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Old 04-21-2004, 07:46 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Valencia, espaņa
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text/GUI installer for gnu/linux distro

hi all
I'm surpirised this hasn't come up before except in the 'tell me how to build a new linux distribution threads'. Basically i'm looking for information on installers for linux distros. Namely:

What size of project is it to build an installer if we consider that a prototype system is built. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the slackware installer (Text screen, choose a kernel, run the chosen partition program, define mount points, install packages and sort out bootloader)
From what i can see the installer part is actualy fairly easy since IMHO the really tech programs are written (respect) and just need launching when required during installation.

Anyone know any good resources for the above or can recommend installers worth hacking around with ?

Lastly, i guess its best to build in C right ? and (don't take this last part to seriously) do u think theretically it would be possible to do this in java (just for the laugh). . .inefficient, pointless and uneccessary yes but interesting none the less. . .BTW i don't actually intend to do use java, just a theoretical thing

Thanks for your time people
Old 04-21-2004, 02:21 PM   #2
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Well, like you say it's just a matter of linking together the different programs you need to install Linux. Basically it's just one long script. I think the hardest part would be creating the menu itself (ncurses scares me!).

Rather than C I would probably use Python...very fast development, full access to system commands, and best of all, relatively easy to program in. I seem to recall that Redhat's installer is written (at least in part) in python, but I was never able to find the source.

I'd be interested to see what you come up with, as I am slowly working on my own small linux distro/rescue/live disk intended to fit on a 210 MB mini-CDR. Not sure if I intend to have it install on a HDD though...

Good luck!
Old 04-22-2004, 06:33 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Valencia, espaņa
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Thanks for the reply, I luckily came across this guide today, its got some basic shell scripts for installing a mimimized linux, based on the debian installer.

i agree ncurses is going to be important but there is plenty of documentation so it should be ok. It also just occured to me that the installation scripts could be on my machine somewhere so i'll have a look later when i get back home. (is this right ? because if so it could all be starting to come together )

good luck with your project bulliver


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