Bug#395910: marked as done (debian-installer-manual: add auto mode section, and update info about network preseeding)
Your message dated Tue, 16 Jan 2007 13:55:03 +0000
with message-id <E1H6omF-0000NL-VB@ries.debian.org>
and subject line Bug#395910: fixed in installation-guide 20070115
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--- Begin Message ---
- To: Debian Bug Tracking System <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: debian-installer-manual: add auto mode section, and update info about network preseeding
- From: Philip Hands <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 16:45:07 +0100
- Message-id: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a first attempt at documenting the auto mode and auto-install
It also updates the stuff about network preseeding to reflect the fact
that you can chain into network preseeding by setting preseed/url in an
earlier preseed, as long as you're not trying a stand-alone networkless
Related to this, we should probably have a section that includes the
preseed_aliases file amd documents it, so that we can add references to
that section where needed.
--- en/appendix/preseed.xml (revision 42292)
+++ en/appendix/preseed.xml (working copy)
@@ -48,9 +48,7 @@
<firstterm>network</firstterm>. Initrd preseeding will work with any
installation method and supports preseeding of more things, but it requires
the most preparation. File and network preseeding each can be used with
-different installation methods. With file and network preseeding the first
-few installer questions cannot be preseeded because the preconfiguration
-file is only loaded after they have been asked.
+different installation methods.
@@ -71,7 +69,8 @@
+ <entry>yes<footnote id='apx-ps-net'><para>
+ but only if you have network access, and set preseed/url appropriately</para></footnote></entry>
@@ -81,12 +80,12 @@
<entry>hd-media <phrase condition="bootable-usb">(including usb-stick)</phrase></entry>
+ <entry>yes<footnoteref linkend='apx-ps-net'/></entry>
<entry>floppy based (cd-drivers)</entry>
+ <entry>yes<footnoteref linkend='apx-ps-net'/></entry>
<entry>floppy based (net-drivers)</entry>
@@ -113,19 +112,28 @@
-In practical terms this means for file and network preseeding that the
-questions about language, country and keyboard selection will already have
-been asked. For network preseeding add to that any questions related to
-network configuration. Some other questions that are only displayed
-at medium or low priority (like the first hardware detection run) will
-also already have been processed.
+In order to facilitate preseeding of the questions that would normally
+appear before the file or network preseeding occur, one can start the
+installer in <quote>auto</quote> mode by entering
+<userinput>auto</userinput> and parameters to indicate the source of
+the preseed file, as required, at the boot prompt. This sets
+auto-install/enabled=true for you, which results in questions that
+would normally be asked too early for preseeding (i.e. language,
+country and keyboard selection) to be delayed until after the network
+comes up, thus allowing them to be preseeded then. Of course, if you
+need to set the up network with static IP address, that will still
+need to be done either by hand, or by specifying these settings via
+one of the methods that are available before the network is used (at
+the boot prompt, or via initrd, file preseeding or perhaps via DHCP).
+<quote>auto</quote> mode also sets debconf/priority=critical for you.
Obviously, any questions that have been processed before the
-preconfiguration file is loaded cannot be preseeded.
-<xref linkend="preseed-bootparms"/> offers a way to avoid these
-questions being asked.
+preconfiguration file is loaded cannot be preseeded (this will include
+questions that are only displayed at medium or low priority, like the
+first hardware detection run). <xref linkend="preseed-bootparms"/>
+offers a way to avoid these questions being asked.
@@ -324,8 +332,9 @@
-While you're at it, you may want to add a boot parameter
-<userinput>priority=critical</userinput>. This will avoid most
+While you're at it, you may want to take advantage of <xref
+linkend="preseed-auto"/>, which adds a boot parameter
+<userinput>priority=critical</userinput> for you. This will avoid most
questions even if the preseeding below misses some.
@@ -368,6 +377,108 @@
+ <sect2 id="preseed-auto">
+ <title>Auto mode</title>
+There are several features of Debian-installer that combine to allow
+fairly simple command lines at the boot prompt to result in
+arbitrarily complex customised automatic installs. To illustrate
+this, here are some examples that can be used at the boot prompt:
+ auto url=autoserver
+This relies on there being a DHCP server that will get the machine to
+the point where <literal>autoserver</literal> can be resolved by DNS,
+perhaps after adding the local domain if that was provided by DHCP.
