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A Modern Woody Debian GNU/Linux Installer 56

An anonymous reader writes "With everyone around talking about how Woody has an outdated installer and lacks some new packages and hardware support, some people feel the urge to get to work. The result? A customized installer. It has a 2.4.26 version kernel, supports XFS, LVM, RAID and various hardware drivers. Comes along with vim, bash, you can even resize partitions using parted and you get postfix as the default MTA. It has two flavours, a business card CD and a miniCD version which will help you install a minimal Debian system or even a X Window desktop."
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A Modern Woody Debian GNU/Linux Installer

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  • Cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @03:35PM (#9433585) Homepage
    Certainly bridges the gap between the Supersize-me 700MB live CDs like Knoppix and the minimalist 10MB vim+kernel+GNU deals.

    Should be good even for doing basic partitioning and FS prep before putting in a full distro.

  • Reproduced here:

    #apt-get update; apt-get upgrade

    Now what's so fucking hard about that?
  • by dotz ( 683519 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @03:53PM (#9433818)
    What I'd really like to see would be something universal and portable:
    • divide the installer code wisely, you will have UI part and the installer part (that does actual work, system-dependent) separated.
    • GUI? It shouldn't be that hard. XFree86 for graphics installer are the same everywhere;
    • Want to instal via serial port? No problem, just add another user interface module
    • High-level language, not C. Sorry, C programs just need too much time to debug, and I don't see where would you have any benefits of using C in case of installer (installation process always takes time, and it mostly depends on HDD or network throughput)
    • There are some OS, that lack an easy graphics mode installer. They could benefit
    That would of course need a few megabytes of RAM and an isntallation CD. Is anyone booting off from floppy disks anyway? (what's a floppy disk, BTW?)
    • by Trepalium ( 109107 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#9433935)
      Is anyone booting off from floppy disks anyway? (what's a floppy disk, BTW?)
      It's the thing your BIOS emulates when booting from most el torito bootable CD-ROMs.
    • I think what you want is the new sarge installer [] that is at RC1 at the momemnt.

      Its modular to support all the things you want, and supports 10 archetures at this stage. Being modular should allow people to: script it, put a GUI on it, hardware autodection modules (already done), multiple boot methods (PXE,USB mass-storage,CD-rom...)


      • Elivs, by different architectures I meant also non-Debian _and_ non-Linux operating systems. Cries for graphics installer appear on freebsd-advocacy@ mailing list from time to time (too often, if you ask me or other advocacy@ regulars). Of course - it is not that needed, but if someone did it, the project for sure wouldn't suffer from this. This also counts for OpenBSD and NetBSD... anyway, I don't think that there are as big chances for autodetecting stuff on BSDs, like they are on Linux. Perhaps I'm wron
        • The debian installer is aimed at not just different hardware ports, but also different kernels including netBSD, FreeBSD, and Hurd. ( []) While these are not yet "stable" ports the installer certainly tragets them in its design. Acknowledgeing that the installer only target debian versions of these kernels.

          If you view an installer in the most basic sense, all it does is partition the disk, unarchives a few files, and install a boot loader. The boot media (floppy/net), ker

    • Just one anal point here. C IS a high level language. A high level language is any language which uses commands and functions rather than instructions. You must be confusing VERY high level languages with high level languages. Most (but not all) very high level languages are interpreted.

      High and very high level languages consist of most languages. Low level languages are short in supply, mostly being limited to assembler and machine code.
      • C IS a high level language. A high level language is any language which uses commands and functions rather than instructions.
        "commands and functions" -- a Macro assembler fulfills that.

        For fun, Google for PDP-10 assembly language and compare it with that era's C (pre-'void'!).

        I'm not at all certain which was the easiest and neatest of those two.

        • Well it does if you take the quote out of context instead of reading the whole sentence and realizing that "rather than instructions" was a requirement as well.

          Really though, a high level language which isn't even easier to use is no less a high level language. Just a shitty one ;)
          • "rather than instructions" was a requirement as well.
            A macro assembler can do quite complex things.
            • What does that have to do with high level languages not using cpu instructions directly?

              And no, embedded asm or hacks to make it happen doesn't count.
              • You wrote:

                "rather than instructions" was a requirement as well.

                And I explained (again) that the connection between assemblers macros and their instructions aren't necessarily direct; some truly weird && / || wonderful things can be done. Which are far removed from simple "one line -- one instruction".

                Now you wrote:

                What does that have to do with high level languages not using cpu instructions directly?

                what is the point?

                Do you only know about the disgusting x86 architecture and can't

                • Somehow I think we are debating but neither of us are talking about the same thing??

                  I'm discusing whether C is a high level language or not. Not whether high or low level languages are good and which is superior to the other. If you want flexibility, control, speed, or efficientcy then a low level language is the way to go. If you want portability than a high level language is the way to go.

                  All of the ease of use and abrastraction in a high level language can be built with a low level language. Going
                  • I'm discusing whether C is a high level language or not.

