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Re: Explicit mention of normal CD for netinst images (Was: Modification du texte de netinst)

Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> Ok, let's start from scratch.  Here are the facts as I understand them
> (which is not well --- hopefully someone else can chime in and correct me!).

Thanks for making the effort - I should of course have got this far
myself, I'm just embarrassed to realise after all this time how little
I know about the installation methods I'm not using.
> This page lists two kinds of installer images:
>  * images which need a connection to a Debian mirror when installing
>    anything more than a bare-bones system
>  * data files for network booting ("netboot"), which can be used to
>    install over a network without having to insert any physical
>    media on the target machine.

Both types need repository access eventually.  The current layout
treats hd-media as a third major type, but yes, I suppose it boils
down to two:
 * "cdrom" netinst ISO images (in a choice of three sizes), burned to
   directly bootable optical or USB media;
 * setups with loose files arranged in a bootable configuration,
   either on a "netboot" server or a "hd-media" drive.

I wish I could think of a good snappy term for the latter.
> In other words, this page describes all d-i images except for the
> familiar enormous many-disc sets (the full "official images"), upgrade
> images, and Debian Live.
> Some images are described at </usr/share/debian-cd/README.easy-build>
> in the debian-cd package:
>  - A _netinst_ image contains the Debian installer and all packages
>    needed to install the Debian base system (packages with priority
>    "important" or higher).
>  - A _businesscard_ image contains the Debian installer but relies on
>    a Debian mirror for the base system and remaining packages it
>    installs.
> The contents of these images are listed at [1].
> There is another family of images which are even more stripped down,
> described in the file build/README from the debian-installer source
> package[2].

The "Tiny CDs and USB Sticks" section was for some reason trying to
cover both those and hd-media, I think.
>  - A _netboot_ image ("small bootable CD image for network install")
>    contains only the Debian installer components needed to boot up,
>    connect to the network, and acquire the rest of the installer from
>    a Debian mirror.  This is usable for non-netboot setups, too!
>  - A (larger) graphical variant of the netboot image.
>  - Another variant of the netboot image for Xen guests.

Yes... do all of the cdrom images include the graphical installer?
These are all new variables that may well have been introduced since
the page was last substantially reorganised.  Oh, and likewise nonfree
>  - The _hd-media_ image, which seems to be a variant of the netboot
>    image that uses the media it is on instead of a Debian mirror to
>    grab basic components (usually one would put this on a USB stick
>    along with a businesscard or netinst image containing the packages
>    it wants).  I guess this might be useful if someone wants to put
>    multiple d-i images on a single thumb drive (I haven't tried it),
>    but generally it doesn't sound very useful.

I can hardly see the point of it either, now we've got iso-hybrid.
>  - Separate kernels, initrds, and tarballs of PXE boot directories for
>    the above, when someone wants an actual netboot setup.
> I don't know of any of these images that is not usable for writing a
> bootable CD or USB stick.
> If I were writing it, the advice would be:
> 	If you are on this page, you probably want one of three
> 	things:
> 	1. A netinst image, which will at least set up a basic
> 	   non-graphical Debian system if the installer is not able to
> 	   connect to the network.  It fits on a Mini CD (at least for
> 	   i386) today, and hopefully it will continue to tomorrow.

s/netinst/"cdrom"/, but with a caveat that it isn't only for CDs; I'd
suggest saying that it fits on "anything more capacious than a
businesscard CD".  (When would anyone use the even smaller .iso?)
> 	2. One of the three variants of the oddly named netboot image,
> 	   which is tiny and works very nicely for installing Debian
> 	   as long as you can connect to a Debian mirror.  This fits
> 	   on a typical USB stick or a "business card" CD with plenty
> 	   of room to spare.

The MANIFEST implies that the ones for use on USB devices are
"hd-media" (also an odd name, which gets Google hits for digital video
players) and only the PXE version is "netboot".

> 	3. The PXE/TFTP boot stuff, when you are trying to set up PXE
> 	   boot (for example at a computer lab, or to work around
> 	   trouble reading removable media, or to avoid wasting a CD-R).
> 	Everything else on this page is a red herring.
> 	Elsewhere one can find material for other installation
> 	methods: the complete "official" CD, DVD, and Blueray image
> 	sets, which are useful when network connectivity is not so
> 	great, Debian Live installer images that can be used to test
> 	Debian before installing it, the Windows-based installer,
> 	and the netinst image with non-free firmware included which is
> 	not on this page for some unknown reason.
> Ok, tag, you're it.  Corrections?  Suggested wording?

Well, er, I'll sleep on it.
JBR	with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
	sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package

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