+If this was done at a site where the domain is
+<literal>example.com</literal>, and they have a reasonably sane DHCP
+setup, it would result in the preseed file being retrieved from
+The the path segment of that comes from
+<literal>auto-install/defaultroot</literal>, which includes the
+directory <literal>etch</literal> by default to allow future versions
+to specify their own codename to let people migrate forwards in a
+controlled manner. The <literal>/./</literal> bit is used to indicate
+a root relative to which subsequent paths can be anchored (for use in
+preseed/include and presseed/run). This allows files to be specified
+either as full URLs, paths starting with / that are thus anchored, or
+even paths relative to the location where the last freseed file was
+found. This can be used to construct more portable scripts where an
+entire hierarchy of scripts can be moved to a new location without
+breaking it, for example copying the files onto a USB stick when they
+started out on a web server. In this example, if the preseed file
+sets <literal>preseed/run</literal> to
+<literal>/scripts/late_command.sh</literal> then the file will be
+Of course, if there is no local DHCP or DNS infrastructure, or if you
+do not want to use the default path to the preseed.cfg, one can still
+use an explicit url, and if you don't use the <literal>/./</literal>
+element it will be anchored to the start of the path (i.e. the third /
+in the URL). Here is an example that requires minimal support from
+the local network infrastructure:
+ auto url=http://192.168.1.2/path/to/mypreseed.file
+The way this works is that if the URL is missing a protocol, http is
+assumed, if the hostname section had no full-stops, it has the domain
+derived from DHCP appended to it, and if there's no /'s after the
+hostname, then the default path is added.
+In addition to specifying the url, one can also specify settings that
+do not directly affect the behavior of debian-installer itself, but
+can be passed through to any scripts that might be specified
+preseed/run settings in the loaded preseed file. At present, the only
+example of this is <literal>auto-install/classes</literal>, which has
+an alias <literal>classes</literal>. This can be used thus:
+ auto url=hands.com classes=xen3
+refer to http://hands.com/d-i/ for more details how this example
+works. If you want to come up with other paradigms, it is reasonable
+to use the auto-install namespace for this, so one might have
+something like <literal>auto-install/style</literal> which is then
+used in your scripts. If you feel the need to do this, please mention
+it to the debian-boot mailing list so that we can avoid namespace
+conflicts, and perhaps add a preseed_alias for you.
+The <literal>auto</literal> boot label is not yet definied on all
+architectures. The same effect may be achieved by simply adding the
+two settings <literal>auto=true priority=critical</literal> to the
+kernel command line yourself to achieve the same effect. The
+<literal>auto</literal> is an alias for
+<literal>auto-install/enabled</literal> and controls the delay of the
+locale and keyboard questions until after there has been a chance to
+preseed them, while <literal>priority</literal> is an alias for
+<literal>preseed/priority</literal> and setting it to
+<literal>critical</literal> stops any questions with a lower priority
+from being asked.
+Additional options that may be of interest while attempting to
+automate an install while using DHCP are: <literal>interface=auto
+netcfg/dhcp_timeout=60</literal> which makes the machine choose the
+first viable NIC and be more patient about getting a reply to it's
<title>Using boot parameters to supplement preseeding</title>
@@ -388,9 +499,12 @@
-Note that some variables that are frequently set at the boot prompt have a
-shorter alias. If an alias is available, it is used in the examples in
-this appendix instead of the full variable.
+Note that some variables that are frequently set at the boot prompt
+have a shorter alias. If an alias is available, it is used in the
+examples in this appendix instead of the full variable. In
+particular, the <literal>preseed/url</literal> variable has been
+aliased as <literal>url</literal> and has some extra magic to allow
+shortened urls to be used.
