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Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base?



James A. Robinson writes:
> [Ian Jackson wrote:]
> > Think about it: admin mirrors ftp.debian.org on the site NFS server,
> > or mounts the CD-ROM on it.  Admin now wants to install Debian on a
> > dozen PC's, but has to carry 6 floppies around to all of them !
> 
> Bruce wrote:
> > Mine has a pre-written boot floppy and requires an unformatted floppy that
> > you supply. This will appear in the Debian Catalog when I am ready to take
> 
> Think about it yourself, Ian!  If Bruce supplies a single boot floppy
> with a network kernel and the needed network programs (which are what,
> ifconfig, route, and mount?) on it, we can do NFS without carrying
> around floppies.  Am I misinterpreting Bruce?

I don't know.  The impression I got was that there are no immediate
plans to make it possible to install the base disks other than via
actual floppies or CD-ROM.  Clearly the user can do it themselves,
using mount, gzip and cpio from the root disk shell option, but they
shouldn't have to (if nothing else this means they need to know
exactly how our base installation works).

> > Telling the admin to make sure that each of the dozen workstations has
> > a CD-ROM drive that probably won't be used for anything else is
> > ridiculous.
> 
> Geez, you guys have got to relax a bit before you respond.  I was
> pointing out that Bruce's CDROM solution is going to be what lots of
> places choose.  We're only a 300 student college and _we_ have a NFS
> mountable CDROM.

If my impression of Bruce's plans is correct then one NFS-mountable
CD-ROM won't do you any good.  You'd need an actual CD-ROM drive in
each machine, or floppies.

I think it's fairly clear from my messages that that's what I've been
assuming.  I keep hoping that someone will contradict me.

Some time ago in this thread I wrote:
> When I told a local system administrator that you needed 5 disks + 1
> blank to install Debian the expression on his face was very
> convincing.
> 
> I think that making both available is probably a good idea, but the
> best thing would be if we could make the base disks installable by
> some other means than floppy disks.  Hard disk partitions, CDROMs, NFS
> and FTP would probably be enough.  If we did that we could leave the
> 2-disk set for esoteric use.

I hope I have misunderstood Bruce's intentions.  If I haven't then my
point stands.

Please see below for a digest of the messages leading up to this one.

Ian.

------- start of digest (6 messages) (RFC 934 encapsulation) -------
Resent-From: debian-devel@Pixar.com
Resent-Message-ID: <"7XJZ3.A.1lC.9pjTw"@mongo>
Resent-Sender: debian-devel-request@Pixar.com
From: bruce@pixar.com (Bruce Perens)
To: debian-devel@pixar.com
Subject: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base?
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 1995 00:20:17 GMT
Message-ID: <mlist0907012017-3294.iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk>

I have two base systems at the moment. One installs in 5 floppies, and contains
all of the files in all of the packages contained in the base, and perl,
and netstd, and ncurses-runtime. One installs in two floppies, and you then
have to install the base packages afterward. The 5-floppy one sounds like it
will be a lot easier to support (meaning there will be less answering questions
about why dpkg is complaining and where is the documentation).

I may have made an ill-considered decision when I built the 2-disk base.
I'd like to hear opinion on which system we should be using for 0.93R6 .

	Thanks

	Bruce
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- -- Attention Radio Amateurs: For information on "Linux for Hams",
- -- read the WWW page http://www.hams.com/LinuxForHams, 
- -- or e-mail the word "help" to info@hams.com

------------------------------
To: debian-devel@pixar.com
Subject: Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base?

Bruce Perens writes ("Do we really care how many floppies are in the base?"):
> I have two base systems at the moment. One installs in 5 floppies, and contains
> all of the files in all of the packages contained in the base, and perl,
> and netstd, and ncurses-runtime. One installs in two floppies, and you then
> have to install the base packages afterward. The 5-floppy one sounds like it
> will be a lot easier to support (meaning there will be less answering questions
> about why dpkg is complaining and where is the documentation).

The questions about dpkg complaining can be made better by having the
system produce more helpful and informative error messages.

