I'm trying to install debian using the net installer. I arrived to the stage where I have to choose a mirror. I've tried several mirrors, and all of them resulted in a "Bad archive mirror" error. As I'm using the graphical installer, I used Ctrl+Left Alt+F2 to access the console and check whether my internet connection works.

Pinging an IP address ( works. DNS apparently doesn't (google.com).

So I guess that the installer cannot find the mirrors, as they are all listed by their URIs.

Is there a possibility to give an IP address to the installer to use as a mirror? Or is it possible to (at least temporarily) set as my DNS just for the purpose of downloading the necessary files for the install?

I'm halfway through the install process, and a lot of things don't work yet. I can't even access the manpages.

(Strangely, any device I connect to the LAN cable I'm using, works without a problem, I don't have to configure any network settings. Be it a Windows machine, Linux, or even an embedded Raspberry Pi, I just connect them and I can start browsing the web. So I don't know why the debian installer cannot find a working dns.)


The debian installer should either ask you for the name-server's IP address, or auto-discover it via DHCP.

If your DHCP server doesn't provide the name-server IP then:

  1. it's broken and should be fixed

  2. you can add it to /etc/resolv.conf yourself:

    echo "nameserver" > /etc/resolv.conf

You might want to cat /etc/resolv.conf to check its contents first.

If you have a local resolving name-server on your network (highly recommended) then use that rather than google's.

  • /etc/resolv.conf contains a local nameserver, 192.168.1.x, which seems to work with other machines on the network (amazingly, even with embedded systems). This also indicates that DHCP was detected. – vsz Oct 14 '15 at 9:20
  • I t seems the DNS was not the only problem. After adding, I can ping URIs, and some mirrors start downloading, so I no longer receive "bad archieve mirror". However, during configuring apt, file 4 of 7 I get "the installer failed to access the mirror". This happened with all mirrors I tried in several countries. A few still give the old (bad archive mirror) error. – vsz Oct 14 '15 at 9:29
  • Does your network have a local proxy (e.g. squid)? If so, you are given the opportunity to specify a proxy when selecting which mirror to use. – cas Oct 14 '15 at 9:39
  • I am given the opportunity, but I have no proxy as far as I know. I can plug in a completely foreign computer with a freshly installed OS and happily browse anything I want. – vsz Oct 14 '15 at 9:47
  • what kind of network controller do you have? lspci | grep -Ei 'eth|net'. – cas Oct 14 '15 at 9:49

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