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Old 10-09-2008, 11:28 PM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

I don't think the hardware is going to be the issue here. I'm pretty
sure it's a config issue.

I have a Soekris Net5501 box I'm installing Etch on. I'm hooked up to
the box with a null modem cable for the console and it's also hooked up
to my LAN. I've setup a PXE boot on my DNS server using tftpd-hpa.
The 5501 starts up and I get data on the console (I'm using either
Minicom or the screen command to read/write to the serial port). I do
get the boot menu from the netboot, such as it is (since pxelinux seems
limited to 15 columns of display) and when I get the prompt, I
type "install" and Linux starts to load, including the long row of
dots, then the screen clears and the cursor sits on the left side of
the screen and nothing happens from then on.

My guess is that once Linux loads communication is stopping with the
serial port. I don't think it's going at a different baud rate because
there's no garbage, but if it had a simple prompt, it could come up so
fast I miss it before the screen clears.

Here is the file structure in /var/lib/tftpboot:

.
|-- boot-screens
| |-- boot.txt
| |-- f1.txt
| |-- f10.txt
| |-- f2.txt
| |-- f3.txt
| |-- f4.txt
| |-- f5.txt
| |-- f6.txt
| |-- f7.txt
| |-- f8.txt
| |-- f9.txt
| `-- splash.rle
|-- initrd.gz
|-- linux
|-- orig-bu
| |-- debian
| | `-- etch
| | `-- i386
| | |-- initrd.gz
| | `-- linux
| |-- pxelinux.0
| `-- pxelinux.cfg
| |-- boot.txt
| `-- default
|-- pxelinux.0
|-- pxelinux.cfg
| `-- default
`-- pxelinux.cfg.serial-9600
`-- default

I thought it might be a baud rate issue. The 5501 starts with 19200
baud, so I altered pxelinux.cfg/default to use the same speed and to
specify the right console (before I added "CONSOLE 0" on one line, I'd
get double characters). Here's the pxelinux.cfg file:

SERIAL 0 19200
CONSOLE 0
DISPLAY boot-screens/boot.txt

F1 boot-screens/f1.txt
F2 boot-screens/f2.txt
F3 boot-screens/f3.txt
F4 boot-screens/f4.txt
F5 boot-screens/f5.txt
F6 boot-screens/f6.txt
F7 boot-screens/f7.txt
F8 boot-screens/f8.txt
F9 boot-screens/f9.txt
F0 boot-screens/f10.txt

DEFAULT install

LABEL install
kernel linux
append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
LABEL linux
kernel linux
append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --

LABEL expert
kernel linux
append priority=low vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --

LABEL rescue
kernel linux
append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz rescue/enable=true --

LABEL auto
kernel linux
append auto=true priority=critical vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --

PROMPT 1
TIMEOUT 0

I would think this would specify the right baud rate. Linux is loading
and so is initrd. It's just that I get no prompt or any screen
activity or response after both Linux and initrd load. I tried
stopping my term program (in this case screen) and starting it again at
9600, which I saw somewhere should be the default baud rate, but it
didn't help and was still unresponsive.

I've been using this page
(http://wiki.soekris.info/Installing_Debian_Linux_(4.0r1_Etch)) as a
guide and had the same problems when I did everything as that page
suggested. Then I changed and used the setup files from Debian, which
is how it's set up now.

What am I doing wrong or what do I need to change so after Linux and
initrd.gz load I get a prompt or the Etch installer when it's done? Do
I need to include install files as well? I didn't see that mentioned
in any of the pages that discussed this. If so, would I just snag a
net install CD and copy all the files into a special directory
somewhere in /var/lib/tftpboot?

Thanks for any help or pointers!


Hal


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Old 10-10-2008, 02:01 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Thursday 09 October 2008, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> I don't think the hardware is going to be the issue here. I'm pretty
> sure it's a config issue.
>
> I have a Soekris Net5501 box I'm installing Etch on. I'm hooked up
> to the box with a null modem cable for the console and it's also
> hooked up to my LAN. I've setup a PXE boot on my DNS server using
> tftpd-hpa. The 5501 starts up and I get data on the console (I'm
> using either Minicom or the screen command to read/write to the
> serial port). I do get the boot menu from the netboot, such as it is
> (since pxelinux seems limited to 15 columns of display) and when I
> get the prompt, I type "install" and Linux starts to load, including
> the long row of dots, then the screen clears and the cursor sits on
> the left side of the screen and nothing happens from then on.

