Meeting for etch and a half - Debian

This is a discussion on Meeting for etch and a half - Debian ; Hi, Frans Pop wrote: > I've come up with four options: > 1) a new version of the Etch installer with support for both kernels > 2) creating a second Etch installer based on the new kernel > 3) using ...

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Thread: Meeting for etch and a half

  1. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    Hi,

    Frans Pop wrote:
    > I've come up with four options:
    > 1) a new version of the Etch installer with support for both kernels
    > 2) creating a second Etch installer based on the new kernel
    > 3) using the Lenny installer to install Etch
    > 4) option 3 + creating limited CD images based on the Lenny installer


    I am essentially a novice in this area, but what is wrong with leaving the
    installer as is -- especially netinst? The kernel could be upgraded post
    install if required. I love being able to build boxes with just netinst and
    a good Internet connection.

    My (preferred) option would be:
    5) Leave installer as is, require user actioned kernel upgrade post install
    IF required.

    Kind Regards
    AndrewM

    Andrew McGlashan
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Frans Pop"
    To:
    Cc: ;
    Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:20 AM
    Subject: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)



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  2. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    Hi,

    Frans Pop wrote:
    > Note that my options 3 and 4 basically _are_ your option 5: the
    > official Etch installer is not touched.


    Okay, so option 4 includes the building of a netinst image then?

    btw your latest reply still had the wrong address for project-etchnahalf.

    Kind Regards
    AndrewM

    Andrew McGlashan
    Broadband Solutions now including VoIP


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  3. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    On Thursday 13 December 2007, Andrew McGlashan wrote:
    > Frans Pop wrote:
    > > Note that my options 3 and 4 basically _are_ your option 5: the
    > > official Etch installer is not touched.

    >
    > Okay, so option 4 includes the building of a netinst image then?


    Yes. One using the Lenny installer and only including the kernel images for
    the new Etch kernel.

    My suggestion would be to include the following in option 4 (possibly only
    for selected architectures):
    - a businesscard image
    - a netinst image
    - a 3 image full CD set (three, as the Lenny installer will support changing
    between multiple CD images during the installation)
    - a 1 image DVD set
    - possibly the multi-arch CD and DVD
    - no source images (except for the multi-arch DVD)

    > btw your latest reply still had the wrong address for project-etchnahalf.


    No, it didn't. At least, not as far as I can see.

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  4. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    Hi,

    Frans Pop wrote:
    > Yes. One using the Lenny installer and only including
    > the kernel images for the new Etch kernel.


    The image list sounds good to me. But which archs did you have in mind?

    >> btw your latest reply still had the wrong address for project-etchnahalf.

    > No, it didn't. At least, not as far as I can see.


    Quite right, my bad. I must have been looking at the first email again...
    sorry.

    Kind Regards
    AndrewM

    Andrew McGlashan
    Broadband Solutions now including VoIP


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  5. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    On Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 10:20:45PM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
    > 1) A new version of the Etch installer with support for both kernels
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------
    > This option would IMNSHO be insanity.
    >
    > First, I doubt people who are able and will want to work on the D-I side of
    > it can be found.
    >
    > Second, it would require having D-I initrds + kernel udebs + kernel packages
    > for 2 kernel versions on CDs meaning that netinst images would grow beyond
    > reasonable size and that an unacceptable number of other packages would get
    > pushed off the first full CD and DVD which would result in a significantly
    > reduced installation experience, mainly for the desktop task.
    >
    >
    > 2) Creating a second Etch installer based on the new kernel
    > -----------------------------------------------------------
    > This is about on the same insanity level.
    >
    > It would also require extra work by FTP-masters because we'd somehow need
    > two separate D-I builds (sources, deb and images) in stable and on the
    > mirrors at the same time.
    > The only realistic option would be keeping the second installer outside the
    > archive, but that has its own disadvantages (chain of trust).
    >
    > And again I don't know who'd do the D-I work on it.


    Not saying its a good idea, but what would be the issues with creating
    additional flavors of select etch installers builds? e.g.,
    netboot/netboot+, netinst/netinst+, etc.

    >
    > 3) Using the Lenny installer to install Etch
    > --------------------------------------------
    > This would be the easiest option.
    >
    > It is realistic for the following reasons:
    > - D-I is basically a mature product; a lot would have to go completely
    > wrong to have Lenny D-I releases that are not generally usable
    > - this has already been proven with Etch and D-I has only gotten more
    > stable; of course there will be a few errata, but there should be
    > nothing major; a lot of issues in betas have to do with _testing_ as
    > a suite and not with D-I
    >
    > The supported installation methods would be limited: no netinst CD or full
    > CD.


    What makes these two methods problematic?

    > For all other methods the user would have two options:
    > - run installation in expert mode or at medium priority; (s)he will then
    > be asked what suite to install and what kernel to install
    > - boot the installer with:
    > suite=stable base-installer/kernel/image=linux-image-2.6.24-x-$flavor
    > (or use 'suite=etch'); basically we tell the user to specify the actual
    > kernel instead of the default meta package; we can easily (and probably
    > should anyway) add an alias 'kernel' instead of the cumbersome parameter
    > 'base-installer/kernel/image'
    >
    > Of course you would need at least a Lenny beta 1 D-I release for this.
    >
    > Disadvantages (mainly netboot, not for businesscard and hd-media images):
    > - when a new Lenny D-I release is prepared, the old one can temporarily
    > be broken
    > - with later Lenny D-I releases the kernel used in the Lenny installer
    > could become newer than the etch+1/2 one
    > - if there were to be major changes at some point, supporting stable
    > installs could become harder or even impossible


    I would say an additional disadvantage is the complexity; these boot
    options seem pretty straightforward (esp if the "kernel" alias is
    added), but we lose the benefit of "just working".

