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#51 2008-10-28 21:18:42

Dieter@be
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 1,960
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Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

solarwind wrote:

@ all: I know there aren't many here that like this idea, but I know somewhere, someone will find it useful.

Here I am! I'm your someone somewhere!

The reason I want this is not because of 'easy' installation.  Fact of the matter is: i have a great running installation.  All the essence of my system is redundantly stored ( eg my ~ and /etc are under version control, I generate and backup an installed packages list every day etc.).  Now I want a script to fully reconstruct/clone my system by using my package list, my ~ in svn etc. (Nope, making a full tar backup or whatever is not cool enough)

I definitely want to help you with this.  I'm pretty good at sh/bash.  Not so at python though.  (Here are some of my projects http://github.com/Dieterbe/ )
My goals are a bit different then yours, but that doesn't mean we can work on a flexible solution that catches multiple itches.

Implementation-wise I'm thinking of something like this:
- we write an installer script that has default functions like install_packages, configure_home, .. etc. If you don't override these, we do some reasonable defaults.  (eg by default install_packages asks you which packages you want, and configure_home wouldn't do anything) (This is what you're doing now if i understand correctly)
- we can also deliver some 'profiles' by default (desktop,server,...).they are just shell scripts that override the default functions.  the user can choose one of these, we source them and so the custom functions will execute.
- the possibilty to provide a custom profile should also exist.  This is a sh script created by the user.  In my specific case,  install_packages would install packages from my package list, and configure_home would checkout my ~ from svn.

Imo, all we need to do is write some scripts/tools that you can run on the normal livecd. (eg a 3rd alternative for /arch/setup and /arch/quickinst.. let's say.. /arch/automated-inst ?)

Where's the code? Can you put it on github so it's easy to contribute? Are you on irc? Let's go !

Last edited by Dieter@be (2008-10-28 22:12:59)


< Daenyth> and he works prolifically
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#52 2008-10-28 23:50:15

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

SiC wrote:

Hmmm... Split opinions on this, I like the idea of an easy installer, I'm lazy, I just want my system to work when I install it. That said I haven't reinstalled apart from a new HDD a few months back, and am unlikely to do so again for a while.  I also do think that having to configure your system manually is a good thing, esp. for users new to the distribution. 

I would like however to contribute in some form to this project, should you wish any additional support, I have some ideas etc and some level of competence.  If you want any help, feel free to let me know smile

I'd love to hear some of your ideas on this.

Also, I searched up hwd and honestly couldn't find any info.

Dieter@be wrote:
solarwind wrote:

@ all: I know there aren't many here that like this idea, but I know somewhere, someone will find it useful.

Here I am! I'm your someone somewhere!

The reason I want this is not because of 'easy' installation.  Fact of the matter is: i have a great running installation.  All the essence of my system is redundantly stored ( eg my ~ and /etc are under version control, I generate and backup an installed packages list every day etc.).  Now I want a script to fully reconstruct/clone my system by using my package list, my ~ in svn etc. (Nope, making a full tar backup or whatever is not cool enough)

I definitely want to help you with this.  I'm pretty good at sh/bash.  Not so at python though.  (Here are some of my projects http://github.com/Dieterbe/ )
My goals are a bit different then yours, but that doesn't mean we can work on a flexible solution that catches multiple itches.

Implementation-wise I'm thinking of something like this:
- we write an installer script that has default functions like install_packages, configure_home, .. etc. If you don't override these, we do some reasonable defaults.  (eg by default install_packages asks you which packages you want, and configure_home wouldn't do anything) (This is what you're doing now if i understand correctly)
- we can also deliver some 'profiles' by default (desktop,server,...).they are just shell scripts that override the default functions.  the user can choose one of these, we source them and so the custom functions will execute.
- the possibilty to provide a custom profile should also exist.  This is a sh script created by the user.  In my specific case,  install_packages would install packages from my package list, and configure_home would checkout my ~ from svn.

Imo, all we need to do is write some scripts/tools that you can run on the normal livecd. (eg a 3rd alternative for /arch/setup and /arch/quickinst.. let's say.. /arch/automated-inst ?)

Where's the code? Can you put it on github so it's easy to contribute? Are you on irc? Let's go !

Yes, the base installer is definately part of both our goals. It's the first step to getting somthing going. I'll put up what I have in a few hours and comment everything.

