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Reorganizing install CDs
I had to install a DragonFly system recently and I think we should think
about one idea they implemented in their install CD system: their CD
images are always "live" CDs, you can either log in as "root" w/o password
and use the full system or as "installer" and get into their installer.
That is not what I would do, but given that we now can produce "live"
setups for CDs or usb sticks, and we run install CDs multiuser with a
speciall gettytab, it should be easy to adopt the basic idea.
From a users perspective, after booting the CD/USB stick, you would
see an optional menu on serial console asking for the terminal type,
and then drop into a new menu offering:
(a) Install/Update NetBSD
(b) Run NetBSD "live" for testing or recovery
(x) Restart the machine
or something along those lines. If you select (b), the custom gettytab is
replaced by the full grown one (but optionally with fixed term types from the
step before this menu) and /etc/rc completes as in a fresh installed system.
If you chose (a), the custom gettytab is used for a script invoking sysinst,
but with some changes (see below).
The changes needed for this are mostly straight forward:
- fully populate the image (for install CDs we currently only use a tiny
subset of the system). This means the image will grow a bit.
- move all install data into some subdirectory (it now clobbers the root,
this move is kindof esthetical)
- move sysinst into /usr/sbin (see other discussion recently) or to the
same place the data moved, and invoke it with -i $(data-dir).
- tune a few scripts involved, implement above new menu
A big optional task is: on archs where our in-tree X can be reasonably
expected to safely work without configuration, fire up xdm and provide
some reasonable defaul xsession configuration. This is tricky from a
license/marketing point of view, not to mention the problem agreeing on
such a "resonable" configuration (and we should ignore that part for the
What I am not sure about: is the new menu (instead of going straigth into
the installer) a good thing to have? Should it have a timeout (say: 20
seconds) and then run the installer by default?
The pros and cons otherwise are pretty obivous:
- only two images needed (CD and USB), no special install image
- image size is bigger than before (with the X option, significantly bigger)
What do you think?
P.S.: this would not be aimed at the 6.0 release, of course!
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