@@ -1226,7 +1340,7 @@
-# More that one file can be listed, separated by spaces; all will be
+# More than one file can be listed, separated by spaces; all will be
# loaded. The included files can have preseed/include directives of their
# own as well. Note that if the filenames are relative, they are taken from
# the same directory as the preconfiguration file that includes them.
@@ -1249,6 +1363,19 @@
d-i preseed/run string foo.sh
+It is also possible to chainload from the initrd or file preseeding
+phase, into networking preseeding by setting preseed/url in the earlier
+files. This will cause network preseeding to be performed when the
+network comes up. One needs to be careful in one's assumptions when
+doing this, since there will be two distinct runs at preseeding,
+meaning for example that one gets another chance to run the
+preseed/early command, the second one happening after the network
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
We believe that the bug you reported is fixed in the latest version of
installation-guide, which is due to be installed in the Debian FTP archive:
A summary of the changes between this version and the previous one is
Thank you for reporting the bug, which will now be closed. If you
have further comments please address them to email@example.com,
and the maintainer will reopen the bug report if appropriate.
Debian distribution maintenance software
Frans Pop <firstname.lastname@example.org> (supplier of updated installation-guide package)
(This message was generated automatically at their request; if you
believe that there is a problem with it please contact the archive
administrators by mailing email@example.com)
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 22:10:16 +0100
Binary: installation-guide-powerpc installation-guide-amd64 installation-guide-s390 installation-guide-ia64 installation-guide-mipsel installation-guide-arm installation-guide-mips installation-guide-sparc installation-guide-alpha installation-guide-i386 installation-guide-hppa
Architecture: source all
Maintainer: Frans Pop <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Changed-By: Frans Pop <email@example.com>
installation-guide-alpha - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-amd64 - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-arm - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-hppa - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-i386 - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-ia64 - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-mips - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-mipsel - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-powerpc - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-s390 - Debian installation guide
installation-guide-sparc - Debian installation guide
Closes: 248067 305977 342076 367861 370425 370484 378404 378651 380588 381657 384321 386591 388138 389516 394413 394471 394929 395910 397790 397923 397974 400263 402437 402439 402492 402857 403035
installation-guide (20070115) unstable; urgency=low
[ Colin Watson ]
* Document new pkgsel/include setting.
* Fix incorrect documentation on preseeding additional apt sources.
* Fix typo in hppa hardware support documentation
* Adjust chroot-install guide to take account of debootstrap being
Architecture: all now (https://launchpad.net/bugs/64765).
[ Frans Pop ]
* Various corrections suggested by Clytie Siddall and Holger Wansing.
Closes: #378404, #370484, #370425.
* Update instructions on how to set module parameters for PLIP installation.
* Update chroot install instructions to use aptitude instead of apt-get.
* Add /srv in overview of directory tree in partitioning appendix.
* Update section on partitioning using LVM to reflect recent changes.
* Apply various patches by or based on suggestions from Nathanael Nerode.
Some of the bigger changes include:
- Update of processor support for the i386 architecture.
- Update information on setting up a RARP server.
* Add variant for the AMD64 architecture. Closes: #305977.
* Suppress warnings about missing IDs for sections and such.
* Reorganize supported hardware table; i386 no longer has flavors.
* Document SMP-alternatives as one of the variants of SMP support.
* Document how to shut down the system. Based on patch from Holger Levsen.
[ Miroslav Kure ]
* Update information about booting with encrypted partitions.
[ Joey Hess ]
* Update preseeding docs to document listing more than one disk for
partman-auto/disk and grub-installer/bootdev
[ Changwoo Ryu ]
* Add support for Korean PDF output. Requires latex-hangul-ucs-hlatex.
[ David HÃ¤rdeman ]
* Update preseeding documentation for partman-auto.
[ Frans Pop ]
* Correct error for alpha netboot installations. Thanks to AurÃ©lien GÃ©rÃ¶me.
* Correct number of release arches. Thanks to Holger Wansing. Closes: #384321.
* Minor corrections suggested by Malcolm Parsons. Closes: #388138.
* Document new boot parameters theme and directfb/hw-accel.
* Remove now obsolete distinction between classic and common kpkg.
* Update all arches to kernel version 2.6.17.
* Set default value for manual_release in build wrapper scripts.
* Add new section in preseeding appendix on partman-auto-raid. Not included
in preseed text file as it is still somewhat experimental.
* Document changes in guided partitioning and added encrypted LVM support.
* Disable m68k for official builds as it is not a release architecture.
* buildweb.sh: use 'mv -f' to avoid errors during builds on the webserver.
* Minor corrections suggested by Clytie Siddall. Closes: #394413, #394471.
* Update task sizes as per D-I RC1.
* New troubleshooting section on how to deal with CD-ROM related problems.
