[Soekris] Debian netboot wont start on net4801

Carlos J. Ramos cjramos at genasys.com
Mon Jul 11 06:51:38 UTC 2005

Hi all...

I had been trying for serveral days to boot with Debian my brand new
Soekris net4801, using the information i have gathered trough the net,
particuarly this two URL:


With all the different "howtos" i have the same strange behaviour in the

I am able to give a valid IP address to my Soekris box using dhcp3, once
it has the IP, tftpd began to send the pxelinux.0 file, also the
pxelinux.cfg/default configuration file. I can assure it because i'd been
using tcpdump to see the TCP packages going to the DHCP Ip assigned by my
Debian box.

BUT... when it was intended that the Debian installer will appear, a
strange   behaviour happens in the console. I use minicom to connect to
the soekris box, with 9600/8/n/1 settings, and once the pxelinux.0 is
supposed to boot the kernel, the screen does not get clean, but i can see
the letters of "PXELINUX...bla bla bla" being overwritten in the
upper/left corner of the display one by one character and all in the same
text box,... mmm i mean (sorry for my poor english), i see the "P", then
the "X" overwrite the "P", then "E" (overwrite the "X"), "L" wich also
overwrite the "E"... etc...

The keyboard it is also unable to sent any character to the console, so i
have to reboot and try again.

I am thinking it is probably a problem related to terminal configuration,
so i have tested, with a "standard" text mode console (tty), xterm,
konsole and gnome-terminal, all with the same issue :(, anyway, it is very
strange that i can see all the BIOS data perfectly, also the DCHP
information... but when pxelinux.0 it fails... :\

In order to help, this is my configuration files for minicom:


pu port             /dev/ttyS0
pu baudrate         9600
pu bits             8
pu parity           N
pu stopbits         1
pu xonxoff          Yes

And the Soekris net4801 box configuration

> show

ConSpeed = 9600
ConLock = Enabled
ConMute = Disabled
BIOSentry = Enabled
PCIROMS = Enabled
PXEBoot = Enabled
FLASH = Primary
BootDelay = 5
FastBoot = Disabled
BootPartition = Disabled
BootDrive = 80 81 F0 FF
ShowPCI = Enabled
Reset = Hard

Any help, tip, url where i can take information, etc... will be welcomed.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Carlos J. Ramos
Genasys II Spain, S.A.U.

Ventura de la Vega, 5
28014 - Madrid, SPAIN
Phone + 34 91 364 91 00
Fax   + 34 91 364 91 19
Email -
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