[Installer] PC-BSD 8 installer (long)

Ivan Voras ivoras at freebsd.org
Mon May 18 12:02:22 PDT 2009

2009/5/18 Kris Moore <kris at pcbsd.com>:

> For the new installer, I think we need to approach a backend/frontend
> driven hybrid model.
> I.E
> The front-end should be able to query the backend for pieces of
> information, such as available disks, partition information, networking
> availability, etc. Then the front-end can use this information to work
> its logic and allow the user to make their selections in any way it sees
> fit. Once the front-end is "ready to install", it then takes the users
> selections, and simply writes a small configuration file for the
> installer backend, such as pcinstall.cfg. Then the backend takes over
> and performs the installation automatically, and only provides
> information to the front-end to display the progress.


> Backends
> --------------------
> With this type of model, the most important question is going to be how
> we do the backend, since it'll be responsible for the actual
> installation itself. I know we've looked at finstall and bsdinstaller,
> but I'm not 100% certain they could do what I'm talking about without a
> lot of re-writing. I'll let Ivan and Scott answer that respectively,
> since they know those backends far better than I do :)

What you described (or to be more precise in case I missed something
important: what I quoted above) matches 100% what finstall does,
except that data is not passed via a .cfg file but as a series of RPC
calls. OTOH, these RPC calls can be scripted in a file so it's also
doable. This script/file feature can be implemented in several ways,
it's something to be discussed if needed.

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