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Bug#610526: Preseed: Debian Installer ignores hostname parameter

package netcfg
tag 610526 +moreinfo
tag 610526 +unreproducible

Hi Dennis,

I'm having some trouble reproducing your bug report.

Here are the exact steps I took:

1) Download the mini.iso from
(other mirrors should have the same; md5sum is

2) Boot the installer ISO in a KVM VM

3) At the graphical isolinux boot screen, press TAB and add 'hostname=basic'
to the end of the command line

(I can't use priority=critical because I need to set a local Debian mirror,
and auto=true just asks for a preseed file -- which I don't have because you
haven't provided it)

4) Manually configure the network (I disabled my DHCP server so that it
wouldn't provide a hostname) with an IP address that doesn't reverse resolve
(to avoid hostname being overridden via rDNS)

5) When it asks to configure the mirror, drop into a console and verify that
the temporary environment has the right hostname with cat /etc/hostname

6) Let the installation proceed, automatically partitioning the disk and
setting up some dummy users

7) When it comes to installing grub, drop back to a console and verify that
the target environment has the right hostname with cat /target/etc/hostname

8) Complete the install, reboot, note that the booted system has the correct

Now, I know that a number of things are different between your report and my
method of reproduction, but they *should* (big emphasis there) be irrelevant
to how the hostname is preseeded.  Obviously one of them isn't irrelevant,
so we need to work out what it is.

Things to check:

* The kernel and initrd you're booting with; can I get the md5sums of them
  and where you got them from?

* Booting without a preseed file... it's possible that your preseed file is
  doing something hinky, so if you *must* test with a preseed file, we'll
  need a copy of it.
* Dropping priority=critical for the purposes of testing would be
  good, too, to keep things consistent and to rule it out (although early
  testing showed that /etc/hostname had the right value in it).

- Matt

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