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Re: Installing Debian on an Alix 2d3 using PXE

On Wednesday 07 October 2009, Urs Hunkeler wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks for all the help!
> In the end I added the domain-name-servers option to the dhcp server
> configuration, and now it works.
> For those who misunderstood my mail, tftp and bootp (basically PXE)
> worked before and the kernel and the initramdisk got loaded. The problam
> was with the installer not being able to access the mirrors. Apparently
> even though the installer asked me to provide a name server, it did not
> use it :-(.
> Why use PXE? Well, I always wanted to do that. Also I have the nice
> little box for the Alix, and it becomes quite cumbersome if you have to
> unscrew everything, remove the CF card, install everything, then put it
> back. I am much in favor of automating things, and apparently so is
> Debian, why else would there be such handy features like preseeding (I'm
> still learning about it...)?
> Anyways, the installation seemed to complete successfully. Unfortunately
> Grub is not yet configured to use the serial console and crashes. Now I
> need to find a way to mount the partition in a recovery environment in
> order to change the Grub configuration...
> Cheers,
> Urs
> Urs Hunkeler wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > 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 is going on? Why doesn't the installer use the network? How can I
> > debug this?
> >
> > I managed to boot the Debian text installer over PXE on an Alix 2d3. The
> > Alix does not have a graphics card, so the installation has to be done
> > using a serial console. Also, since so far I only got the basic
> > installer running, I have a very limited system running, which
> > unfortunately limits the debugging options.
> >
> > Any help is appreciated!
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Urs

Perhaps it would be useful if you could document what you do to get Grub
working, and then it might be worth suggesting that the installer should
either notice that it is being driven from a serial console and copy the
parameters into the grub config, or it should ask whether this is what it
wanted.  Either way this will need to be documented as a wishlist item
against the installer.


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