preseed statements not being honored

Jonathan Disher jdisher at
Fri Feb 4 00:54:09 UTC 2011

On Feb 3, 2011, at 4:25 PM, Carl Karsten wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:44 PM, Jonathan Disher <jdisher at> wrote:
>> I am trying to automate some installations for our new datacenter, and I have encountered a few problems in the debian-installer preseed.  Specifically:
>> 1) I cannot partition multiple disks.  I have some Hadoop systems with four raid arrays connected - one for the OS, and three for HDFS storage.  I can only create partitions on /dev/sda (the OS partition).  Isn't there a device{ } directive for partman that tells it which device to create partitions on?
>> 2) We are using LDAP authentication for our production systems, so I don't want to create any local users.  'd-i passwd/make-user boolean false' is not honored.  Any ideas?
>> 3) For whatever reason, my Dell machines don't successfully DHCP for an address the first time (even though they have PXE'd, so obviously DHCP is functional).  It fails, and if I select retry, it succeeds.  the 'd-i netcfg/dhcp_failed' directives aren't helping, it gets stuck at the note that DHCP failed.  Is there a good way to bypass this and tell it to automatically retry?  Alternately, is there any way to tell it not to DHCP for an address, but to give it static configuration?
> Does "my dell" mean all of your machines are dell, or you have others,
> but just the dell's have this problem?
> My guess is you should look at your dhcp server and see if there is
> something it is doing weird.  long shot: some timeout needs to be
> increased.
> I have done pxe / preseeded installs for years on all sorts of mostly
> crappy hardware, but a few servery class machines, never had the
> problem you describe.

I've only encountered this with the Dell's I'm using - mostly R410/510/710's.

>> 4) My hostname isn't getting saved after install - it defaults back to 'ubuntu'.  Why isn't it keeping the hostname?
> attached are my pxe and preseed files.
> append initrd=ubuntu/natty/i386/initrd.gz root=/dev/rd/0 rw
> locale=en_US console-setup/layoutcode=us
> console-setup/ask_detect=false netcfg/wireless_wep=
> netcfg/choose_interface=eth0 netcfg/get_hostname= DEBCONF_DEBUG=5
> url=http://shaz/ubuntu/natty/preseed.cfg
> tasksel:tasksel/first="ubuntu-desktop" -- vga=6
> hostnames get generated by dhcp server like so:
> # /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf
> # Option 12: Host Name = "dhcp254"
> option host-name=concat("dhcp", binary-to-ascii(10, 8, "-",
> suffix(leased-address,1) ) ) ;
> or
> host cw1b{
>        hardware ethernet 00:90:27:1C:C4:AC ;
>        option host-name "cw1b" ;
>        fixed-address ;
> }

I bet that'll help.  Thanks!


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