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Re: d-i support for USB target media

Joey Hess wrote:
Geoff Soutter wrote:

I recently installed Sarge to a USB hard disk and had to jump through a few hoops to do it ... here's the install report.


Basically, d-i doesn't currently support installing to bootable USB devices, the appropriate USB modules are not automagically added to the target system's initrd so the disk is never found and the boot fails.

I was wondering, is installing to a USB device something that the debian installer is supposed to do? Or have the USB modules been deliberately excluded for some reason?

I looked on the Wiki and web site but this problem doesn't seem to be mentioned, so I'm not sure if it these USB modules are deliberately disabled or if it is a simple oversight.

If it is something that d-i should support, and it's just a simple oversight, I would consider thinking about creating a patch for it (not that I have any idea about d-i particularly, but I can learn... ;-)

I don't know about any other d-i developers, but I have never tried to
get installation to usb media to work because none of my hardware can
boot usb media with grub or lilo and the only thing that does
successfully boot it (syslinux) is a poor choice of bootloaders for an
installed system. Also because initrd-tools is very hard-coded and sucky
and I didn't feel like going there.

Hi Joey,

No worries mate, I'm not complaining particularly, just wondering what the status of usb booting is. Seems like it's under the category of "should work, but developers have no hardware to test on".

I have an VIA EPIA board, kinda made for thin clients, not sure what others can boot off USB. I have a spare USB disk so test installs are feasible (just need to borrow a screen and keyboard from work).

I had a look at mkinitrd, looks a bit scary. I know a bit of shell scripting, so do you want me to try and make a patch to add usb modules and delay by default? Seems like it should really be driven by the installer since it already knows it installed to USB HD, but that's way out of scope for my current debian capabilities... ;-)



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