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Re: Re: NSLU2 Debian Installer Erroneous asking for an IP address

Sorry it took so long, but I've finally made that change.  It will go
into the next release of Debian (lenny).

 oldsys-preseed (2.0) unstable; urgency=low
   * Use a static IP address when the configuration says so, even when
     this is the default value used by the original firmware.  In the
     past, oldsys-preseed would do DHCP in the assumption that the user
     never configured the static IP address and might not want to have
     that setting.  However, Mike (mwester) convinced me with his
     argument in http://lists.debian.org/debian-arm/2008/01/msg00050.html
     that doing DHCP when the configuration clearly says to use a static
     IP is a bad idea.
   * Increase the version number to 2.0 because of this change in
     behaviour.  This change affects Linksys NSLU2 and Thecus N2100.

* Mike (mwester) <mwester@dls.net> [2008-01-08 12:49]:
> So, basically even though the user has specified a static IP, the unit
> DHCP's anyway.  Considering that a well-behaved DHCP server will probe the
> active addresses, it's *guaranteed* that not even by accident will the NSLU2
> get the static IP that the user set.  Hence the device is "lost on the
> ether".
> Debugging this situation is difficult for the novice.  First, the user set a
> static IP -- there's no reason for them to go check their router to see if
> it issued a DHCP IP in the first place; they're not expecting that to
> happen.  Secondly, many routers don't even provide a means to check what
> DHCP has done, so the user can't discover the IP even if a wiki or document
> told them to do so (I believe that Linksys, one of the most common routers
> in this area, is one such vendor).
> Personally, I find this behavior of the installer to be wrong, in the same
> way that I would be angry if my automobile took it upon itself to turn the
> steering wheel for me, because I happened to leave the turn-signal activated
> for too long.  But I'm not a Debian user (I just happen to frequent the
> #nslu2-general IRC channel where this issue has become so commonly asked).
> IMO, if this behavior is retained, it needs a gigantic red box (flashing,
> preferably) on the web pages describing the installation process.  Many of
> the users I encounter on that IRC channel are truely novices, so the text
> also should not just limit itself to outlining the behavior, but the
> implications of it as well (that the unit will DHCP and that many users may
> not have routers that offer the ability to see what the DHCP IP might have
> been, resulting in an NLSU2 on the network that is well and truely lost).
> And, no, running nmap to find it is not an option for most of these users!
> Regards,
> Mike (mwester)
> -- 
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Martin Michlmayr

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