I used a capture file and can add to this point: After typing "install"
which should start the Linux kernel and initrd.gz, I get this:

Loading linux.......................
Loading
initrd.gz......................................... ............................
Ready.

After the "Ready." there is one character: 0x0A and nothing else.
That's when I always lose communication. Nothing else appears, not
even gibberish, and there's no response if I try to type anything new.

> My guess is that once Linux loads communication is stopping with the
> serial port. I don't think it's going at a different baud rate
> because there's no garbage, but if it had a simple prompt, it could
> come up so fast I miss it before the screen clears.
>
> Here is the file structure in /var/lib/tftpboot:
>
> .
>
> |-- boot-screens
> |
> | |-- boot.txt
> | |-- f1.txt
> | |-- f10.txt
> | |-- f2.txt
> | |-- f3.txt
> | |-- f4.txt
> | |-- f5.txt
> | |-- f6.txt
> | |-- f7.txt
> | |-- f8.txt
> | |-- f9.txt
> |
> | `-- splash.rle
> |-- initrd.gz
> |-- linux
> |-- orig-bu
> |
> | |-- debian
> | | `-- etch
> | | `-- i386
> | |
> | | |-- initrd.gz
> | |
> | | `-- linux
> | |-- pxelinux.0
> |
> | `-- pxelinux.cfg
> |
> | |-- boot.txt
> |
> | `-- default
> |-- pxelinux.0
> |-- pxelinux.cfg
> | `-- default
>
> `-- pxelinux.cfg.serial-9600
> `-- default
>
> I thought it might be a baud rate issue. The 5501 starts with 19200
> baud, so I altered pxelinux.cfg/default to use the same speed and to
> specify the right console (before I added "CONSOLE 0" on one line,
> I'd get double characters). Here's the pxelinux.cfg file:
>
> SERIAL 0 19200
> CONSOLE 0
> DISPLAY boot-screens/boot.txt
>
> F1 boot-screens/f1.txt
> F2 boot-screens/f2.txt
> F3 boot-screens/f3.txt
> F4 boot-screens/f4.txt
> F5 boot-screens/f5.txt
> F6 boot-screens/f6.txt
> F7 boot-screens/f7.txt
> F8 boot-screens/f8.txt
> F9 boot-screens/f9.txt
> F0 boot-screens/f10.txt
>
> DEFAULT install
>
> LABEL install
> kernel linux
> append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
> LABEL linux
> kernel linux
> append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
>
> LABEL expert
> kernel linux
> append priority=low vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
>
> LABEL rescue
> kernel linux
> append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz rescue/enable=true --
>
> LABEL auto
> kernel linux
> append auto=true priority=critical vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
>
> PROMPT 1
> TIMEOUT 0
>
> I would think this would specify the right baud rate. Linux is
> loading and so is initrd. It's just that I get no prompt or any
> screen activity or response after both Linux and initrd load. I
> tried stopping my term program (in this case screen) and starting it
> again at 9600, which I saw somewhere should be the default baud rate,
> but it didn't help and was still unresponsive.
>
> I've been using this page
> (http://wiki.soekris.info/Installing_Debian_Linux_(4.0r1_Etch)) as a
> guide and had the same problems when I did everything as that page
> suggested. Then I changed and used the setup files from Debian,
> which is how it's set up now.
>
> What am I doing wrong or what do I need to change so after Linux and
> initrd.gz load I get a prompt or the Etch installer when it's done?
> Do I need to include install files as well? I didn't see that
> mentioned in any of the pages that discussed this. If so, would I
> just snag a net install CD and copy all the files into a special
> directory somewhere in /var/lib/tftpboot?
>
> Thanks for any help or pointers!
>
>
> Hal



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Old 10-10-2008, 04:38 AM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 07:28:43PM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> I don't think the hardware is going to be the issue here. I'm pretty
> sure it's a config issue.
>
> I have a Soekris Net5501 box I'm installing Etch on. I'm hooked up to
> the box with a null modem cable for the console and it's also hooked up
> to my LAN. I've setup a PXE boot on my DNS server using tftpd-hpa.
> The 5501 starts up and I get data on the console (I'm using either
> Minicom or the screen command to read/write to the serial port).

You should tell that to linux.

