Re: Intel X553 NICs/ixgbe netinstall issues
On 10/05/19, Lennart Sorensen (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
> On Thu, May 09, 2019 at 07:22:30AM +0100, Rory Campbell-Lange wrote:
> > Target systems have A2SDi-8C-HLN4F motherboards each with 4 no. Intel
> > x553 NICs.
> > The stable netinstall ixgbe module does not load the interfaces, even
> > when modprobed by hand.
> > Buster netinstall 20190429-03:57 works fine. However I can't find a way
> > of downgrading the installation to "stable", as suggested at
> > https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/FAQ#Q:_How_can_I_install_sid_.28unstable.29_with_DebianInstaller.3F
> It suggests the exact opposite. It suggests you can install stable and
> then upgrade to unstable. You can't downgrade. It doesn't suggest that
> at all. Never could. It suggests that people that want unstable can
> use the working stable installer and upgrade to unstable rather than
> try the potentially broken installer in testing. Of course if stable
> isn't working on your hardware, then installing stable is very very hard.
That makes complete sense.
> > I've tried expert mode in both console and graphical mode.
> > I'm not sure if the inability to downgrade the installation is a bug or
> > policy. If the former I'm happy to report it.
> It's a matter of reality. Packages can support upgrading from previous
> versions because they know what previous versions existed and how they
> worked. An old package can't downgrade from something that didn't exist
> when it was made. It doesn't make any logical sense.
> > Tips on compiling the ixgbe module for stable on a machine with only a
> > BMC and no NICs gratefully received; else how to downgrade a testing
> > netinstall to stable.
> Compiling a kernel module tends to only work for the kernel version
> it was meant for, so the kernel in stable likely is too old for your
> hardware and a newer module won't compile for it. A newer kernel (like
> the backport kernel) might work though.
> I would think the simplest method to install would be
> to get a supported USB or PCIe network card, use that to
> install and then install the backport kernel, or possibly
> use the out of tree ixgbe driver from intel as per
I've finally dealt with it by doing this:
* installing from testing netboot
* using expert mode to move to the 'stable' distribution
* choosing to add backports to the package list
* rebooting at the end of the install process into rescue mode
* installing the 4.19.0-0.bpo.4-amd64 from backports after mounting /,
/boot and /boot/efi and re-running grub-install
(I expect I could have done this without rebooting into rescue mode
if I understood how to use apt-get during the installation process).
All is now working as desired.
Thank you very much for your comments.
For the benefits of posterity my complete setup was:
# pxe-service=x86PC, "Install Linux", pxelinux
pxe-service=X86-64_EFI, "Install Linux bootnet", bootnetx64.efi
tar xzvf netboot.tar.gz
# not sure why this was necessary
ln -s ./debian-installer/amd64/bootnetx64.efi ./
cp -Rp ./debian-installer/amd64/grub ./
chown -R nobody tftp-testing