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Debian-Installer: boot via TFTP

Introduction

This HOWTO describes how to use debian-installer-floppies over the network to boot computers via DHCP and TFTP.

Setup server

This is described in detail in PXEBootInstall.

Setup client

This part is different for different computers.

SGI

Sun sparc

Be aware this process works for newer versions of OpenBoot only. You will need to use an ARP/RARP boot process for older machines (such as the sparc server 20). Installer images are available on debian doc for the sparc architectures. Doc also contains good install instructions. I recommend the combination rarpd/tftpd; this seems to be the simplest.

The Image

Build the netboot initial RAM disk in build directory by

  cd /your/path/to/debian-installer/build
  fakeroot make TYPE=netboot initrd

Get the Linux kernel (vmlinuz) from a kernel image package doing

  mkdir newdirectory ; cd newdirectory
  ar -x path/to/kernel-image-version.deb
  tar xf data.tar.gz
  ls boot
  cd .. # back to build directory

Cast the image:

   cd debian-installer/build
   ./tftpboot.sh newdirectory/boot/vmlinuz \
     newdirectory/boot/Systemmap.gz netboot-initrd.gz /boot/di.nbi

Verify

Boot the computer. See if it'll get its address from dhcp and then does get by TFTP the image.

The computer will start the DebianInstaller.