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Re: Unattended package install.


In article <19980403054607.39891@kuolema>,
Martin Schulze  <joey@infodrom.north.de> wrote:
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>On Thu, Apr 02, 1998 at 09:22:04PM -0600, Henry Hollenberg wrote:
>> I'm writing a script to install several packages using "dpkg -i" on
>> several machines and I'd like to set this up where it can be performed
>> unattended.

I am doing the same in the moment. The destination is to have a context
which resembles 'boot net-install' on Solaris.

In the moment, I can use a boot-floppy to get a debian-system which is
integrated in our NFS/NIS context using the following procedere:

- - Booting with the floppy
(- Waiting about 1-2 minutes)
- - Waiting for a query whether to use bootp
- - Pressing <Return> thrice
- - Removing the floppy
(- Waiting about 15 minutes)
- - Answering some configuration-questions when they are asked.

In the moment, I need to wait ~20 minutes when I am installing a new
machine, which tends to happen sometimes... at about 60 Linux machines,
with growing tendency, because one working group wants to buy about 20 new
machines. If I can remove the need to wait the second 15 minutes, I can
get the machine running in ~5 minutes, which is a speedup of 4 (ok...
simple math... ;-). To get there, I want to remove the

>> Some of the packages ask some questions during their installation
>> and I was wondering if there was some way I could pass them the answers
>> I'd like to use so they can go on and do their thing without any
>> further care and feeding.....the answeres will be the same every time for
>> this purpose.
>As far as I remember there were several approaches:
> . make all read routines a wrapper that looks up the answer in
>   a database.
>   Pro: The administrator could pre-specify the answers in this
>        database ensuring that other machines get the proper setup
>   Con: One needs to maintain such a database, autogenerate or
>        whatelse

This is not a beautiful way to do it, because it tends to break often
when packages are updated.

> . Let dpkg provide a variable DPKG_NON_INTERACTIVE if called with
>   an additional switch --non-interactive and ensure that all
>   installation scripts use pre-defined default values and don't
>   query the user.
>   Pro: easy to implement
>        every maintainer may easily define appropriate defaults
>   Con: needs addition to dpkg and dselect

The addition to dpkg and dselect is not really needed. You can pass the
variable through dpkg, D.h. 'DPKG_NON_INTERACTIVE=true dpkg -switches'.
Some more: There can be individual variables to configure some packages

I would be willing to change the packages I want to autoinstall.



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Wer geteilt ist hat nichts mitzuteilen (Einstuerzende Neubauten)

Arne Wichmann (aw@math.uni-sb.de)

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