.6.32-23_armel.deb and
extracted it on a USB stick, from which I copied crc32c.ko to
/lib/modules/2.6.32-5-kirkwood/kernel/crypto/. After running depmod,
btrfs loaded successfully. From there, the "Partition disks" step in the
installer offered me the option of btrfs.

The second issue I encountered, right after formatting the disk, was
that it wouldn't let me proceed with no boot partition (I had only swap
and a big btrfs root partition). From what I understand, since the
kernel and initrd are in flash, there's no need for a separate boot
partition. So I created one anyway, but if someone can confirm I don't
need it, I'll remove it.

And that's it. I just wanted to let other people tempted by having
debian on their Qnap TS-419P that they can do it rather easily with the
installer (and feel free to contact me if you need any help).

Also, if some testing is needed on this NAS, I'd be happy to give it a


Benoît Knecht

[1] http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/qnap/ts-41x/
[2] http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=32552
[3] http://people.debian.org/~joeyh/d-i/armel/images/daily/kirkwood/network-console/qnap/ts-41x/
[4] http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/dists/sid/main/installer-armel/current/images/kirkwood/network-console/qnap/ts-41x/

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