> I may have made an ill-considered decision when I built the 2-disk base.
> I'd like to hear opinion on which system we should be using for 0.93R6 .

When I told a local system administrator that you needed 5 disks + 1
blank to install Debian the expression on his face was very
convincing.

I think that making both available is probably a good idea, but the
best thing would be if we could make the base disks installable by
some other means than floppy disks.  Hard disk partitions, CDROMs, NFS
and FTP would probably be enough.  If we did that we could leave the
2-disk set for esoteric use.

Ian.
------------------------------
From: Bruce Perens <bruce@Pixar.com>
To: Ian Jackson <iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk>
cc: debian-devel@Pixar.com, bruce@Pixar.com
Subject: Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? 
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 1995 12:34:10 -0700
Message-Id: <m0sr9Bj-000FLoC@mongo.pixar.com>


iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk said:
> When I told a local system administrator that you needed 5 disks + 1 
> blank to install Debian the expression on his face was very 
> convincing. 

I will be offering Debian CD-ROMs by October 22. Others will do so as well.
Mine has a pre-written boot floppy and requires an unformatted floppy that
you supply. This will appear in the Debian Catalog when I am ready to take
people's money.

	Thanks

	Bruce

- --
- -- Attention Radio Amateurs: For information on "Linux for Hams",
- -- read the WWW page http://www.hams.com/LinuxForHams, 
- -- or e-mail the word "help" to info@hams.com

------------------------------
To: debian-devel@Pixar.com
Subject: Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? 

Bruce Perens writes ("Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? "):
> iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk said:
> > When I told a local system administrator that you needed 5 disks + 1 
> > blank to install Debian the expression on his face was very 
> > convincing. 
> 
> I will be offering Debian CD-ROMs by October 22.  [...]

This is irrelevant.  What do you think this sysadmin is going to do
when I tell him that every machine he wants to install on is supposed
to have a CD-ROM drive ?!!?  He has a perfectly good local NFS server
where he can put the distribution materials, and we need to make sure
that he can start to use them there as soon as possible in the
installation process.

Network-based installations are *definitely* part of our target market
(I hope!) and `use a CD-ROM then' is not an answer to the problem of
too many floppies.

Ian.
------------------------------
From: "James A. Robinson" <jimr@simons-rock.edu>
To: Ian Jackson <iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk>
cc: debian-devel@Pixar.com
Subject: Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? 
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 1995 16:30:07 -0400
Message-Id: <m0srWXP-0003J4C@plato.simons-rock.edu>


> Network-based installations are *definitely* part of our target market
> (I hope!) and `use a CD-ROM then' is not an answer to the problem of
> too many floppies.

Umm, while I partly agree that we need to be able to have admins able
to download ftp.debian.org:/debian/* and NFS install it -- I think
that a lot of networks can/will also NFS mount the CDROM.


Jim

------------------------------
To: debian-devel@Pixar.com
Subject: Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? 

James A. Robinson writes ("Re: Do we really care how many floppies are in the base? "):
> > Network-based installations are *definitely* part of our target market
> > (I hope!) and `use a CD-ROM then' is not an answer to the problem of
> > too many floppies.
> 
> Umm, while I partly agree that we need to be able to have admins able
> to download ftp.debian.org:/debian/* and NFS install it -- I think
> that a lot of networks can/will also NFS mount the CDROM.

Think about it: admin mirrors ftp.debian.org on the site NFS server,
or mounts the CD-ROM on it.  Admin now wants to install Debian on a
dozen PC's, but has to carry 6 floppies around to all of them !

How does the CD-ROM help the admin with the `too many floppies'
problem ?  The only way it helps is if the actual machine being
installed on has a CD-ROM drive.

Telling the admin to make sure that each of the dozen workstations has
a CD-ROM drive that probably won't be used for anything else is
ridiculous.

Also, Richard Kettlewell is absolutely correct:
> Why assume that there's any CD ROM drive involved at all?  Sure, CD
> ROM has taken off in a big way, but there are still many places out
> there with network connectivity but no convenient CDROM.
> 
> I can think of at least two real-world examples, one small, one
> perhaps very large.

Ian.
------- end -------


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