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

Ghassan Elrayah ghel at spreadshirt.net
Sat Mar 30 19:09:44 UTC 2019

didn't work neither by pointing the preseed/url to the preseed file in 
/tmp, althought he file is there.

On 3/30/19 7:44 PM, Ghassan Elrayah wrote:
> 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
Mail: ghassan.elrayah at spreadshirt.net

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