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Re: Debian installer for Linuxcare rescue CD

Adam Di Carlo writes:

> Ah... oh ok, yeah, we already have the moral equivalent of this in our
> apt configurator.  I thought you hacked stuff somehow so we knew from
> the BIOS automatically what our boot device was, which would be
> interesting.
> So don't worry about sending code -- we already have it.

It would be lovely to have the holy grail of El Torito booting -- a
function which returns the major and minor numbers of the standard Linux
kernel block device corresponding to the CD-ROM device where the BIOS
found the currently-loaded El Torito image.  We have searched in vain
for such a function for many days...

While I have ahold of this list:

I've just started reading some of the functions from dinstall.c and
examining the ISO image of the slink-and-a-half CD.  (Thanks, Joey.)

Do I understand correctly that, if the user chooses appropriate options
for the installation media, the installer searches for resc1440.bin,
drv1440.bin, and base2_1.tgz in the mounted filesystem, and uses these
where (and as) it finds them?

I'm still considering the "extract resc1440.bin somewhere, copy drv1440.bin
and base2_1.tgz to appropriate places, chroot in, and exec resc1440.bin's
copy of init before our init has actually done anything much to the system"

Then, instead of pressing enter or waiting at the SYSLINUX prompt, the
user could type "debian" or "debinst" or something to boot "directly" (so
to speak) into the Debian installer.

Does the installer inherently need access to anything except for what's in
the three files mentioned?  resc1440.bin has device nodes, so it can
access hard drives in order to partition and mount them.

If this works, the only thing we'd probably need to change is the modules
and kernel image in slink-and-a-half (because we're currently using
2.2.13 and not MODVERSIONS).  I don't think that would be an insurmountable
problem.  In the worst case, we might even switch our own kernel image
and modules to be compatible with the slink-and-a-half installer's.

Actually, I'm a bit confused about where the kernel image .deb comes from
during installation; it's not on the drivers disk, so is it somewhere
inside base2_1.tgz?  I am sure that further reading of dinstall sources
will clear this up, but I could use some pointers.

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/    | have leisure; for perhaps you will
     http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)    | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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