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Re: kernel modules (Re: redesigning the debian installer)

Joey Hess wrote:
> Note that I'm not opposed to websites or whatever that autobuild install
> media in the least.
> Glenn McGrath wrote:
> > Also the user building there own customised installer would logically
> > only include modules that apply to them, eg. they wouldnt include an NFS
> > modules if they dont intend to install from or too NFS, same with
> > detecting different types of hardware e.g. ISA, CDROM etc.
> My ideas on this are rather different, but are not refined yet. What I'm
> thinking about doing is making each debian-installer module include the
> kernel modules it needs (or depend on some other module that has them,
> of course).
> This means that if you are not doing a NFS install, you can just drop
> off the nfs debian-installer module from your install media. Same for a
> *lot* of other modules.

This makes sense

> > I think enabling heavy end-user customisation is the best chance we have
> > of buildign a 1 disk installer. I think it would be very challenging to
> > build a 1 disk installer for the masses if your kernel is 1MB leaving
> > 400KB left to work with, 400KB would get most of busybox in, but not
> > much else.
> But see, your kernel will be more like 300kb. It will include no drivers
> except enough to get the debian installer up and to get up on the
> network.
> All other kernel drivers and installer modules will be downloaded (hard
> disk drivers, filesystems, etc), and from that point, space metters much
> less.
> This is why I'm holding out some hope for a single floppy install,
> without excessive user customization aside from specifying that they
> want to use the single floppy to install from the network.
> The main issues this raises is that it makes kernel compilations for the
> installer a PITA (because you have to shove the kernel modules into a
> buch of different installer modules), and that it means we need an initrd
> to boot up the debian system once it is installed (because the kernel
> may not even have a disk driver or ext2 filesystem in it).

I will have to and lookup what PITA means, but i assume it means

hmm, it could get complex, installer modules depending on the used
kernel, i think this makes it more important that the end user has some
tools to customise there installer.

I think this tool will have to
	a) specify what modules will be included with the installer (others can
be fetched) 
	b) build the installer modules that will be on the disk (from a module
base and kernel dependencies?)
	c) Allow the user to pre-define default values for any modules.

Maybe the installer modules themselves could be virtual packages, and
the kernel modules they require could be extracted from a deb. This
would require lots of work on the kernel though.

Im a bit out of my depth on the best way to do this.


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