[PC-BSD Testing] pc-sysinstall questions

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Sun Nov 22 13:41:53 PST 2009

On Sun, 22 Nov 2009, Dru Lavigne wrote:

> Lots of questions this week. These are the ones dealing with pc-sysinstall:
> should /home be added to pc-sysinstall/conf/exclude-from-upgrade? Is this file also read during a restore?

A restore assumes that you are restoring from a full backup, so the disk gets wiped, and everything is replaced
from the backed up files. So in this case, it isn't necessary to exclude anything on a restore. When you upgrade,
we only exclude certian files, and then re-extract an install image to the disk. In the case of /home, none of
the install images have any /home data in them so and exclusion is unnecessary at this point.

> installMedium= variable in pcinstall.cfg: is usb a choice or is it just ftp, dvd, rsync?

usb is also a choice, if you are installing from a USB stick / disk. It'll attempt looking for the install
images from /dev/da* instead of cd9660 cd* devices.

> packageType= variable: is uzip correct choice for PC-BSD and tar for FreeBSD? when should you use lzma?

Our PC-BSD default image will be uzip compressed, which allows us to run the DVD in Live mode, while
FreeBSD will be a tarball. Of course, a user could hack up their own ISO, and include a PC-BSD tarbar,
or FreeBSD uzip image, which is why this can be set. I've removed lzma from those example files, that
was from an earlier version of the installer, and we aren't going to include it for the time being.

> does pcinstall.cfg support the packageAdd variable for adding packages to FreeBSD install?

Not at the moment, but I may throw that in with a future version of the pc-sysinstall, depending upon
demand. Right now we don't include any FreeBSD packages on our install disks.

> what happens if any of these variables are left blank or are missing?
> rootPass=, userName=, userComment=, userShell=, userHome=   i.e. does the install continue? will the system just boot with root
> logged in?

If any of those are left blank, they just won't be acted upon. This comes in handy when doing a restore, and we
already have users from the backup set, and we don't need to add new ones. Or an example would be if somebody
rolls their own Free/PC BSD tarball with users / root password already created, and doesn't need to add more.

> why is the operator group included in userGroups= ?

We have used it to allow some user mounting of removable media on 7.x, with HAL, etc. I'll make a note to check if we
still need that in 8.0, and we'll remove it if so.

> what is the difference between runCommand= and runExtCommand= ?

runCommand= is a command you wish to run in a chroot environment of the installed system, which may
be useful if you have some script / command to run post-install on the system.

Here's some of the info from the new examples/README

# Run any commands post-install
# runCommand & runScript are run within chroot of FSMNT
# runScript will copy the specified script into FSMNT, and run it in chroot
# runExtCommand is run on the liveFS

I'm going to try and finish examples/README tomorrow, I'll ping you when
its ready so you can check it out.

> is there a syntax checker for pcinstall.cfg? what happens if there is a typo in this file?

Yes, it can't be run manually, but when you start an install, it does some basic sanity
checking for the main commands to ensure their aren't typo's. It doesn't check stuff for users,
extra commands, etc.

> startautoinstall.sh fails with: .: Can't open /functions.sh: No such file or directory

I've commited some fixes to that script now. To run it you need to execute this way:

# cd /pc-sysinstall
# ./pc-sysinstall start-autoinstall <full path to your pc-autoinstall.conf>

> Cheers,
> Dru

Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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