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stuck at Debian's text installer numerical Software Selection menu

Hi, I'm playing with Debian 9.4 stretch on other architectures via the
QEMU emulator (eventually for security research.) I can't figure out
how to handle the numerical software selection menu in the _text_

I managed to install Debian x86 inside QEMU, using the newt installer.
However, I'm having trouble getting the newt installer to run on
emulated MIPS (I only see a Go Back button at language selection,
that's a separate problem.)

I can get the text installer to launch via passing
DEBIAN_FRONTEND=text as a kernel parameter, and right now my objective
is to get Debian installed inside emulated MIPS via the text

The challenge is the Software Selection menu, with items 1-11 with
items like desktop environments, print server and SSH server.

I played with this for several hours yesterday on the x86 installer,
and I could not figure this out. I tried entering numbers separated by
a space at the prompt, entering ? at this prompt. I tried passing
tasks?="ssh-server, standard"
tasksel:tasksel/first?="ssh-server, standard"
with or without a space after the comma. I looked at preseed files to
get the right variables.

I read all about boot parameters. No matter what I did, desktop and
print-server were installed on x86.

I used the newt installer to get x86 Debian installed. But I'm having
trouble with newt installer on MIPS right now.

At the Software Selection menu in the text installer, with typical
numerical options 1-11, how do I make the selection of ssh-server and

Thanks in advance. I beat my head on this problem for several hours
yesterday, and I'd appreciate a helpful hint.