Debian 9: Failed to retrieve the preconfiguration file

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Debian 9: Failed to retrieve the preconfiguration file

Postby iqadmin » 2018-11-30 13:13


Is there anybody with experience installing debian through PXE and using a preseed file?

We are having what it seems to be a very basic problem but we are lost. Maybe someone could help us.

We have two machines. The first one is a DHCP and TFTP server. We downloaded the last stable debian_netboot and we prepared a pxelinux.cfg/default file with the following info:

Code: Select all
DEFAULT preseed

    LABEL preseed

    kernel debian-installer/amd64/linux

    append auto=true priority=critical vga=normal initrd=debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz console=ttyS2,9600  preseed/url=http://<PRESEED_IP>/preseed.cfg preseed/url/checksum=866c1be2e2f5d4948631dc313ec47f2e mirror/http/proxy="<PROXY_IP>" --- quiet

Where PRESEED_IP is indeed the DHCP/TFTP server. We have checked that preseed/url may be downloaded from the target machine doing a simple wget http://<PRESEED_IP>/preseed.cfg. And PROXY_IP it is needed in order to access to the network outside our private network to get debian packages. We thought this variable wouldn't be needed here, as it may be configured inside preseed.cfg but, debian-installer seems to request this before trying to get preseed file.

The other machine, is the target server where we want Debian to be installed. When this server boots through PXE, it receives a IP address from the DHCP server and starts loading debian-installer. It request some information (like choose a primary network interface) and after that if fails with the following information:

Failed to retrieve the preconfiguration file

As said before, if we open a shell in this server at this point, we can get preseed.cfg with the command wget http://<PRESEED_IP>/preseed.cfg. So apparently network is working and preseed.cfg file should be accessible. Just in case, we also tested adding at pxelinux.cfg/default things like: interface=auto netcfg/dhcp_timeout=120 hostname=unassigned-hostname domain=unassigned-domain. But the error is always the same.

Does anybody experienced something similar? Do you have any idea of what could be happening?
Thanks in advance!
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Joined: 2018-11-30 12:20

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