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#1 2004-12-07 22:24:23

ChrisX
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Registered: 2004-05-13
Posts: 27

Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Hello all, I had kind of an epiphany recently.  I know that pacman is underway with becoming a library.  Most people have been looking at this as only a potential for a GUI app, which I think is definitely a cool idea.  The epiphany that I had is since pacman will be a library, how much more work would it take to create another piece of software to tie this library into a webmin module.  I think it would be fairly easy.  One other idea I had was creating another simple piece of software that would use the pacman library to install Archlinux on a large number of machines.  You could have one head node, then all the other computers connected to the head node.  This way you can run a monitored, automated script to install all the needed software on a lot of computers.  An example would be installing linux in a computer lab.  My university, Florida Tech, is updating their computer labs from fedora core 2 to gentoo.   All the computers in the lab are exactly the same in hardware configuration.  Adding functionality for mass deployment would definitely cut down on installation time.  Also, I'm not trying to push this issue hard, just as an idea.  Whenever Archlinux becomes ready for mass deployment on machines, we could revisit this idea/issue.  What do you guys think of this idea?

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#2 2004-12-07 23:38:52

sarah31
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

possible but only if there is a group of people willing to develop such a thing. I doubt any of the current developers have the time. the pacman lib really mean nothing to me because i have no need for guis and webmin interfces for it. I like pacman the way it is and I certainly don't want to see it become like apt.


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#3 2004-12-07 23:54:51

cactus
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

I think a better solution would be to develop a custom boot floppy (or cd) that would auto partition, and then using wget or curl, just copy a base tarball from an ftp server and untar onto the new partition structure, a full rudimentary system.
Then perform an rsych to a server with a resonable config (or a cvs export for etc or something).

I think a libb'ed pacman would be more useful for maintaining a lot of machines, instead of really making it easier to set them up. You could have a central repo of tested packages, and then have a herd of machines checking for updates from the central repo only. Then when you have tested a package on a test network, simply copying it to the central repo will make it go "live". *shurg* its not like that can't be done now though..lol


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#4 2004-12-08 00:02:49

i3839
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Registered: 2004-02-04
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

At our university they just use diskless computers which boot via ethernet, that seems to be easier and cheaper to me. Never out of sync problems, not all comps have to be turned on all the time when you install something, less harddisks, thus less noise and energy usage. One step further would be to use thin client systems, but that's probably no option and not attractive if you have all the hardware already.

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#5 2004-12-08 01:26:19

cactus
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

I really like thin clients. I have been thinking about trying to get arch to work as a LTSP server.
www.ltsp.org


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#6 2004-12-08 04:20:55

ChrisX
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Registered: 2004-05-13
Posts: 27

Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Hello all, thanks for all the responses.  More specifically, what I was trying to say is taking the libb'ed version of pacman and using it to mass install systems and software, nothing more.  As for configuration of systems, that is a whole separate matter.  Again, I was just throwing some ideas out into the wild and seeing how they develop.  Thanks for all the input.

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#7 2004-12-08 04:32:43

dtw
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

my uni uses thin clients the run on linux to connect to a citrix metaframe server which deploys windows 2003 server.

Royal Brunei Air uses linux to power its in flight entertainments too i noticed smile

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#8 2004-12-08 17:04:47

Dusty
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

I think finding reasons to justify a libraryized pacman that are better than GUI interfaces is a good idea. wink

I have no interest in a webmin interface, since I don't have to manage tons of computers. However, the idea intrigues me, I think it could be done.

As Sarah31 said, I doubt the developers will do it. The philosophy behind this distro is oriented towards hobbiests, not business or mass deployment at universities. I think somebody would do well to start creating some business oriented stuff (like mass deployment, a stable repository, and all the other things people say Arch should have in a business setting).  But it ain't gonna be me, so I don't know why I'm saying it should be done.  roll

Dusty

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#9 2004-12-08 17:14:12

xerxes2
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From: Malmoe, Sweden
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

maybe it's arch' destiny to take on debian as the nr1 hobbydistro of the planet,


arch + gentoo + initng + python = enlisy

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#10 2004-12-08 18:33:32

sarah31
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

xerxes2 wrote:

maybe it's arch' destiny to take on debian as the nr1 hobbydistro of the planet,

that is sarcastic right? or did you just have a momentary lapse of reason


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#11 2004-12-08 18:36:08

Dusty
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

what makes you think it might be momentary? :-D

Hey, Sarah, what's your stand on standardizing Arch? I haven't had a good argument for a long time....  8)

Arch doesn't have a destiney... it has *users*.

