Feature idea: package an installer image as a grub entry before F8. Was [ Re: Very much packages with fc6 tag instead of fc7 in the FC7 tree ]

Will Woods wwoods at redhat.com
Fri Jun 1 17:37:20 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-06-01 at 18:25 +0100, Benjamin Lewis wrote:
> Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> > On 6/1/07, Christopher Aillon <caillon at redhat.com> wrote:
> >> Actually, many people do network installs.  I have no DVD burner so the
> >> DVD ISO does me no good.  So I downloaded the boot.iso to load up
> >> anaconda, and pointed the installer at the right places on the network.
> >>   Much less downloading as you only update what you need.
> >
> > For people who do network based upgrades/re-installs......
> > would it be feasible, and appropriate to provide a package in the F7
> > repo which contained the F8 installer image as a grub entry for an F7
> > system at the time of F8 release. So people could install that and
> > reboot into the installer via their grub menu and do an upgrade via
> > the installer.. instead of being tempted to do a live upgrade just
> > with yum. Clever monkeys can do this manually now with some effort to
> > pull the installer image from the iso. The question is, does it make
> > sense to make this easier for the general userbase and provide a
> > package in a timely manner into F7 for the F8 release?
> >
> > -jef
> I kind of like this as an idea! My only concern is that people will use
> this to do ftp installs off the mirrors - which is a bad as yum really.

"bad" in what sense? It's hard on mirror bandwidth, and that's bad, but
it's not as likely to hose your system as a yum-upgrade would be.

I've also been pondering what anaconda work would be needed to do system
upgrades from the hard drive you're upgrading - assuming you have the
free space on your drive, you could do something like:

Start "live-updater" tool
  - Checks installed packages, as anaconda does
  - Downloads all updated packages 
    - (Alternately: use a DVD iso and it would only 
download the packages you're missing.)
  - Grab kernel/initrd (from mirror or DVD iso)
  - update grub.conf, adding special flag(s) for anaconda
Reboot into anaconda
  - Upgrade filesystems, perform other fixups that require unmounted fs
  - Mount target filesystem label
  - Upgrade using previously-downloaded packages / iso image

The downside is that it requires a few gigs of free drive space, but on
the plus side we don't need a separate partition for holding the

A sneaky thing we might do is:

1) download all packages
2) swapoff
3) mkfs.ext3 $SWAP_PARTITION
4) mount $SWAP_PARTITION /mnt/swap
5) copy all packages to /mnt/swap
6) get vmlinuz/initrd and update grubby
7) reboot into anaconda, upgrading from $SWAP_PARTITION

Just a thought.

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