KVM, virt-manager, etc.

Soren Hansen soren at ubuntu.com
Fri Feb 1 14:15:42 GMT 2008

On Fri, Feb 01, 2008 at 11:04:50AM +0000, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
>> I think we're not entirely on the same page here.
>> If we want to make the install process a no-questions-asked,
>> background thing, it's probably not going to involve booting from the
>> ISO (unless there is a simple way to provide preseed files through
>> kvm that I have not thought of), 

It turns out, that there *is* a simple way to do that. More about that

>> but rather some variant of debootstrap + additional configuration
>> magic. This is what my vm-builder script does now.
> You're correct that this isn't going to involve booting from the ISO,
> but it isn't because automating installation from the ISO is
> difficult.  It's because there isn't an ISO on the system to boot
> from.

Good point. :)

> Think about this from the perspective of someone doing a fresh
> installation of Ubuntu.  They boot up the system for the first time,
> and want to try out this "virtualization stuff".

Right. There are a few options as I see it. 

We can present the user with the option to

a) provide the CD or ISO image, if he/she has it available already.
b) offer to download the complete ISO.
c) offer to download a minimal installer (the mini.iso from d-i) and
fetch the rest ad-hoc.

When we have the ISO, we can preseed the installer with data from the
GUI.  At some point, I imagine some variant of ubiquity could be used
for this, but I don't think there's time for that for hardy.

>> debootstrap can use a local mirror, so what I'm thinking is to add a
>> script that can take the CD and turn it into a local mirror for
>> debootstrap to use.
> And I'm telling you that the place that script would need to run is in
> the installer, because that's the only time when you have the CD
> available.

Well, yes, it's the only time I can be *sure* to have it available.

What I meant was that if as user happened to have the CD available, I'd
provide a script he could run later to create a mirror of the CD. This
is particularly useful if you (for whatever reason) want to deploy
several different versions of Ubuntu as you can keep a local mirror of
all of them, not only the one you happen to be running on the host

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
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