> I do
> get the boot menu from the netboot, such as it is (since pxelinux seems
> limited to 15 columns of display) and when I get the prompt, I
> type "install" and Linux starts to load, including the long row of
> dots, then the screen clears and the cursor sits on the left side of
> the screen and nothing happens from then on.
>
> My guess is that once Linux loads communication is stopping with the
> serial port. I don't think it's going at a different baud rate because
> there's no garbage, but if it had a simple prompt, it could come up so
> fast I miss it before the screen clears.
>
> Here is the file structure in /var/lib/tftpboot:
>
> .
> |-- boot-screens
> | |-- boot.txt
> | |-- f1.txt
> | |-- f10.txt
> | |-- f2.txt
> | |-- f3.txt
> | |-- f4.txt
> | |-- f5.txt
> | |-- f6.txt
> | |-- f7.txt
> | |-- f8.txt
> | |-- f9.txt
> | `-- splash.rle
> |-- initrd.gz
> |-- linux
> |-- orig-bu
> | |-- debian
> | | `-- etch
> | | `-- i386
> | | |-- initrd.gz
> | | `-- linux
> | |-- pxelinux.0
> | `-- pxelinux.cfg
> | |-- boot.txt
> | `-- default
> |-- pxelinux.0
> |-- pxelinux.cfg
> | `-- default
> `-- pxelinux.cfg.serial-9600
> `-- default

Where is the actual install media?

>
> I thought it might be a baud rate issue. The 5501 starts with 19200
> baud, so I altered pxelinux.cfg/default to use the same speed and to
> specify the right console (before I added "CONSOLE 0" on one line, I'd
> get double characters). Here's the pxelinux.cfg file:
>
> SERIAL 0 19200
> CONSOLE 0
> DISPLAY boot-screens/boot.txt
>
> F1 boot-screens/f1.txt
> F2 boot-screens/f2.txt
> F3 boot-screens/f3.txt
> F4 boot-screens/f4.txt
> F5 boot-screens/f5.txt
> F6 boot-screens/f6.txt
> F7 boot-screens/f7.txt
> F8 boot-screens/f8.txt
> F9 boot-screens/f9.txt
> F0 boot-screens/f10.txt
>
> DEFAULT install
>
> LABEL install
> kernel linux
> append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --

also append: console=ttyS0,19200

--
Tzafrir Cohen | tzafrir@jabber.org | VIM is
http://tzafrir.org.il | | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il | | best
ICQ# 16849754 | | friend


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Old 10-10-2008, 05:06 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 07:28:43PM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> > I don't think the hardware is going to be the issue here. I'm
> > pretty sure it's a config issue.
> >
> > I have a Soekris Net5501 box I'm installing Etch on. I'm hooked up
> > to the box with a null modem cable for the console and it's also
> > hooked up to my LAN. I've setup a PXE boot on my DNS server using
> > tftpd-hpa. The 5501 starts up and I get data on the console (I'm
> > using either Minicom or the screen command to read/write to the
> > serial port).
>
> You should tell that to linux.

I'm not clear what you mean by that.

> > I do
> > get the boot menu from the netboot, such as it is (since pxelinux
> > seems limited to 15 columns of display) and when I get the prompt,
> > I type "install" and Linux starts to load, including the long row
> > of dots, then the screen clears and the cursor sits on the left
> > side of the screen and nothing happens from then on.
> >
> > My guess is that once Linux loads communication is stopping with
> > the serial port. I don't think it's going at a different baud rate
> > because there's no garbage, but if it had a simple prompt, it could
> > come up so fast I miss it before the screen clears.
> >
> > Here is the file structure in /var/lib/tftpboot:
> >
> > .
> >
> > |-- boot-screens
> > |
> > | |-- boot.txt
> > | |-- f1.txt
> > | |-- f10.txt
> > | |-- f2.txt
> > | |-- f3.txt
> > | |-- f4.txt
> > | |-- f5.txt
> > | |-- f6.txt
> > | |-- f7.txt
> > | |-- f8.txt
> > | |-- f9.txt
> > |
> > | `-- splash.rle
> > |-- initrd.gz
> > |-- linux
> > |-- orig-bu
> > |
> > | |-- debian
> > | | `-- etch
> > | | `-- i386
> > | |
> > | | |-- initrd.gz
> > | |
> > | | `-- linux
> > | |-- pxelinux.0
> > |
> > | `-- pxelinux.cfg
> > |
> > | |-- boot.txt
> > |
> > | `-- default
> > |-- pxelinux.0
> > |-- pxelinux.cfg
> > | `-- default
> >
> > `-- pxelinux.cfg.serial-9600
> > `-- default
>
> Where is the actual install media?

