Installing OMV7 on i386 32-bit PC's
( & Alt 64 bit install )

Installing OMV7 on i386 (32-bit) PC's & Alt 64 bit install

  • In consideration of Debian's continued support of i386 - 32-bit platforms, support for the installation of Openmediavault on 32-bit Debian is available as a two part process. After Debian is installed, Openmediavault (hereafter referred to as OMV) is installed by script.
  • This process may also be used as an alternate install method, for 64 bit platforms, in the event that the standard OMV ISO installation fails. Please take note of the 64-bit down instructions in the i386 Download section.

The purpose and intent of this guide is to provide a walk-through for the i386 build process, to get i386 - 32-bit users up and running as quickly and as easily as possible. On fairly rare occasions, the integrated OMV ISO installer will not work with some 64 bit motherboards and hardware. The OMV installation method described in this guide will work with 64 bit motherboards as well, if the single change under Alternate 64-bit installation is noted and observed.

Considerations for i386 (32-bit) builds are very similar to amd64 (64-bit) builds. This guide is a supplement to the Getting Started with Openmediavault 7 New User Guide which is geared toward 64-bit platforms. 32-bit users may benefit by reviewing preliminary information and notes in the larger guide prior to beginning this installation process.

This guide assumes that users have a working Windows Client for installing and executing utilities. It is also assumed that Mac and Linux desktop users will be able to find, install, and use utilities equivalent to those called out in →Prerequisites.

  • This is a community document and a work in progress. Input and feedback are welcome and can be sent to:

UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is the proposed successor to traditional BIOS. While some of the intentions behind the development of UEFI were to increase security and add flexibility for hardware implementations, the real world results are as variable as the number of hardware manufacturers implementing the UEFI standard.

While the Debian project has worked diligently to address the installation and booting problems that may result when installing their OS on UEFI hardware, issues may still come into play during the installation procedure. Most of these issues can be resolved by taking one or both of the following actions in UEFI / BIOS.

  • Disable Secure Boot. Secure boot is designed to prevent changes to the currently installed OS. Obviously, this has the potential to interfere with a new OS installation.
  • Enable legacy BIOS. This may be represented as Enable Legacy BOOT, Enable Legacy BIOS and similar labels. Disable UEFI Boot may be an option as well.

For users who are unsure of how to enter into BIOS and set variables, the guidance found → here may be useful.

OMV/Debian will run on i386 32-bit platforms, with 1GB of ram or even less. Hardware in this category will work well as a basic NAS server for home use, but performance expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

While not absolutely essential, more than 1GB of ram would be helpful. For file caching, in support of normal file system operations, performance is better with more RAM.

A gigabit Ethernet adapter would be preferred, to better support concurrent LAN users and streaming video content. 100Mbs will work, but a gigabit Ethernet adapter may produce better overall results.

This installation process requires a wired Ethernet connection and Internet access. To get started, a few utilities are needed.

PuTTY is an SSH client that will allow users to connect to their SBC, from a Windows client, and get on the command line. PuTTY is Windows installable.

7-Zip is a free file compression utility that will expand *.zip file archives. 7-Zip is Windows installable.

  • SD Formatter is a utility for formatting flash media, that does a “TRIM” operation which cleans up remnants of deleted or previously existing files. While designed for SD-cards, it works with USB Thumbdrives as well.
  • h2testw_1.4 is a flash media test program. With a freshly formatted USB thumbdrive, h2testw_1.4 writes flash media with known content and verifies that content in a read operation, detecting errors in the process. h2testw_1.4 downloads as a zip file. By right clicking on the zip file, and using “Extract All”, 7-Zip will expand the zip file to a folder named h2testw_1.4 The executable inside this folder is a portable application. Simply run the executable.

Go to the Debian download page, find and download the netinst CD image - I386 version of Debian 12, Bookworm.

If doing an alternate 64-bit installation, download and use the netinst CD image - amd64 version of Debian 12, Bookworm. Other than this one change, the following installation process will apply.

This guide assumes that the downloaded ISO will be burned to a CD or DVD. If using a USB thumbdrive as a software source, help with creating a bootable USB thumbdrive ISO can be found here: Burn an ISO file to a USB drive.

This subject is covered in the OMV7 User Guide, in the section titled; Selecting a Boot Drive.

If the decision is made to boot from a USB thumbdrive; pre-test the drive as shown, in the following, before use.
For hard drive or SSD boot drives, skip down to → Installation.

Using SDFormatter, do a clean format on the new USB Thumbdrive: (Note that SDFormatter does a trim operation on the drive which cleans up remnants of deleted or previously existing files.) In most cases, SDFormatter will detect the thumb-drive. A volume label is not necessary, at this point, and the default options are fine.

After the Thumdrive format is completed, open h2testw and select your language.
Then, click on Select target

Under Computer, select the flash media previously formatted.

Select Write+Verify. (DO NOT check the endless verify box)

A dialog similar to the following may pop up, showing a 1MB difference. Ignore it and click on OK.

“Without errors” is the desired outcome.
If the media tests with errors or is much smaller than is indicated by the Thumbdrive's labeled size, don't use it.

