C.1. Preconfiguration File Example

This is a complete working example of a preconfiguration file for an automated install. Its use is explained in Section 4.6, “Automatic Installation”. You may want to uncomment some of the lines before using the file.

Note

In order to be able to properly present this example in the manual, we've had to split some lines. This is indicated by the use of the line-continuation-character “\” and extra indentation in the next line. In a real preconfiguration file, these split lines have to be joined into one single line. If you do not, preconfiguration will fail with unpredictable results.

A “clean” example file is available from http://www.debian.org/releases/sarge/example-preseed.txt.

#### Startup.

# To use a preseed file, you'll first need to boot the installer,
# and tell it what preseed file to use. This is done by passing the
# kernel a boot parameter, either manually at boot or by editing the
# syslinux.cfg (or similar) file and adding the parameter to the end
# of the append line(s) for the kernel.
#
# If you're netbooting, use this:
#   preseed/url=http://host/path/to/preseed
# If you're remastering a CD, you could use this:
#   preseed/file=/cdrom/preseed
# If you're installing from USB media, use this, and put the preseed file
# in the toplevel directory of the USB stick.
#   preseed/file=/hd-media/preseed
# Be sure to copy this file to the location you specify.
#
# Some parts of the installation process cannot be automated using
# some forms of preseeding, because the questions are asked before
# the preseed file is loaded. For example, if the preseed file is
# downloaded over the network, the network setup must be done first.
# One reason to use initrd preseeding is that it allows preseeding
# of even these early steps of the installation process.
#
# If a preseed file cannot be used to preseed some steps, the install can
# still be fully automated, since you can pass preseed values to the kernel
# on the command line. Just pass path/to/var=value for any of the preseed
# variables listed below.
#
# While you're at it, you may want to throw a debconf/priority=critical in
# there, to avoid most questions even if the preseeding below misses some.
# And you might set the timeout to 1 in syslinux.cfg to avoid needing to hit
# enter to boot the installer.
#
# Note that the kernel accepts a maximum of 8 command line options and
# 8 environment options (including any options added by default for the
# installer). If these numbers are exceeded, 2.4 kernels will drop any
# excess options and 2.6 kernels will panic. With kernel 2.6.9 or newer,
# you can use 32 command line options and 32 environment options.
#
# Some of the default options, like 'vga=normal' may be safely removed
# for most installations, which may allow you to add more options for
# preseeding.

# It is not possible to use preseeding to set language, country, and
# keyboard. Instead you should use kernel parameters. Example:
# languagechooser/language-name=English
# countrychooser/shortlist=US
# console-keymaps-at/keymap=us

#### Network configuration.

# Of course, this won't work if you're loading your preseed file from the
# network! But it's great if you're booting from CD or USB stick. You can
# also pass network config parameters in on the kernel params if you are
# loading preseed files from the network.

# netcfg will choose an interface that has link if possible. This makes it
# skip displaying a list if there is more than one interface.
d-i netcfg/choose_interface select auto

# If you have a slow dhcp server and the installer times out waiting for
# it, this might be useful.
#d-i netcfg/dhcp_timeout string 60

# If you prefer to configure the network manually, here's how:
#d-i netcfg/disable_dhcp boolean true
#d-i netcfg/get_nameservers string 192.168.1.1
#d-i netcfg/get_ipaddress string 192.168.1.42
#d-i netcfg/get_netmask string 255.255.255.0
#d-i netcfg/get_gateway string 192.168.1.1
#d-i netcfg/confirm_static boolean true

# Note that any hostname and domain names assigned from dhcp take
# precedence over values set here. However, setting the values still
# prevents the questions from being shown even if values come from dhcp.
d-i netcfg/get_hostname string unassigned-hostname
d-i netcfg/get_domain string unassigned-domain

# Disable that annoying WEP key dialog.
d-i netcfg/wireless_wep string
# The wacky dhcp hostname that some ISPs use as a password of sorts.
#d-i netcfg/dhcp_hostname string radish

#### Mirror settings.

d-i mirror/country string enter information manually
d-i mirror/http/hostname string http.us.debian.org
d-i mirror/http/directory string /debian
d-i mirror/suite string testing
d-i mirror/http/proxy string

#### Partitioning.

# If the system has free space you can choose to only partition that space.
#d-i partman-auto/init_automatically_partition \
#    select Use the largest continuous free space

# Alternatively, you can specify a disk to partition. The device name can
# be given in either devfs or traditional non-devfs format.
# For example, to use the first disk devfs knows of:
d-i partman-auto/disk string /dev/discs/disc0/disc

# You can choose from any of the predefined partitioning recipes:
d-i partman-auto/choose_recipe select \
     All files in one partition (recommended for new users)
#d-i partman-auto/choose_recipe select Desktop machine
#d-i partman-auto/choose_recipe select Multi-user workstation

