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Re: A stern warning of things to come

On 08/03/2010 05:17 PM, John Reiser wrote:
>> I understand the problem about the magic growing initrd. ...
> Get serious about remote "push" installs.  Boot a 20MB package
> of kernel plus disk partitioner (text, like Debian) plus enough
> to mount and export the results over NFS.  Then go to a different
> machine [with large resources] that already runs Fedora N-1, mount
> the target volumes over NFS, and "push" an install onto those
> partitions.

I think what Chris is shooting for is in the same vein as what your
suggesting here.  Boot enough to get to the point where you can fully
talk to the repository given any possible means be it http, nfs, iscsi,
aoe, IP over Avian, cd, hard drive, usb stick, etc that you can
accomplish the install.

The problem is to accomplish all of this the initrd needs to be of a
certain size, namely that ~100M he suggested.  I mean just adding the
network stack and a dns resolver adds a non-trivial amount of space in
the initrd.  12M for just network drivers, another 1M for ipv4/ipv6
modules, another 100K for libresolv and say another 200K for things like
nslookup.  That doesn't include anything about the pieces needed to
initiate http transfers, iscsi, etc or any of the menuing pieces that
would need to live in there to get it moving.

> In theory, such a "push" install can be done by using rpm only:
> change the --root and --db appropriately, and install the kernel
> and --aid opensshd.  This will be enough to ssh to the result,
> then complete the install natively.

This should work, but this only really solves a very small subset of the
problem I think Chris is actually trying to shoot for.  As well as only
solving it for people who have NFS or similar infrastructure in place to
do the install.  I can't see many people actually doing installs this
way, outside of insular network installs, and speaking as someone who
does network installs I'd rather use the pull method of fetching what I
need vs. having something push the content to the machine.  That's just
my $0.02 though.

- John 'Warthog9' Hawley

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