Re: Installing from scratch with debs
Have you looked at the package 'debootstrap'? It does much of what you are
looking for. Perhaps you can look at that and coordinate with Anthony Towns so
you two aren't doing duplicate work.
> 1. dpkg won't do anything at all if /var/lib/dpkg doesn't exist and
> doesn't contain two files (status, available) and two directories
> (info, updates). They can all be empty, but you have to create
> them by hand. I don't see why dpkg doesn't create these if they
> don't exist.
I agree that this would be nice. Perhaps file a wishlist bug against dpkg?
> 5. makedev is not Essential, and not much depends on it, but it's the
> only package which will create /dev - if you leave it out, you get
> no /dev, and all kinds of things mysteriously break. This is
> easily worked around by doing (cd /mnt/dev && MAKEDEV generic) by
> hand, first, if you remember.
FYI, debootstrap handles this by creating devices.tar.gz.
> (To find out what Status: line
> corresponded to 'iU' in dpkg -l, I had to dig through the apt
> sources. Why is the status file format undocumented?)
I can't imagine the lack of documentation is by design.
> I ran this script for all the Essential packages and the transitive
> closure of their dependencies. In case you're curious, these are all
> the packages which are not Essential but included in the transitive
> base-config has serious bugs at present. Passwords are echoed to the
> screen, and it does some ridiculous grep loop over the password file
> which takes about five minutes to complete. With no indication of
> what's happening. I thought it had wedged. Finally, it gets
> seriously confused when it hits the bit about running tasksel or
> dselect, and errors out. I wound up setting up shadow MD5 passwords
> and accounts by hand - this is not hard.
ick, have bugs been filed?
> I understand that installer generation has to jump through some of the
> same hoops, so I hope my experience provides some useful insights.
> I've attached the unpacking script.