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Re: 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.
this has one disadvantage: The CDs grow rather large. Though you can say,
there are still about 400MB left on any CD you currently write NetBSD to, 
it's 400MB more you have to download before.

> 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?
I currently use the install CDs for some live CD tasks anyway, like setting
up raids, partitioning stuff, booting defect filesystems, etc.

I like the idea, but I would rather postpone the decision to the motd message.
So, the user boots from a live image, drops to a shell as root with the motd
message "Either run sysinst, startx or be happy on the console".
You could also animate that with a curses menu... One enter more or less for
starting sysinst is imho not too much.

Then, if you have a *full* system on the disc anyway, you can combine sets
and system (you won't need both). Imho, ideally you had just the whole system
on the disk (or perhaps the larger parts packed into a tar and then extracted
to a ramdisk) and a working unionfs mounted over that.
On installation, you either fetch sets from somewhere, or just copy the
system on the disk minus the prepared parts (a few rc files and gettytab(5)).

Instead of the proposal from David Brownlee, I would try not to differentiate
between the supposed usage of the images, but simply by their size.
Floppy and network boot images are not affected by this anyway, they're too
small for anything.
Then, a small image, containing the current way, perhaps with less magic
(you'd have to maintain more versions then). Then, a larger image, fitting a
750MB CD, containing a live system and installation. And, the ultimate
"NetBSD full edition" with the full system on the CD/DVD, src sets, pkgsrc
sets (though this is difficult to bundle, yes), and the online documentation
(perhaps the documentation section from the website).
All of them as USB and CD/DVD images.

Anyway, imho there will be problems with X. What window manager are you going
to ship, which other software? You have to decide for one of them, and for
one (i.e. one pkgsrc version - then you can ship pkgsrc as well). I do not
consider twm usable for this issue.

Regards, Julian

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