[ipxe-devel] Debian installer doesn't load preseed

Ghassan Elrayah ghel at spreadshirt.net
Sat Mar 30 18:44:17 UTC 2019

On 3/30/19 7:41 PM, Christian Nilsson wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Mar 2019 at 19:34, Ghassan Elrayah <ghel at spreadshirt.net> wrote:
>> On 3/30/19 6:58 PM, Christian Nilsson wrote:
>>> On Sat, 30 Mar 2019 at 17:58, Ghassan Elrayah <ghel at spreadshirt.net> wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I am facing a problem loading the preseed file for Debian installation.
>>>> The unattended installation stops always at the mirror country option
>>>> which is defined in my preseed. The preseed file is in the new server
>>>> either in /tmp or under / depending on the path I specified. But the
>>>> installer just ignores it. I don't know if its a Debian bug or an ipxe
>>>> issue. I am not using UEFI rather BIOS.
>>>> But the result is always the same, after configuring the language, the
>>>> locales and keyboard, I have to choose the interface, because the server
>>>> has four of them and I cannot preseed the correct one. Then I enter the
>>>> hostname manually which is desired, since the preseed is for hardware
>>>> server installation as Ganeti node, but then the mirror defined in the
>>>> preseed is not picked neither the further steps of the installation process.
>>>> Thank you for your support
>>>> --
>>>> Ghassan Elrayah
>>>> System Engineer
>>> First of I know nothing about Debian.
>>> As I understand it some of your choices in your pressed file is detected?
>>> If so this is entirely an Debian issue and not iPXE related?
>>> Can you check that your pressed file is downloaded and restored into
>>> the running linux system?
>>> Also check that /proc/cmdline contains what you expect it to.
>>> (if you where using EFI then the file would never exist in /tmp/ but
>>> that is due to the fact that cpio is not created when starting efi
>>> binaries, also the extra initrd= lines would be needed as kernel
>>> options)
>>> One thing that I do note...
>>> if you have kernel line with arguments and then use imgargs - then the
>>> arguments on the kernel line is gone,
>>> My preferred way here is to put everything on the kernel line to avoid
>>> the confusion.
>>> /Christian
>> Hi Christian and thanks for the reply.
>> I can confirm that the preseed file is downloaded on the target machine
>> and the /proc/cmdline contains exactly the arguments I am passing to the
>> Kernel through the imgargs with the following version of menu.ipxe,
>> unfortunately without success:
>> :d10-dc-node
>> set base-url https://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/amd64/daily/netboot/debian-installer/amd64
>> initrd ${base-url}/initrd.gz
>> initrd tftp://my.ipxe.server/preseed/debian_buster_node.seed /tmp/debian_buster_node.seed
>> kernel ${base-url}/linux auto preseed/url=tftp://my.ipxe.server/preseed/debian_buster_node.seed netcfg/choose_interface=eno1 auto-install/enable=true fb=false debconf/frontend=noninteractive debian-installer=en_US.UTF-8 auto locale=en_US.UTF-8 console-setup/ask_detect=false kbd-chooser/method=us keyboard-configuration/xkb-keymap=us keyboard-configuration/modelcode=pc105 keyboard-configuration/layout=USA keyboard-configuration/variant=USA BOOT_DEBUG=2 --
>> boot
>> the only detected preseed choices are those provided by the Kernel
>> arguments in the menu.ipxe, which are relevant for the language choice
>> and they cannot be proseeded according to the official preseed docs.
>> The preseed file is under /tmp and the /proc/cmd contains exactly the
>> Kernel arguments.
>> --
>> Ghassan Elrayah
>> System Engineer
> On the kernel cmdline ...
> preseed/url=tftp://my.ipxe.server/preseed/debian_buster_node.seed
>   dosn't make sense?
> I don't think that it supports tftp in the Debian init scripts.
> Eighter point it to the file in /tmp/ or use a http url which is the
> likely supported case (but I might as well mention that some initrds
> do not support DNS, so using http://ip is the safest in terms of first
> test)
Sorry for the private reply. It was a mistake. I'll try it and let you know.


Ghassan Elrayah
System Engineer

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