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#1 2012-10-12 20:40:20

mbrown
Member
Registered: 2008-11-09
Posts: 10

Automating Arch Installation

Is there a way to automate Arch installation with the current installation media (2012.10.06)?

I'm thinking of something like RedHat / Fedora's Kickstart files that allow you to do the steps mentioned in the Official Install Guide (partitioning disks, installing packages, creating users, etc) in an automated way....

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#2 2012-10-12 20:43:32

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,423

Re: Automating Arch Installation

There are some scripts and frameworks floating around in the forum e.g. https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=149597
You'll have to check if they do everything you want.

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#3 2012-10-12 20:44:22

Antoine
Member
From: Picton Ontario
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 90

Re: Automating Arch Installation

Sounds like you're looking for a graphical installer. How would your system know what hostname that you  to use? Or what timezone you were in? Or what users to create?

Archbang and Manjaro offer that kind of thing; both result in an Archlinux install, no?

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#4 2012-10-12 20:45:19

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,423

Re: Automating Arch Installation

Antoine wrote:

Archbang and Manjaro offer that kind of thing; both result in an Archlinux install, no?

No.

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#5 2012-10-12 20:45:34

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,132
Website

Re: Automating Arch Installation

Antoine wrote:

Archbang and Manjaro offer that kind of thing; both result in an Archlinux install, no?

No. Neither Archbang nor Manjaro result in an Arch install. That's why neither are supported here.


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Github

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#6 2012-10-12 20:53:28

mbrown
Member
Registered: 2008-11-09
Posts: 10

Re: Automating Arch Installation

Antoine wrote:

Sounds like you're looking for a graphical installer.

No.

Antoine wrote:

How would your system know what hostname that you  to use? Or what timezone you were in? Or what users to create?

This stuff would be specified in a configuration file like in a Kickstart installation.

karol wrote:

There are some scripts and frameworks floating around in the forum e.g. https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=149597

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thanks! It would be great if something like this became mainstream/widely used, doing installations interactively doesn't scale well...

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#7 2012-10-13 10:29:30

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Automating Arch Installation

mbrown wrote:

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thanks! It would be great if something like this became mainstream/widely used, doing installations interactively doesn't scale well...

Except that you're probably not gonna learn anything that way... I thought about this for a while, and I realized that It's not really worth it. You're installing once in a blue moon anyway (I'm still rocking the same Arch i686 install I did on an old Athlon XP 2200+, from four years ago!), and if you have multiple computers, install once and transfer it to the other ones either from a portable USB drive or through the network.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fu … with_rsync
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mi … w_hardware


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#8 2012-10-15 19:14:43

Antoine
Member
From: Picton Ontario
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 90

Re: Automating Arch Installation

jasonwryan wrote:

No. Neither Archbang nor Manjaro result in an Arch install. That's why neither are supported here.

Fair enough. I once had an Archbang install that I found more difficult to install and maintain than the official Arch. I've since deleted it (it was in VM, so that was easy).

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#9 2012-10-16 20:28:04

altercation
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2011-05-15
Posts: 135
Website

Re: Automating Arch Installation

DSpider wrote:
mbrown wrote:

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thanks! It would be great if something like this became mainstream/widely used, doing installations interactively doesn't scale well...

Except that you're probably not gonna learn anything that way... I thought about this for a while, and I realized that It's not really worth it. You're installing once in a blue moon anyway (I'm still rocking the same Arch i686 install I did on an old Athlon XP 2200+, from four years ago!), and if you have multiple computers, install once and transfer it to the other ones either from a portable USB drive or through the network.

I'm the developer of the above linked to archblocks script/modules and wanted to weigh in on this issue. I actually would like to see archblocks used for learning about arch as well as installing it. Part of the intent behind it was to make each step (block) comprehensible.

I look at the archblocks "blocks" as a link between automated installation and the wiki. Something along the lines of literate programming. And, of course, the benefit is that you get a potentially fully automated install of a very customized system.

Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that I share the value of learning through doing and hope that the archblocks scripts can contribute to that as well smile


Ethan Schoonover
Precision Colors - http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized

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#10 2012-10-17 16:56:41

ksovi
Member
From: Newcastle
Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 36

Re: Automating Arch Installation

to be fair, you don't really learn that much by installing arch.

DSpider wrote:
mbrown wrote:

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thanks! It would be great if something like this became mainstream/widely used, doing installations interactively doesn't scale well...

Except that you're probably not gonna learn anything that way... I thought about this for a while, and I realized that It's not really worth it. You're installing once in a blue moon anyway (I'm still rocking the same Arch i686 install I did on an old Athlon XP 2200+, from four years ago!), and if you have multiple computers, install once and transfer it to the other ones either from a portable USB drive or through the network.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fu … with_rsync
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mi … w_hardware

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#11 2012-10-17 18:48:28

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Automating Arch Installation

ksovi wrote:

to be fair, you don't really learn that much by installing arch.

You are introduced to the basics of Linux: ping, nano, pacman (this being the exception, I guess, because it's specific to Arch Linux), partitioning, filesystems, mount/umount in the proper order, lsblk (and the difference between /dev/sda and /dev/sda1), fstab, hostname + hosts, Syslinux/GRUB/EFISTUB, UEFI booting, sudo, Xorg, etc.

A beginner has plenty to learn just from the install process. Hiding these configuration files and automating the process is against The Arch Way.

Last edited by DSpider (2012-10-17 18:51:54)


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#12 2012-10-17 20:17:10

altercation
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2011-05-15
Posts: 135
Website

Re: Automating Arch Installation

DSpider wrote:
ksovi wrote:

to be fair, you don't really learn that much by installing arch.

You are introduced to the basics of Linux: ping, nano, pacman (this being the exception, I guess, because it's specific to Arch Linux), partitioning, filesystems, mount/umount in the proper order, lsblk (and the difference between /dev/sda and /dev/sda1), fstab, hostname + hosts, Syslinux/GRUB/EFISTUB, UEFI booting, sudo, Xorg, etc.

A beginner has plenty to learn just from the install process. Hiding these configuration files and automating the process is against The Arch Way.

I agree. But I also believe in DRY (don't repeat yourself) and thus I take a lot of notes about how I set up my Arch systems. Often these notes contain code or *are* simply well documented scripts. This is all the ArchBlocks project really is at its heart. I don't see it working at *all* for beginners... it's simply too complex, but for veterans that want to translate their notes into an installer, I think it's a good solution.


Ethan Schoonover
Precision Colors - http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized

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