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I am installing Debian Lenny, but when I boot it, it stops at this point:

Please wait 
kernel loading...

It doesn't continue past this point. What should I do?

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That is actually a good thing!

If you can see that message it means that the boot-loader, GRUB, has already finished loading and is loading the next stage of the boot process, the kernel. Hanging during kernel boot is actually not that unusual.

  1. Make sure that it is not a hardware problem. Ensure that the cursor on the screen is still blinking and that your keyboard still works - try hitting caps-lock to see if it works. If not, it might be a hardware issue.
  2. Some of your kernel parameters are probably to blame - try changing a few things. You may want to google around for your motherboard to see if there are known compatibility issues. Sometimes, adding noapic may be necessary. Sometimes, the generic parameters just don't work very well.
  3. You can add kernel parameters by editing them in GRUB during the boot up stage. You should be able to see GRUB for a few seconds to select your kernel. You can hit 'e' to edit the kernel parameters then hit 'b' to boot.

Either way, you should also provide your hardware model and specs to see if there are any other common problems. What is important is the CPU, chipset, graphics and RAM.

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i think the problem is i have a 64 bit system , and i was trying installing 32 bit , but is that a serious issue? – kasperasky Dec 13 '09 at 16:46
If you have a 64-bit x86 system, it will still run 32-bit Lenny. It might be a problem if you had a 32-bit x86 and you were installing 64-bit Lenny on it. – sybreon Dec 15 '09 at 1:25

Please update your question. At what point does this message display? When booting the Debian DVD, or when trying to boot after an apparently successful installation? What hardware do you use? Can you boot off an Ubuntu DVD as a live environment and run Linux, or does that freeze too?

I've found a lot of systems where the Debian installer doesn't work without certain kernel parameters, or ever, but other distros (e.g. CentOS, Ubuntu) do work fine.

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