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Re: PATCH: Partition auto-detection and HD exploded tree installation

Uday Prakash wrote:
 The anaconda patch was created using version of the sources. The
pykickstart patch was created using version 0.36. We can provide an updated
patches against the most current versions, if helpful.  Given the rate at
which sources are changing, we decided to hold off until someone in anaconda
has had a chance to review the proposed patches and suggest changes, if

While things change pretty quickly, patches are generally able to be applied with some ease across versions, so as long as it's relatively recent (which this is), then I'm less concerned about the specific version the patch is against.

These patches, though, seem to have a fair bit of whitespace changes making finding the real changes more difficult. A diff for the relevant changes is far easier to review. Also, having a separate diff for each logical change helps as well.

1. Partition auto-detection. The patch allows the partition to be left
unspecified when using the harddrive method for kickstart and install
locations, and the item (kickstart or installtree) to be located by
iterating through available partitions. Specifically, the kickstart and
method options can now be specified as follows on the command line (note the
empty partition section between the two colons):
ks=hd::/path/to/ks.cfg, and

Within the kickstart file, a hard drive install can be specified as follows
(note the lack of a --partition directive):

           harddrive --dir=/path/to/install/files

What happens then if there's more than one device that has a ks.cfg or an install source? Is the problem you're trying to solve the fact that device naming isn't all that reproducible from one machine to another? If so, is there anything about the device that you're having people install from that could be used instead as the device key (much like the biosdisk/part stuff).

2. Exploded tree support. The patch enables harddrive installation from an
exploded tree, analogous to NFS installations. As a side effect, it also
provides support for a RHupdates folder for an exploded tree installation.

This is something that used to be supported, but invariably, people would delete files they didn't think they needed. This then led to tracebacks which weren't clear or otherwise failing installations. Since people are going to be downloading the ISOs anyway, just using the ISOs for the hard drive install is far better. It also has the plus of the ISOs can be trivially verified. RHupdates could be supported pretty trivially with hard drive installs if it was desired, but it seems a lot less important with the ease of creating an updates.img now that they can be a cpio.gz.

3. Device modification protection. By default, the patch removes partitions
on the harddrive containing the kickstart and/or install iso/tree from the
default set to be formatted/partitioned. This can be overridden manually
within the installer UI or by kickstart.  Likewise, the install/kickstart
harddrive is removed as a candidate for boot record modifications.  This can
similarly be overridden by kickstart.

How is this different than the existing protected partition support? Why not just continue to use it instead of implementing new methods?


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