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Re: Installing debian from floppies.

Steve Preston writes [reordered]:
> Anyway, I have a few questions.
> 1) Would it be useful to many people to be able to install packages
> >from  DOS diskettes?  (I vote yes on this)

It would seem so, and we intend to support it.

> 2a) How hard would it be to make dpkg work with packages that have been
> split across multiple diskettes?

Not at all.  There is already a tool for splitting packages in a
special way that makes them easy for dpkg to process.  You can just
feed the parts to dpkg separately and it will put them together behind
the scenes when it has all the parts of a particular package.

The tool is called `dpkg-split'.  It should compile on most Unix
systems - it's part of the dpkg suite.

Eventually all the package files on the FTP site (or perhaps all those
in the msdos directories) will be split.

If you make a pile of floppies that have the .deb files (split where
appropriate using dpkg-split) on msdos filesystems you should be able
to use dselect's `floppy disk' installation method.

> The next problem I came up against is the 8+3 dos limit on filenames.
> So I wrote an algorithm to generate unique dos names.  The program
> even writes a 'rename' script onto the floppies which will rename the
> files to their original names.
> The problem with this last is that the .deb files must be copied to
> your hard disk (in a linux file system) in order to have their full
> name.  So this destroys the objective for installing the packages
> directly from the floppies.  I guess I could live with this, however.

The files do not need to have their proper names.  dpkg will look
inside them to see what they are, and not use the filename when
deciding what to do with them.

If you want to use the -R option to dpkg (this option is used by all
the dselect installation method scripts) you'll have to make sure the
files end in .deb, but the name is not significant in any other way.


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