On 10/17/2016 9:51 AM, Hans wrote:
Am Montag, 17. Oktober 2016, 09:40:31 CEST schrieb Richard Owlett:
If some of this sounds familiar, I have asked related questions
in the past.
[I do have copies of previous posts&replies for reference.
   I've re-read most but may have missed reading some due to how I
sorted them.]
I think I can give a better description of what I wish to accomplish.
The laptop I used for previous experiment is now classed as
unreliable, which may have been cause of some previous problems.
I have a healthy desktop machine now.

Due to limited bandwidth *EVERYTHING SHALL* be done from a
physical set of purchased DVD's [Jessie 8.6].

I explicitly want a flash drive that functions as an install medium.
I DO NOT wish to install to the flash drive (one person called
that 'Debian to Go']
It shall be bootable
It shall be able to install Debian on any machine which can boot
from a USB device.
It shall have a repository equivalent to the contents on all 13
It shall have multiple multiple editable preseed.cfg files.

I envision a file structure of
        /alpha          optional partition for GRUB or LILO
        /beta           bootable installer - essentially DVD 1 of 13
        /gamma          repository - contents of DVD 2 -> DVD 13
        /delta          collection of preseed.cfg files

So it looks like you want to do many installations and often.

I have two general use cases:
1. experimenting with configuration on a test-bed machine. I routinely multi-boot with as many as 5 choices. I have been known to wipe the hard drive multiple
     times in one week in order to start from scratch.
  2. portable install media.

Maybe you might want to look at Fully Automatical Installatio (FAI).

I'd come across that but the references were for a distro other than Debian. If there are Debian oriented tools/instructions, that could be viable. Will do some web searches.

You can create an ISO for every architecture,

Not an issue as I only use the version labeled "i386".

then put in on the USB-drive. I suggest "XBOOT" for this, it is a multiboot 

Will investigate.

As you can preconfigure everything, you can point the installer iso's to the
repo on your usb drive.

I'm not sure we're on the same path here.
My procedure is to:
  choose "Automated install" from menu
  press ESC to edit command line
  append  "preseed/file=/mnt/preseed.cfg"

I generally have at least 3 preseed.cfg files available:
  1. full install
  2. a very minimal GUI install with only tools I routinely use
  3. one for whatever I'm currently experimenting with

On the other hand, IMO, an image server might be more usefull. Take a look at
"clonezilla" project, especially "cloinezilla se".

Will investigate.

Just my ideas.....

Happy hacking1


Thank you.

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