Debian-Installer: FAQ

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Question: Why does DebianInstaller always use DHCP? I want a static address!

Answer*: Boot the installer in expert mode ("boot: expert"), and you will be able to configure a static address, and many other things besides.


Question: But, I'm not an expert, I only want to use static IP addresses.

Answer: If you see anything you don't understand in expert mode, just take the default. DebianInstaller is targeting a larger base of users than have historically installed Debian, including users who don't know what DHCP or static IP addresses are. We understand that the default behavior is annoying if you're a sysadmin installing a server on a network with DHCP, but need to use a static IP, but you're in a fairly small category of users, and really, expert mode was designed just for you.


Question: Why are you doing this? Why not use Anaconda/PGI/whatever? Why reinvent the wheel?

Answer: We're doing this because it's time. Debian has been burdened with a sub-par installer for a full decade, and it's time to change all that. Debian's installer needs to work on more platforms and more types of install media than any other. We need to support installs to S/390 mainframes that have only a teletype console. We need to support installs to m68k boxes that boot from floppies, as well as to netbooting Sun hardware. And yes, we want to support flashy easy installs on Intel clones booting from CD (and USB sticks). And many more; all the possibilities listed in http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ports-status . PGI can't do this. Anaconda can't do this. Only a system designed from the ground up to be completly modular and highly flexible can do so. DebianInstaller is that installer.


Question: Is the DebianInstaller going to be graphical in nature?

Answer: The DebianInstaller will not be graphical by nature, but modularity is a key in its design. It would allow the use of different kinds of frontends, including those of a graphical nature.


Question: Is there any prebuilt/downloadable graphical DebianInstaller?

Answer: ??


Question: Will the DebianInstaller support creating and installing to software RAID devices?

Answer: Paul Fleischer implemented a test image, whose support will be soon merged. Take a look at his [http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/debian-boot-200404/msg01003.html list posting] from debian-boot.


Question: ??

Yes, as of beta 3 this is fairly straightforward to do, using the menu item in the partitioner titled "Configure the Logical Volume Manager".

-- Question: Is there any more information about using the LVM installer - it doesn't seem to work/make much sense to me!


Question: Is anyone working on making DebianInstaller recognize and install on SATA-only drives? How soon before we should be able to try this?

Answer: This is supported as of beta 3 of the installer, at least as well as the Linux 2.4.25 kernel supports them.


Question: DebianInstaller does not include a driver for my xyz network card, but I have (tarball) driver sources. What are the steps for building that driver? Do the steps include the phrase, "Assume you have kernel-headers?" Do you think you'll be able to include kernel-headers for the installer's kernel image(s) in the CD image, so we don't have to sneaker-net them around?

Answer: It's possible to do this, but we do not yet have good end-user docs explaining how to do so. We're waiting for an end user to accomplish it and write them from experience. We're glad to help you through the process when you mail us at debian-boot@lists.debian.org (do not forget to add lspci -v output).


Question: Will there be support for Linux 2.6 kernels?

Answer: It seems that [ http://www.kitenet.net/~joey/blog/ Joey Hess] is working on that support. At the moment DebianInstaller is based on 2.4.25 linux kernels. But you can already install and boot into a kernel-image-2.6.x for your shiny new debian installation.


Question: How to install with boot floppies + netinst.iso mounted as a loop device in the ramdisk from a ext2 partition?

Answer: ??


Question: How can I create boot iso with my own set of packages?

Answer: see ?DebianInstallerModify


Question: How can I build the DebianInstaller?

Answer; see ?DebianInstallerBuild


Question: What's the difference between dhcp-client and dhcpcd ?

Context: I'm testing beta 3 of the Debian-Installer http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ .

When I install debian on a fresh machine and select "testing" and, inside tasksel, choose only

  [*] Broadband internet connection

, then it removes "dhcp-client" and installs "dhcpcd".

Why ? "dhcp-client" was working fine during the previous net-install.

Answer: Well dhcpcd conflicts with dhcp-client .. you might want to fill a wishlist bug for tasksel to better include already provided dhcp-client: [http://bugs.debian.org bug tracking system]


Question: Why after installer tells me its finished and reboot it ejects the cdrom and then after the machine start up, it enters the welcome debian screen, but then it keep rebooting ???