[CentOS-devel] Anaconda improvement for network installs

Tue Feb 5 13:31:51 UTC 2008
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

Seán O Sullivan wrote:
> On Mon, 4 Feb 2008 20:39:10 +0100 (CET)
> Dag Wieers <dag at wieers.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Today I got a nice feature request from an OpenSUSE friend :)
>> When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
>> centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you do
> not need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to look up
> what the correct mirror address is.
>> The actual suggestion was to have a pull-down list of mirrors per
> country, but with our mirror-setup a single entry would most likely do
> anyway. Plus it keeps the changes to anaconda down to a minimum !
>> This maybe something that we could take with us for CentOS 5.2 (and 4.7
> and a 3.9 respin ?)
> I think a major problem with implementing the above is lack of proxy
> support in anaconda : https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=141988

Well .. I am not necessarily against this, HOWEVER one other major issue 
is that by our most important goal, we are (be design) trying to 
absolutely minimize any code changes that are not in upstream products.

Adding a default mirror to the anaconda would do 2 things:

1.  Greatly increase our traffic from where ever we decide to put there 
... probably mirror.centos.org.  Anaconda does not work with a 
mirrorlist option.  This means a default would have to be obtained with 
new code or we would have to use something like mirror.centos.org and 
give out 1 mirror that can be controlled by geoip.  However, I am not 
sure we can handle a 100x increase in our infrastructure bandwidth 
requirements (not sure it would go up that much, just throwing out a 
number) and still provide normal updates.

2.  May somehow impact anaconda and introduce bugs that do not exist 


Anyway, again I am not necessarily against doing this, but I don't think 
that centos.org infrastructure is where we want to drive this to by 
adding a default.

Instead, a well written wiki article that points to the centos public 
mirrors page and allows users to pick their closest mirror ... maybe 
even a script that can be used from another machine in that location to 
get several up2date and close mirrors (the [base] repo which provides 
the server and path that is needed) from mirrorlist.centos.org.

We might even include that script in anaconda that can pull the current 
mirrorlist for the base repo ... but I think that you can not go to 
alt-f2/f3 in this stage of the install process to run it.

I am sure that Daniel de Kok or Karanbir could write something in python 
that would go get the info from mirrorlist.centos.org and make it 
selectable ... and we could add it to anaconda for http installs (maybe 
a dropdown box that pulls server names from mirrorlist.centos.org and 
populates a box ... if you pick one, it fills in the data). It would 
probably not work through proxy servers (since anaconda does not now 
anyway). I am not sure how difficult that would be or if we want to add 
that kind of code to anaconda based on reason 2 above.

It is hard enough to get anaconda to work when we just take out the 
trademarks ... actually adding major functionality like this might be 
too hard to maintain, but I will defer to Daniel and KB on this one.

Johnny Hughes

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