[arch-releng] Helping with AIF

Jeremiah Dodds jeremiah.dodds at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 00:30:13 EDT 2012

Dieter Plaetinck <dieter at plaetinck.be> writes:

> On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:24:38 +0200
> Alexander Rødseth <rodseth at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> 2012/7/27 Jeremiah Dodds <jeremiah.dodds at gmail.com>:
>> > I find the "configuration bundles" idea interesting, but I wonder how
>> > much of it is needed on a per-machine basis. I haven't run into many
>> > machine-specific issues, but then again I'm sure they exist.
>> I've encountered a lot of machine-specific issues, setting up (Arch)
>> Linux on several computers. Especially laptops often need extra
>> modules loaded to make the sound card, network card or video camera to
>> work, possibly with a couple of firmware-packages thrown into the mix.
>> Specifying all it takes to set up a machine in a single, easy to read,
>> text file, shared among Arch Linux users in the same fashion as
>> AUR-packages is shared, would be an improvement, IMO.
> there's a bunch of configuration management tools written for this use case already.
> like chef, puppet, ansible. many of these concerns are relatively easy to abstract for multiple distributions,
> so writting a new tool that only targets Arch is not a good idea imho.


>> > The end-result I'm working toward is providing a service that allows
>> > people to generate linux live and install images that have what they
>> > want on them already -- I've written a proof-of-concept webapp that
>> > installs a package on a live and install cd that I intend to start a
>> > kickstarter with[1]. My goal is to allow college kids and newer linux
>> > users to create something that will give them access to the system
>> > they need or want in case of failure or circumstance, and allow it to
>> > perform (if desired) unattended installs.
> an installation of any system should put only the basic system in place (incl. a config management tool),
> everything else should be done by configuration management.
> this makes it easier to alter the configuration of a machine long after it has been installed.

I agree in principle, especially for "official" installation media. I
think there is a place for tools that handle unattended user-specific
installs in a fashion that is transparent to the user, but don't think
that conifg management should be tied to installation.

The tool that I'm building is intended as a service that automates a
process involving a few tools, not as a monolithic thing -- at least not
in the backend. I've been working on aif a bit, but I certainly wouldn't
suggest tacking a configuration management system onto it.

>> In either case: no matter the approach and no matter the authors, I'm
>> looking forward to the next generation of installers.
> configuration management should not be tied to only the installation process.


Jeremiah Dodds

github     : https://github.com/jdodds
freenode   : exhortatory

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