Installing Debian on the Eee 901, 1000HD, and 701 Using Netboot
The Eee 901's BIOS includes PXE, which is a way to load a kernel over the network. The Eee 701 also supports netbooting as of BIOS version 1101. This can be used to load the Debian installer without using flash cards or CDs, and is described on this page. The important points to note about this method are that:
- Currently it's only confirmed to work on the 901, 1000HD, and the 701 with BIOS version 1101 or later. If you have another model, please check whether its BIOS supports network booting and update this page.
- The Debian installer that's used is the regular one, not the customised Eee version.
The definitive documentation for how to install Debian using PXE is the section titled "Preparing Files for TFTP Net Booting" in the Debian Installation Guide; see http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/i386/ch04s06.html.en. This project's DebianEeePC/HowTo/InstallUsingStandardInstaller is also relevant. This page does not duplicate content from those documents.
- tftpd-hpa and dhcp3-server is a combination that works for netboot.
- dnsmasq is enough for pxa boot too
Set up the Eee for network booting: power on and press F2 to enter the BIOS; in the Boot page set "OnBoard LAN Boot ROM" to Enabled and in "Boot Device Priority" set "Network:Atheros Boot Agent" to a higher priority than the internal disk. There's another page of settings accessible by pressing shift-F10 during boot, but (from memory) I think the defaults are OK.
- Download the Debian installer netboot tarball, and set up your DHCP and TFTP servers as described in the Debian Installation Guide.
Make any Eee-specific changes. See DebianEeePC/HowTo/InstallUsingStandardInstaller. For example, you will probably want to add the Debian Eee project's apt repository to your sources.list, and install kernel modules (or a kernel) with support for the Eee's ethernet, wifi, etc. (to be able to use atl2 and newer network cards you might want to try squeeze netboot image, you can opt to install stable or testing later in the installation process)
Using PXE to boot Eee-specific installer
Instead of using standard d-i image you can use PXE to boot the same image as described at DebianEeePC/HowTo/Install:
- Download the usb image
mount -o loop debian-eeepc.img /mnt
cp /mnt/* /var/ftpd (or whereever your TFTP root is)
Download http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/testing/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/pxelinux.0 and copy to TFTP root
cd /var/ftpd; mkdir pxelinux.cfg; cd pxelinux.cfg; ln -s ../syslinux.cfg default
Boot and proceed as per DebianEeePC/HowTo/Install