Last edited by solarwind (2008-10-28 23:53:32)

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#53 2008-10-29 15:02:12

SiC
Member
From: Liverpool, England
Registered: 2008-01-10
Posts: 429

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

solarwind wrote:

I'd love to hear some of your ideas on this.

Also, I searched up hwd and honestly couldn't find any info.

Drop me an email or something, easier to talk that way rather than via the forums smile

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#54 2008-10-29 19:50:21

Mr Green
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From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,770

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

an xconfig should not be too hard too find with so many livecds about, Archie had one and I'm sure FaunOS would


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#55 2008-10-29 19:55:16

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Mr Green wrote:

an xconfig should not be too hard too find with so many livecds about, Archie had one and I'm sure FaunOS would

Ok, so assuming we install the vesa drivers by default and use something like "hwd" (can't find any info on it) to generate an xorg.conf, the next challenge would be setting up appropriate drivers. However, vesa drivers seem like a good first step to getting everything up and running. Is an xorg.conf even required with the new xorg and vesa drivers?

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#56 2008-10-29 20:25:09

Mr Green
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From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,770

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

http://user-contributions.org/projects/hwd/hwd.html

HTH

vesa will be your first port of call .... or nv really depends on hardware

Last edited by Mr Green (2008-10-29 20:27:34)


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#57 2008-10-30 02:27:27

SiC
Member
From: Liverpool, England
Registered: 2008-01-10
Posts: 429

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Should be relatively simple to parse the output of hwd to determine which modules need loading, and also to give the option to the nvidia/ati binary packages.  I was thinking it might be an idea to allow a couple of options along the line of "I want OSS Only" and "Just get it working dammit!"

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#58 2008-10-30 19:50:18

Dieter@be
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 1,960
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Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

I've been working on my ideas and have put them online.  Here's the mail I sent to the devel ML.

Hi all,
at first I wanted to make an automated installer for Arch Linux (with
scripts that specify all the specific aspects of the system).  When
starting to build this, I looked at the scripts /arch/setup
and /arch/quickinst on the install cd and noticed that I could re-use
lots of code if it would have been split up more (eg I can't just source
the useful functions in /arch/setup, I have to source the whole thing
and hence, start the installer).

Anyway, I started writing "Fifa: Flexible Installer Framework for Arch
linux" : http://github.com/Dieterbe/fifa

It's designed to be a general, flexible framework for installations. 
It uses the concepts of 'phases' and 'workers'.  There are 4 phases
(preparation, basics, system, finish), which can each invoke workers (to
get a package list, install packages, install boot loader etc etc).  The
workers and phases can be overridden by creating profiles.  So the whole
idea is you can create whatever installation procedure you like
(prescripted, autodetection, interactive,...) and you can combine
functionality from different profiles and you can reuse lots of code.

Keep it mind it's still very, very early in development.  It doesn't
work yet, but if you look at the code you'll see the basic ideas (and
the code is maybe simpler then the explanation).


Right now I'll focus on building an automated, prescripted installer for
myself, maybe someday we can port the current installer to this if you
guys like the idea?


< Daenyth> and he works prolifically
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#59 2008-10-30 21:09:45

PJ
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 602

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Dieter@be wrote:

I've been working on my ideas and have put them online.  Here's the mail I sent to the devel ML.

Could you send the mail to the devel ML? It used to be read-only for non-developers but I don't know if the policy has been changed. My guess is that it is still read-only for non-developers.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting concept and I am definitely going to follow the progress of it.

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#60 2008-10-30 21:56:53

Dieter@be
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 1,960
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

PJ wrote:

Could you send the mail to the devel ML? It used to be read-only for non-developers but I don't know if the policy has been changed. My guess is that it is still read-only for non-developers.

Oops.. you're right..

This list is for ArchLinux Development and is not open for public
comment. If there is an important issue, please reply directly to the
original author or to the general ArchLinux mailing list

I'll resend to arch-general, that's where it belongs smile


< Daenyth> and he works prolifically
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#61 2008-10-30 23:00:41

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

hey solarwind,

Im founder and project manager of Borderless Linux. Im looking for exactly what you mentioned. We are based on arch if you are wondering and gnome as the default WM. We have our second beta out. We are still looking for an easy installer that is extremely user friendly! Check out our site and see what you think! www.borderlesslinux.org .. Or PM me or email me.. my email is on the site under contact!


