When automating the installation of a Debian system with the preseed mechanism, I have to manually choose the "Install" option and hit "enter" to start the installation process from an ISO image on usb stick. The preseed file has been added to initrd.

I haven't found any parameter in the preseed file that indicates how to skip this step. How can that be done and where do I configure it in the ISO image?


The answer depends on exactly how you boot, but in either case you need to configure the boot loader, not the installer, since this wait happens before the installer is even started. For example if you boot your stick via BIOS as if it was a CD or HD, the relevant configuration is in /isolinux/prompt.cfg:

timeout 0

The value 0 disables the timeout (this is also the default); replace it with the value you prefer, the unit is the tenth of a second, so 1 gives you a practically instant boot. But if you boot in (U)EFI mode, you'll have to change the analogous GRUB variables in /boot/grub/grub.cfg in your image. For example if you want to immediately boot the first top level menu entry, append these lines:

set default="0"
set timeout="0"
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  • Where do I find the relevant configuration option for GRUB in (U)EFI mode? – Flo Feb 11 at 7:40

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