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Re: Installing Debian on an Alix 2d3 using PXE

Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 03:10:33AM +0200, Urs Hunkeler wrote:

I'm trying to install Debian on an Alix 2d3 board (installing from network using PXE, the installer runs in a serial console). When I select a mirror, the installer tells me that it is going to verify the mirror, and then immediately gives me an error message saying that the mirror is invalid. A tcpdump on the relaying computer shows that there was absolutely no traffic on the network (ie. the installer is not trying to access the network at all, not even dns lookup). When I open the console and use netcat (nc, as ping, ifconfig and other such tools are not available in the minimalistic environment), I can access different servers without any problems, so I have to assume that the network setup is working.

What version do you try to install?
Debian Lenny

What boot options did you pass to it?
Don't remember off my head in detail. They are something like

priority=low console=tty0 console=ttyS0,38400n8 DEBIAN_FRONTEND=text initrd=...

Do you use preseeding? If so, what do you have in your preseed file?
No. I try to access the text-based installer over the console. Again, the kernel boots and the text-based installer starts. It configures the network correctly (I see in the tcpdump log that it gets an IP address and pings the gateway and netcat from a console works as well). It's just when I try to configure the mirror that somehow the process fails.

What is going on? Why doesn't the installer use the network? How can I debug this?

By default it should. There shoudn't be anything specific to the Alix
board in that, BTW.
Maybe not, but the Alix is special in that I don't have a graphics card and need to do everything over the serial console (so no switching between virtual terminals to see, e.g., extended debugging information).

Also, after playing around for a bit I found out that when I manually configure the network (as opposed to let it configure automatically using DHCP), after selecting a mirror the installer tries to resolve the domain name that I specified during the network setup. It does this for a domain like ".mydomain.com.". This doesn't make sense, especially the leading period. So maybe it is trying to resolve the proxy (which I left blank as instructed as I have a direct Internet connection)? If so, that would look a lot like a bug in the text-based installer.


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