Subject: Re: System configuration utility
To: Brian C. Grayson <>
From: Todd Whitesel <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/28/1998 03:38:13
>   1.  What about having a stripped-down minimal Son of Sysinst
>     tool on the boot floppy, and a nice set of tools (Mother of
>     Sysinst, vi, tcsh(?), lynx (text-based web browser/ftp program for
>     unexpected downloads/FAQ/net searches)) on another _optional_
>     floppy for those that would prefer a simpler, friendlier
>     interface?  I'd be willing to swap floppies once (a la
>     NetBSD-1.0?) if it made the install even slightly smoother.

I've been thinking about variants of this that would help solve certain
other problems, except not with two floppies. Instead you put more of
sysinst on the distribution media -- boot.fs boots into a set of menus
that are specifically tuned to locate and access the distribution, and
the full-on sysinst is loaded from there.

Dealing with 4 meg machines that need "INSTALL_TINY" is still an issue though.

>   2.  So far, I've had success in packing around 1.9M on 1.44M
>     floppies under NetBSD using a slightly modified fd driver,
>     with the various tricks done in FreeBSD and Linux.  That
>     extra .5M would give us some space for those whose drives
>     support it (presumably every 1.44M IBM-PC-like drive
>     manufactured since 1990 or so???).

I would like to think that we can find a better, longer-term solution than
this. In the future I see the INSTALL kernel and sysinst only wanting to be
bigger, in the standard case at least. So non-standard disk encodings are a
temporary solution at best.

Todd Whitesel
toddpw @