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Re: Bits from the CD team: plans for debian-cd v3.0

Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com> writes:

>  8. Running without a local mirror
>     A common complaint is that debian-cd basically requires a local
>     mirror to be useful. This is not ideal for many end users, who may
>     be trying to create small custom CDs and don't have the disk space
>     for all the Debian packages needed. It should be feasible to make
>     debian-cd work with remote mirrors, grabbing just the pieces it
>     needs. This _may_ need custom work, or it may be possible to use
>     one of several packages suggested to create a partial mirror. I'm
>     actually leaning more towards custom code, perhaps even some
>     tweaks to pipe the data into mkisofs as it is needed to save local
>     disk.

Given a list of package needed for the CD it is trivial to create a
partial mirror using one of various methods. If that mirror is then
used to hardlink or symlink the files into the CD dirs no space is

To save more space you would have to pipe the files and live with the
problem that you can't reread a file, e.g. to run apt-ftparchive or
md5sum over it. You have to get each file as it comes and pipe it to
all the things that need to read it at the same time. That might be
quite complicated.

What would be real great though would be to combine this with the
realy realy fast jigdo file creation. If you don't create iso images
you don't even need the debs. Just get the Packages/Sources files,
create jidgo, done. Would that be possible? Creating isos without
local mirror could then go this way and run jigdo to create images.

>  9. Are business card ISOs actually useful?
>     Compared to the netinst and other CDs, they depend much more on
>     the software in the mirror exactly matching the code on the CD,
>     which make them _much_ more fragile. Sizing them to fit on the BC
>     CD media is also much more difficult. Do people still think the
>     effort to create these is useful?

Any system that can use businesscard can just as well use the netboot
iso. They are only minimaly more fragile than businesscard (which
aren't realy all that fragile for stable) as they break if the kernel
udebs change the ABI (happened once in sarge).

So instead of trying to fit extra udebs on the businesscard CDs I
would rather see multiarch netboot images being build. Just bootcode,
kernel and initrd for each arch. A i386+amd64+ppc bootimage should be
<30Mb with docs and make nearly ever user happy already.


PS: many many thanks for the errata. Keep up the good work.

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