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#1 2004-07-21 10:41:51

phunni
Member
From: Bristol, UK
Registered: 2003-08-13
Posts: 667

Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

I'm quite interested in writing a script that automates the process of installing linux - ideally arch.

Is it possible to write a script that can interact with the arch install and essentially go through the steps and answer the questions automatically?  Also - the script would need to be able to interact with pacman as, after the first reboot, many packages would need installing and pacman asks you whether you want to go ahead or not...

Ideally I would also like to be able to use a config file so that I can change things like modules to load and where config files for /etc and kernel compiling might be.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the viability of such a project?

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#2 2004-07-21 11:12:23

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

phunni wrote:

Does anyone have any thoughts on the viability of such a project?

What I understand beside installing packages, is to recognize hardwares and do auto configure, modify the knoppix's hardware detect script. To have an idea how knoppix's script was modified for Arch and other features added, hack the hwd:
http://amlug.net/new-projects/hwd/hwd.html

To install Arch, check /arch/setup in AL install CD.

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#3 2004-07-21 13:16:48

phunni
Member
From: Bristol, UK
Registered: 2003-08-13
Posts: 667

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

I was thinking more along the lines of installing on a system where I already knew the hardware (perhaps would configure this in that data file I mentioned) and the install would just go without needing any hardware detection at all.

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#4 2004-07-21 13:28:47

morphus
Member
From: Braunschweig
Registered: 2003-08-06
Posts: 145

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

If you want to make similar installations on computers who are having the same parts, then you should do it with images; for example http://www.partimage.org/

Just make one installation on one of those computers and copy them easily. Is faster than reprogramming the arch installation routine smile

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#5 2004-07-21 16:10:35

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

morphus wrote:

...then you should do it with images; for example http://www.partimage.org/

This is an interesting tool.... instant install smile. If hardwares are not configured, done later after the image install, different types of pre-made packages (images) could be made for the  users to chose a base e.g complete Gnome pkg, multimedia pkg, etc.

This utility can be used to install many identical PCs. For example, if you buy 50 PCs, with the same hardware, and you want to install the same linux systems on all 50 PCs, you will save a lot of time. Indeed, you just have to install on the first PC and create an image from it. For the 49 others, you can use the image file and Partition Image's restore function.

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#6 2004-07-21 17:02:15

Xentac
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From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
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Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

There's also the quickinst script on the cd.  It installs a base package set on a mounted partition without any interaction at all.

About the pacman interaction, --noconfirm will never ask you whether you want to do anything or not.


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#7 2004-07-21 17:22:31

phunni
Member
From: Bristol, UK
Registered: 2003-08-13
Posts: 667

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

how does it determine which partition to install on - or does it just partition the drive in a set way?

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#8 2004-07-21 17:28:03

Xentac
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From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
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Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

It installs to a mounted partition.  Mean you had to partition yourself and mount the partition yourself.  It's a very simple script.  Run it sometime and it'll tell you its usage (or look it up on the mailing list).


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#9 2005-08-31 10:11:47

butters
Member
Registered: 2005-08-31
Posts: 35

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

Is there any online documentation for the quickinst script?

If I mount the base iso as a loopback filesystem from inside a generic userland like Knoppix, then can I install to my hard drive that way?  As long-time gentoo user, this installation method would be most comfortable for me.  In other words:

fdisk /dev/hda
mke2fs /dev/hda1
mkswap /dev/hda2
mke2fs -j /dev/hda3
swapon /dev/hda2
mkdir -p /mnt/arch/boot
mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/arch
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/arch/boot
mkdir /iso
mount -o loop /home/knoppix/arch-0.7-base.iso /iso
/iso/arch/quickinst cd /mnt/arch /iso/arch/pkg

Then check the config files listed in the install guide.  To me this seems so much better than navigating through some ncurses menus.  Is this more or less correct, or am I missing something conceptually important?

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#10 2005-08-31 10:26:40

butters
Member
Registered: 2005-08-31
Posts: 35

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

So after I run quickinst, can I they do

cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/arch/etc/resolv.conf
chroot /mnt/arch /bin/bash
source /etc/profile

What's the arch analogue for gentoo's env-update?

And then act as if I were in my arch install?  Compile my kernel, edit my config files, install udev, configure grub, etc...

udev is still not the default in arch, is it?  If I compile a kernel without devfs I would have to install udev before first boot, right?

Anyone know the status of JimmyW's initng on arch?  That would really be great to get going, since then I would have ng-update and all those gentoo-y niceties.

This looks great, guys, can't wait to try this out!

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#11 2005-08-31 11:09:37

agilyben
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 31

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

butters wrote:

Anyone know the status of JimmyW's initng on arch?

It looks like some have it working:  http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=14535

I wonder if this will be the new init for Arch .8

That would definitely be nice!  I thought about trying it out, but I don't want to hose the normal Arch init stuff.  ;-)  Maybe it'll be added as default one day.

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#12 2005-09-01 01:10:59

butters
Member
Registered: 2005-08-31
Posts: 35

Re: Auto install script - is such a thing possible?

agilyben wrote:
butters wrote:

Anyone know the status of JimmyW's initng on arch?

It looks like some have it working:  http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=14535

I wonder if this will be the new init for Arch .8

That would definitely be nice!  I thought about trying it out, but I don't want to hose the normal Arch init stuff.  ;-)  Maybe it'll be added as default one day.

The nice thing about initng is that the initscripts are very simple, for example this is the script for the samba service:

service daemon/samba/smbd {
        need = system/initial system/mountroot virtual/networking
        daemon = /usr/sbin/smbd
        daemon_args = -F
}

service daemon/samba/nmbd {
        need = system/initial system/mountroot virtual/networking
        daemon = /usr/sbin/nmbd
        daemon_args = -F
}

service daemon/samba {
        also_stop = daemon/samba/smbd daemon/samba/nmbd
        need = daemon/samba/smbd daemon/samba/nmbd
}

The problem is that init is the first process the kernel spawns and the last that the kernel kills, so you want something solid, reliable, and heavily tested.  This init has been hacked, since May, in the spare time of someone who drives an ice cream truck for a living... no I'm not kidding.

Not for arch 0.8, definitely, and I wouldn't suggest that any distribution (expect maybe a initng demo distribution) use it by default for some time.  It should be an option, though.

To go back on topic, anyone know where I can find the quickinst documentation?  Does it exist?

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