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Re: feedback wanted alternative Debian installation system

On Wed, Feb 27, 2002 at 10:14:06PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 28, 2002 at 11:05:57AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > If it can only be done over NFS, how is this any better than just having
> > a traditional NFS mounted boot-floppies root image? Unlike the rest of
> > the stuff, I don't really see how this is a particularly interesting
> > "feature" of PGI. Any chance of getting that expounded upon?
> I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a "traditional NFS-mounted
> boot-floppies root image".

You unpack rescue.bin onto an NFS server, boot LILO and load the kernel
telling it to NFS mount / from wherever you put rescue.bin. AFAIK,
AIUI, anyway.

> In any event, such a thing would be limited to the feature set that
> boot-floppies support, right?  PGI, as can be seen from the rest of the
> feature list, takes a different approach.

> Or maybe I'm not understanding what you're asking me to elaborate upon?

Well, for a start, what I'm comparing this against is the "udeb" theory,
which is "network enabled" in the sense that you can update individual
components of the installer over the network from the vendor, and this
can be done via straightforward http requests. This is the same thing
that debootstrap's about, which might be what's misleading me.

AFAICS, instead of an ext2 image, this just lets you distribute a tarball,
and only to people who're willing to setup an NFS server to install from.
Or you can distribute the source code, and people can setup an NFS server
which they can then easily rebuild when they make changes.

I'm just not seeing what's different about PGI's approach here that means
you're not limited to the feature set that PGI supports, I guess.

An example scenario:

	Debian uses PGI as it's installer for the Debian 4.2 release. A
	bug is found in the partitioning tool the day after release that
	corrupts some people's machines. Is it possible for Debian to
	just rebuild parted, put that on the mirrors, and have almost
	everyone get access to it even if they're installing from CDs?
	If so, how does this work?

It doesn't much matter if PGI doesn't already do this; there's no real
reason why it couldn't be udeb'ed, but some of the things you've said
seem to indicate that it might already manage this, or something like it.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
We came. We Saw. We Conferenced. http://linux.conf.au/

  ``Debian: giving you the power to shoot yourself in each 
       toe individually.'' -- with kudos to Greg Lehey

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