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Re: How to make preseed.cfg available in no-internet install?

On Fri 04 Jul 2014 at 16:30:28 -0400, The Wanderer wrote:

> On 07/04/2014 04:25 PM, Brian wrote:
> > On Fri 04 Jul 2014 at 15:17:14 -0400, Kynn Jones wrote:
> > 
> >> In an installation from CD (or, second best: USB stick) with no
> >> internet access, how can I make a preseed.cfg file available to the
> >> Debian installer as early as possible in the install sequence?
> >> 
> >> The preseed.cfg originally lives in a separate USB stick.  (I don't
> >> want to burn the preseed.cfg into the installation CD, since I
> >> still want to be able to tweak it easily.)
> > 
> > Not having the preseed file in the initrd rules out making a
> > preseed.cfg file available earlier than you aleady do.
> > 
> >> I found one approach, but it's laborious enough to make using a
> >> preseed.cfg hardly worth it.  Basically, I hit TAB to edit the
> >> Graphic Install menu option; I add priority=critical auto=true 
> >> file=/unavailable/path/to/preseed.cfg; I hit enter and let the
> >> installer fail to find the preseed.cfg file; I get a shell and do
> > 
> > Even with file=/path/to/preseed.cfg the installer will fail to find
> > the file anyway because the device it is on has to be mounted. This
> > you do below.
> > 
> >> mkdir /mnt/usb && mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb && exit
> >> 
> >> Then I select to re-read the preseed.cfg file from the installer's
> >> menu.
> > 
> > What problem are you trying to solve?
> I expect that (he?) wants to have the process be more-or-less fully
> automated - i.e., have the mouting and whatever else is necessary for
> the installer to recognize and use the (externally located) preseed file
> be handled automatically, preferably without even needing to explicitly
> specify the preseed-file location at install time.

Possibly. The OP's response should clarify that. It's achievable wihout
touching the initrd.

> Assuming the initrd used in the installer environment is customizable /
> tweakable, this shouldn't be impossible, but I'd have to do some
> research to figure out how to go about it.

Basically: gunzip and use cpio on the initrd. Add preseed file. Reverse
the previous process.

>                                            (Worst-case scenario, you
> might have to do a custom build of d-i...)

I'd say that is highly unlikely

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