                    Oh, that answer is obvious:
                    It depends. :-)

                    You can do a very simple translation to any assembly language (with a subroutine library) for most of early C. Some stuff like expressions (a+b/c) aren't usually supported in assemblers and register allocation needs to be worked at, too. (To make it effective and fast is another thing, of course.)

                    C can be seen as a good macro assembler that is machine independent -- it has no concepts that aren't eas

      • C is often called a mid-level language because it's lower than pretty much every other language except assembly. You know there is something between the words "high" and "low".
    • twin (Score:1, Troll)

      by samjam ( 256347 )
      Use twin [] - its like screen but can back-connect to an X-server!

      I modified the new sarge root disks so I could do remote installations without being at the console.

  • by warpSpeed ( 67927 ) <> on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @03:57PM (#9433881) Homepage Journal
    Bevis and Butthead
    ahuhhuhhhuhh... he said woody.
    /Bevis and Butthead
  • Anaconda (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 )
    I never understood why Debian doesn't simply use Anaconda. It's opensource, portable to Debian, and everybody who uses it seems generally pleased with it.
    • by hummassa ( 157160 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @04:16PM (#9434111) Homepage Journal
      Anaconda only works in x86 (and sparc?), and debian has to install in 11 archs. Understand now?
      • Anaconda is written mostly in python. It should be easily portable to any arch. Somebody just has to take the effort to do it. And a major distribution (should) have the resources to pull that off.

        Turns out there's already a port of Anaconda for Debian, though it's i386 only:
  • Modern Woody? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GregChant ( 305127 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @04:26PM (#9434237)
    Isn't this a contradiction? The whole point of a frozen release is that nothing changes. It's what allows Debian to say its system is remarkably stable.

    If you change packages or change the kernel, it isn't Woody (the reknowned stable version) anymore, and instead becomes Sid (the more up-to-date, but labeled unstable version).

    I wonder what the Debian overlords are going to do with this...
  • Why woody ticked me off about a week ago:

    1. 2.2 kernel
    2. Hardware Support
    3. 2.2 kernel
    4. See #1, #2

    1. Install Fedora Core
    2. install apt
    3. be happy.
    • Re:Yeah but... (Score:4, Informative)

      by martinde ( 137088 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @04:33PM (#9434325) Homepage
      > 1. 2.2 kernel

      2. Slap forehead, keep woody install CD in CD-Rom drive, reboot, read help by pressing F-whatever it says.
      3. Instead of hitting return to boot, follow the directions you found in the help and do "bf24" at the prompt to boot into 2.4
      4. Hopefully that gets you going...

      I'm not saying woody is perfect - i've had to install PCI ethernet cards too many times because the default kernel won't do modern integrated ones... But it does support 2.4.18 which is much better than 2.2.
    • 1. Install Fedora Core 2
      2. Install apt
      3. Realize I have to add a bunch of extra repositories to get a half-way decent selection of packages
      4. Still can't find packages for lots of stuff I had in Debian
      5. Overlaps and conflicts between packages in different repositories causes havoc everytime I try to upgrade
      6. Not so happy
  • Woody's "up to date" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ianoo ( 711633 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @05:44PM (#9435263) Journal
    How long has kernel 2.6 been out now? Hence, why is this "up-to-date" installer stuck at 2.4?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      How long has kernel 2.6 been out now? Hence, why is this "up-to-date" installer stuck at 2.4?

      Because it's installing Woody. And the most recent kernel in Woody is 2.4.

      Please read up on the Debian release system before making clueless comments.
  • The authors should provide a jigdo file. Then, the installer image could be built by hammering the FTP mirrors rather than their own space.

    In addition, it would be possible to build such a boot image for non-x86 architectures; the reason of course, why none of these `better' approaches have replaced the current debian installer.
    • The authors should provide a jigdo file.
      I wish I had mod points right now so I could mod you as funny. Jigdo. Hahah. Funny.
  • by astrashe ( 7452 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2004 @08:57PM (#9437157) Journal
    I hope this isn't a dumb question, but...

    Do non-standard installers have an effect on security updates?

    I've wondered about that with livecd distros that can set up debian systems on a hard disk. If they draw their packages from standard sources, you'd have to figure that the updates would come through ok.

    But what about the things the installer itself sets up? Does it all come from packages that will be updated, or does some of the system come from files on the install media that aren't covered by package update?

  • by peripatetic_bum ( 211859 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2004 @12:39AM (#9438703) Homepage Journal
    Not sure why they started this since Debian has a project called Debian Installer. I have used on some very modern boards and it has really done an amazing job in detecting all my software and running a 2.4 kernel.

    Please check out Debian Installer []. I think you will be plesantly pleased

    • The new Debian installer does Debian testing. The article mentions one for woody.

      That said, I do agree that the new installer is quite straightforward and did detect all my hardware, and I agree that this new installer isn't going to be a longterm solution as the new Debian installer will be the default when sarge becomes the next stable.
      • Before installing the base system you are prompted which release you want to install: stable, testing, unstable. So AFAIK you can use debian-installer tc1 to install Woody.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI