Subject: Re: System configuration utility
To: None <,>
From: None <>
List: tech-install
Date: 09/29/1998 21:42:52
> Ross has built this really cool "ustarfs" support in libsa that
> will allow us to boot off of a multi-volume tar archive on a
> couple of floppies. That will give us plenty of room for doing
> very user friendly installs on modern machines. Less modern
> machines (those with very low amounts of memory) will probably be
> stuck with a stripped down boot floppy and a less than totally
> user friendly install.

This reminds me that I should probably speak up a little regarding
the testing I've done on machines with "very low amounts of memory".

The good news is that I've now proven that it's still possible to
install NetBSD on a 4M machine.  Actually, I don't think the machine
I did this on had the "memory hole" above 640k mapped away, so it
was something more like 3.8MB...

To accomplish this I used a variant of the "INSTALL_TINY" floppy
I've mentioned earlier on port-i386, and I needed to add "swapctl"
to the ramdisk.  When the install disk is partitioned (using
sysinst), I did ^Z and turned on swapping on the newly created swap
partition.  That allowed the unpacking to complete when I fg'ed
sysinst again (the unpacking would otherwise hang).  I'm a little
uncertain whether it's interesting to keep on supporting 4M
installs, but at least I've now proven that it is still possible
with the install method of today.

Adding swapctl of course made the INSTALL_SMALL floppy image
creation fail because the boot code didn't fit on the floppy
image...  (Or this was already a problem before adding swapctl.)

> With ustarfs and bzip, I suspect we'll be able to fit a much more
> interesting install in for the "average" user.

Just out of curiosity, is bzip a better compressor than gzip?  (No,
I've not tried it yet.)

- H=E5vard