Dusty

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#12 2004-12-08 20:31:25

ChrisX
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Registered: 2004-05-13
Posts: 27

Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Hello all, I see people are still talking.  This is good.  I have noticed that some people don't really want to see Archlinux itself move toward the business/more formal world, and I think that is perfectly cool.  I love the Archlinux community for what it is, that is why I am running Archlinux; I think it is the best linux distro yet.  I have another question though:  What do you think of the idea of somebody creating a separate project that was built on top of the default Archlinux system that was oriented to bussiness, stability, and security.  What I am trying to ask is how do you feel if somebody created a bussiness spin-off distro from Arch, kinda like how Linspire is an off-shoot of debian.  Would you be ok with this?  Again, I am just throwing ideas out into the wild.  I am not saying I am going to do any of these things; they are just ideas that I have been thinking about.  I'm also trying to figure out what the Archlinux community is like and what their particular views are.  Any input is appreciated.

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#13 2004-12-08 21:23:38

cactus
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

ChrisX wrote:

I have noticed that some people don't really want to see Archlinux itself move toward the business/more formal world, and I think that is perfectly cool.

??
I don't get that feeling at all. Please elucidate further.

What do you think of the idea of somebody creating a separate project that was built on top of the default Archlinux system that was oriented to bussiness, stability, and security.

I don't see a need for this at all. You speak loosely of forking, when you should be speaking of customization. It would be very easy to use arch in a business sense, with just setting up your own repository, and only pushing updates out to that repository when they have been more fully tested. No need to do anything different really.

What I am trying to ask is how do you feel if somebody created a bussiness spin-off distro from Arch, kinda like how Linspire is an off-shoot of debian.

Once again, I think it is very premature to speak of forking. See answer to above.

Would you be ok with this?

Aside from the fact that I don't think it is a good idea at this time, I see no barriers to it. pacman is GPL'ed isn't it?

Again, I am just throwing ideas out into the wild.

To be honest, why present an idea if you don't really care about it. Stand behind what you think about something, but be open to other ideas too. I never liked the "just saying this to be saying this" type thing. Always seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me..in case of flamage, you can always fall back on "I was just saying it to say it!"..
wink


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#14 2004-12-08 21:26:02

Dusty
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

ChrisX wrote:

What do you think of the idea of somebody creating a separate project that was built on top of the default Archlinux system that was oriented to bussiness, stability, and security.

Personally, I think this is better than a one size fits all type of solution. However, I also think that with the proper management, Arch could be tailored to perform both tasks without forking the distro.

For example, you can write the webmin interface and (provided you do a good job), it might be included in the extra repository to make it available to all Arch users.  Similarly for a GUI pacman. This has happened before, for example, with rasat's very useful hwd script.

A stable repository is a bit of a different thing. It needs proper management with a dedicated team of developers. I think that for it to work, this dedicated team would have to either be members of the Arch developer team, or would have to be working more or less completely independently of Arch, perhaps on a different distro.

On the one hand, if somebody forked Arch, it would stop the hobbiests from having to say "go away, Arch is a hobby distro" to the business people. On the other hand, if somebody was willing to support business in Arch, both sides might be satisfied without splitting up a perfectly good distro.

