Request an addition to install CD
I am the author of an open source disk image backup project for Windows
called SelfImage. This program is capable of, among other things, using
Linux's Network Block Device protocol to back up and restore remote disk
images. I originally developed this program for my own use as I have a
couple PARISC machines that I have been switching OSes on a lot. I
found that getting disk images on and off the machines to be a real
pain. I created a Debian boot/install disc that has nbd-server on it,
and now getting disk images on and off is much easier.
I am hoping to make the case for adding nbd-server to the Debian net
install CD. It is already a supported Debian package, the program is
very small (24k on PARISC, probably the same on Intel), and the version
Debian uses has no dependencies besides libc.
Network Block Device hasn't really been marketed as a remote disk image
backup system. The remote servers are usually run on flat files, not
actual block devices. However, I think NBD is an underutilized little
gem in Linux. While it would definitely benefit my project to have
Debian's boot CDs support NBD, I believe that it would also be of more
general benefit. Debian offers nbd client support, so any other Debian
Linux machine would also be able to back up/restore remote disk images
this way if nbd-server is added to the boot CDs.
It's not a huge deal, but I think the cost/benefit ratio is generally
favourable seeing as nbd-server is so tiny.