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Re: howto interact with HW-detection of installer

The debian-boot list is more appropriate for this question. Please reply to 
that list and not to debian-cd.

On Wednesday 28 October 2009, Geronimo Ma. Hernandez wrote:
> I read the wiki of DebianInstaller and DebianCustomCD, as well as
> "debian installer internals", but I stil didn't get rid of how to
> interface with HW-detection part of the installer.
> I would like to have different package-lists installed, based on the
> detected hardware.
> So how can I determine the result of hw-detection? Does the installer
> use environment  variables or the /proc filesystem, or ... ?

With current kernels d-i does not actually do very much hardware detection. 
Most hardware is detected automatically by the kernel in combination with 
udev. udev decides which modules to load based on the modules.*map files 
in /lib/modules/<kernel version>/.

There are several ways to get info about hardware:
- files in /sys or /proc
- utilities like lspci, lsusb, dmidecode (not all available in D-I)

What to use depends on what you want...

> Or do I have to build my own udeb for the hw I like to detect?
> ... and if I do that, how can I switch the packagelist for the base
> installer?

base-installer is in most cases not the best place to install extra 
packages. Doing that in pkgsel is preferred.
There are quite a lot of methods you could use to make D-I install extra 
packages. What method is best depends. A lot can be done using preseeding 
(run a script in preseed-early and have that drop custom hook scripts in 
various places for example), but creating a custom udeb is also an option.

If you need to ask questions from the user, a custom udeb is the only 
really good solution.

> There's a lot of information out there, but the installer is quite
> complex ...

Yes, it is :-) Maybe we could help better if you gave more concrete 
examples of what you want.


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