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Re: PCI hardware detection [RFC]

On Fri, Jul 20, 2001 at 02:08:28PM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Le Thu, Jul 19, 2001 at 07:21:36AM -0700, David Kimdon écrivait:
> > This idea for d-i is that the first disk (i386 only at the moment) does 
> > hardware detection of ethernet modules.  After that the rest of the
> > installer is downloaded over the ethernet and the installer can proceed
> > with partitioning, base install, etc.
> Please, consider also detecting CD readers so that CD installs can do the
> same.  (it's what Mandrake actually does)
> They have a stage1 step that detects the CD readers, loads the necessary
> modules to get access to the CD, and then they setup a big ramdisk with
> an image found on the CD and they make it the new root (since they are
> in the initrd step at the same time).

There is always the problem of the egg and the chicken. If there are able to
access the necessary modules to drive the CD, this means that the modules
are not on the CD, but already in the initrd loaded at boot time via the El
Torito tricks. The debian installer has to be modular and I guess that if we
put something on a CD, then the CD drivers modules will be a must in the

IIRC, the El Torito tricks could be used (via BIOS interrupts) in order to
retrieve some files from the CDs, but it would be more than surprising that
Mandrake has tried something like that since it will hardly work on a great
number of x86, and it is probably not worth the effort (even El Torito is
only partially implemented).

The debian installer, AFAIK, will be modular. The only question that must be
answered at creation time is : what is the supplementary data source? A CD?
then the modules must be in the initrd. Network? With GRUB (but only in x86)
one can in fact just boot from GRUB and access everything else from the
network, iff the DHCP server is correctly configured.

I don't think that anybody think we will/should drop the CD support ;) We
must just be able to do, also, something else.

Thierry LARONDE, Centre de Ressources Informatiques, Archamps - France

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