That's one thing I'm not clear about. Not one article I've found on the
web that has explained this has said where to put any install media. I
was beginning to wonder if data was automatically pulled from a URL or
something since I did not see instructions on placing any other install
files.

> > I thought it might be a baud rate issue. The 5501 starts with
> > 19200 baud, so I altered pxelinux.cfg/default to use the same speed
> > and to specify the right console (before I added "CONSOLE 0" on one
> > line, I'd get double characters). Here's the pxelinux.cfg file:
> >
> > SERIAL 0 19200
> > CONSOLE 0
> > DISPLAY boot-screens/boot.txt
> >
> > F1 boot-screens/f1.txt
> > F2 boot-screens/f2.txt
> > F3 boot-screens/f3.txt
> > F4 boot-screens/f4.txt
> > F5 boot-screens/f5.txt
> > F6 boot-screens/f6.txt
> > F7 boot-screens/f7.txt
> > F8 boot-screens/f8.txt
> > F9 boot-screens/f9.txt
> > F0 boot-screens/f10.txt
> >
> > DEFAULT install
> >
> > LABEL install
> > kernel linux
> > append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
>
> also append: console=ttyS0,19200

I'm switching to a different system for the tftp server to make it
easier, so once I'm done, I'll find out how that works.

Thanks!


Hal


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Old 10-10-2008, 05:14 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 07:28:43PM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
...
> > I thought it might be a baud rate issue. The 5501 starts with
> > 19200 baud, so I altered pxelinux.cfg/default to use the same speed
> > and to specify the right console (before I added "CONSOLE 0" on one
> > line, I'd get double characters). Here's the pxelinux.cfg file:
> >
> > SERIAL 0 19200
> > CONSOLE 0
> > DISPLAY boot-screens/boot.txt
> >
> > F1 boot-screens/f1.txt
> > F2 boot-screens/f2.txt
> > F3 boot-screens/f3.txt
> > F4 boot-screens/f4.txt
> > F5 boot-screens/f5.txt
> > F6 boot-screens/f6.txt
> > F7 boot-screens/f7.txt
> > F8 boot-screens/f8.txt
> > F9 boot-screens/f9.txt
> > F0 boot-screens/f10.txt
> >
> > DEFAULT install
> >
> > LABEL install
> > kernel linux
> > append vga=normal initrd=initrd.gz --
>
> also append: console=ttyS0,19200

It seems like this, added to the append line, is all that was needed.
It's working fine now and starts the install -- where the install
program comes from, I'm not clear (on the ramdrive?), but it works.

Thank you!


Hal


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Old 10-12-2008, 12:54 AM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 01:06:41AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:

> > Where is the actual install media?
>
> That's one thing I'm not clear about. Not one article I've found on the
> web that has explained this has said where to put any install media. I
> was beginning to wonder if data was automatically pulled from a URL or
> something since I did not see instructions on placing any other install
> files.

Indeed, the install guide is not so clear at this point. It merely
points you to a complete tarball that includes the whole PXE network
layout. But doesn't really tell you how to add it to an existing layout.

We just include the kernel (vmlinux) and network-install initrd in our
custom PXE menu. We also use a simple preseed script to give the rest of
the parameters to the installer.

The entry I have thus far is:

LABEL install-etch
MENU LABEL Install Debian Etch
KERNEL debian-installer/linux.etch.r4
APPEND initrd=debian-installer/initrd.etch.r4.gz DEBCONF_PRIORITY=critical vga=normal auto=true ramdisk_size=32768 url=http://myserver/netinst/debian.preseed --

debian.preseed contains the rest of the instructions for the installer,
including the Debian mirror to use.

On previous versions you could just take an install CD image and
loopback-mount it as an installation source. This no longer works
without some tweaks, as CDs now are not signed.

--
Tzafrir Cohen | tzafrir@jabber.org | VIM is
http://tzafrir.org.il | | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il | | best
ICQ# 16849754 | | friend


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Old 10-12-2008, 09:12 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Saturday 11 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 01:06:41AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> > On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> > > Where is the actual install media?
> >
> > That's one thing I'm not clear about. Not one article I've found
> > on the web that has explained this has said where to put any
> > install media. I was beginning to wonder if data was automatically
> > pulled from a URL or something since I did not see instructions on
> > placing any other install files.
>
> Indeed, the install guide is not so clear at this point. It merely
> points you to a complete tarball that includes the whole PXE network
> layout. But doesn't really tell you how to add it to an existing
> layout.

