[Debian-eeepc-devel] PXE network boot on 901

oz oz at bluemonk.de
Sun Aug 24 14:08:32 UTC 2008


I'm new to this list, because I have my first eee-pc (901).

Someone asked recently, how to use PXE for installing Debian on the 901,
and I think I can give an answer. 

I installed Debian/lenny with LAN on the eee-pc 901 with a slightly
easier method.

In short:

1.) PXE-boot via BIOS-setting and Ethernet.

2.) Boot into the debian-installer of lenny(testing) with the standard

3.) Minimal installation of a basic lenny (no desktop task, no
standard-system task)

4.) After the first boot the lenny-kernel comes up, which does not
support the Atheros Ethernet controller (23.Aug.2008).

5.) But sid(unstable) supports eth, so I downloaded the kernel-deb from
it, copied it on an usb-stick and transfered it to the eee. With
'dpkg -i' I installed that new 2.6.26-kernel.

6.) On the next reboot grub starts with the new kernel and you have full
LAN-Support (eth0). 

In detail:

to 1.) I installed a tftp- and dhcp-server on a second debian-pc in my
LAN. I used the tftpd-hpa and dhcp3-server. I tried udhcpd also, but I
can't get it to play together with the tftp/bootp server. These were
the main settings in /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf:
allow booting;
allow bootp;

subnet 192.168.x.x netmask {
  range 192.168.x.x 192.168.x.x;
  option domain-name-servers 192.168.x.x;
  option domain-name "x.x";
  option routers 192.168.x.x;
  option broadcast-address 192.168.x.x;
  default-lease-time 600;
  max-lease-time 7200;
  filename "pxelinux.0";
  next-server x.x.x.x.;  #the IP of my tftp-server.

A daily-snapshot of netboot.tar.gz I fetched from 
and untared it to /var/lib/tftpboot/, the home-dir of my tftp-server
and where you can find the pxelinux.0 afterwards.

to 2.) In the Bios of the eee (press F2 at boottime), I enabled the
onboard-LAN-device and after the next reboot I chose PXE as my first
boot-device. At the next reboot the eee gets an IP from dhcp and the
information about the tftp-server, where it has to download the
pxelinux.0 from. With that file the standard debian-installer appears.

to 3.) Do a standard manual partitioning as you like. I did / on the
first 4GB ssd and /home on 4GB of the second ssd. Some optimization
can be done already (ext3 with noatime and no swap area).

to 4.)5.) After the first boot lennies 2.6.25-kernel is booted, which
has no support for eth like the netboot-kernel. Therefore I fetched the
actual kernel-deb from sid:
... placed it on an usb-stick and installed it with dpkg -i on the eee. 
The mkinitramfs an grub-implementation is done automatically.

to 6.) After the boot of 2.6.26 you have a clean lenny with atheros LAN
support. Enjoy!


P.S. with WLAN I will get more problems, right?

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