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Bug#294307: debian-installer: 2.6 kernel and initrd images suitable for hd-media installation unavailable

Package: debian-installer
Severity: normal

I tried to install Sarge from an USB memory following the "flexible way" instructions found in
[1] which are basically the same depicted in the Installation Manual [2].

[1] http://d-i.pascal.at/
[2] http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/testing/main/installer-i386/rc2/doc/manual/

In this particular media, it is required to copy an ISO image (I tried both a netinst and a
businesscard type from [3]), a kernel image and an initrd image (fetched from [4] on 2005.02.06).
Unfortunately, the kernel from [4] is Linux 2.6.8-1-386, but the kernel modules in various udeb
packages on /media/cdrom/pool/main/l/linux-kernel-di-i386-2.6 in the ISO images from [3] are for
Linux 2.6.8-2-i386, so when Debian Installer is trying to "detect" my network card, it complains about
not being able to find some kernel modules, warning me that the installation most probably could
not continue (not the exact wording, but something in the lines of that), and finally showing a
red-background screen stating that no network card could be found. Therefore, I cannot continue the
installation (remember that I am using a netinst or businesscard ISO image).

[3] http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/sarge_d-i/i386/current/
[4] ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/sarge/main/installer-i386/current/images/hd-media/2.6

Only when I tried the RC2 images from [5] were I able to successfully install Sarge, as the RC2
images have kernel modules udeb packages for Linux 2.6.8-1-i386, matching the running kernel of
the installation system.

[5] http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/sarge_d-i/i386/rc2/

Maybe I could extract the vmlinuz and initrd files from the El Torito boot image somewhere inside 
the current ISO images (just guessing) but it would be much better and useful to have suitable such
files directly available in [4]. (By "suitable" I mean: able to work with current ISO images).

Also (and this perhaps should be a separate wishlist bug report), the installation Manual could be
improved by providing URLs for downloading ISO [6], kernel and initrd [7] images suitable for
filling various boot media.

[6] http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/sarge_d-i/<architecture>/
[7] ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/sarge/main/installer-<architecture>/

Anyway, I was really impressed by d-i, especially by the ability to so easily set up a working
RAID1 root partition (previously a real PITA for me to accomplish). Good work, folks!

Herr Groucho

ID Jabber: groucho@lugmen.org.ar
Señal distintiva: LU5MJR - 144,550 MHz FM.
Clave pública GPG: hkp://pks.lugmen.org.ar
Fingerprint GPG: B7BD 0FC7 D9A2 66F3 4EFC  45EE 7DE2 3932 597B 6354

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 3.1
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (500, 'testing')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.8-1-k7
Locale: LANG=es_AR, LC_CTYPE=es_AR (charmap=ISO-8859-1)

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