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Debian Installer on Pine64+ (no serial console)

[I seem to recall a previous discussion about this but can't find it 


I've been trying to install Debian on the Pine64+ using the Debian 
Installer (Buster RC1).

This is mostly for educational/backup purposes as I already have a 
working buster installed with debootstrap.

To make things more interesting, I don't have serial console, only a 
HDMI screen (TV), USB keyboard and internet access.


1. Write pine64_plus.img.gz to an SD card
2. Write an .iso to a USB stick (I used the netinst)
3. Boot from the SD card with the USB stick inserted

The system boots, successfully probes the USB stick and displays the 
GRUB menu on the HDMI output (with some strange characters instead of 
bars, but still readable).

At this point I'm stuck because the USB keyboard is not active 
(something missing in GRUB?) and GRUB has no timeout.

As the filesystem on the stick is ISO9660 I also don't know of an easy 
method to edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg to add a timeout (I'm assuming the 
USB keyboard will work as soon as the D-I kernel is booted).

In theory it should also be possible (and nicer) to just create some 
filesystem on the SD card (writing the image already creates a 
partition) and copy the necessary files to start D-I there (which 


Kind regards,

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