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Re: non-free firmware and d-i

Wouter Verhelst wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 05, 2006 at 11:35:25AM +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
>> Feedback is welcome.
> Since the only feedback I received thus far was Goswin von Brederlow
> saying he liked the idea, and since I didn't have much else to do today
> (other than wait for a supplier...), I went ahead and wrote it. It's
> committed to /people/wouter/customization-modules in d-i svn.

Cool.  I very much like the idea of a simple top-level option "load
customization modules".

> It hasn't been tested at all yet (hence the commit to /people rather
> than /trunk), but this is mostly meant as a proof of concept anyway. I'm
> particularly not very happy about the way I currently "look" for usb
> storage devices (really all I'm doing is find any devices called
> /dev/fd*, or anything which is situated under /dev/cdrom/ or /dev/discs)

Hmm.  I think it would be better to give the user a list of devices and
ask him/her which device to load modules from.  For clarity, the
list should note what sort of device it is insofar as we know (CD-ROM,
floppy, USB, hard disk).  This way the user won't accidentally load udebs
from the wrong place.

Also, it should have two pause points:
(1) Please insert the new media, then hit continue
(does its work)
(2) Please reinsert the installation media (if needed), then hit continue

This allows for a customization CD when the installer is running from CD.
Or a customization USB key when it's running from USB key.  Etc.

> Can people please have a look and comment? I'd like to avoid some
> specific GR by making whatever is going to be voted upon moot ;-)

We should have a way of doing the same thing, only with a custom network
source.  Probably not a hard thing to do.

Otherwise, looks fine.

But you may be reinventing bits of d-i.
Perhaps the correct structure is this:  after choosing "Customization
modules", the user gets a menu of possible places to get them from (CD,
USB, floppy, net, etc.).

If the user chooses net,
'anna net-retriever' (NOT anna net-retriever default).  This already prompts 
the user for which udebs to install, at least according to the 
documentation.  The default should be "all of them", but I don't know what
anna currently does.

If the user chooses CD, he's prompted to eject and replace any CD (any
existing CD is unmounted); then 'anna cdrom-retriever'; then the udebs
found are installed; then he's prompted to replace the installation CD if
any (it's remounted).

Likewise for floppy and other removable media.  

I suspect the umounting/remounting bit will be the hardest part!  In fact,
it seems to be the only substantial work required!

anna <retriever>

  Use the given retriever, get the list of all udebs it can
  retrieve, work out which to install by default, prompt the user
  for which to install, and install all selected.

Fairly straightforward.  I think this requires some
setup for the customization floppies/CDROMS/etc.  d-i people: what exactly
has to be set up?  I think it has to look sort of like a Debian archive with
Packages files and whatnot, but what *exactly* has to be set up for a
retriever to recognize it and get the list of udebs?

However, your implementation has the advantage of being simpler and less
dependent on complicated setup of the customization discs.

Let's prove that Joey's six month estimate is wrong by doing it in less time
even though we don't understand d-i very well.  :-)

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden@fastmail.fm>

Bush admitted to violating FISA and said he was proud of it.
So why isn't he in prison yet?...

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