I did find out, from experience, though, that there is no need for an
installation medium. The entire install was either in the initrd or
downloaded by the installer that was in there. I don't have that page
in my browser at the moment so I don't remember if it was in a wiki or
not. I think it may have been. I did get an account on the Soekris
wiki, which had the instructions for everything to do except how to set
up the PXEBoot (and for that it linked to the page we're discussing)
and I added in the part about specifying the console as the serial
device and the baud rate in the config file.

Oh, and as an experiment, considering all the trouble I had, at one
point I just unzipped the entire netboot.tgz (or was it tar.gz?) file
in the tftpboot directory and edited the default config file and it
worked perfectly. I think it was easier to add 2-3 lines to the config
file than to be straight on which file to delete and which link to
delete and replace.

Hal


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Old 10-12-2008, 10:24 AM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 05:12:47AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> On Saturday 11 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> > On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 01:06:41AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> > > On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> > > > Where is the actual install media?
> > >
> > > That's one thing I'm not clear about. Not one article I've found
> > > on the web that has explained this has said where to put any
> > > install media. I was beginning to wonder if data was automatically
> > > pulled from a URL or something since I did not see instructions on
> > > placing any other install files.
> >
> > Indeed, the install guide is not so clear at this point. It merely
> > points you to a complete tarball that includes the whole PXE network
> > layout. But doesn't really tell you how to add it to an existing
> > layout.
>
> I did find out, from experience, though, that there is no need for an
> installation medium. The entire install was either in the initrd or
> downloaded by the installer that was in there. I don't have that page
> in my browser at the moment so I don't remember if it was in a wiki or
> not. I think it may have been. I did get an account on the Soekris
> wiki, which had the instructions for everything to do except how to set
> up the PXEBoot (and for that it linked to the page we're discussing)
> and I added in the part about specifying the console as the serial
> device and the baud rate in the config file.
>
> Oh, and as an experiment, considering all the trouble I had, at one
> point I just unzipped the entire netboot.tgz (or was it tar.gz?) file
> in the tftpboot directory and edited the default config file and it
> worked perfectly. I think it was easier to add 2-3 lines to the config
> file than to be straight on which file to delete and which link to
> delete and replace.

Which is why I prefer a preseed file to point to the mirror.

--
Tzafrir Cohen | tzafrir@jabber.org | VIM is
http://tzafrir.org.il | | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il | | best
ICQ# 16849754 | | friend


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Old 10-12-2008, 10:46 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Installing Etch With TFTP: Linux starts, I/O Stops

On Sunday 12 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 05:12:47AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> > On Saturday 11 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> > > On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 01:06:41AM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> > > > On Friday 10 October 2008, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> > > > > Where is the actual install media?
> > > >
> > > > That's one thing I'm not clear about. Not one article I've
> > > > found on the web that has explained this has said where to put
> > > > any install media. I was beginning to wonder if data was
> > > > automatically pulled from a URL or something since I did not
> > > > see instructions on placing any other install files.
> > >
> > > Indeed, the install guide is not so clear at this point. It
> > > merely points you to a complete tarball that includes the whole
> > > PXE network layout. But doesn't really tell you how to add it to
> > > an existing layout.
> >
> > I did find out, from experience, though, that there is no need for
> > an installation medium. The entire install was either in the
> > initrd or downloaded by the installer that was in there. I don't
> > have that page in my browser at the moment so I don't remember if
> > it was in a wiki or not. I think it may have been. I did get an
> > account on the Soekris wiki, which had the instructions for
> > everything to do except how to set up the PXEBoot (and for that it
> > linked to the page we're discussing) and I added in the part about
> > specifying the console as the serial device and the baud rate in
> > the config file.
> >
> > Oh, and as an experiment, considering all the trouble I had, at one
> > point I just unzipped the entire netboot.tgz (or was it tar.gz?)
> > file in the tftpboot directory and edited the default config file
> > and it worked perfectly. I think it was easier to add 2-3 lines to
> > the config file than to be straight on which file to delete and
> > which link to delete and replace.
>
> Which is why I prefer a preseed file to point to the mirror.

At this point, I've got mine working and likely won't need it again
until/unless I reinstall in the future instead of just upgrading from
Etch to Lenny and so on. For now mine stays as it is, mainly as part
of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea, but this is something
I'll certainly look into if I have to change it around in the future.

The irony is the PXEBoot server I set up on the old system will be
transferred to the one I just set up using PXEBoot soon. I'll just
transfer it with rsync. When it comes time to make changes, I'll look
at the preseed file and see if that works for me. Thanks for making
the point.


Hal


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