Author Topic: Understanding your installer  (Read 2261 times)

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Understanding your installer
« on: March 26, 2005, 05:03:17 am »
I'm trying to understand a little more about what you guys have built here.  Slowly it dawns on me how cool some of the paths you taken (or have newly created.)

Upon completing an installation, I have a custom environment just for me.  Very nice!  Looking behind the curtain...

Is the KickStart CD a "genric" bootstrap installer, which gets all of it's customizations dynamically from the device code?  (By "generic" I mean a highly customized version of the debian network installer hardwired for your needs. But, one size fits all.)

Therefore, when I refill out an installation profile, I don't need to download and burn and new KickStart CD again, I just need to feed it the new  device/activation codes.  Volia, entirely custom install.

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Understanding your installer
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2005, 09:38:55 am »
Yeah, the KickStart CD is a generic installer--the .iso is 'fixed' and is not modified based on the settings in the installation wizard.  The version is shown on the lower-left of the initial boot screen.  We recommend using the latest version only so it has the latest bug fixes.

The installer is actually not all that customized.  We didn't want to deviate from the standard Debian installer too much because then it would be difficult to merge in Debian's latest fixes, which we do everytime Debian releases a new version.  The only major modifications we made to the debian installer is 1) our own boot screen, 2) pre-seeding the installer with some default values (like partition settings, bypassing the frame buffer which cna cause problems, etc.)  and 3) After the vanilla Debian install finishes and installs a basic system, it runs our script which prompts for the device and activation code.  This script then downloads with wget from our website: activate.plutohome.com/activate.php?code=x.  That php page outputs a shell script that then does the actual custom install, installing Pluto and any options you just.  The install script just downloads the page into a file, and then runs the file.

This means if we want to add new devices, or change the way the Pluto-specific part of the installation works, you don't need a new CD.  We just make the change on our web site.