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Re: non-free firmware and d-i

<posted & mailed>

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.
> 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)
> 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 ;-)

So I'm looking at how much of d-i is ready for multiple udeb sources....

Checking the net-retriver modules makes it clear that it ASSumes that 
there's only one source.  I'm not entirely sure how to disabuse it
of that assumption.

There's an easy way to do it: make a copy of net-retriever
which instead of using the choose-mirror debconf information, prompts for
a URL (and *doesn't* cache it, so that it can be run repeatedly with
different URLs).

I hate to duplicate code, but some of the net-retriever code (like the
signature checking) should be torn out for this purpose anyway, so this
is probably the way to go.

The other way is to make the net-retriever program handle both alternatives,
but if it's invoked from anna (as it should be), there's no way to tell it
which version is wanted, so I think that's not workable.

I think maybe I should just write this now.

If we use the more complicated anna-using version I suggested rather than
your very straightforward code, then for local disk udeb loading:

floppy-retriever seems good to go; it even invokes mountfloppy, and
it doesn't need a Packages file or anything.

This should be the model for other 'customization' retrievers.

cdrom-retriever looks pretty much good to go as well, but it doesn't
similarly handle mounting and umounting, and it wants a fairly complicated
setup on the CD.  So maybe it should be forked.

I believe the main customization menu is the 
place to handle ejecting and replacing the installation CD (which is
clearly the Hard Part).
Why?  Mostly because it has to be done for all
local media (CDs, floppy, USB stick, etc.), and will be done in
approximately the same way for each one: check whether the device is
mounted, umount if it is, do the work, remount it at the end.
(Frankly I'm unsure how the multiple installation
CDs work now: I guess none but the first contain udebs.)
I'm not *quite* sure how to write that code (everything else mentioned here
I think I could write right now pretty much).

There is no usbstick-retriever or harddisk-retriever.  There should be, for 
reasons beyond customization disks: it's a little silly that those 
options require an ISO image.  :-)  These should be substantially
simpler than cdrom-retriever or floppy-retriever.

Note that this infrastructure would add flexibility to d-i.

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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