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Re-runnability of operations modifying ram rootfs

Please CC me on replies, as I am not on this list.

To what extent is it a goal to make the installation steps

I have noted while testing the woody boot floppies that some
steps that intuitively one would not think need repeating
actually do.  Namely, the install OS & drivers step.  Since
boot-floppies/scripts/drivers/install.sh creates five symlinks
in the ramfs, it makes it necessary to reinstall the drivers
if the install is interrupted for any reason and restarted
from the beginning.  As a naive user, I expected that all that
installing the OS & drivers did was to populate /target.  Not
so.  When I examined the drivers script, I found this:

test -f /bin/sed || ln -sf `pwd`/bin/sed /bin/sed
test -f /usr/bin/whiptail || ln -sf `pwd`/usr/bin/whiptail /usr/bin/whiptail
if [ -e ${FLOPPY}/pcmcia.tgz ]; then
        zcat ${FLOPPY}/pcmcia.tgz | tar -x
        ln -sf `pwd`/sbin/ifport /sbin/ifport
        ln -sf `pwd`/sbin/ifuser /sbin/ifuser
        ln -sf `pwd`/sbin/cardmgr /sbin/cardmgr

So if I start the install, encounter a problem, then restart
it, I know I need to:

- reset the keyboard map
- turn swap back on
- remount the root partition
- reset the host name
- reconfigure PCMCIA
- reconfigure the network ...

But in the last couple of steps, I start getting errors (logged on vt3)
because, for instance, cardmgr isn't found.  The problem here is I never
expected I'd have to repeat the (lengthy) reinstall of the rescue and
drivers disks upon restarting the install.  I figured they were there
on my hdd already, so I needn't bother doing it over again.

What if these symlinks were saved as they were performed via a small
helper script:

save ln -sf `pwd`/sbin/ifport /sbin/ifport

'save' would perform the command immediately but also append the
command to /target/tmp/save.sh

Then, in the event that the install is interrupted and restarted from
the beginning, upon remounting /target, /target/tmp/save.sh could be
executed to redo these saved steps.

Each step written to save.sh should be idempotent.  If someone
installs the drivers multiple times, it should not matter that
multiple ln -sf's are appended to save.sh.

If something like this is not done, at the very least the user should
be notified that they need to rerun a step before they can proceed.
As it is, the user is left in the dark.

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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