Howto install Debian on a Stonesoft FW-300

The Stonesoft FW-300 is a firewall appliance that was discontinued by Stonesoft, I found one as I was looking for an headless little PC to use it as home server. I did not jet deployed it in my home network as I left it on my office desk after I installed it.

To install it I just did the following:

  1. I got my 256 USB stick. Inserted it my PC, unmounted it as it was automounted.
  2. I got the sid install files, that can be used also to install etch/lenny/squeeze, with following commands:
    1. wget ftp.us.debian.org:/debian/dists/sid/main/installer-i386/\current/images/netboot/debian-installer/i386/linux
    2. wget ftp.us.debian.org:/debian/dists/sid/main/installer-i386/\current/images/netboot/debian-installer/i386/initrd.gz
    3. wget ftp.us.debian.org:/debian/dists/sid/main/installer-i386/\current/images/netboot/mini.iso
  3. I installed mbr, syslinux amd mtools using the following command:
    aptitude install mbr syslinux mtools
  4. I created a FAT partion on the stick:
    mkdosfs /dev/sdb1
  5. I created the mbr:
    install-mbr /dev/sdb
  6. Set the USB stick to boot:
    syslinux /dev/sdb1
  7. Mounted the USB stick:
    mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb
  8. I copied initial ram disk image and the mini iso to the USB stick:
    cp linux initrd.gz mini.iso /media/usb
  9. I edited the syslinux.cdf on the USB stick to let it boot using the serial port. I just added these two lines:
      CONSOLE 0

      SERIAL 0 9600 0
  10. At the end I umounted the USB stick:
    umount /dev/sdb1
  11. I inserted the USB stick in the appliance and started the standard installer.

The appliance did not boot the first time I tried. I rebooted entered BIOS setup and set it to boot for USB Floppy.