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Old 04-18-2011, 05:12 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10, Debian Squeeze for embedded
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Installing Debian Linux onto an ARM9-based system without the use of the internet

Hi all,

I am RaptorBoi from Brisbane, Australia, and I rather enjoy using Linux.

I am to drop Linux onto an ARM9 NAS board to make it more useful than just a network attached storage device.

I know about U-Boot and I can install Debian Linux by booting the system via TFTP, and I can install Linux easily... if I have an internet connection.

My question is, how can I install Debian WITHOUT the use of an internet connection. I am looking into downloading the armel flavour of Debain and using that as a source, but I have no idea on how to install it onto an embedded system as it has no CD/DVD drive. It only has an ethernet port, 2 USB-2.0 ports and a serial UART port.

Sorry about the super long question guys, but I have been stuck on this for a week now.

Thanks heaps for any info guys

- RaptorBoi
Old 04-18-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10, Debian Squeeze for embedded
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Smile Oh... one more thing

Hi again

One more thing... the problem I run into is that I can't pick a mirror because I don't want to use the internet. Also, I would love to know how to set the initial mirror to a dvd/cd iso that sits on a server that my board is connected to.

This isn't something I really need to do, but at Uni internet access requires you to log in via a webpage, which I can't do (yet?) with my system.

Thanks again for any info guys, much appreciated
Old 04-18-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Guess I should have said this earlier :)

After a bit of thinking, I guess I should post exactly the situation I am in.

I am trying to install the armel Debian Linux (Squeeze) onto an ARM9 nas device. It is an old Linkstation Pro.
Currently I am using the serial port as a way for me to view what is happening, as it is an embedded device.
I have U-Boot booting an installer image via TFTP (using the Ethernet port, obviously) and I can get the installer running, no problems.
I am using my pc as a tftp server using tftpd32, a program used to make my pc act like a tftp server to serve files.

My problem is when it comes to the point in the installer where it asks you to pick a mirror to download the rest of files needed (And I am guessing to help make the sources.list for Debian). I don't have access to the internet, so I want the installer to choose an image from over a network connection. I have spent a fair amount of time searching for how to do this, and I found something like setting the mirror to something like

deb stable main config
and then set the next option to
and then nothing for the proxy server, but the installer cant find the image for installing, and this is where my problem lies.

The reason I can't use a USB to boot is because while I am installing, I am in busybox which I assume is a very small temp install of linux for installing larger things.

As for the pass-thru cable, I still need to make the installer choose a mirror, otherwise the installer doesn't let me get anywhere.

I hope that clears things up.

Thanks in advance fro any info guys

- RaptorBoi
Old 04-19-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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Can you set up the existing tftp server host as a local Debian repository?

--- rod.


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