Continuing the automated delivery saga Linux Mint is the thing that’s giving me difficulties. There are a few quirks installing Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia that really make it a not very good candidate for our needs.

A couple of things I’ve learned about the Linux Mint PXE boot deployment process means a change to require an Nginx server to serve the d-i folder structure. Mint doesn’t seem to like using a tftp:// url so I had to add a web service just to provide it with http://.

additional_menu_entries

LABEL linuxmint-19.3-cinnamon-64bit
  MENU LABEL Linux Mint 19.3 64bit Cinnamon Desktop
  KERNEL /mint-installer/casper/vmlinuz
  APPEND initrd=/mint-installer/casper/initrd.lz root=/dev/nfs boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot=192.168.122.73:/srv/iso/mint-installer nosplash ubiquity-only automatic-ubiquity url=http://[IP Address]/d-i/tricia/preseed.cfg auto --

Also, the Mint image is huge 1.9GB as it has no netinst version. You need to download your own full iso, then extract the casper folder from it and place it into the mint-installer folder.

This also means I’ve had to provide an NFS file share that the Mint install can use to get at this whopper of an image. I installed NFS using:

$ sudo apt install nfs-kernel-server nfs-common

I created a symbolic link to the mint-installer folder:

$ sudo mkdir -p /srv/iso
$ cd /srv/iso
$ sudo ln -s [path to container set]/mint-installer

Then in my /etc/exports

/srv/iso/mint-installer (ro,sync,no_subtree_check)

Important: You must have the casper folder as a subfolder to the boot parameter nfsroot=[IP Address]:/srv/iso/mint-installer or you’ll boot to initramfs with an error regarding missing boot arg init=.

eg.

mint-installer
└── casper
    ├── filesystem.manifest
    ├── filesystem.manifest-remove
    ├── filesystem.size
    ├── filesystem.squashfs
    ├── initrd.lz
    ├── memtest
    └── vmlinuz

Even after this I still have the problems with Keyboard selection and openssh-server as previously documented here: https://warlord0blog.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/linux-mint-preseeding/