Server Flavors [Was: Re: Platform vs Product [Was: Re: Moving w3m out of standard]]

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Tue Jun 24 02:25:29 UTC 2008

On Monday 23 June 2008 20:31, Luke L wrote:
> This sounds like an absolutely terrific idea. The next step (even
> before design) is analysis. What flavors will be offered? What level
> of customization are we talking about?
> 1) No matter how implemented, the "form" or install menu would have
> questions on:
> VM install / physical machine?
> Minimal tools / Full tools? (Tools like w3m, full vim, etc.)
> Tasks in tasksel (Servers to be installed)

Actually I expect this to go well beyond what is in tasksel.  One of the 
problems with tasksel is that it isn't very scalable.  

> 2) Will this be an install-time set of options that could optionally
> be automated, or will this be in the form of a program that spins a
> custom install ISO?

It could be either.  A lot of this is still TBD depending on the resources 
available to develop it.  The spec is not yet approved.

> While making it an install-time choice might make a tight fit on a CD,
> it would be more flexible to use, IMO.

More flexible for the small shops, but at some point I'd like to integrate 
this into some kind of PXE boot system so that large deployments can easily 
be automated.

> 3) This idea would benefit us greatest if the program (if the
> 'program' route were chosen) doing this were somehow cross-platform.
> This is not a requirement, but it would be handy.

Package install and configuration is so unique that this will be unique to 
Debian and derived distros.  There is no general solution to such a problem 
and I'm pretty convinced one isn't feasible.

> Notes) This customization could go to the extreme (Selection of
> individual packages) if a DVD or multi-CD release were available, like
> FreeBSD. I don't see that being entirely necessary, however. If this
> were made as a "Custom ISO Maker", allowing users to spin install DVDs
> with more info would be a good option.

This goes beyone just selection of packages.  That is easy to do with pre-seed 
and the Debian Installer.  The integration with FAI can provide us with a 
defined set of packages and an integrated configuration.  That's when the big 
win is in my opinion.

> I hope my ideas are of some inspiration, and that I could possibly
> help in the conception of this project.

Thanks.  Assuming this gets approved I'll pick on you for help.

Scott K

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