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Prepared file system for machines with little RAM ?


The installers of the other distributions usually mount a prepared
file system from the cdrom.  Thats why they don't have this >32MB ram
problem that we have.  It seams to me that we can easy do something
similar for our installer.

Currently our build system creates several small boot floppy images.
It unpacks in their file system the most necessary udebs.  Suppose now
that the build system creates in the same way also a root file system
with all udebs unpacked.  Then the debian-cd package places the image
of this file system somewhere in the cd.

When the installer boots and the cdrom is autodetected a special udeb
will detect that there is a prepared file system in the cd.  Then it:

  1. mounts this file system on /live using a loop device
  2. copies the files from /live/var to /var
  3. does some magic for /var/lib/dpkg/*
  4. makes symlink farm to files in /live/usr/*, /live/bin, etc.

In this way the system could be used with machines with very few mb

The following scenario is possible for machines without cdrom:

  1. We boot using cdrom some other computer in the same net.
  2. By some special udeb  we configure this computer as nfs-server
     exporting the live file system.
  3. We boot the other computer and configure it to use the file
     system exported file system. 

What do you think?

Anton Zinoviev

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