* Document how to pass parameters to kernel modules on boot.
* Document how to install KDE instead of Gnome in the section on pkgsel.
[ Joey Hess ]
* Update for recent floppy changes.
* Remove hardcoded paths to executables in buildone.sh.
* Set HOME to a temporary directory before running w3m, to avoid it
trying to write to a home directory that may not exist on the buildds.
* Update the installation report template to match current one in
[ Philip Hands ]
* Clarify how -- affects which parameters end up in the target system's
bootloader's command line.
[ Joey Hess ]
* Applied Phil's auto mode documentation patch, edited it, and moved
some things around for clarity. Closes: #395910
* Document auto=true boot parameter.
[ Frans Pop ]
* Add condition "g-i" for arches that support the graphical installer.
* Document mouse/left boot parameter.
* Explain usage of "owner" prefix when setting values for debconf variables
intended for the target system at the boot prompt.
* Give some examples of preseeding questions from the boot prompt.
* Document how to install the KDE desktop environment instead of GNOME.
* Don't list unsupported frontends in boot parameters section.
* Minor corrections suggested by Tapio Lehtonen. Closes: #397790.
* Minor corrections suggested by Holger Wansing. Closes: #397974.
[ Martin Michlmayr ]
* Mention that RiscPC support is incomplete.
* Mention Intel IOP32x support.
* Talk about ixp4xx rather than the more specific nslu2.
[ Frans Pop ]
* Update all arches to kernel version 2.6.18.
* Minor corrections and some rewrites based on suggestions from
Clytie Siddall. Closes: #367861, #380588.
* Update Sparc specific information and document common installation issues
for Sparc. Many thanks to Jurij Smakov for reviewing the Sparc manual and
for his overview of issues.
* Etch ships with X.Org 7.1.
* Update number of developers, packages and mailing lists.
* General revision of minimum hardware requirements throughout the manual.
* Update of installed/download size of tasks.
* Document the graphical installer, including the main known issues.
* Avoid generating XML files multiple times for translations using PO files
when using build.sh or buildweb.sh sripts.
- Add note for m68k that it is not a release architecture for Etch.
- Remove ancient section on parity RAM. Closes: #403035.
- Update documenation for Sparc, based on patch by Jurij Smakov.
- PowerPC/APUS is currently not supported; removed from hardware table.
- Remove sun4cd (sparc32) from and add sun4v (sparc64) in hardware table.
- Rewrite of NIC support, document wireless support (for selected arches)
and explain issues surrounding drivers that require firmware.
- Clean out ancient hardware issues.
- Document anna/choose_modules and mirror/protocol boot parameters.
- Use a clearer way to list the short form of parameters.
- Document new option to blacklist kernel modules.
- Fix reference to Save debug logs menu option.
Thanks, Philippe Batailler. Closes: #402439.
- Add a note that installation reports will be published.
- All architectures that support TFTP booting also support DCHP, so remove
the "supports-dhcp" condition.
- According to the text, Alpha supports BOOTP.
- Use dhcp3-server for examples rather than dhcp (version 2).
- tftpd-hpa does not use /tftpboot by default; allow for this in examples.
- Extend description of lowmem installs based on a patch suggested by
Holger Wansing. Closes: #400263.
- Remove reference to apt guide (not installed by default) and obsolete
debian-guide. Thanks, Philippe Batailler. Closes: #402492.
- As lynx is no longer installed, suggest w3m as text based browser.
- Explain how to browse /usr/share/doc/ using a graphical web browser.
- Mention documentation packages.
- Clarify what happens on first boot and how to get help to in case of
- Remove section on reactivating Windows; the installer should detect it
automatically after all. Closes: #402437.
- Add extended section on email configuration (moved from using-d-i as
exim4 now configures for "local mail only" by default). Closes: #402857.
- Clarifications based on comments from Tapio Lehtonen and Holger Wansing.
- Changes suggested in review by Wiktor Wandachowicz. Closes: #394929.
[ Frans Pop ]
* Prepare for release. This release is mostly for testing purposes, the real
release targeted at Etch will be next week.
* Add and enable amd64 architecture.
* Update control file for dropped m68k and added amd64 architectures.
* Disable Catalan, Korean, Spanish and Brazillian translations as they are
not yet complete.
* Enable Finnish translation.
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