After H2testw verifies the USB thumbdrive; do one more clean format, using SDFormatter, before using thumbdrive.

Boot up using the installation ISO.

The first screen offers a choice of installers. While both are roughly the same, for illustration, the standard (text) install is much clearer.

Select Install

Select a Language: (As needed)

Select your Location: (As appropriate.)

Configure the Keyboard: (Select as appropriate)

Configure the Network:


The default hostname, for this 32-bit install, is debian. In this example, it was changed to openmediavault which is the default hostname for an openmediavault install.
Users might chose something like OMV1 which is shorter and easier to type, for later use.

Configure the Network:

Domain Name
If applicable, enter your domain name suffix. Otherwise, this entry can be left blank.
(local is the default for an openmediavault install.)

Set up users and passwords:

root password

Follow the on screen guidance for setting the root password. While not recommended, it would be better to write down the root password, then to forget it.

Set up users and passwords:

Admin User

Follow the on screen guidance for setting up a new user and password.

(This username and password are necessary for an SSH log in, later.)

Configure the Clock:

Select your time zone


Partition Disks 1:

If two storage devices are available for installation, this screen may be displayed.

Partition Disks 2:

Make the selection shown; Guided – use entire disk.

Partition Disks 3:
Partition Disks
If installing to a single internal drive, there will be only one selection available. USB Thumb drives are obvious because many bear their OEM names and their capacity is usually small.

Partition Disk 4:
Partitioning Scheme
Select as shown.

Partition Disk 4:
Finish Partitioning
Select as shown.

Partition Disk 4:
Write Changes
This screen forces the user to manually select Yes.

Configure the Package Manager:
Installation CD or DVD
User will be prompted to Scan extra installation media? Continue with the default NO.

Configure the Package Manager:
Debian Archive Mirror Country
The default choice is usually best.

Configure the Package Manager:
Please select a Debian Archive Mirror
The default choice is usually best.

Configure the Package Manager:
HTTP proxy
In most cases this entry will be blank.
(If a proxy is required, note the form of entry required in the dialog box.)
Select Continue.

Configure popularity-contest
Participate in the package usage survey?
In most cases this entry will be blank
The user's choice.

Software selection
Only the SSH server should be selected. Make changes to reflect the following and Continue.
DO NOT select additional packages. Desktops are not supported.

Install the GRUB Boot Loader on a Hard Disk:
Accept the default – Yes.

Install the GRUB Boot Loader on a Hard Disk:
Generally the boot drive will be /dev/sda which is, in most cases, the first sata port.
If multiple drives are connected and if there's any doubt, shutdown and disconnect all drives except the boot drive.
(Otherwise, a USB Thumb-drive will be obvious.)

Finish the Installation:
Installation Complete
Remove the CD or USB installation source, then hit ENTER.
(Otherwise, the installation process may re-start.)

Allow the installation to boot.

Log into the console as root and type ip addr on the command line.

Note the address in this case -

Open PuTTY and type in the IP address as previously noted.

A PuTTY Security Alert will pop up with a first time connection.
Ignore this warning and click Accept.

  • Log into the SSH connection with the Admin user account and password, that was created during the Debian install.
  • To get root access to the installation, type the command su – root <enter>. Type in the root password when prompted.

(*Note: “Paste” is supported by PuTTY, with a right mouse click.*)

Copy (highlight and Ctrl+C) the following and paste it (right mouse click) into the SSH window. Hit Enter.

apt-get install wget sudo -y

Installing OMV on i386 platforms is very easy, thanks to Arron Murray (ryecoaaron on the OMV Forum) for providing a comprehensive installation script that's executed from a single line.

Copy the following line complete (Ctrl+C) and paste it into PuTTY's SSH window, with a right mouse click. Then hit Enter.
wget -O - | sudo bash

Once the script is running, click out of the SSH window so the script will not be interrupted.

* Note: Do Not close PuTTY – that will terminate the root session. Minimizing PuTTY is OK, but it must be running. *

Depending on several factors, running this script may take up to 30 minutes.

When the script is complete, the PC will automatically reboot.
If the reboot is not automatic (which should close the SSH window) type reboot on the command line.

Users should be aware that packages, plugins and other options that are available for 64-bit platforms may not be available or work on 32-bit platforms.

Further, certain types of dockers and other types of virtualization may not install or work on 32-bit platforms. (As a practical example, the Portainer Docker will not install on i386 platforms.)

After 3 to 5 minutes, OMV can be logged into using the same IP address that was used for the SSH client, entered in a web browser address bar.

The web GUI user is admin and the default password is openmediavault

With the installation process complete, users should configure their server, with the OMV7 New User Guide, starting with the section titled → Initial Configuration.

This concludes the i386, 32-bit, OMV installation.

We, who support the openmediavault project, hope that you’ll find your openmediavault server to be enjoyable, efficient, and easy to use.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider a modest donation to support the hosting costs of this server (OMV-Extras).

Venmo: ryecoaaron

  • omv7/i386_32-bit_install.txt
  • Last modified: 2024/06/08 16:26
  • by crashtest