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Why doesn't gentoo automate installation process?
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fonz55
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Joined: 24 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@killfire: I definetly know what linux is about and it still can't run without some ordinary juice (more than 2 cents :wink: ), but never mind that discussion. It is all about getting gentoo to more people, and with an installer that sets up a basic configuration that is a lot more like it and easier to distribute (as in distribution :idea: )
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ruben
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@vfxpro, @fonz55: the install does indeed take a lot of time, but normally, you only do the install once, right ? at least, i did it once on my desktop, once on my server, and once on my laptop, all stage 1 installs. Also, like you say, you can just run off a knoppix cd to do the install and still have your machine available. I converted both my desktop and server from Debian, and did the install from the existing Debian installation. I also made a backup from the install on my laptop (everything except /home, /home is put on backup separately) (and my intention is to do that each couple of months or something like that), i already had to use that once. So i don't think you need a full reinstall if you have a kind of backup like i have. It can still be annoying that you have to re-start from scratch on another machine, but then that's one of the goals of Gentoo, you tune the whole system to the specific machine you're installing on. And that involves compiling everything from source. That's where most of the time goes, in compiling all the applications you want to run. Allthough to avoid that, you could use the packages-cd.
Something like Kickstart might still be interesting, but on the other hand, you could always do one manual install for each type of machine, and then copy the resulting system over to the others. As long as the machines are similar, that's a very good option, and would probably be faster than having something like a Kickstart script run on all those machines.
If you think that the install (and installing packages in particular) takes too long, then you might be interested in Debian. Debian also has a decent package management system, and is in my opinion still better than Gentoo in regards to ease of security updates. I'm afraid though that the install might still take too long for you, but that one is fully ncurses based (they have a new installer). (btw, personally i don't see a lot of difference between the normal "fdisk" and one which is based on ncurses... i also don't see why an ncurses-based one would lead to a faster install... i needed a lot more keystrokes to get things done in the ncurses based one, than in the normal one....) But you might like the new Debian installer, it does automate things like for example building /etc/fstab for you by first asking you a couple of questions. Have you used that one and is it something like this that you'd like to have on gentoo ?
Anyways, i think both Debian and Gentoo are nice linux distributions, and offer a decent package management system. (allthough i got used to portage a lot easier than to apt-get)
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fonz55
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruben, you completely got my point. I often have to re-install an installation for test purposes and in case a user has (once again) trashed his/her desktop. Therefor I would prefer to have some kind of automated proces that would setup a basic gentoo.

It is also more convienent to have the users themselves install Gentoo. I could then give them a list of answers on questions the get when installing Gentoo. Now, the installation proces is still to obscure to delegate to my users, so I have to install it over and over.
Therefor I looked into the new Debian installer and it works perfectly in most cases. Still I would like Gentoo to also have such a thing like a kickstart script or generic installer. It would save a lot of time for me.

I also use both distributions (an others) a long time and like both both a lot.
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killfire
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what could be done, without all that much effort, is make a couple of shell scripts, per specific processor lets say (you could have a generic, a g3, a g4 (smp and not), and a g5 (smp and not)) and they would do the brunt of the work.... i mean, i agree totally, that doing benign things like bootstrapping, emerging the system, configuring the fstab and make.conf are not necesary....

and since there are very specific computers, because apple makes them all the same, included could be kernel configs etc...


that doesnt seem all that dificult, and in a couple weeks, i am installing fresh a system on an ibook. (i made a very ugly install last time, custom masking so i would not need to go on the net)... and i will document them into a shell script... or i can try to make the script beforehnd, and see how it handles it...

this wouldnt handle the whole install i think, but it would cut down on the annoying parts (when i install, i usually use strings or "...scripts/bootstrap.sh && emerge system -f && emerge system ......anyway, to make it so i dont have to be there all the time)....

this could develope into the kickstart thing you were talking about....



killfire
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