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[Fwd: DL Installer]

Daniel Baumann wrote:

> Marco Ghirlanda wrote:
> > Chris Lamb? Who's Chris?  
> Chris Lamb, or lamby on irc.oftc.net

Me. :)

Regarding an installer, you'll have to be a little more specific to what you
are after. There are three different types of installer that I can think of:

 1. "Normal" Debian Installer

  This is a Debian Live image with a seperate kernel and initrd which (when
  selected from the bootloader) launches into a standard Debian Installer
  instance, just as if you had downloaded a CD image of Debian and booted

  This means that Debian is installed by fetching and installing .deb
  packages using debootstrap, either from the CD or some mirror, resulting
  in a real Debian system being installed to the hard disk.

  This whole process can be preseeded and customised in a number of ways; see
  the relevant wiki pages[0] and installation guides[1] for more. This is
  working now.

 2. "Live" Debian Installer

  This is a Debian Live image with a seperate kernel and initrd which (when
  selected from the bootloader) launches into an instance of the Debian

  Installation will proceed as of #1 but at the actual package installation
  stage, instead of using debootstrap to fetch and install .deb packages, the
  "live" filesystem image is copied to the target. The Debian Installer then
  proceeds to install and configure things such as bootloaders and local
  users, etc.

  This is working now (assuming you use live-installer >= 6 from unstable
  - see Daniel's message for the link).

 3. "Ubuntu"-style installer

  This is where you boot into a graphical Debian Live system and run a
  wizard-based program which installs and configures the live system, all the
  time remaining inside the live graphical environment.

  This is currently NOT possible with Debian Live.

Please note:

 * Please note my careful use of capital letters when referring to the
   "Debian Installer" - when used like this I refer explicitly to the
   official installer for the Debian system, not anything else. See its
   Wikipedia page[2] for more. It is often seen abbreviated to d-i.)

 * In the place of selecting options from a bootloader it is possible to use
   kexec to launch immediately into a Debian Installer instance without
   requiring a reboot or fiddling with boot options. I don't know whether
   this is generally supported or advised, but it works for me.

 * It would probably be not too difficult to start one of the first two
   installation processes via the win32-loader program[3].

(Long mail, sorry, but I can copy/paste it straight into the manual and link
other people to it.)


 [0] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller
 [1] http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/
 [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian-Installer
 [3] http://goodbye-microsoft.com/more.html

Chris Lamb, UK                                       chris at chris-lamb.co.uk
                                                            GPG: 0x634F9A20
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