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Re: [PATCH v5 4/5] normal/main: Search for specific config files for net

From: Vladimir 'phcoder' Serbinenko
Subject: Re: [PATCH v5 4/5] normal/main: Search for specific config files for netboot
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:45:19 +0100

We had a discussion with Daniel and agreed on following:
1) we accept the feature
2) we want to have an option to specify grub config file. And if this option is present, the scanning would be disabled
3) to avoid multiple round-trips can we request all the possible files in parallel?

On Wed, 30 Oct 2019, 11:40 Javier Martinez Canillas, <address@hidden> wrote:
Hello Vladimir,

On 10/29/19 5:18 PM, Vladimir 'phcoder' Serbinenko wrote:
> What is the problem with main grub.cfg just including the files based on
> environment variables?

Do you mean having a grub.cfg that fetches the machine specific grub.cfg? i.e:

configfile (tftp,$net_default_server)/EFI/BOOT/grub.cfg.$net_default_ip

While is true that this could be done, is not ideal since then all the logic
to determine which config file to fetch will have to be encoded into this first
stage grub.cfg that will be downloaded by all the machines.

This policy will have to be written as a GRUB config script instead of being in
the installation server backend, that could just provide the machine specific
config files using the suffixes convention introduced by this patch-set.

And when managing a big fleet of machines the monolithic approach of having all
this policy in a single grub.cfg file could be hard to maintain and error prone.

As mentioned in the commit message, others bootloaders already support this. For
example pxelinux and yaboot. So users migrating from pxelinux and yaboot to GRUB
for PXE booting asked for this since they already have built infrastructure that
rely on this feature.

We have been carrying these patches since 2012 and our users expect this feature
to be available for their network installation environments. I also think that's
useful and gives GRUB feature parity with other bootloaders for network booting.

Best regards,
Javier Martinez Canillas
Software Engineer - Desktop Hardware Enablement
Red Hat

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