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Re: Building a NOW with Debian

 I have a related interest.
I'd like to be able to install a multiple versions of debian (and maybe
other linuxes) on a single mashine.
  be able to test a new version or distribution
  be able to install from a running system to another disk
    (or set of partitions or just a subdirectory), so that I could
      move that disk to another machine, roboot, voila finished system
      make a new base.tgz for more or less the same purpuse
      make a nfs-exportable subdir for a nfs-root client

To handle this the installation tool should
  be independent of which version of kernel/debian to install
  if possible be independent of target architekture
  be able to install to a subdirectory
  be able to be run from special boot floppies as well from a running
  be able to handle dependancies among installed systems like
    common /usr or /usr/share hiearchies

I also see the need to seperate kernelrelated stuff from the rest.
Why not use a setup like this:

/kernel/version/my_version/ (and possible an arch intheresomewhere) e.g.


In that directory you stuff all things specific to that kernel compilation

zImage (or vmlinuz if you like)
config (a copy of the .config used to create this kernel is handy to have
block, fs, misc, net, scsi and whatever module diretories
modules.dep (why should we recalculate it at every boot)
and maybe move /etc/modules /etc/modutils there
and possible an initrd image

In /boot you have the usual lilo stuff, but /etc/lilo.conf should be moved
there too
 and a "cd /etc; ln -s ../boot/lilo.conf ." be made.
Then you have one and only one lilo.conf for all your bootable linux
 installations on that machine.

Since kernel stuff and booting are strongly related either:
  merge /boot and /kernel to either of them
  symlink them
  keep them seperate


Karl Hammar		Aspö Data		karl@kalle.csb.ki.se
Lilla Aspö 2340		0173 140 57
S-742 94 Östhammar	070 511 97 84		Professionella Linuxlösningar

On Thu, 15 Jul 1999, Adrian Cox wrote:

> Jose Marin wrote:
> > I'm not doing diskless clients at the moment, but this might interest
> > you and everybody on the list. There's a thread called "diskless" in
> > the general beowulf list (beowulf@beowulf.gsfc.nasa.gov), and there's
> > a post by R. Brown (14 July) where he has some interesting things to
> > say. He's asking for some way to create, on a server, a root directory
> > structure (except /usr) for the diskless nodes to mount (a la SunOS).
> > And to do it of course in a way that upgrades through the package
> > manager are easy. He asks for RH support, but Debian needs the same
> > thing, I would think.
> I'm currently doing something very similar, with the added bonus that
> the diskless clients are actually PowerPC, and the server is x86. The
> major problem is that dpkg wants to run pre and post-install scripts,
> but this can go very wrong when installing cross architecture.
> I'd like Debian to have the level of diskless client support that SunOS
> has. I'd like to be able to support clients of one version/architecture
> from servers of a different version/architecture. This is not an
> impossible goal, and I think anything achieved should migrate into
> "standard" Debian. Note that Brian May's diskless package already
> achieves some of this for clients of the same architecture as the
> server.
> My current solution is to unpack a base image, and modify it according
> to a policy file (of a format I'm still working on). Then boot one
> client, and run dselect on it. This "master" client is the only one
> which ever gets to run dpkg. All the others get cloned from this, quite
> possibly by the diskless package. 
> - Adrian Cox, AG Electronics
> --  
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