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Re: Problem with net install of Woody


some weeks ago, I had the same problem, and started a discusssion on
this problem. I wrote some patches and instructions on how to install
woody via network(tftp) on 1386. I installed several machines using this
method now. The patches submitted are not in bootfloppies yet, because
they aren't verified by some external testers. I'll send you a short
instruction on how to install woody.

>   I've a problem trying to install a Debian Woody on an industrial PC
>   via the network ;
> Here is the description :
> * I've an industrial PC (pentium III), without floppy, CDROM, and a
> blank hard drive. I want to install a Debian system, and as the Woody
> is released :-)), i've looked the installation manual, and carefully
> read the network install paragraphs !
> * This PC has two network interfaces, Intel PRO 100B, with a bios
> capable of BOOTP & DHCP, via the 3com Lanworks' bios, called MBA
> (v4.31).

This should be no problem. I'm using 3c905c-txm cards, also equipped
with 3com-Lanworks MBA.  

> * I've set up a DHCP server, and downloaded the tftpboot.img
>   (http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/curre
>   nt/idepci/tftpboot.img), as described in the manual
>   (http://www.fr.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-appendix.fr.html#
>   s-file-descs).

The tftpimages on the debian mirrors contain only the kernel. There is
no root-image appended, so there is no chance to install a system with
these images. You have to create some for your own. 

> * at the first tries, the MBA network boot loader refuse to load any
> of the different flavors
>   of the tftpboot.img, telling me they are too big for the 640Ko
>   available :-((   [The PC has 256Mo] ; After some researches (notably
>   in
>   http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=140579&repeatmerged=yes),
>   I've found a program on the Linux Terminal Server Project, called
>   imggen, to let the LanWorks MBA bios load correctly a boot image,
>   and then the load of tftpboot.img works (at least for compact and
>   idepci flavors)

yes, this program is needed, to extend the raw tftpimages for 3com MBA.

> And now my questions (!!) :
> - does anyone have an idea why the tftpboot.img fails to work ? I'd
> like to learn
>   how this image is built, and perhaps how to modify it to work on my
>   PC.
> - As seen in the bug #140579 report, it seems there is a lack of
> testers of LAN boot
>   for the x86 platform, perhaps I can help to test in my case ?

yep. thats the point, why it's not in bootfloppies yet, i think.

here now the short instructions:

- download the linux.bin and the according root.bin from images-1.44
- install the debian-package "mknbi"
- run "mknbi-linux --output=<tftpimage.raw> kernel.bin root.bin
- run "imggen" from LTSP: "imggen -a tftpimage.raw tftpimage.3com
- let dhcp serv the image "tftpboot.3com"
- have fun installng woody via network


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