Bug#187654: boot-floppies: network/diskless installation is broken
(Referring to the woody/intel boot floppies as in
The various tftpboot.img files in the different flavour directories
are just copies of the corresponding linux.bin files. These are
kernel images, which (according to the corresponding kernel-config
files and my experiments) contain only a few NIC drivers compiled in;
the rest, including drivers for NICs found in modern PCs are compiled
only as modules. There is no separate root filesystem (root.bin) for
TFTP installs, so one has to use the generic one, which (perhaps
because of size constraints) does not contain these drivers as modules
either. Therefore one cannot initialize the network card during
installation without first loading the driver module from a
non-network media -- that is, a true network (really diskless)
out-of-the-box installation of Debian is not possible, altough the
installation document suggests otherwise.
What should be done is either one of the following:
a/ Create a separate kernel for TFTP installations, which
would contain all the NIC drivers compiled in, not as modules.
b/ Create a separate root filesystem for TFTP installations, which
would contain the NIC drivers as modules.
-- System Information
Debian Release: 3.0