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Re: di: seperate preperation and installation phases

On Tue, May 08, 2001 at 03:00:37PM +1000, Glenn McGrath wrote:
> If we have a seperate preperation and installation phase then it would
> make the installer more versatile.
> The actual installation phase could be much like what debootsrap does,
> and the preperation stage would involve preparing an environment for
> deboostrap to run.

FWIW, I'm working on something like that too (and hope I can show the alpha
for the Debian Conference).

The strategy is :

Phase I : bootstrap a minimal OS making the detection of the hardware and
the software installed on the machine. Send a descriptive file to a kind of

Phase II : the master takes the decisions (interactively or not) and gives
"orders" to a build daemon which builds kernel (there is no relationship
between the initial OS and the kernel built), servers/modules, rootfs

Phase III : master gives instruction for the installation of the machine, 
whether as a TX, TA or standalone; in this case : partitionning, downloading
a package with the OS built.

Phase IV : machine reboots and is up for customization

When one has no "master", I can imagine that the descriptive file could be
sent via http to a cgi script building the orders. One takes back its customized
"package" (a fake one, with rules and no data but orders for retrieving
packages), gives it to the minimal OS which installs according to that with
resources on a CD, or from the net, etc...

BTW, I have designed a new packaging system, with a new package format, that
could be a proposal for a common basis for other packaging system.

The initial OS is : busybox, uClibc, _ash_ as a shell, Linux at the moment
but I'm not quite sure I will not go the FreeBSD way sooner or later.

It could seem that I'm reinventing the wheel, but I have found that even
when facing a huge task, it takes me less time to do it by myself than
trying to convince others that it is worth working on it /*sigh*/.
Thierry LARONDE, Centre de Ressources Informatiques, Archamps - France
PingOO, serveur de com sur distribution GNU/Linux: http://www.pingoo.org

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