Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to install Debian in qemu via console only...

Running Debian in a qemu VM on a remote machine is useful in quite a few cases, such as setting up KVM instances or preparing CompactFlash cards to bring up old laptops. This qemu command will bring up a serial console based installation session that even works in screen:

qemu -hda /dev/sdc -cdrom firmware-testing-i386-netinst.iso -boot d -kernel /mnt2/install.386/vmlinuz -initrd /mnt2/install.386/initrd.gz -nographic -append "fb=false console=ttyS0"

or, when doing a CF-destined install:

qemu -hda /dev/sdc -cdrom ~/emu/firmware-testing-i386-netinst.iso -boot d -kernel /mnt2/install.386/vmlinuz -initrd /mnt2/install.386/initrd.gz -curses -append "fb=false"

In my example I directly booted the kernel using qemu, with the debian image on /mnt2. hda is an 8GB Sandisk Ultra CF card (available for $35 at Costco)

From here it's pretty much the regular debian installer...