> Of course, when you do such things as a new installer, you have additional > work in porting it. Another choice would have been to use old boot-floppies > on those archs that are not that well supported by d-i. But it was a > decision made by someone that all archs should use the new d-i. Complaining > afterwards that your own decision puts some more work on you is somewhat > strange, eh? > In experience FAI is better suited to installing older/slower machines then d-i. I doubt we need a single installer which can install debian on every platform which can run debian. People using debian on older/slower machines have different requirements for an installer then newbie endusers or people wanting to deploy debian on a lot of machines. A good installer for older/slower machines needs to provide the following features : + Easy to hack on. Preferably without requiring compilation. + Use as few system resources as possible. + Provide a reasonable shell environment in the installer. Helps in debugging problems during the install (which are more likely to happen on less used platforms). Some features which are less important : + Provide a lot of ways to install the system. netboot + net install is enough for all the machines I know of. A lot of older machines don't have a removable storage device by default anyway. An ethernet driver is typically also one of the first device drivers to be implemented. + Provide extensive device probing and auto configuration. Having a quick and reliable installer which gives a basic configured system is more important then having all the devices configured automatically and introducing a bigger risk of installation failure due to kernel bugs or hardware problems. Kernel bugs and hardware problems are easier to debug in a full installation then in the more limited installer environment. Why I think FAI betters matches these requirements : + Uses an NFS root instead of an initrd and udebs. - This makes it easier to hack on the installer. You just modify the nfs root and reboot instead of having to rebuild the initrd and the affected udebs. - Requires less memory as there is no initrd anymore. - Faster because it doesn't require installing udebs. All the necessary packages are already pre-installed in the nfs root. - The installer environment is much more featureful + Uses a preinstalled base.tgz. This again reduces the install time. Cheers, Peter (p2).
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