Translations: French

What is special about the custom installer?

All that is customized is the addition of some hardware-specific support not in the standard installer. It is a 16M network-based installer image suitable for use on a USB key, external hard drive or SD/SDHC card.

The installation process itself is exactly as documented for the standard Debian-Installer.

We have found this works for the great majority of our users. The custom installer can get you up and running with all hardware working sooner than otherwise.

This installer boots with and installs on the target system:

We are working towards getting all of this support into the standard installer. That is, we know we're done when we no longer need for extra packages and everything “just works”.

Installing over wireless

This installer has the option of installing over wireless (on models which include wifi modules in the installer -- see above) as well as ethernet.

How did you get it so small? What is left out?

Our installer can install a full Debian system on your Eee. How is that possible with such a small image? The builtin capabilities of the installer itself are reduced to a basic set adequate for most situations. Most files get retrieved over the net. Unlike the 'netinst' installer which is 130M and contains everything needed to do a 'base' install, ours is a 'monolithic' installer which includes the whole installer in the initial ramdisk. It is limited in that it can only work with the packages that are included in that ramdisk and cannot extend itself with packages outside. Thus, it is not suitable for special install scenarios like pppoe, lvm, crypto or special accessibility needs. Fortunately, most users do not need these things, and if they do, they can use the standard installer instead.

Use on non-Eee systems

Occasionally someone asks if this image can be used on non-Eee PC systems. There’s no reason it couldn’t. You would just need to remove any of the extra things listed above that are useless on non-Eee systems afterwards (any unneeded kernel modules and the eeepc repository in /etc/apt/sources.list). However, if you have problems using it for this purpose, you would be better off just using a standard Debian installer than trying to ask us for help with it, as we have no interest in supporting the installer for uses other than installing Debian on an Eee.


The exact process for mastering the image linked from DebianEeePC/HowTo/Install basically followed DebianInstaller/Modify/CustomKernel to build a Lenny installer. A few extra steps were required to include the atl2 module. The following instructions assume a lenny build system. You may wish to prepare a lenny chroot to do this using cdebootstrap or debootstrap so that your build system will not be 'tainted' by the installation of the kernel for the custom installer. So cd to the directory where you want the chroot, and do:

debootstrap lenny lenny

Building the image

The process is automated with the script available at git:// web, though to make it work in a Lenny chroot, a few things are missing:

do_symlinks = Yes
do_initrd = Yes

chroot lenny
aptitude update
aptitude install locales
dkpg-reconfigure locales

chroot lenny
aptitude update
aptitude install initramfs-tools

cp lenny/root/
chroot lenny/
touch /etc/fstab
mount -t proc proc /proc
mount -t sysfs sys /sys

* Change to roots home directory as for some reason the script hangs downloading debian-installer package list at 99% if you are in '/'. Then start the build:


If all goes well, after a while test/debian-eeepc.img should be created.

If it doesn’t go well, please contact us on the mailing list or via irc. We don’t neccesarily keep the script constantly up to date, so if you notice errors, we would be happy to know.

Testing your build

It is a good idea to test the initial boot stages with qemu just to see if it works correctly without any very noticible glitches, then testing it by dd’ing to a usb or sd card.