Installing Debian on an IA64

Debian is the Linux distribution that Gelato@UNSW installs on its IA64 servers and workstations, though Gelato.org does not advocate any Linux distribution. Recently the new Debian Installer was released and we have used it successfully for the first time on our new server machines. The Debian installer is a marked improvement on the standard installer, though requires some tricks wrt partitioning. The following is a quick run down of what to expect.

  1. Get your CD image from http://www.au.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ and burn it onto a CD. I used http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/sarge_d-i/ia64/tc1/sarge-ia64-businesscard.iso but there may be a more recent one by the time you read this.

  2. Burn the image onto a CDROM.
  3. Put the new CD rom into the machine, and turn it on.

McKinley machine, serial console

EFI Boot Manager ver 1.10 [14.60]  Firmware ver 1.82 [4306]

Please select a boot option

    EFI Shell [Built-in]                                            
    Boot option maintenance menu                                    
    Security/Password Menu                                          


    Use ^ and v to change option(s). Use Enter to select an option

Select EFI Shell You'll then see a list of device mappings.

Loading.: EFI Shell [Built-in]                                      
EFI Shell version 1.10 [14.60]
Device mapping table
  fs0  : Acpi(HWP0002,500)/Pci(2|0)/Ata(Secondary,Master)/CDROM(Entry0)
  fs1  : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part1,Sig7C984472-3C81-46A8-A882-7A62D070E000)
  fs2  : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part2,SigC8674E84-E532-4970-8BA7-4E9ED921D891)
  blk0 : Acpi(HWP0002,500)/Pci(2|0)/Ata(Secondary,Master)
  blk1 : Acpi(HWP0002,500)/Pci(2|0)/Ata(Secondary,Master)/CDROM(Entry0)
  blk2 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)
  blk3 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part1,Sig7C984472-3C81-46A8-A882-7A62D070E000)
  blk4 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part2,SigC8674E84-E532-4970-8BA7-4E9ED921D891)
  blk5 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part3,Sig6452D14C-D15C-49E8-B9D3-6B6FA8172EB8)
  blk6 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part4,SigAA74CC93-EAA9-4F19-91E9-3B12BAB9F834)
  blk7 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part5,Sig3DDF7AED-E6E3-4587-9785-CD40D0F34F97)
  blk8 : Acpi(HWP0002,600)/Pci(1|0)/Scsi(Pun0,Lun0)/HD(Part6,SigCAC2ABF3-7AD2-474D-9560-6F86D675EE01)
Shell> 

Look for the line starting fs labelled CDROM, in this case fs0 Select it, and start the installation procedure.

Shell> fs0:
Shell> elilo linux console=ttyS0

After that, it's mostly a matter of following the menus. Be warned when choosing a Debian mirror, some mirrors are incomplete for IA64.

  1. The first few screens are Language, network connection and hostname.
  2. Then the partitioner. On IA64 the EFI boot loader needs to be able to read the boot partition. There are two file systems the EFI can read, MSDOS FAT or GPT. The old installer presents an informative run down of these requirements and in doing so made it helpfull or easier to partition the disk correctly.
    • The old installer suggested that the GPT partitioning is the best option and so does Debian for IA-64. The Automatic partitioning fails to leave the EFI partition at the start of the disc. So let's partition the disk: The initial partition screen displays all the detected disks plus an option to 'Manually edit partition table', You will need to choose to edit the table manually.

  Partition Screen 1.
  +---------------------+[!!] Partition disks +-----------------------------+
  |                                                                         |
  | This installer can guide you through partitioning a disk for use by     |
  | Debian, or if you prefer, you can do it manually. If you do choose to   |
  | use the guided partitioning tool, you will still have a chance later    |
  | to see the results, customise it, and even undo the partitioning if     |
  | you do not like it.                                                     |
  |                                                                         |
  | Partitioning method:                                                    |
  |                                                                         |
  |  Use free space                                                         |
  |  Erase entire disk: IDE1 master - 81.9 GB Maxtor 6Y080L0                |
  |  Erase entire disk: IDE1 slave - 81.9 GB Maxtor 6Y080L0                 |
  |  Erase entire disk: SCSI1 (0,0,0) - 18.2 GB QUANTUM ATLAS10K2-TY18      |
  |  Manually edit partition table                                          |
  |                                                                         |
  |     <Go Back>                                                           |
  |                                                                         |
  +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

  +------------------------+ [!!] Partition disks +-------------------------+
  |                                                                         |
  | This is an overview of your currently configured partitions and mount   |
  | points. Select a partition to modify its settings, a free space to      |
  | create partitions, or a device to initialise its partition table.       |
  |                                                                         |
  |         IDE1 slave - 81.9 GB Maxtor 6Y080L0                  #          |
  |         >      #1 primary   81.9 GB     ext3                 #          |
  |         SCSI1 (0,0,0) - 18.2 GB QUANTUM ATLAS10K2-TY184L     #          |
  |         >      #1  33.5 MB B   fat16                         #          |
  |         >           1.0 MB     FREE SPACE                    #          |
  |         >      #2   2.1 GB   K swap                    swap  #          |
  |         >           1.0 MB     FREE SPACE                    #          |
  |         >      #3  16.0 GB     ext3                          #          |
  |         >           6.7 MB     FREE SPACE                    #          |
  |                                                              #          |
  |         Help on partitioning                                 #          |
  |                                                                         |
  |     <Go Back>                                                           |
  |                                                                         |
  +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

   SCSI1 (0,0,0) - 18.2 GB QUANTUM ATLAS10K2-TY184L     #
   >      #1  33.5 MB B   fat16                         # 

  +------------------------+ [!!] Partition disks +-------------------------+
  |                                                                         |
  | You are editing partition #1 of SCSI1 (0,0,0). This partition is        |
  | formatted with the FAT16 file system.                                   |
  |                                                                         |
  | Partition settings:                                                     |
  |                                                                         |
  |                 Name:                                                   |
  |                 Usage method:            do not use                     |
  |                 Bootable flag:           on                             |
  |                 Size:                    33.5 MB                        |
  |                                                                         |
  |                 Done setting up the partition                           |
  |                 Copy data from another partition                        |
  |                 Delete the partition                                    |
  |                                                                         |
  |     <Go Back>                                                           |
  |                                                                         |
  +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

  +---------------+ [!!] Partition disks +----------------+
  |                                                       |
  | How to use this partition:                            |
  |                                                       |
  |  Format the partition                                 |
  |  Keep and use the existing data in the partition      |
  |  Use the partition as a swap area                     |
  |  Use the partition as a physical volume for LVM       |
  |  Do not use the partition                             |
  |                                                       |
  |     <Go Back>                                         |
  |                                                       |
  +-------------------------------------------------------+

IA64wiki: DebianInstall (last edited 2009-12-10 03:14:06 by localhost)

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