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Native Anaconda Support for Installs via USB Flash Stick

Hello List,

  The company I work for has a need to be able to install Fedora onto
several different hardware configurations via a USB thumb drive.  As far as
I can currently tell, the only way to install via a thumb drive is to treat
it like a hard drive and tell Anaconda which device it is.  We would like to
see something like the "cdrom" install method, where we would just say
"flash" in the kickstart and kernel options, and then Anaconda would take
care of the rest.

  I have been looking into this for the past few days and have begun to
modify the source accordingly.  I am adding a flashinstall.c module to the
loader, and the next step would be to modify the python code of Anaconda

  Once the loader is ready to pass things off to Anaconda, there are two
ways (as I see it) to proceed.  Anaconda itself, like the loader, can be
modified to find the flash device and install from there, or the loader can
just modify the kickstart file when it is installing it into /tmp/ks.cfg.
In the latter case, it would create an hd: entry so that when Anaconda takes
over, it would just pretend it was installing from a normal hard drive.
That method is a little more straightforward, having fewer new code paths to
maintain, but nothing else seems to do anything like that.

  Does anybody have any thoughts about the best way to do this?  Also, once
it is done and working, is this something that the community would be
interested in having?  I would love to see this go into the upstream
Anaconda source so that others can use it.  Either way, the source code will
be available should anybody care to peruse it.

Thank you for your time in responding.


  Jason Maestri

Jason C. Maestri
Senior Software Engineer
Solera Networks
O (801) 623.5192
C (801) 867.7654


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