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List Archive: gentoo-installer
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To: gentoo-installer@g.o
From: Chris Gianelloni <wolf31o2@g.o>
Subject: Re: Pure network (medialess) install (PXE + Grub + NFS) support via installer
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:17:46 -0500
On Wed, 2006-01-18 at 14:11 +0100, Martin Andersen wrote:
> Recently I tried to install Gentoo using a PXE-enabled Grub image that I set up 
> to boot the kernel provided on the experimental 2005.1 install CD (as well as 
> also using the initial cpio ramfs image.)

Well, the normal CD kernel/initramfs/linuxrc is not designed for network
boot in any way, so I can understand why you were unsuccessful.

> Obviously, I quickly experienced that such an install was -- for the moment at 
> least -- not exactly hassle-free and straightforward to set up in Gentoo.
> After perusing some of the bootup routines (syslinux, /linuxrc, the squashfs 
> livecd image et al.), I sort of came to a dead end when trying to get my head 
> around exactly where would be the appropriate place to modify the installer 
> (/boot-process) or even what to do in order to manually tell it to source the 
> installation files over NFS instead of the local CD/DVD rom.

The plan for Gentoo is to build a completely separate netboot image.
Modifying the current image is nearly impossible at this time.

> Now on to the reason for posting this to the list (and my sincere apologies if 
> it isn't the right place for it) -- the best way for achieving this would 
> naturally be to provide support for NFS installs at some early part in the boot 
> procedure; e.g, as a kernel option for instance; or if no CD/DVD media is 
> detected, ask for network-install.

Not going to happen... We want the media to be separate.  If you want
netboot, we will (eventually) have a netboot image.  We don't plan on
making the CD-based kernel/initramfs capable of properly working over a
network.  For one, it bloats the CD-based kernel/initramfs with
unnecessary support.  Second, it bloats the netboot with all of the CD
support.  It also is unusable on certain architectures, such as SPARC,
and we're going for cross-architecture support in everything that we do.

> Any other thoughts on this? Is my request totally inappropriate (as in 
> currently downprioritized), or do others see the benefits of having such a 
> feature?

Well, it is nowhere near ready.  We currently do not have any netboot
images for most architectures, and the backend GLI support for most
architectures is not there.  My personal goal is to have proper support
for more architectures long before working on netboot images, simply
because the demand is fairly low in comparison to wanting to eventually
get rid of the GRP set.

Chris Gianelloni
Release Engineering - Strategic Lead
x86 Architecture Team
Games - Developer
Gentoo Linux
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Pure network (medialess) install (PXE + Grub + NFS) support via installer
-- Martin Andersen
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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