Sat, 01 Jul 2006

Debian-Installer + 2.6.15 kernel for AMD64/EM64T

Although I was still busy, I tried to build d-i image for AMD64/EM64T (x86_64) today.

To do try & error, I rented DELL SC430 EM64T machine from my friend DD Shigeo (Thanks!). This machine is really good showcase to demonstrate how we can support tricky machines.

  • 64bit architecture.
  • Keyboard is connected via USB. There isn't legacy PS/2 emulation.
  • CD-ROM drive is connected with parallel ATA, but HDD is connected with serial ATA.
  • NIC is a kind of Broadcom. Although tg3 driver is for this, kernel 2.6.8 needs to take firmware from somewhere.

In short, official Sarge d-i can't work on this machine.

Using backported kernel 2.6.15 and other things, I succeeded to build experimental installer.

  1. Download mini.iso (small CD image to launch network installer) or netboot.tar.gz (for TFTP boot) from here. (I've tested only netboot.tar.gz version)
  2. When installer asks a mirror site, set "" as host and "/~kmuto/sarge-amd64" as directory.
  3. If you meet "no disk" error, go another virtual terminal (Alt+F2) and run "modprobe ata_piix". Then back installer screen (Alt+F1).
  4. Remains are as same as normal installer. Choose other official mirror at 2nd stage.

Known bugs:

  • Discover doesn't load ata_piix if piix (ide_generic?) is loaded before.
  • USB keyboard list provides only a few choices. Use US map at this time.
  • For CJK people, you may find 2nd stage screen won't show in local language. This is because some kernel images don't include fbcon driver and jfbterm can't run.
  • I haven't tweaked RAID/LVM yet. So it may not work.

I'm trying to make auto-build script also. Although it's still under developemnt, you can see svn repository;

(you may find new version of d-i from here)


Guys anyone knows do this Debian-Installer (kernel 2.6.15) support Sata2 HDD? Previous installer (v2.6.14) unfortunatly do not sees Sata2 HDD in PC.. BIOS and Windows sees Sata2 withou any problem.

Posted by Oleg at 2006/03/15 (Wed) 03:03:04

Hi Oleg, although I'm not a kernel developer,additional information may help.
Could you post your hardware information via ?

Posted by kmuto at 2006/03/15 (Wed) 10:40:00


a thousand thanks! this allowed me to get amd64 sarge with 2.6 installed on a dell 1850 with the PERC/megaraid problems.

just wanted to let you know that the installer still didn't recognize the disk by default; i had to drop to a shell and do "modprobe megaraid_mbox". after that everything was perfect though.

thanks again!

Posted by Ivan Kohler at 2006/04/04 (Tue) 12:04:06

I greatly appreciate the effort you put into making mini.iso. I was pulling my hair out trying to setup a Supermicro 5015M-MF with an Intel E7230 chipset and this did the trick. I had tried booting from Knoppix and setting up debian from there but no dice. This worked and detected the NICs from the getgo as well.

The only problem I had was that when it partitioned the disk it wrote fstab refering to hda, and also setup grub to point to hda. When I restarted the system everything pointed to sda. This may have been a result of my Knoppix attempt but I dunno. A simple edit of the grub config at /etc/grub/menu.lst to point to sda[x] instead of hda[x] and a "#update-grub -y" at the command line, along with an edit of /etc/fstab to point to sda[1-x] did the trick.

Thanks so much. You should announce this on the if you haven't already.

Posted by Nick at 2006/04/11 (Tue) 14:00:07

Debian on a Dell SC430

So I went to install Debian on my new PowerEdge SC430 yesterday, only to discover that the standard install CD doesn’t work because its kernel is too old. I’d been lulled into a false sense of security by the Ubuntu 5.10 live CD that I&#821...

Posted by The Pencil Guy at 2006/05/02 (Tue) 23:57:36

thanks and where can I leave bugreports and solutions ?

Hi, I need to install Debian Sarge on a motherboard ASUS A8V-MX which has an unsupport controlor (VIA VT8251) in the Debian kernel. The solution is to patch the kernel.

