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Re: Headless Install Debian Squeeze

On 30/06/11 23:14, Paul Lettington wrote:
> Scott Ferguson wrote:
>> On 30/06/11 17:09, Paul Lettington wrote:
>>> On 30/06/11 04:04, Martin McCormick wrote:

My previous response was hasty and ill considered.... :-(

I said that when you re-mastered your CD for serial console install that
you *had* preseeded. Technically it's probably only a preseed if the
changes are in a file called preseed.cfg, whereas, from your post,
you've appended the boot parameters to boot.txt. It achieves the same thing.

Others have mentioned using an external preseed file instead of
remastering (both are possible using chainloading). See:-
NOTE: the process should be the same for other architectures - you can
get some of the debconf values from an installed Debian:-
# cat /var/log/installer/cdebconf | less

> I would be interested to know the details of how you did that. I am
> using KVM rather than XEN, but I don't believe it would be much different.

I still don't feel qualified to agree or disagree with that statement. :-(

> In case I was being foolish when I first did it, I have spun up a new
> headless VM just now using an unmodified CD image, as follows:
> ---
> # virt-install --nographics -r 128 -n testvm --disk
> path=/tmp/testvm,size=5,bus=virtio -c
> /home/paul/iso/debian-6.0.1a-amd64-netinst.iso
> Starting install...
> Creating storage file testvm                             | 5.0 GB
> 00:00
> Creating domain...                                       |    0 B
> 00:00
> Connected to domain testvm
> Escape character is ^]
> ---
> It is now sat like that, with the serial port of the VM attached to my
> terminal and I am seeing no output. It has been like that for several
> minutes now. Using my modified iso, I see output from the installer
> straight away.
> Paul.

Without knowing what boot parameters you passed the installer I can't
say. The syntax for preseed.cfg is different to parameters manually
supplied, which if what you do when you modify boot.txt. But AFAIK the
syntax for appending boot parameters to boot.txt is identical to that
used for manually applying them at the "CLI" install interface
(technically it's called the "graphical install screen", as opposed to
the "gui install screen - which is, um, confusing). What works is
determined by d-i and the kernel.

Re: your KVM example:-
If you have a set-up that works with your modified CD (automatically
sets up a serial console connection - then the same cd unmodified, and
same parameters that you appended to the modified cd boot - should work
when manually appended to the same, unmodified cd, in the same situation.
NOTE: disregard the "" for the boot parameters
Parameters you can supply are either for the kernel, or for the
installer, there's a limit to the length of the parameters you can
supply at the CLI. When I say CLI I refer to the text interface of the
installer (see
http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2011/07/png33HH8ddnvI.png) See
previous posts for how to get to the "CLI" screen of the installer (h +
enter is another way).

eg. If your modified CD is based on debian-6.0.1a-amd64-netinst.iso and
you appended "console=ttyS0,9600n8" to the boot.txt when you rebuilt it...
Then a un-modified debian-6.0.1a-amd64-netinst.iso given:-
"install console=ttyS0,9600n8" at the "CLI" installer screen should work
identically. Try it - I'd be interested in the outcome (though this time
of year I'm hard pressed to even skim read posts, let alone reply).

NOTES:- you can change "install" to "expert" if you wish, for the gui
version of the installer - change to "installgui" or "expertgui", other
valid values are "rescue", "rescuegui" "auto", "autogui".

I hope that lessens the confusion somewhat :-)


“How come people always flip and think they're Jesus? Why not Buddha?
Particularly in America, where more people resemble Buddha than Jesus.
'Ah'm BUDDHA!' 'You're Bubba!' 'Ah'm Buddha now..All I gotta do is
change 3 letters on ma belt...' ”
~ Bill Hicks

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