Posted May 25, 2012 7:38 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Parent article: Moving on
What I would like to see is that instead of a hundred different packages a installation is nothing more then a wizard to help you setup file systems and the bootloader then have it fire down a file system image to the disk.
Just have it be a base system install in just one big tarball. Then if people want to install or customize the system they can do so after they get it installed.
If there is enough space to stick a GUI on the installer then have another big Gnome tarball that gets extracted over the base install tarball.
That should simplify things and speed up the process considerably. Maybe save space also. Then it would open up possiblities for doing similtanious installs easily over LANs by booting up a kernel and initrd over PXE and transmitting the file system image/tarball out over ethernet multicast and HTTP.
In the future if BTRFS gets standardized for desktop installs then having a USB image with optional boot cdrom would be way to go. You can then take advantage of BTRFS's to be a read-only seed feature. You can use BTRFS file system as a read-only seed to which you can add read-write file system to.
Basically you script it so that...
Boot up the USB drive. Configure the storage. Combined the read-only USB seed file system with the read-write internal storage. And then migrate the file system completely over to the internal storage, at which then it should be possible to remove the USB drive.
This way you can do a full install to a system with just a single boot. The tasks for the end user would be to just choose the storage options and click 'yes' to install the bootloader. Then they would be finished. Just have to then update the system and reboot if there is a new kernel.
I can understand having a bagillion packages and such back in the day when disk space was at a premium, but nowadays I don't see much of a point. I think doing the 'install file system image' is a simpler approach. Just give people a standard base install they can customize after the first boot.
That's pretty much what everybody ends up doing anyways.
Of course you'd still support the end user making custom base installs for when they need to deploy a large number of systems with a specific configuration, but that can be done as a extension of what was described above.