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Bug#1035854: Bookworm netboot image fails in VM

Package: installation-reports
Severity: normal

Boot method: network
Image version: netboot daily from 2023-05-09
Date: 2023-05-10

I've successfully tested the Bookworm installer on a few Dell PowerEdge servers (with rc1, rc2
and dailies) and it's working fine on baremetal using the netboot image.

As an additional test I also created a VM on a Ganeti cluster based on Ganeti 3.0.2 cluster (as
provided by Bookworm) using KVM/qemu. This setup has no issues installing Bullseye with the
same d-i config.

The system emulated by qemu is a pretty standard pc-i440fx "hardware" model:

/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64 -name testvm2005.codfw.wmnet -m 1024 -smp 1 -pidfile /var/run/ganeti/kvm-hypervisor/pid/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet -device virtio-balloon -daemonize -D /var/log/ganeti/kvm/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet.log -machine pc-i440fx-2.8,accel=kvm -boot n -monitor unix:/var/run/ganeti/kvm-hypervisor/ctrl/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet.monitor,server,nowait -serial unix:/var/run/ganeti/kvm-hypervisor/ctrl/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet.serial,server,nowait -usb -display none -cpu IvyBridge,+pcid,+invpcid,+spec-ctrl,+ssbd,+md-clear -uuid 3386590c-84b6-4e89-8717-2aa5e05b0d4a -netdev type=tap,id=nic-f510f85e-6c55-4c4e,fd=10 -device virtio-net-pci,id=nic-f510f85e-6c55-4c4e,bus=pci.0,addr=0xd,netdev=nic-f510f85e-6c55-4c4e,mac=aa:00:00:f2:45:f8 -qmp unix:/var/run/ganeti/kvm-hypervisor/ctrl/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet.qmp,server,nowait -qmp unix:/var/run/ganeti/kvm-hypervisor/ctrl/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet.kvmd,server,nowait -device virtio-blk-pci,id=disk-d1dd7417-4f71-421e,bus=pci.0,addr=0xc,drive=disk-d1dd7417-4f71-421e -drive file=/var/run/ganeti/instance-disks/testvm2005.codfw.wmnet:0,format=raw,if=none,aio=threads,id=disk-d1dd7417-4f71-421e,auto-read-only=off -S

After retrieval and bootup of the TFTPed image, the installer crashes very early on and drops
into a busybox shell with the following userspace processes running:

147 root      2800 S    {debian-installe} /bin/sh /sbin/debian-installer
154 root      3396 S    /usr/bin/screen sh -c printf "\033k%s\033\\" install
155 root      4268 R    {screen} /usr/bin/SCREEN sh -c printf "\033k%s\033\\

Poking at /proc/$PID/cmdline it's running

/usr/bin/SCREEN sh -c printf "\033k%s\033\\" installer ; /lib/debian-installer/menu

Looking at /lib/debian-installer/menu I checked that it's not running into any memory
shenanigans and it seems it's ultimately failing in the final

exec debconf -o d-i $MENU

call. $MENU is set to '/usr/bin/main-menu' and in fact running

"debconf -o d-i /usr/bin/main-menu" tries to emit some output (I can see the cursor
moving), but drops back to the shell right away.

I'm not familiar with cdebconf, if there's some suggested steps to narrow down the
failure further, I'm happy to try them.


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