Sunday 22 August 2004

The most Linuxy Linux post *ever*

No wonder the Linux movement occasionally fails to gather mainstream steam...

-- start--

From: Raja Subramanian
Subject: Re: [Ilugc] Debian's new installer - A walkthrough.


Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:
> Praveen wrote:
> >FYI,
> damn, the installation is starting to look more slackware-ish

Being an old debian hand, I find this installer annoying. Too much
chatter. The installer's job is to bootstrap your machine with a
self-sufficient stand-alone distro as easily as possible. The second
stage installer 'base-config' can be as smart as it wants.

The potato installer was the best, as simple as a knife and fork. All
you need to get the potato installer going was a kernel, a rootfs and
the live fs tarball. You could easily get it going on extremely tricky
hardware - no fdd, cdrom, etc.

Infact installing potato was so easy that you did not even need the
installer! Just untar the live fs tar ball into a dir and chroot.
Minor configuration and presto! Instant potato installation inside a

With potato even cross-installation was feasible. Say you had a Arm
board on which you needed to install potato. You could untar the live
fs tar ball into a dir on your PC and nfs export it. Then just boot the
Arm machine with an appropriate kernel and mount root over nfs.
That's it.

All this was possible because the first stage installer did a simple
job. Woody was still manageable, but sarge looks bad. Maybe with time
we'll get used to the beast.

> the last time i saw debian was years back .. dselect endless loop made
> me rather allergic to it.

I'm sure you realise that you don't have to use dselect if you don't
like it. Tasksel and apt can be run anytime later.

- Raja

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