Debian netinstall-usb for x200s

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Revision as of 02:45, 27 November 2008 by Chuchu (Talk | contribs)
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This tutorial explains how to create an usb-stick with the debian netinstaller on it. The problem is that the actual installer uses a 2.6.26.x kernel which doesn't support the "Intel WiFi Link 5300"-card. Pretty nasty if you want to do a netinstall.

USB stick

Partition and format the stick


foo:~# fdisk -l

to look which device name your stick has. I will use /dev/sdb in this tutorial. Use fdisk oder cfdisk to create a partition of at least 200MB and format it in FAT16 like this:

foo:~# mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/sdb1

Don't forget to make the partition bootable. What looks like this if you use fdisk

foo:~# fdisk /dev/sdb

Command (m for help): a
Partition number (1-4): 1

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Install MBR

You need the syslinux packet to do this

foo:~# aptitude install syslinux


foo:~# dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdb
404 bytes (404 B) copied, 0.0275888 s, 14.6 kB/s

Get and copy Files

You will need following files:
as you can see i use the i368 architecture, download the appropriate files if you want to use an other architecture

and here is the compiled vanilla kernel from

unzip the vmlinuz.bz2-file:

foo:~# bunzip2 vmlinuz.bz2

First mount the usb stick

foo:~# mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb

then create a directory named syslinux on it

foo:~# mkdir /mnt/usb/syslinux

copy all three files into the directory

foo:~# cp vmlinuz initrd.gz debian-testing-i386-netinst.iso /mnt/usb/syslinux

Now create a file named syslinux.cfg

foo:~# vim /mnt/usb/syslinux/syslinux.cfg

and paste following two lines into it

default vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=12000 root=/dev/ram rw

unmount the usb-stick

foo:~# cd && umount /mnt/usb

and install the syslinux boot loader

foo:~# syslinux -d /syslinux /dev/sdb1

Finished \o/
Press F12 during boot to select the usb-stick as boot device.


It is not possible to install the 2.6.27.x kernel with the debian installer but you can copy the kernel from the usb-device afterwards ^^