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Re: install -- netboot vs netinst vs businesscard Debian installer CDs

On 2010-01-03 at 10:30:34, Paul E Condon wrote:
> I haven't been following this thread, but your statement
> caught my eye.

This thread started on debian-user with the original title of "Install".
A new user asked for help in finding the right images to download to
boot the Debian installer from a floppy disk.  I replied that Etch was
the last Debian release which supported booting the installation system
from floppy disks.  I said that if his computer BIOS didn't support
booting from a CD, one solution would be to install Etch by booting
from floppies and then upgrade to Lenny.  I then recommended that if
his system did support booting from CDs, he should use the CD image


That sparked two other lines of discussion.  The first one was whether
this image was a "netboot" or a "netinst" image, and what was the
difference between the two.  The second topic was which installer
should be used to install Squeeze.

At this point, my best guess is that this is a "netboot" image, which
is, strictly speaking, an oxymoron when it is used in this way
(i.e. burned to a real CD-R and booted directly), since by definition
you are not booting from the network if you are booting from a CD.
Nevertheless, it is my favorite installation image since it is
the smallest image (about 8M for the i386 architecture), is available
from the most locations (every Debian mirror), downloads quickly,
burns quickly, and is the least succeptible to bugs (since as much
code as possible is downloaded from the internet, where bug fixes
can accumulate after the image is burned).  This boot
image contains just enough code to boot the machine and configure
the network.  Everything else, including most of the installer code
itself, is downloaded from the internet.

As for installing Squeeze, I pointed out that the Lenny installer,
though it will let you install Squeeze with it, should not be used
to install Squeeze, and I pointed out that the "production" Squeeze
installer is actually the Lenny installer.  I recommended the
"daily build" images available from the development pages for
Debian installer to install Squeeze.  Someone else pointed out that
the Sid installer is apparently newer than the production Lenny
installer and that he had used the Sid version of the above
mini.iso image (for the power-pc architecture) to install Squeeze,
and encountered no difficulty.  Someone said that the daily/weekly
build images don't work, and I replied that they have been having
build problems the last few weeks and referred him to the
debian-cd list for a discussion of the build problems.  I can't
speak for others, but I'm not really trying to figure out what
went wrong at this point.  I'm just waiting for the daily/weekly
build people to get their act together and start building daily/weekly
images that work and are accessable again.  And that's where we
sit at this point.  At this moment, it looks like the Sid version
of the mini.iso image


is the best bet to try a Squeeze install from scratch, since the
daily/weekly builds appear to be broken at the moment.

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