Arch is all about 'simplicity'. This is fine and dandy, but hobbiests and business users /sysadmins tend to define simplicity in different ways. wink

Dusty

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#15 2004-12-08 22:03:55

cactus
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Dusty wrote:

Arch is all about 'simplicity'. This is fine and dandy, but hobbiests and business users /sysadmins tend to define simplicity in different ways. wink

Dusty

and getting sysadmins and business users to define anything the same is work in and of itself..lol


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#16 2004-12-08 22:11:32

xerxes2
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From: Malmoe, Sweden
Registered: 2004-04-23
Posts: 1,249
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

ChrisX wrote:

What do you think of the idea of somebody creating a separate project that was built on top of the default Archlinux system that was oriented to bussiness, stability, and security.

you mean like ubuntu has done with debian,
take a snapshot of debian unstable every 6' month and tweak and theme it and add auto detection and easy setup to the installer,

this could be done with arch also if someone wants to do it,


arch + gentoo + initng + python = enlisy

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#17 2004-12-08 23:03:59

sarah31
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From: Middle of Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 2,975
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

bah just call t what it is ... a fork. i have no problems with forking but maybe Judd does. of course it would be up to who ever creates the fork to take care of it. if you fork you are on your own tongue


AKA uknowme

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#18 2004-12-09 01:48:46

Dusty
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

If Judd had a problem with forking, pacman wouldn't be GPL...

on the other hand, if somebody created a decent fork, we can borrow all their good changes for Arch too. wink

Dusty

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#19 2004-12-09 03:04:10

ChrisX
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Registered: 2004-05-13
Posts: 27

Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Hello all, more discussion is ensuing I see.  I didn't think that the discussion would continue on this long.  cactus, I see you are stirring up quite a few questions.  I will try to answer them as best I can.


cactus wrote:

??
I don't get that feeling at all. Please elucidate further.

As for your first question, on why I get the impression people don't want to see Archlinux take off toward a more bussiness/formal world, what I meant by that question is seeing Arch moving into something like Suse linux.  I was seeing it becoming a GUI linux distro that was simple in design and comparing that view with the view of other Arch users.  On the website homepage, it mentions that Arch is more of a veteran distro, not for newbs.  I just picked up the overall feeling that the Arch users didn't want to see Arch turn into something like Suse.



cactus wrote:

I don't see a need for this at all. You speak loosely of forking, when you should be speaking of customization. It would be very easy to use arch in a business sense, with just setting up your own repository, and only pushing updates out to that repository when they have been more fully tested. No need to do anything different really.

As for the second question, if Archlinux was going to trully succeed successfully in the business market, if it does later decide to move into the business world, it has to have rock hard, well-tested software.  A stable branch, and I really mean STABLE branch would have to be formed, or an offshoot project could be formed that works off of Archlinux leaving the traditional Archlinux project the way it is.  I have a few friends here at school that can just about break ANY piece of software out there easily, whether it be microsoft, linux/open source, SysV Unix/Solaris, or even BSD.  The software being distributed would have to be EXTENSIVELY tested, which is a very difficult and time consuming task to do.



cactus wrote:

Once again, I think it is very premature to speak of forking. See answer to above.

As for the answer to the fourth question, I believe it is related enough to the third answer to be answered there.



cactus wrote:

To be honest, why present an idea if you don't really care about it. Stand behind what you think about something, but be open to other ideas too. I never liked the "just saying this to be saying this" type thing. Always seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me..in case of flamage, you can always fall back on "I was just saying it to say it!"..
wink

The reason I throw ideas out that I may not be passionate or interested in is because somebody else might.  Somebody else may like the idea and want to run with it.  Also, productive discussion on many different issues like this develop.  Even though this particular discussion may not be relavent for Archlinux yet, it may be very pertinent in the future.  Lastly, one of the first things I learned here at college is that you never throw a reasonably sound idea out, even if you are not into it, because many times the idea may evolve into something separate that is VERY interesting to you.

On a separate note, I want to say that I am very happy with the everyones input.  This discussion has been most definitely productive.  I hope nobody feels that I am trying to push Archlinux in any given direction, like into the business world.  I am COMPLETELY satisfied with what Archlinux has provided and am very excited to see what it will offer in the future.  Again I threw the idea out into the forum not because I was particularly interested in it myself, but wanted to share the idea with the community, upholding the open source philosophy, and seeing if anyone else might want to do something with the idea.  It is also fun to take a step back and look at how the discussion developed over time.  Good day to you all and take care.

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#20 2004-12-09 04:04:06

Dusty
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

ChrisX wrote:

The reason I throw ideas out that I may not be passionate or interested in is because somebody else might.  Somebody else may like the idea and want to run with it.

