Debian-Installer: FAQ

Question: The installer is great for installing the basic program (it connects through my ethernet card), but when I reboot at the end, there is no connection?!

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

Answer: Either allow the DHCP to run in normal mode, if DHCP fails you are given the option of performing a static setup.

Alternatively, 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 it shouldn't run automatically, it breaks on my system/gets the wrong information/is not what I want.

Answer: 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 . 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?

Question: Is there any prebuilt/downloadable graphical DebianInstaller?

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.

There is a project underway to create a GTK frontend to the installer. For more information on the current status of this frontend see [ here]. Unfortunately the project hasn't seen much activity lately.

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 [ list posting] from debian-boot.

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

Answer: 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 installation on SATA harddrives supported by DebianInstaller?

Answer: There are currently three options for SATA users:

1) Get at least Beta3 of the installer (or a more recent nightly build), the 2.4.25 kernel includes some support for SATA (this is expected to improve later as the SATA drivers have been merged into the upcoming 2.4.27 kernel).

2) Install using the Linux 2.6 kernel which should have support for your SATA hardware.

3) See if you can change your SATA settings in the BIOS from somethink like "Native mode" to "Compability mode" (might be labeled differently)

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 (do not forget to add lspci -v output).

Question: Will there be support for Linux 2.6 kernels?

Answer: It seems that [ 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 .

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: [ 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 ???

Question: Why does the installer ask for the ide-scsi module to install the system, when it clearly can use the normal ide-cd module to do this? Why is the ide-scsi module not included on the cd install, and where can we get it (I have tried the cd drivers boot floppy, no good)?

Answer: ??