# Or provide a recipe of your own...
# The recipe format is documented in the file devel/partman-auto-recipe.txt.
# If you have a way to get a recipe file into the d-i environment, you can
# just point at it.
#d-i partman-auto/expert_recipe_file string /hd-media/recipe

# If not, you can put an entire recipe in one line. This example creates
# a small /boot partition, suitable swap, and uses the rest of the space
# for the root partition:
#d-i partman-auto/expert_recipe string boot-root :: \
#    20 50 100 ext3 $primary{ } $bootable{ } method{ format } format{ } \
#    use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext3 } mountpoint{ /boot } . \
#    500 10000 1000000000 ext3 method{ format } format{ } \
#    use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext3 } mountpoint{ / } . \
#    64 512 300% linux-swap method{ swap } format{ } .
# For reference, here is that same recipe in a more readable form:
#    boot-root ::
#       40 50 100 ext3
#          $primary{ } $bootable{ }
#          method{ format } format{ }
#          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext3 }
#          mountpoint{ /boot }
#       .
#       500 10000 1000000000 ext3
#          method{ format } format{ }
#          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext3 }
#          mountpoint{ / }
#       .
#       64 512 300% linux-swap
#          method{ swap } format{ }
#       .

# This makes partman automatically partition without confirmation.
d-i partman/confirm_write_new_label boolean true
d-i partman/choose_partition select \
    Finish partitioning and write changes to disk
d-i partman/confirm boolean true

#### Boot loader installation.

# Grub is the default boot loader (for x86). If you want lilo installed
# instead, uncomment this:
#d-i grub-installer/skip boolean true

# This is fairly safe to set, it makes grub install automatically to the MBR
# if no other operating system is detected on the machine.
d-i grub-installer/only_debian boolean true

# This one makes grub-installer install to the MBR if if finds some other OS
# too, which is less safe as it might not be able to boot that other OS.
d-i grub-installer/with_other_os boolean true

# Alternatively, if you want to install to a location other than the mbr,
# uncomment and edit these lines:
#d-i grub-installer/bootdev  string (hd0,0)
#d-i grub-installer/only_debian boolean false
#d-i grub-installer/with_other_os boolean false

#### Finishing up the first stage install.

# Avoid that last message about the install being complete.
d-i prebaseconfig/reboot_in_progress note

#### Shell commands.

# d-i preseeding is inherently not secure. Nothing in the installer checks
# for attempts at buffer overflows or other exploits of the values of a
# preseed file like this one. Only use preseed files from trusted
# locations! To drive that home, and because it's generally useful, here's
# a way to run any shell command you'd like inside the installer,
# automatically.

# This first command is run as early as possible, just after
# preseeding is read.
#d-i preseed/early_command string anna-install some-udeb

# This command is run just before the install finishes, but when there is
# still a usable /target directory.
#d-i preseed/late_command string echo foo > /target/etc/bar

# This command is run just as base-config is starting up.
#base-config base-config/early_command string echo hi mom

# This command is run after base-config is done, just before the login:
# prompt. This is a good way to install a set of packages you want, or to
# tweak the configuration of the system.
#base-config base-config/late_command string \
#    apt-get install zsh; chsh -s /bin/zsh

###### Preseeding the 2nd stage of the installation.

#### Preseeding base-config.

# Avoid the introductory message.
base-config base-config/intro note

# Avoid the final message.
base-config base-config/login note

# If you installed a display manager, but don't want to start it immediately
# after base-config finishes.
#base-config base-config/start-display-manager boolean false

# Some versions of the installer can report back on what you've installed.
# The default is not to report back, but sending reports helps the project
# determine what software is most popular and include it on CDs.
#popularity-contest popularity-contest/participate boolean false

#### Clock and time zone setup.

# Controls whether or not the hardware clock is set to UTC.
#base-config tzconfig/gmt boolean true
# If you told the installer that you're in the United States, then you
# can set the time zone using this variable.
# (Choices are: Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii,
# Aleutian, Arizona East-Indiana, Indiana-Starke, Michigan, Samoa, other)
#base-config tzconfig/choose_country_zone/US select Eastern
# If you told it you're in Canada.
# (Choices are: Newfoundland, Atlantic, Eastern, Central,
# East-Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Mountain, Pacific, Yukon, other)
#base-config tzconfig/choose_country_zone/CA select Eastern
# If you told it you're in Brazil. (Choices are: East, West, Acre,
# DeNoronha, other)
#base-config tzconfig/choose_country_zone/BR select East
# Many countries have only one time zone. If you told the installer you're
# in one of those countries, you can choose its standard time zone via this
# question.
#base-config tzconfig/choose_country_zone_single boolean true
# This question is asked as a fallback for countries other than those
# listed above, which have more than one time zone. You can preseed one of
# the time zones, or "other".
#base-config tzconfig/choose_country_zone_multiple select

