This page is deprecated. Please use the installer instead.
Manually unpacking a tar ball of Debian on QNAP TS-119, TS-219 and TS-219P
This page describes how to manually unpack a tar ball of Debian 5.0 (lenny) for the QNAP TS-119, TS-219 and TS-219P. However, please note that the user-friendly user-friendly Debian installer is recommended for new installations.
Even though this procedure doesn't require a serial console, I suggest you only install Debian this way if you can make a serial console for your QNAP in case something goes wrong. Note that this procedure will replace the QNAP firmware in flash with Debian and erase all your data on your disk.
Preparing the hard drive
Start your QNAP device and login via SSH. Some time after you start your machine, you will hear a beep and a bit later you'll hear a longer beep. Wait for a few more seconds and then connect to the machine via SSH. The username is
admin and the password is
Now you can start preparing your disk for Debian. First of all, you have to partition the disk. I have used the partition scheme where a separate partition is used for
/home. Therefore, you need to create
/dev/sda1 for the boot partition,
/dev/sda2 for the root partition,
/dev/sda3 as an extended partition from which swap (
sda5) and home (
sda6) are created. You can use a different layout but in this case you need to adapt
/etc/fstab after unpacking the tar ball.
I used the following layout. There's no particular reason for using this partitioning layout. I simply used something similar to what debian-installer would create but you're welcome to use a different layout, although root has to be
/dev/sda2 since this is hard-coded in the ramdisk.
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 31 248976 83 Linux /dev/sda2 32 882 6835657+ 83 Linux /dev/sda3 883 9729 71063527+ 5 Extended /dev/sda5 883 928 369463+ 82 Linux swap /dev/sda6 929 9729 70694001 83 Linux
You have to use
fdisk to partition your disk. Run
fdisk /dev/sda and then remove all existing partitions (yes, this will destroy all your data, so make sure you have a backup!). You can do this with
d followed by the partition number (e.g.
d 6 d 5 etc). Now run
p to make sure there are no partitions and write out the changes to disk with
w. If you installed the QNAP firmware to disk previously, you have to restart now so the changes will take effect. After the reboot, login as
Okay, now you can go ahead and create the partitions as described above (press
h if you need help to see what the commands are). In my case, I issues the following commands:
n p 1 1 +512M n p 2 enter +6G n e 3 enter enter n l enter +512M n l enter enter t 5 82 a 1 p w
Now you can format the drive:
mke2fs -T ext2 /dev/sda1 mke2fs -T ext3 -j /dev/sda2
Mount the disk somewhere:
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/ext mkdir /mnt/ext/boot mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/ext/boot cd /mnt/ext
Downloading and installing the Debian base system
Download the compressed base system (about 110 MB) and unpack it. This contains a basic system with a standard set of packages of Debian 5.0.3 (lenny, 2009-10-08).
busybox wget http://people.debian.org/~tbm/ts-219/lenny/base.tar.bz2 tar -xjvf base.tar.bz2
Format the remaining partitions:
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/ext/dev chroot . cd /dev MAKEDEV sda mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda6 mkswap /dev/sda5 exit umount /mnt/ext/dev
Now we'll make a backup of the flash content:
cat /dev/mtdblock0 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd0 cat /dev/mtdblock1 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd1 cat /dev/mtdblock2 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd2 cat /dev/mtdblock3 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd3 cat /dev/mtdblock4 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd4 cat /dev/mtdblock5 > /mnt/ext/root/mtd5
We're getting close. Let's download the new flash images and write them to flash:
busybox wget http://people.debian.org/~tbm/ts-219/lenny/mtd1.bz2 busybox wget http://people.debian.org/~tbm/ts-219/lenny/mtd2.bz2 bzip2 -d mtd* cat mtd1 > /dev/mtdblock1 cat mtd2 > /dev/mtdblock2
Debian is on disk and in flash now. Let's clean up and unmount the disk:
rm mtd* rm base.tar.bz2 cd umount /mnt/ext/boot umount /mnt/ext
On the QNAP TS-21x, the MAC address is stored in two locations: the QNAP firmware will read the MAC address from a special location in flash but the u-boot configuration also contains a (different) MAC address. Debian and QNAP's recovery mode will use the MAC address from u-boot and so it will be different to what it was with the QNAP firmware. In order to avoid this problem, you can update the MAC address stored in the u-boot configuration:
ubootcfg -b 0 -f /dev/mtdblock4 -o - | sed "s/^ethaddr=.*/ethaddr=`get_mac`/" > /tmp/uboot ubootcfg -b 0 -f /dev/mtdblock4 -i /tmp/uboot
Finally, restart the machine:
Boot the system
Your machine will start Debian from disk now. After about 2 minutes, you should hear a beep and the status light will become green. You can now connect to Debian via SSH. Note that the user name is
root rather than
admin now and that the password is
root too! There are no normal users yet. The RSA key of the host is:
What to do now
You now have a working system. There are a few things you should do, though:
copy the files
/root/mtd*to another PC and put them in your backup. You might need them later.
- change the root password
- add normal user accounts
regenerate the SSH key (since the private key is included in the base system on my web page) by running:
rm /etc/ssh/ssh_host* ssh-keygen -t dsa -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key -N "" ssh-keygen -t rsa -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key -N ""
/etc/apt/sources.listand use a Debian mirror close to you and then type:
ntpdate pool.ntp.orgto make sure the clock is always up-to-date; otherwise attempts to install new packages might fail due to GPG verification errors (for the first time, you'll probably have to setup the clock manually using the
upgrade your system using
apt-get dist-upgradeto make sure you have the latest updates.
change the timezone with
setup locales with
/etc/hostnameto change the hostname.
Go back to my Debian on QNAP TS-21x page.