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installation types (was: "Re: Debian (fwd)")

kilroy@ms.uky.edu writes:

> 2. This person wanted to install from a tape, I want to install over
>    my modem, Dan wants to install over then net(SLIP), I _really_
>    think this needs to be addressed. Now, Dans argument for not
>    having this is that it doesnt belong in the base dist.. well
>    this is true(maybe). So why not just do this: have these things
>    on one or two install disks, but dont copy them over..
>    NetBSD does this very well (except it copies all the stuff over).

I think I should have been more clear in my objections.  I do not want
to *install* Debian over SLIP to my machine.  I might want to *get*
Debian over the net, but installing over the net is, in most cases, a
bad practice.  The "getting" should be independant of the "installing".

I do believe that Debian should support the widest possible range of
firm media.  That includes various tapes, floppies, and CD-ROMs.
These should come first.  More people will utilize these than any
NFS-based or other peculiar installation procedure.  Installing should
be done from media, not the net.

It is also a poor idea, IMHO, to install Debian or maintain a Debian
Linux system without a local copy of Debian packages.

The only form of network-based installation that Debian should perhaps
employ (in the future) is an NFS-based installation -- designed with
the intent to use it on a LAN only.

Debian should not try to support network-based installations at this
time.  Trying to add this in a bug-free state would be impossible.
Even with the current installation procedure, there are still bugs
that are being worked out.  Introducing network-based modifications
would create problems for everyone.  I can't even get a simple SLIP
connection up with some recent kernels.  Now is *not* the time to do

> 	You may shoot this down and say "just copy it to floppies buddy!"
>    people, including me, in the real world dont want to mess with a ton
>    of floppies. If you want to install over the net currently, this is
>    what you have to do. Grab the install disk and 2 base disks, 4 devel
>    disks, containing gcc binutil make etc.. and the kernel, and a net disk.
>    Then recompile the kernel reboot then ftp of nfs the other 15 disk..
>    Yes this saves me some time. But it _could_ be made a lot easier..
>    If you want to be commercial grade, installing from tape and the net
>    need to be supported, Ill I ask is that we throw in serial
>    support too :)

Yes, floppies are a mess and I would also like it if Debian was
distributed on tape, but installing from the net on a one-shot basis
is just not wise.  Most commercial UNIX systems require you to install
the OS on each and every machine rather than on a central server.
With a portable CD-ROM or tape drive, this is easy to do.

If Ian wants to compile NFS into the kernel then that is fine, but
Debian should at no time make any claims to support NFS based
installations until such time that complete and bugless support is
added for LAN installations through NFS.


Daniel Quinlan  <quinlan@spectrum.cs.bucknell.edu>

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