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Re: INSTALL kernel [Re: CVS commit: src/distrib]

On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 08:15:27PM +0100, Manuel Bouyer wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 03:49:52PM +0000, Andrew Doran wrote:
> > 
> > Module Name:        src
> > Committed By:       ad
> > Date:               Fri Nov 21 15:49:52 UTC 2008
> > 
> > Modified Files:
> >     src/distrib/cdrom: current.conf
> >     src/distrib/i386: Makefile
> >     src/distrib/i386/cdroms: Makefile.cdrom
> >     src/distrib/i386/cdroms/bootcd: Makefile boot.cfg.in
> >     src/distrib/i386/cdroms/bootcd-com: Makefile
> >     src/distrib/i386/cdroms/installcd: Makefile boot.cfg.in
> >     src/distrib/i386/ramdisks/common: dot.profile
> > Removed Files:
> >     src/distrib/i386/kmod: Makefile
> > 
> > Log Message:
> > Switch the i386 installation CDs away from RAM disks and instead use the
> > CD-ROM as the root file system. It contains a limited subset of $DESTDIR
> > along with sysinst. This will help to massively reduce the amount of memory
> > needed to install from CD or netboot, and allow us to continue using the
> > generic kernel on the CDs.
> Another side effect of this change is that it makes it impossible to load
> via tftp a standalone kernel for install/rescue (i.e.
> you need a NFS server along with the tftp server). the INSTALL_FLOPPY
> is not suitable for this because it lacks drivers for the most recent
> ethernet and disk adapters.

It is possible: provide the kernel modules via tftp (including your
miniroot.kmod) and you can netboot GENERIC to do this. pxeboot doesn't grok
boot.cfg which is a pain. I will look into it.

> Should we add back a INSTALL kernel for this purpose, which would hold
> the needed device, filesystems and kernel options to do a PXE install ?

No. I will add back the automatically built miniroot.kmod instead, I was too
hasty in removing it.

> The requirement for a root on NFS makes things much more difficult,
> because it needs a specific dhcp config on a case by case basis (while,
> with a tftp-only solution, all can be done from a pxelinux menu).

I don't see how it is much more difficult, see above. For non-bespoke setups
we now have a simple net install procedure, which is to my mind a lot easier
for the uninitiated:

- mount the install CD-ROM image
- export via tftp+nfs
- configure dhcp/bootp server
- boot

... no copying files around, no searching for boot loaders, no changing file
permissions or whatever. You don't even have to enter paths or NFS server
information on the client.


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