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The first step is to install the helper operating system Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (lenny).

suse# mkdir /boot/deb50
suse# wget -P /boot/deb50
suse# wget -P /boot/deb50
suse# reboot

The kernel image boots directly into the Debian Lenny installation process. On the GRUB shell (via serial console) I only have to select the Debian kernel by pressing "C" and typing the following:

    GNU GRUB  version 0.97  (639K lower / 3635904K upper memory)

 [ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported.  For the first word, TAB
   lists possible command completions.  Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
   completions of a device/filename.  ESC at any time exits. ]

grub> root (hd0,0)                                                           
 Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> kernel /deb50/linux devfs=mount,dall console=ttyS0,57600      
   [Linux-bzImage, setup=0x3000, size=0x1a9810]

grub> initrd /deb50/initrd.gz                            
   [Linux-initrd @ 0x37a37000, 0x5b80f9 bytes]

grub> boot  

Debian GNU/Linux is installed the regular way. There are a few exceptions only:

  • Network interface is eth0.
  • Network configuration: manual
  • Netmask:
  • Don't provide any gateway address.
  • Before selecting the Debian mirror, open a shell (Go back, Execute a Shell) and add the default route manually:
debian# route add -host eth0
debian# route add -net default gw
  • Exit the shell and choose your favorite Debian mirror (Method: http).

It took some time to find out how to destroy the remaining soft raid partitions. Seems like deleting them using fdisk is not enough since mdadm is having file handles on it. Finally it work but the next time I tried this the Strato rescue manager did not create RAID partitions at all so I cannot document the exact procedure anymore. This is what the installer shows before formating the new partitions:

SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) - 500.1 GB ATA Hitachi HDP72505
>     #1  primary   10.2 GB    f  ext3          /
>     #2  primary    4.1 GB    f  swap          swap
>     #3  primary  485.8 GB
>     #4  primary    8.2 MB

Exact partitioning:

debian# sfdisk -d /dev/sda
# partition table of /dev/sda
unit: sectors

/dev/sda1 : start=       63, size= 16000677, Id=83
/dev/sda2 : start= 16000740, size=  4000185, Id=82
/dev/sda3 : start= 20000925, size=956751075, Id=83
/dev/sda4 : start=976752000, size=    16065, Id=83

debian# sfdisk -d /dev/sdb
# partition table of /dev/sdb
unit: sectors

/dev/sdb1 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
/dev/sdb2 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
/dev/sdb3 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
/dev/sdb4 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0

Now the partition for Debian data is getting formated, the base system is being installed and a new GRUB boot record is made into the MBR. There is one important modification necessary for the GRUB boot menu: Both GRUB and the Linux kernel must use the serial console for input/output. Otherwise it won't be possible to reach the new system after reboot as the network gateway is still missing in the system configuration. After the GRUB installation, but before rebooting, open a shell one more time:

debian# chroot /target /bin/bash
debian# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
	# kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro console=ttyS0,57600
debian# update-grub 
debian# exit
debian# exit

Once finished I can reboot the system into the new Debian. The rest of the installation is done as usual, with one exception: The network gateway must be set manually in /etc/network/interfaces:

debian# vi /etc/network/interfaces
iface eth0 inet static
        post-up /sbin/route add -host eth0
        post-up /sbin/route add -net default gw

The rest of the Debian installation is straight forward and not mentioned here. I simply select all packages of category required, important and standard plus the following packages (including their recommendations) in dselect:

- openssh-server
- linux-headers-2.6-amd64
- socat
- minicom
- xterm
- blackbox
- iceweasel
- make
- gcc
- vnc4server
- xvnc4viewer

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