I've done this and gotten my head bit off for it... basically, if people like an idea, they come up with it themselves. :-D

Seriously, discussion is always good, but most people don't tend to care much about actually doing stuff.  Sarah is a vociferous As discussed here, an experienced sysadmin can do everything he needs with Arch and bash. And Python. Never forget Python. Inexperienced sysadmins and managers and bosses and end users are not designed for use with Arch.

This isn't to say that it wouldn't be possible to make Arch idiot-friendly. But by definition, Arch users aren't idiots, so they have no reason to make it idiot-friendly.

A lot of people here don't like the idea of having a bunch of idiots hanging around the forum.   A lot of others don't want idiot-friendliness in the distro, because they think it tends to get in the way of geek-friendliness.  Personally, I have to wonder why I'm posting here at all because I don't care if arch does become idiot-friendly PROVIDED it doesn't become un-geek-friendly.

On another note, ChrisX, your English is really good, care to do some work in the wiki or even take over the recently vacated position as formal documentor? :-P

Dusty

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#21 2004-12-09 06:42:29

cactus
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Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

Indeed. Good stuff, and thanks for the lively discussion. 8)

ChrisX wrote:

As for the second question, if Archlinux was going to trully succeed successfully in the business market, if it does later decide to move into the business world, it has to have rock hard, well-tested software.  A stable branch, and I really mean STABLE branch would have to be formed, or an offshoot project could be formed that works off of Archlinux leaving the traditional Archlinux project the way it is.  I have a few friends here at school that can just about break ANY piece of software out there easily, whether it be microsoft, linux/open source, SysV Unix/Solaris, or even BSD.  The software being distributed would have to be EXTENSIVELY tested, which is a very difficult and time consuming task to do.

I guess it depends on the business. I know most businesses claim to want this, but then they use microsoft software and give their worker bees far more control over their desktops than they should. I suppose it depends heavily on the business. Small business vs large corporate business. *shrug* Decidedly a tough distinction to make. I can safely say that I have worked some in industry, but not overly much. I have been in school for longer than I remember, so my ideals sometimes get the better of me (which is very prone to happen to people who are in college for long periods of time). I have talked to people who have been in industry a long time, and they have decidedly different views than I have. Who is to say which is better? The seasoned cynic ground down by years of seeing constant failure and dealing with questionable middle management, or the bright eyed and bushy tailed student out to change the world on his saturday nights.
*shrug* Each has their place more than likely. wink

Dusty can attest to my ideal based viewpoint as far as my view of free software is concerned. :twisted:

Lastly, one of the first things I learned here at college is that you never throw a reasonably sound idea out, even if you are not into it, because many times the idea may evolve into something separate that is VERY interesting to you.

Depends on the circumstances I suppose (gods...just about everything is..lol). I have seen this roundtable idea tossing work very well. I have also seen it work not so well. Depends on the setting. Since you were discussing business, I took it in that framework moreso than I maybe should have. In business (at least from my experience), what if's don't often play out as well as they do in academia. But, i think for this format, and this setting, it is likely a very reasonable approach. I think for this setting, you are likely more correct than I am about the safety level of idea presentation (that it is likely very consistent with academia).

On a separate note, I want to say that I am very happy with the everyones input.  This discussion has been most definitely productive.

Me too. smile
I like to talk about stuff like this. It not only teaches me alot about other people's perspectives, but it sometimes bolsters my own viewpoint in things. I mean, who doesn't like hearing someone else agree with you? lol


Again I threw the idea out into the forum not because I was particularly interested in it myself, but wanted to share the idea with the community, upholding the open source philosophy, and seeing if anyone else might want to do something with the idea.

big_smile


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#22 2004-12-09 10:34:29

Winkie
Member
Registered: 2004-09-30
Posts: 59

Re: Mass deployment of Archlinux idea

I'd also like to point out i'm already working on some pacman / makepkg ideas for corporate environment stuff, and i'm sponsored by my employer to write the code, so it's all GPL etc.

I'll let you lot know more when i actually have a clue what the features are smile

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