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Re: cross-dpkg problems


On Sat, Nov 07, 1998 at 10:27:52AM -0600, Gordon Matzigkeit wrote:
> 2) They have an existing Hurd system, but no dpkg.  The approach is to
> install dpkg, then it becomes case #1.

This can be done, but it is not trivial, as Dpkg will not know about
existing files. This is similar to moving a slackware system to Debian, or
other system. A lot of manual work is necessary.

The recommended way isa to make a backup of home dir and other stuff, and
then reinstall using the Debian/Hurd boot disks.

> 3) They have some non-Hurd-based system, and a free partition (or disk
> space for a subdir install).  I'm very interested in supporting this
> case, because the vast majority of people interested in the Hurd are
> in this category.  The approach is as you state: install the ``base'',
> then we have case #1 again.

I can't see why it is so important to support this case. As you don'ßt know
what OS is installed, you have trouble supporting the user with this option
(is it Windows? Dos? which versions? Os/2? Linux? Some other OS?).

Especially, if they already have a free partition, they can use the base
disks, too:

> 4) They are installing from boot floppies.  This is the case that the
> Debian installation is targeted for.  Here, the ``base'' can be very
> nice, because it's just a tarball that gets extracted during the
> install phase.  This tarball will have all the things that the Linux
> base would have, and reap the full benefits of the work that the
> Debian folks have already done.

Yes. Those can also be used by the group 3) people.
> In my work yesterday, it turns out that case #3 is quite trivial.
> There's a simple method to extract the contents of a Debian package
> without using dpkg:
>   ar p PACKAGE.deb data.tar.gz | (cd HURDROOT && tar -zxvf -)
> Pick the right packages to extract, and voila, we have case #1.  Then,
> you can run dpkg natively to create the important state in
> /var/lib/dpkg.

It is not that easy. First, this assumes the user already has a OS that
supports "ar". Second, this ignores completely the need of configuration.
(Hardware configuration, software configuration). You'd need at least a boot
disk to boot the new OS (or you have to write boot programs for every OS).

We should take a look at the base disks to see what configuration is done.
However, providing a install program for each and every OS seems to be
unnecessary to me if boot disks (and bootable CD Roms!) work just as fine
or even better. If the Hurd is hard to put on boot disks, we can use Linux
boot disks to install the Hurd!

Thank you,

"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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