    > 4) Option 3 + creating selected CD images based on the Lenny installer
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    > This would mainly depend on available debian-cd mirror capacity.
    >
    > This option is mostly relevant for netinst CDs and full CD/DVDs and
    > partially for businesscard CDs. It does not change 3) for netboot.
    >
    > It is relatively trivial to create CD images using packages from stable but
    > D-I from testing. I'd suggest not building full CD sets, but just the first
    > or first few images in a set.
    >
    > By including _only_ the new kernel packages on the CDs and omitting any meta
    > packages, the installer would automatically install the correct
    > kernel.


    I think I could use some clarification here. If there are metapackages
    for both etch and etch 1/2 kernels available (e.g. linux-image-2.6-686
    and linux-image-2.6-23-686), would this prevent the installer from
    selecting the correct metapackage?

    Default metapackages are certainly something I'd like to see kept, to
    avoid the no-auto-upgrade problem we had w/ kernel abi changes in sarge.

    > For some architectures it should be possible to modify the default boot
    > parameters on the images so that the 'suite=etch' option is included by
    > default (with 'suite?=etch' the user would even still be prompted at lower
    > priorities).


    Which would solve the complexity issue I see w/ 3)

    > The disadvantages listed for 3) do _not_ apply to CD images as they are
    > self-contained and thus are not affected by changes in the Lenny archive.


    Thanks a lot for the analysis.

    --
    dann frazier


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  6. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    On Friday 14 December 2007, you wrote:
    > > 2) Creating a second Etch installer based on the new kernel
    > > -----------------------------------------------------------

    > Not saying its a good idea, but what would be the issues with creating
    > additional flavors of select etch installers builds? e.g.,
    > netboot/netboot+, netinst/netinst+, etc.


    Quoting myself:
    ! It would also require extra work by FTP-masters because we'd somehow
    ! need two separate D-I builds (sources, deb and images) in stable and on
    ! the mirrors at the same time.
    !
    ! And again I don't know who'd do the D-I work on it.

    I cannot even begin to oversee the consequences of the first point...

    > > 3) Using the Lenny installer to install Etch
    > > --------------------------------------------
    > > The supported installation methods would be limited: no netinst CD or
    > > full CD.

    >
    > What makes these two methods problematic?


    The Lenny netinst and full CD images contain *testing packages* for the base
    system and will use these automatically with no option to use another
    suite. The businesscard CD does not contain any packages, but downloads the
    base system from the net, thus making it possible to select a different
    suite during mirror selection.

    > I would say an additional disadvantage is the complexity; these boot
    > options seem pretty straightforward (esp if the "kernel" alias is
    > added), but we lose the benefit of "just working".


    Agreed. Although I'd say "inconvenience" rather than "complexity".

    > > 4) Option 3 + creating selected CD images based on the Lenny installer
    > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    > > By including _only_ the new kernel packages on the CDs and omitting any
    > > meta packages, the installer would automatically install the correct
    > > kernel.

    >
    > I think I could use some clarification here. If there are metapackages
    > for both etch and etch 1/2 kernels available (e.g. linux-image-2.6-686
    > and linux-image-2.6-23-686), would this prevent the installer from
    > selecting the correct metapackage?
    >
    > Default metapackages are certainly something I'd like to see kept, to
    > avoid the no-auto-upgrade problem we had w/ kernel abi changes in sarge.


    Having -2.6-23-686 metapackages would not hurt and they could be passed to
    the 'kernel=' boot parameter instead of -2.6-23-X-686 variant.

    I don't think they would help for automatic selection of the "right" kernel,
    unless we add code to base-installer to prefer such metapackages over
    the -2.6-686 ones if the kernel major version matches the kernel version
    the installer is using.

    Note that such meta packages only have a very limited value: they will only
    help with ABI changing (security) updates during the lifetime of etch+1/2,
    but will not help with upgrading from etch+1/2 kernel to lenny kernel.

    > > For some architectures it should be possible to modify the default boot
    > > parameters on the images so that the 'suite=etch' option is included by
    > > default (with 'suite?=etch' the user would even still be prompted at
    > > lower priorities).

    >
    > Which would solve the complexity issue I see w/ 3)


    But only for CD-based installs, not for netboot.

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  7. Re: etch+1/2 D-I options (was: Meeting for etch and a half)

    On Thursday 13 December 2007, Andrew McGlashan wrote:
    > Frans Pop wrote:
    > > Yes. One using the Lenny installer and only including
    > > the kernel images for the new Etch kernel.

    >
    > The image list sounds good to me. But which archs did you have in mind?


    That's not really up to me, but having an installer with a newer kernel
    really only makes sense for arches where there really is hardware that's
    not supported by 2.6.18, but is supported by the etch+1/2 kernel.
    Users for other arches could just upgrade the kernel post-install, as you
    suggested in your first reply.

    It's possible that the list of arches for which that is true is quite short:
    i386, amd64...

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