#### Account setup.

# To preseed the root password, you have to put it in the clear in this
# file. That is not a very good idea, use caution!
#passwd passwd/root-password password r00tme
#passwd passwd/root-password-again password r00tme

# If you want to skip creation of a normal user account.
#passwd passwd/make-user boolean false

# Alternatively, you can preseed the user's name and login.
#passwd passwd/user-fullname string Debian User
#passwd passwd/username string debian
# And their password, but use caution!
#passwd passwd/user-password password insecure
#passwd passwd/user-password-again password insecure

#### Apt setup.

# This question controls what source the second stage installation uses
# for packages. Choices are cdrom, http, ftp, filesystem, edit sources list
# by hand
base-config apt-setup/uri_type select http

# If you choose ftp or http, you'll be asked for a country and a mirror.
base-config apt-setup/country select enter information manually
base-config apt-setup/hostname string http.us.debian.org
base-config apt-setup/directory string /debian
# Stop after choosing one mirror.
base-config apt-setup/another boolean false

# You can choose to install non-free and contrib software.
#base-config apt-setup/non-free boolean true
#base-config apt-setup/contrib boolean true

# Do enable security updates.
base-config apt-setup/security-updates boolean true

#### Package selection.

# You can choose to install any combination of tasks that are available.
# Available tasks as of this writing include: Desktop environment,
# Web server, Print server, DNS server, File server, Mail server,
# SQL database, Laptop, Standard system, manual package selection. The
# last of those will run aptitude. You can also choose to install no
# tasks, and force the installation of a set of packages in some other
# way. We recommend always including the Standard system task.
tasksel tasksel/first multiselect Desktop environment, Standard system
#tasksel tasksel/first multiselect Web server, Standard system

#### Mailer configuration.

# During a normal install, exim asks only a few questions. Here's how to
# avoid even those. More complicated preseeding is possible.
exim4-config exim4/dc_eximconfig_configtype \
    select no configuration at this time
exim4-config exim4/no_config boolean true
exim4-config exim4/no_config boolean true

# It's a good idea to set this to whatever user account you choose to
# create. Leaving the value blank results in postmaster mail going to
# /var/mail/mail.
exim4-config exim4/dc_postmaster string

#### X Configuration.

# Preseeding Debian's X config is possible, but you probably need to know
# some details about the video hardware of the machine, since Debian's X
# configurator does not do fully automatic configuration of everything.

# X can detect the right driver for some cards, but if you're preseeding,
# you override whatever it chooses. Still, vesa will work most places.
#xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/config/device/driver select vesa

# A caveat with mouse autodetection is that if it fails, X will retry it
# over and over. So if it's preseeded to be done, there is a possibility of
# an infinite loop if the mouse is not autodetected.
#xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/autodetect_mouse boolean true

# Monitor autodetection is recommended.
xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/autodetect_monitor boolean true
# Uncomment if you have an LCD display.
#xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/config/monitor/lcd boolean true
# X has three configuration paths for the monitor. Here's how to preseed
# the "medium" path, which is always available. The "simple" path may not
# be available, and the "advanced" path asks too many questions.
xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/config/monitor/selection-method \
    select medium
xserver-xfree86 xserver-xfree86/config/monitor/mode-list \
    select 1024x768 @ 60 Hz

#### Everything else.

# Depending on what software you choose to install, or if things go wrong
# during the installation process, it's possible that other questions may
# be asked. You can preseed those too, of course. To get a list of every
# possible question that could be asked during an install, do an
# installation, and then run these commands:
#   debconf-get-selections --installer > file
#   debconf-get-selections >> file

# If you like, you can include other preseed files into this one.
# Any settings in those files will override pre-existing settings from this
# file. More that one file can be listed, separated by spaces; all will be
# loaded. The included files can have preseed/include directives of their
# own as well. Note that if the filenames are relative, they are taken from
# the same directory as the preseed file that includes them.
#d-i preseed/include string x.cfg

# More flexibly, this runs a shell command and if it outputs the names of
# preseed files, includes those files. For example, to switch configs based
# on a particular usb storage device (in this case, a built-in card reader):
#d-i preseed/include_command string \
#    if $(grep -q "GUID: 0aec3050aec305000001a003" /proc/scsi/usb-storage-*/*); \
#    then echo kraken.cfg; else echo otherusb.cfg; fi

# To check the format of your preseed file before performing an install,
# you can use debconf-set-selections:
#   debconf-set-selections -c preseed.cfg