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Setting up to do repetitive installs on ONE machine (cf BabelBox)

I have two objectives:
1. Define, by experimentation, optimal installation parameters to meet my
      idiosyncratic concept of a "minimal install".
2. Determine if there are bugs in Debian Installer, the instructions for
      the installer, or MY reading of those instructions.

I've bought the 8 DVD set of Debian 6.0.5 and have set aside a laptop as a testbed. I would divvy up the 80GB drive with 8-10GB for a quasi-static Debian install [some other experiments, possible supervisor for these tests] and ~40GB for DVD content [possibly some additional packages]. The rest would be for the resulting test install and possibly preserving some log files.

"Debian GNU/Linux Installation Guide" (particularly sections 4 & 5 and appendix B) give some indication that what I want to do is feasible. BabelBox {http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/BabelBox} indicates that something quite _similar_ has been done.

Open questions about BabelBox and its suitability for my goals:

BabelBox is apparently aimed at a fully scripted fully automated repetitive install install dependent only on the first DVD of a release [e.g. "When you get to partitioning, create a Linux partition on /dev/sda1 ( *_about 1.5 to 4GB_* depending on which media you want to use as installation media)..." {EMPHASIS added}].

I will, initially, be doing only manual installs using preseeding to avoid entering fixed data - keyboard, time zone, user name/password, no networking etc.

Can I simply copy all 8 DVD's to the root of my supervising Debian install? After an install will I be able to do apt-get to access the DVD content now residing on the hard drive?
Am I missing something?
Are there other routes to my goals I should investigate?


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