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Re: Further to my installation error

On Wed, 16 Mar 2016 20:49:28 +0000 Brian <ad44@cityscape.co.uk> wrote:

> On Wed 16 Mar 2016 at 16:12:20 -0400, Felix Miata wrote:
> > Brian composed on 2016-03-16 19:21 (UTC):
> > 
> > >On Tue 15 Mar 2016 at 22:41:14 +0000, Lisi Reisz wrote:
> > 
> > >>Pity it took me until it tried to use CD1 to do a net-install to
> > >>realise that!!  And I have now run out of writable CDs. :-(  I
> > >>had just enough for this shenanigans!
> > 
> > >Why any Debian user should use an antiquated technology to install
> > >is beyond me. USB sticks are two a penny. Isohybrid images rule;
> > >OK!
> > 
> > USB sticks, being of a non-uniform variety of sizes, shapes, speed,
> > and reliability, are a pain to library. Inferior amount of space on
> > which to write on them contributes to the library problem. Pricing
> > of USB sticks on a per device basis remains much higher than OM,
> > making creation of a single device for single purpose generally
> > much more expensive than OM. There still exist working puters that
> > cannot boot USB. I have several.
> So do I. There are ways round it.
> But the vast majortiy of users are not using the ancient machines you
> and I have. The OP is at liberty to indicate whether her machine falls
> into this class. A round shiny disc could be her only solution to
> booting a Debian image.

There is a potential problem also where modern machines (with UEFI
boot) fail to install off USB without UEFI, meaning that if you want a
UEFI-free install, you have to use optical media. This happened to me
on an ASUS UX51vz with UEFI- with Debian 7 d-i, inserting an optical
disc would provide the option to either boot the disk with UEFI or
without it, while inserting a USB would only allow UEFI boot from the
flash drive, and not legacy booting, even with Launch CSM enabled.

So while using Debian 7, I just had to use optical media to install
Debian sans UEFI (which I always do- call it nostalgia, but I like the
simplicity of MBR and four primary partitions rather than the
unfamiliar layers of GPT/UEFI related cruft). Booting off USB (forced
to use UEFI) would simply result in a black screen after selecting

Debian 8, however, seems to have solved this problem. USB can still
only be booted from UEFI, but newer d-i means that installation now
proceeds as normal until the point at which UEFI yes/no (force/leave)
selection is reached- so with Debian 7 I had to use CDs/DVDs, but with
8 I am now free to use USB (my preferred way to carry out

That machine is also unfortunate in the sense that it has a wifi card
(Centrino Advanced-N 6235) which requires non-free firmware in iwlwifi.
So in my latest Debian installation on that machine, I used a full CD-1
image, burned to USB, booted via UEFI (which I was forced to do), and
then did a UEFI-free installation using the options within the menu
(after having turned off the Great Satan that is Restricted Boot), but
declined to set up network interfaces via the installer (since the
firmware in Debian is non-free).

I have a USB wifi adapter based on AR9271 which I then plugged in. I
compiled the free firmware (open-atheros-firmware) on a separate
machine (which generated over 2GB worth of cruft) and copied across the
firmware. Et voila! A working Debian 8 UX51vz with free wifi.

That firmware could prove in handy later.

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