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I'm trying to setup a kind of installation server. In my setup every machine has two network interfaces: - eno1 which is connected to the internet, there is DHCP server that I do not own and can't configure, but I'm able to statically configure this interface for each machine - eno2 which is connected to internal network

I'm trying to set everything up, so that I've got one machine running DHCP and serving debian installation and preseed config over internal network. Every other machine, when booting for the first time, will use PXE to start debian installer and whole installation will be done automatically thanks to preseed configuration.

On my "Bootserver" I've got isc-dhcp-server and tftp-hpa running on internal network and netboot image served by tftp. New machines are booting using PXE. DHCP correctly configures eno2 and loads Debian-installer. This part works fine.

After automatic installation starts, preseed configuration file is downloaded, but eno1 is not configured so installer complains about not being able connect to mirror, which is understandable.

I tried passing kernel boot parameter "interface=eno1" when starting debian installer. I was hoping that since eno2 is already configured, debian will only use DHCP to configure eno1 and everything will be great. Internet connection works fine, but preseed configuration cannot be fetched. Interface eno2 is properly configured during PXE phase, but it looks like it's overridden when debian installer starts. I executed shell after installation failed due to not being able to download preseed, configured eno2 and continued installation - it worked fine from there.

It seems that my problem is that debian installer overrides network configuration provided by DHCP when booting using PXE and I don't know how to configure two interfaces using preseed configuration/boot parameters.

Any suggestions how I should solve this?

Thanks, Matt

Ps. Another solution that would work for me is to boot installation using something like full CD image, so no internet connection would be needed. Problem is, I cannot find info on how to netboot full cd installation - some links/articles would be appreciated.

  • I see two options: (1) Also use eno2 to connect to the internet by having the image server do forward/NAT from internal network to internet, possibly filtered, (2) figure out in detail how the second phase (load preseed + load packages) works, and patch to work with two interfaces. This would involve doing the first phase manually, so you see which image you end up with. (Sorry, I don't have a ready-made solution). – dirkt Jul 9 '18 at 10:23

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