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Re: Bug#861263: debian-installer: zfs support

On Sat, May 06, 2017 at 03:35:52PM +0100, Sam Kuper wrote:
> On 06/05/2017, Ian Campbell <ijc@debian.org> wrote:
> > It would in theory be possible to arrange build and install modules
> > during installation using the in-progress target installation (where
> > the normal toolchain packages could be installed) such that they are
> > available during the latter parts of the install procedure -- that is
> > clearly of limited use for any modules which are required for the
> > filesystems which you want to install to (certainly the root fs and
> > perhaps any separate /usr or /var partition(s)).
> Given that a machine intended to run ZFS is likely to be provisioned
> with >2GB of RAM (much more than the Debian Installer would normally
> require), might a viable workaround be for the Debian Installer to
> take the following steps?
> - Ensure that some minimum amount of RAM is available, and refuse to
> proceed with a root-on-ZFS installation if not;
> - install the toolchain, ZFS source, and any other packages from
> "main" or "contrib" necessary to support these, to a RAM disk;
> - compile and load ZFS functionality;
> - format the target HDD/SSD using ZFS;
> - copy the toolchain binaries and ZFS source packages, etc, to the
> relevant places on the target HDD/SSD (/usr/bin ,
> /var/cache/apt/archives/ , etc);
> - resume the installation as usual.

I don't see why not. We already need the ability to run debootstrap;
this would just change that to a need to do so twice.

It wouldn't be terribly efficient for a netinstall, since it requires
that you download the base system twice; but it could imagine a special
"non-free netinstall" image which would contain zfs-dkms and its
dependencies on top of the base system, so that you don't need to
download things more than once.

I don't know whether anyone on this list would be actually interested in
adding the necessary support to d-i, but hey, if you are, I'm sure
patches are welcome. As a side note, I'll add that there is already a
partman-zfs, due to Debian-kFreeBSD; this should mean that you'd only
need to extend that to also do the compilation at first.

< ron> I mean, the main *practical* problem with C++, is there's like a dozen
       people in the world who think they really understand all of its rules,
       and pretty much all of them are just lying to themselves too.
 -- #debian-devel, OFTC, 2016-02-12

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