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Bug#509379: firmware not found on virtual floppy or virtual CDROM

Package: debian-installer

Installing lenny amd64 on a Dell M600 blade server using PXE/netboot method.

bnx2 firmware required for network access.

Installer prompts for a floppy or USB device.

I attempted to mount an ext3 formatted floppy image, and an ISO CDROM image, using the virtual device mechanisms of Dell's iDRAC remote access/lights out solution. Both images contained the bnx2 firmware file in the root directory. d-i wasn't able to recognise either.

Kernel messages revealed that the virtual floppy appeared to be /dev/sda, but there was no partition table. Floppies don't normally have partition tables, but I tried created a floppy image with a partition table, and the kernel still complained.

Finally, I gave up on the virtual disks and just re-built initrd.gz with the firmware file placed under /lib/firmware:

gunzip  initrd.gz
mkdir tmpdir
cd tmpdir
cpio -i < ../initrd
mkdir lib/firmware
cp /tmp/bnx2-06-4.0.5.fw lib/firmware/
find . | cpio -o -H newc > ../initrd
cd ..
gzip initrd

bnx2-06-4.0.5.fw had been found in the relevant package on another Debian box.

Another solution to this problem might be creating a non-free version of initrd.gz for distribution, e.g. initrd-nonfree.gz. Users could then choose it on the boot menu.

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