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Translation(s): English - Français

iSCSI and Debian

In the context of computer storage, iSCSI allows a machine to use an iSCSI initiator (client) to connect to remote targets (servers) such as disks and tape drives on an IP network for block level I/O. From the point of view of the class drivers and application software, the devices appear as locally attached SCSI devices. (source: wikipedia: iSCSI )

This page is about installing, configuring and using iSCSI under Debian.

Debian iSCSI initiators

Remember, the initiator is the "client".

Debian iSCSI targets

Remember, the target is the "server" (It's the one that actually have the disk).

Debian with iSCSI root disk

Installing Debian on iSCSI disk

Use an already installed Debian as base. Import the iSCSI disk into this system and mount it (i.e. use the open-iscsi initiator). Then use debootstrap to install the system onto this disk.

A HOWTO on Setting up Debian with iSCSI ROOT is available here http://linux.netapp.com/docs/debian/iscsi-sanboot-configuration-guide

Booting Debian with iSCSI root disk

There is no way to do this with the standard Debian initrd. The init4boot project supplies the needed infrastructure (especially an adapted initrd). Standard PXE / tftp boot with iSCSI root and XEN guest systems with iSCSI root are supported.


  • RFC 3720 - Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI)

  • Tomonori FUJITA (developer of IET target) has many useful resources :