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loader/stage2 interaction



I think everyone's familiar with the mess that is prompting for the
method in loader and fetching the stage2 image.  It's too late to do
anything for F9 besides patch the bugs, but it's time to start thinking
about what to do for F10.  So, let's start thinking about it.

The way I see it, the loader currently does the following things
regarding setting up the method:

- Support the following installation sources:  http/ftp, dvd/cd, nfs,
  nfsiso, hdiso.  It'd also be nice to support regular hd installs.
- If stage2= is given, use that as the stage2 image.
- If there's a CD in the drive and there's a stage2 image on it, use
  that.  stage2= overrides this.
- Support configuration from UI, cmdline, and kickstart.
- Configure and bring up the network if required for a method.
- DVD/CD should prompt for media check.
- Each method implies certain locations for updates.img, product.img,
  etc. that are checked for automatically.

Those are the current features, best I can see.  Are there any of these
features we want to do away with?  Does anything no longer make sense?

Now for the more controversial stuff.  Here's what I would like to see
happen in this area for F10.  All these things are open for discussion,
so jump right in.

- There shouldn't be any differences between booting off the network and
  booting off media.
- loader should be moving to just doing what is required to fetch and
  mount the stage2 image.  This can perhaps include inferring an
  installation repo based on the location of the stage2 image, but the

  Problem:  If the user booted off a CD and we don't have any method
  configuration screen, the implied updates.img and product.img checks
  will never work.
- We shouldn't be checking if the inferred repo is valid in any way,
  perhaps except that we can at least mount it (if the method requires
  that).  This requires making the repo editor in stage2 more useful.
  It also separates the loader from the payload it's installing more.
  In particular, any remaining .discinfo checks ought to die.
- We shouldn't leave the repo mounted at the end of loader.

  Problem:  RHupdates/ will no longer work.
  Problem:  This means both loader and stage2 will have to have some
  code for mounting installation sources.  This probably isn't such a
  big problem because stage2 will already require it for error
  handling.
- Part of the last one... we should copy the stage2 image out of its
  initial location.  My reasoning for this is still that it makes
  error handling easier when the repo has trouble.  This requires
  making the repo editor more useful too.

  Problem:  This increases the memory requirements, which no one likes.

Your thoughts?  Once we at least have some concept of what should be
going on, I can get started on working on a code design - hopefully one
that removes a lot more than it adds.

- Chris


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