Release Engineering


FS#11373 - Automated Install (aif automatic procedure to replace quickinst)

Attached to Project: Release Engineering
Opened by Jeff Anderson (programmerq) - Monday, 01 September 2008, 23:22 GMT
Last edited by Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be) - Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 21:39 GMT
Task Type Feature Request
Category AIF
Status Closed
Assigned To Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be)
Architecture All
Severity Medium
Priority Normal
Reported Version None
Due in Version 2009.08-alpha
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 0
Private No


I am in charge of creating a net install method at work for arch linux. We have computer labs running Fedora, and we want to move to Arch. I've read through the various tools and looked at existing solutions, and I feel the best way to proceed will be to modify the existing arch linux installer. I'd really love to see my efforts pushed upstream.

Basically the installer itself is what I'll mainly be working on. It is simply a shell script. At the top I'll basically download the "kickstart" script for the installer portion, which will also be a bash script that gets sourced. It will contain variables that are usually set by the installer itself. The installer will have to be modified to check to see if a variable is set before asking the user for input-- this will make it easy for the creator of the kickstart script to see what values are causing some problem that might come up. The arch installer will prompt for a new value using the existing menu system just as it would if it had been given the same faulty response through the menu system.

The other component that needs to be modified is the initramfs image creation scripts. Currently the initramfs scripts only look for cd-rom drives or usb drives for the sqfs image. It'll need to be able to pull this image off the network via http, nfs, tftp, or some other method. Preferably, it should be able to support at least http/ftp.

I'm going to be implementing, testing, and using this. I'm just starting on this project, so I don't have any code to contribute, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to open a feature request to see if any arch devs believe that this would be beneficial.

One of my goals is to try to eliminate as much code duplication as I can, and keep things as minimalistic as possible. I'm trying to keep the arch design philosophy as I plan this out.
I will post urls for my git repos once I have them publicly available.
This task depends upon

Closed by  Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be)
Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 21:39 GMT
Reason for closing:  Implemented
Additional comments about closing:  The automatic procedure has been implemented.

Try for example:
aif -p automatic -d /usr/share/aif/examples/generic-install- on-sda
Comment by Jan de Groot (JGC) - Tuesday, 02 September 2008, 07:39 GMT
Automatic installation is as simple as scripting partitioning using sfdisk, then mounting those partitions in a directory and running pacman -r /mnt/root -S base to install the base system. After that you can use a batch script to run grub and you're done with an automatic basic installation.
Comment by Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be) - Friday, 23 January 2009, 16:49 GMT
Jeff, have a look at AIF. it will be used as the new arch installer in the near future.
Also, it will contain an automated install feature. this feature is still early in development though.


aif will be on the next Arch release iso's, though that's a stable release, without the automatic procedure. But you can easily install the bleeding edge version if you want. See
Comment by Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be) - Wednesday, 11 March 2009, 22:11 GMT
Status update: the automatic procedure is making progress.

try for example:
aif -p automatic -d /usr/share/aif/examples/generic-install-on-sda

I want this to work for the next release, so we have a good replacement for quickinst.