I've been experimenting your work in the last week to build an installer with a custom kernel which support the via controlor. So far, I get a kernel panic... when it tries to load the initrd part. (I think it is the reason) I documented my experience:

Drop a note if you have any idea why :-)

On the way, I found a few bugs, running the ./scripts/buildscript

building on ppc (powerpc) with Debian TESTING: I had to apply a patch to the code d-i/packages/libdebian-installer/src/log.c

Building on amd64 Debian Sarge:
I had to update the source to be able to build libdebian-installer.

I don't understand, why I get this error towards the end:
rm -rf udebs ./stamps/
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kmuto/d-i/sarge/d-i/installer/build'
/usr/bin/make -C doc/devel/partman clean
make: *** doc/devel/partman: No existe el fichero o el directorio. Alto.
make: *** [clean] Error 2
any reason why?

Posted by SeBas at 2006/05/13 (Sat) 22:53:18

Have tried everything and I still cannot get it to work!

Help! We have purchased a Dell SC430 with 2 SCSI Drives. We are installing a proprietry piece of software with runs under Debian.

I have installed this software before on much older machines before without a hitch. When we tried to install this software, it would wouldn't recognise the USB Keyboard and mouse. We contacted our software supplier he pointed us to this site and the mini.iso

I have followed the instructions and when it comes to the point of partitioning the hard disk, it reports that there is 'No Partionable Media'. I hit 'Continue' and it takes me back the installer screen.

From there, I did Alt-F2 to bring up a console, and typed 'modprobe ata_piix'. I went back to the installer screen and chose a different mirror for Debian ( as instructed. No luck. I saw in one of the comments to type 'modprobe megaraid_mbox' - that did not work for me either.

I am not familiar with Linux but I have found some other stuff on the Internet relating to this particular machine. Particularly, which looks a little too complicated to me, especially as I do not know much Linux.

Can anyone please tell me what I'm doing wrong or help to point me in the right direction? Many thanks.

Kind regards
Stephen Davies

Posted by Stephen Davies at 2006/05/15 (Mon) 22:14:35

Thank you!

We have an IBM x460 server here with ServeRAID 8i. The driver wasn't in the 2.6.8 kernel, so I'm grateful that you have created a more recent version. All I had to do was 'modprobe aacraid' just before probing for the hard disk and it saw the hardware.


Posted by Al at 2006/05/17 (Wed) 00:31:34


Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! This is my site: [url=]replica chanel handbags[/url] [url=]cheap chanel handbags[/url] [url=]authentic chanel handbags[/url] [url=]discounted gucci handbags[/url] [url=]gucci handbag[/url]

Posted by replica chanel handbags at 2006/08/20 (Sun) 01:14:05

I have an ASUS P5AD2-E Premium motherboard with a Seagate Raptor SATA disk, IDE DVD-rom, Intel 3.2 GHz 64 bit.

I know as close to nothing as to what you are talking about Linux, but enough to know that I do not want a preinstalled Gnome or KDE, but a clean, mean system where I can build the system as I know.

Problem: the CD/DVD image does not boot, but goes straight to my harddisk and run up my cumbersome Fedora Core. I have no idea how to modprobe the ata_piix from boot on Fedora and then going Debian installation. I have no idea what to do. I know how to get up a console, but the only disk I could get to work in any recognisable way was the i386 mini and there was no ata_piix module.

What to do what to do? And I wonder - how on earth can a new version have this problem. I have had no problem with my lighting fast disk on ANY other distribution and have heard that Debian is the most genial distribution, without the hairsplitting idiocy of an Gentoo installation, while being just as fast and versatile. But if it doesn't work on the machine level, forget it. I am no hacker even if I have 20 years experience with troublesome computers.

Solution: I do not install Debian. I am saddened. I refuse to use all my time installing, when all I want to do is USING it and tweaking it if necessary.

Tips for a fast and understandable solution can be sent to ta'

Posted by nanookaloo at 2006/09/23 (Sat) 01:13:00


Thanks very much for a great time saver! This worked great on a IBM 3850 with a Serveraid 8i.

Has anyone been able to compile the aacraid driver into the kernel as opposed to using it as a module though? I find that it recognises the controller, but won't see the disks. The Debian 'Etch' kernel (2.6.17 SMP AMD64) however does see the disks, but I need to roll my own kernel for a number of reasons...



Posted by cm at 2006/10/25 (Wed) 21:56:33
Write a comment

Message: Ready to post a comment.