We would love to use an installer like this. Thanks,
Ryclegman

Last edited by ryclegman (2008-10-30 23:04:27)


Project manager of Borderless Linux

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#62 2008-10-30 23:14:59

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

ryclegman wrote:

hey solarwind,

Im founder and project manager of Borderless Linux. Im looking for exactly what you mentioned. We are based on arch if you are wondering and gnome as the default WM. We have our second beta out. We are still looking for an easy installer that is extremely user friendly! Check out our site and see what you think! www.borderlesslinux.org .. Or PM me or email me.. my email is on the site under contact!


We would love to use an installer like this. Thanks,
Ryclegman

That is also exactly what I was looking for. Gnome is an awesome desktop environment. I want to make an installer that presents the user with choice (not too much) and allows flexibility but doesn't require them to know how to modprobe drivers for example. We can combine our efforts. Right now my script blueprint is a post-install installer which means it requires you to have a fresh, barebones Arch Linux installer. It takes care of everything from there.

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#63 2008-10-30 23:23:29

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

OK! sound great! are you able to get on IRC? /server irc.freenode.net
-Then paste this in the message box! /join #borderless


Project manager of Borderless Linux

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#64 2008-10-30 23:32:07

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

ryclegman wrote:

OK! sound great! are you able to get on IRC? /server irc.freenode.net
-Then paste this in the message box! /join #borderless

Believe it or not, I'm only 17 and in school. Got a math test tomorrow =\ I'll be on in the weekends though.

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#65 2008-10-30 23:36:52

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

lol got yha... i got school, in fact just finished my homework! ha ha kk just let me know when you are plannning to get on and i will too!


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#66 2008-10-30 23:39:51

Xyne
Moderator/TU
Registered: 2008-08-03
Posts: 5,801
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

*is happy to have brought solarwind and ryclegman together* big_smile

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#67 2008-10-30 23:50:36

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

lol yha thanks this could be great! a great distro with a great installer! big_smile


Project manager of Borderless Linux

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#68 2008-10-31 11:42:04

Dieter@be
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 1,960
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Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Fifa now lives @ http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=442754
solarwind: still curious for your reply.. (re: "Yes, the base installer is definately part of both our goals. It's the first step to getting somthing going. I'll put up what I have in a few hours and comment everything.")


< Daenyth> and he works prolifically
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#69 2008-10-31 11:52:15

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Yeah, as I said, I had a lot of homework and many tests...

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#70 2008-10-31 17:43:01

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

ok just contact me when you are available!


Project manager of Borderless Linux

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#71 2008-10-31 19:16:47

ioky
Member
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 93

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

I think it is important for the user to know everything that they are doing. Like which driver to use for wifi, graphic card,  and etc... It is very hard to Just make the installer automatic while the Distro aren't design base on "user friendly". I guess What should be default is various to people. Beside, it doesn't really take that long to install Arch, and in fact it is install much faster than many distro out there. If you know what you are doing you can finish all the edit part in like 5 mins or less. So why bother use to use mouse and hitting "NEXT" like 20 times?

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#72 2008-10-31 22:56:28

solarwind
Member
From: Toronto
Registered: 2008-03-18
Posts: 546

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

ioky wrote:

I think it is important for the user to know everything that they are doing. Like which driver to use for wifi, graphic card,  and etc... It is very hard to Just make the installer automatic while the Distro aren't design base on "user friendly". I guess What should be default is various to people. Beside, it doesn't really take that long to install Arch, and in fact it is install much faster than many distro out there. If you know what you are doing you can finish all the edit part in like 5 mins or less. So why bother use to use mouse and hitting "NEXT" like 20 times?

What I have right now require the mouse. And no new user would probably know of all the little quirks and things about arch linux, such as installing sudo auto complete, useful daemons, etc. It's always good to have a nice base to start off of, at least enough to get your system to a usable state.

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#73 2008-11-01 07:52:40

viperskunk
Member
Registered: 2008-10-24
Posts: 31

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

guys all said and done, i think this is a FANTASTIC  project ensuing. please keep the community (expecially newbs like us) informed as to your advances....on this thread itself.

i am really looking forward to this one.

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#74 2008-11-01 14:16:00

Mr Green
Forum Fellow
From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,770

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

Wiki page!


Mr Green

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#75 2008-11-01 18:00:11

ryclegman
Member
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 47
Website

Re: Arch Linux Automatic Installer

We have a new forum up and also are creating a wiki page now!   ~register on our forums  http://bbs.borderless-linux.org/


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