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Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: Upgrade path

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: Upgrade path
Date: Thu, 01 May 2008 15:53:53 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

> I don't have a CD on any of my machines (I borrow one when I make the
> initial installation), so I find it very surprising that the release
> announcement is a link to a CD image.
> If "currently" means "there is currently no way, but will be available
> soon", that's of course perfectly OK.
> What has to be done about it and what precisely is the problem for the
> lack of this crucial feature?

Sorry that this does not address the main issue, but I should point out
that using qemu with a CD image is not that bad, especially considering
how well qemu performs these days.  For those who care, I have taken
some notes indicating how qemu helped besides by just providing a
virtual CD drive:

1.  It's harder with deltah than with deltad when using a raw
(formatted) partition.  At least in the case of a raw IDE partition
which is visible under qemu using software raid, the deltah installer
insists on reformatting the partition.  However, after exiting qemu, the
raw partition is corrupt, with tons of fsck errors.  Deltad might also
have insisted on formatting, but in any case, the raw partition still
was OK.

2.  The next strategy that I tried was just using tar.  A problem that I
ran into here manifested itself in the gnome-system-tools package.  I
think the problem was caused by not being careful enough about the right
point at which to copy and transfer the files with tar and scp.  My
hunch is that I should have finished more configuration before
transferring, such as configuring the hostname for one of several
possible machines.

3.  It is not convenient for me to burn CDs, but I ended up being
surprised by how much I liked the tar method.  It allowed me to not be
so dependent on the inflexible installer, since I did not have to use a
raw partition immediately.  Now I can just generate tar files from
adaptations of a base qemu image whenever I want.

4.  While the tar method is not as direct as using software raid, it is
not too bad.  Indeed, I think it will help me minimize downtime of a
server with only one hard drive -- almost as good as migrating VMs.  (Of
course, I do not have to pay the overhead of a VM in the final
deployment, either.)

5.  For those for whom it is not obvious, using qemu makes for an easy
way to install on equipment that is older, headless, etc.  Of course,
one is also not so dependent on annoying graphical click and drool. :)

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