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Re: Is it possible to install Debian in such a case.

On Fri 10 May 2019 at 13:20:39 -0500, David Wright wrote:

> On Fri 10 May 2019 at 16:28:09 (+0100), Brian wrote:
> > 
> > I am not sure An Liu is asking for help with installing Red Hat. 
> I understand that. But, because of the earlier post that I mentioned before,
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2019/05/msg00032.html
> and the thread where you commented on an overlooked paragraph in
> https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/FAQ#Q:_How_can_I_install_sid_.28unstable.29_with_DebianInstaller.3F
> I took a look at this page to see if the two ideas were related.
> That led me nowhere, but further up this page I did see:
> Q: How to install with boot floppies + netinst.iso mounted as a loop
> device in the ramdisk from a ext2 partition?

"boot floppies"; that's a blast from the past!
> A: You can boot the installer directly from a hard disk using LILO or
> GRUB, and the *hd-media initrd* will find your netinst.iso. See the
> DebianInstall for details.

Now augmented to be more useful (hopefully).

> which takes you up to the DebianInstall page itself. If there were
> any details here about that Q&A, they seem to have gone. The closest
> approach to an answer would be Debootstrap, but that has nothing to
> do with the netinst.iso.

I found nothing on the DebianInstall page either and, like you, don't
consider debootstrap comes into it.
> But it does seem that a recipe to do what's promised by the Q&A
> would answer this thread's OP: "Install Debian from Grub+ISO".
> I think Greg's reference is the closest approach, but again it
> involves debootstrap rather than the d-i. The Q&A implies that
> you can jump from Grub into the netinst.iso. The least obvious
> part is the *hd-media initrd* referred to above. What and where?

Although it is not abundantly clear, I think An Liu was after a way of
booting a netinst or DVD-1 image using GRUB's loopback device. This is,
as has been said a few times in this thread, not possible using the
initrds of those images.

Quite a few people have asked for the loop module to be added to d-i's
initrd and have even provided patches. Up to now the d-i team have not
provided this facility. loopback with GRUB can be done if the hd-media
initrd is used with the d-i kernel, but it can be a bit fraught.

> My interest in this stems from a Laptop on which you are blind until
> the kernel loads (ie text pours down the screen). No boot selection
> menu, no CMOS screens, no Grub screens.

You are in a bad way. I wouldn't even wish that on those users who see
-user as a Windows support list. :)