Release netboot installer fails
This is mostly to document what I encountered, because I haven't had time
to put it in a bug. (I don't know if I will get around to it, honestly. If
someone else wants to put it in they should feel free and post a response
to the list with the bug link.) I also have a bonus warning regarding
encrypted root at the end.
First, the premise I'm working from:
The released netboot installer (i.e. netboot.tar.gz) downloadable via
https://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst should be capable of
installing the stable distribution, and should probably support any
options it presents.
If there isn't agreement on that, well, don't even bother with the rest.
Using the amd64 netboot (pxelinux.0, etc.), I had my machine PXE boot.
Everything boots and run fine until it tries to load installer components,
at which point it apparently loads udebs from the testing distribution with
kernel modules that don't match the installer kernel. At that point the
installation cannot proceed since it can't find disks without the drivers
for them (e.g. sd_mod).
I would have thought that the udebs for the stable distribution installer
would remain (wait for it) stable. I'm a little unclear on whether there is
any segregation of udebs by distribution at all. I haven't delved into the
details of the installer, and I regret that I don't have time to do so, but
I would hope this is fixable.
*** Bonus Warning ***
This is a caveat, not a complaint or even really a bug report.
I ultimately wound up using a daily netboot build and successfully
installed. This led to a whole other issue having to do with disk
encryption. The stable distribution has cryptsetup v1.x, but testing has
v2.x. Since the daily netboot is based on testing it uses cryptsetup 2.x to
format an encrypted partition, and that defaults to the LUKS2 disk format. The
stable distribution only has cryptsetup v1.x, which does not understand the
LUKS2 format. Thus guided partitioning with an encrypted LVM partition
containing root cannot be used when installing the stable distribution from
a testing-based installer. Since Buster is pretty close to release, as I
understand it, I chose to install testing and use LUKS2.
I'd argue that the installer should offer a choice between LUKS1 and LUKS2,
particularly if the user has chosen Expert Install. Meanwhile, I just want
to make people aware of the pitfall.