A random laundry list of some significant f17 changes that should be documented

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Tue Mar 27 19:28:18 UTC 2012

Hey, guys. I would love to do the right thing and actually write this
stuff up and submit it properly, but I'm kind of overwhelmed at the
moment and just wanted to dump it somewhere quick and hope it winds up
in the right documentation :/ Much of this probably needs to go in the
Release Notes, Install Guide, or both. I haven't checked at all if
you've actually already done this, so apologies if it's already covered.

Note that I could be somewhat wrong in my understanding of any of this
stuff. If you're at all confused or thinking 'that doesn't sound right',
poke Brian Lane (bcl on IRC) for clarification. CCing Brian so he can
correct any really egregious mistakes in the below.

# btrfs is not available as a target filesystem for installation in F17:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=787341 . This is temporary.
What happened is clumens rewrote the storage backend to handle btrfs
much better, with support for its native volume management and
mirroring / striping and all its other cool features. The plan was that
the UI for this would be part of the big anaconda UI rewrite. However,
the UI rewrite got delayed to F18. So F17 has the new backend but old UI
code from the time when the backend treated btrfs as just a fairly
'dumb' filesystem like ext4. That combination results in a hard crash
when trying to use btrfs at all. Instead of trying to revert the storage
backend or hurriedly write new UI for btrfs in the old UI code, anaconda
team decided to just disable btrfs support for one release.

# The big 'noloader' change -
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/Features/NoLoader - has some
consequences, many are documented at that feature page. the 'askmethod'
parameter you used to be able to pass to anaconda so it would let you
interactively select a remote repository during stage1 from which you
could download stage2 and also packages for installation is now gone;
with the new anaconda design it just doesn't fit in any more. there
really isn't a stage split in anaconda any more, there's no
'mini-anaconda' that runs first in text mode and which could prompt you
for where to get its bigger brother. So the remaining methods of
repository selection are to use the 'repo=' parameter (or 'inst.repo=')
at boot time or to do it interactively during the package selection
phase of the install. If you're doing a direct kernel boot and need to
pull anaconda itself from the network, the 'repo=' parameter is used to
say where to find it. See
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=804506 and
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=805166 . Similar for

# Lots of anaconda parameters are spitting out a deprecation message
saying that in future they should be prefixed with inst. e.g. passing
'repo=XXX' will spit out a message saying you should use
'inst.repo=XXX'. Brian, didn't we find that inst.repo was actually
broken in some cases where repo= works, though? Or is that fixed now,
and the notes should encourage people to use inst.foo forthwith?

# This isn't actually new but it's something the Install Guide currently
doesn't cover and should. The section on creating media with dd -
https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/16/html/Installation_Guide/Making_USB_Media-UNIX_Linux-other-dd.html - should note that, if you dd a DVD image to a USB stick, unless you pass a 'repo=hd:' parameter (or possibly 'inst.repo=hd:', see above...) pointing to the stick in some way (UUID, expected mount point, label, whatever), the stick will act like the boot.iso. That is, it won't actually use the packages on the stick. It'll require a network connection, and pull in all the packages remotely. If you use livecd-iso-to-disk (which really ought to get renamed...) to write the DVD ISO to a stick, it adds a repo= parameter to the config for you, which is one reason it's better to use l-i-t-d.

# Bill Nottingham and I, somewhat sneakily, stuck NetworkManager into
@core last week. Amazingly, the torch-and-pitchfork-bearing mob has not
yet found us. See https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=693602 for
details, including ass-covering statistics on why we did this (so the
network actually freaking works out of the box on a minimal install),
how many additional packages this causes to be installed (not many) and
how much extra disk space it causes to be used (not much). You should
still be able to install without NetworkManager if you really, really
want to, by using a kickstart in which it's specifically excluded in the
%packages section, and you can still 'yum remove' it.

I feel like I had other things to mention but I forget them now. If they
come to mind, I'll send another mail. Thanks!
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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