Recovering d-i logs


Historically the debian-installer (d-i) or netinstall is the default lightweight installer for Debian and other Debian-based distros, having support for all the main architectures the distribution supports.

Starting with upstream Ubuntu 20.10 this tool got deprecated, making the integration of such installer a Trisquel internal project, this guide will be of help recover the log to debug its behavior in order to identify issues.


Via network - TFTP

Whether you use or test the d-i on a metal or virtual machine, you require 2 machines on the same network for the log been able to recover it.

  • a physical or virtual network
  • machine A, to install using d-i
    • IP: any of the same network.
  • machine B, already running trisquel
    • IP: e.g.

Setup machine B as tftp server

As TFTP is the only tool shipped on the busybox environment available on the debian-installer.
Machine B, with a debian based system like trisquel, it's required to set it up as a tftp server

First install the tftp server with the following command,
sudo apt install tftpd-hpa

Then allow to create new files,
sudo sed -i 's|--secure|--secure --create|' /etc/default/tftpd-hpa

Fix permissions of the tftp directory,
sudo chown tftp:tftp /srv/tftp

Restart the server,
sudo systemctl restart tftpd-hpa

Backup logs from machine A

The d-i runs on tty1, where tty4 is showing the output syslog.

In order to backup the syslog, it's required to access any other tty, e.g. tty2 (Ctrl+Alt+F2)

Once on tty2 you require to go to the /var/log folder
cd /var/log/
tftp -l syslog -r syslog-remote -p 69


  • l is the local file name
  • r as the remote resulting name file
  • machine B ip,
  • p as the port to use default 69 *required

Once the syslog file is transferred it can easily be reviewed or copied using any other tools like ssh or rsync.


05/20/2023 - 08:07