Server Spin

Jeroen van Meeuwen kanarip at
Wed Jan 21 00:05:47 UTC 2009

David Huff wrote:
> Jeroen van Meeuwen wrote:
>> Basil Mohamed Gohar wrote:
>>> On Tue, 2009-01-20 at 10:10 +0100, Jeroen van Meeuwen wrote:
>>>> While I'm not disagreeing, why not create "single CD install media" 
>>>> with an option (in the isolinux.cfg menu) to have the minimum 
>>>> (working) set of packages be installed, and the rest of the 
>>>> installation menu interactive (partitioning, root password)?
>>>> Bearing in mind that the Fedora Project already releases CDs, and 
>>>> that I've fixed package ordering, the simplest win would be to add 
>>>> the menu entry to the isolinux.cfg, and include one kickstart file 
>>>> on the disk with just a %packages section.
>>>> A user would still be able to run the normal installation procedure, 
>>>> or supply a different kickstart on the cmdline (including the 
>>>> %packages kickstart on the cdrom?) for full automation.
> I agree that this would be a good scenario, however what I am looking 
> for is ideas on what should be included in that %package section and how 
> can we deliver this.  If we can get a good minimal package set defined 
> and accepted by the community this could be used for many different 
> applications, ie appliances, bare metal servers, or as you suggested at 
> install time.
> My experience has been that @core will not cut it because for our 
> application we also need selinux, dns, and yum, and @core also pulls in 
> a lot of stuff that is not needed.  Using core and adding kernel, 
> dnsclient, yum, and lokkit pulls in 156 packages and used 439M.  There 
> has go to be a better way to get a minimal package set....

I think we're talking about two different things here; an Appliance OS, 
and a Server Spin.

An Appliance OS first of all should not even be built using a yum 
install; A real appliance would rebuild packages removing dependencies 
not needed by said appliance, and tweaking options building it for the 
hardware it's going to run on. Also, the AOS is a running system or live 
spin based on the idea it has to be minimal, which of course has it's 
benefits but differs fundamentally nonetheless.

Second is the Server Spin, which should just give you a server you can 
then turn into a full-blown Fedora 10 Desktop Server if you want; 
starting out with the absolute minimum packages doesn't make sense here, 
but what you'd want is 1) the installation to complete as fast as 
possible, 2) the overhead of installing then updating to be as small as 
possible, 3) simple media for the cheap CD-ROM drive you're only going 
to use once or twice, while not having to exchange discs, and 4) the 
system to be in a running state ready to be used after installation 
(including sshd running and a root password set which cannot be done 
with a live spin released by the Fedora Project). The fundamental 
difference is the Server Spin (on installation media) would just help 
you take the first stab at installing a system without going through the 
package selection dialog, maybe strip down the packages yet still have a 
fully functioning system (instead of a system designed to do one 
specific thing like an appliance).

> Also how do we deliver it? Should this just be a kisckstart snippet with 
> only a %package section?  If so this could possible be included in the 
> kickstart pool.  or should this be a new comps group?

Kickstart is for package selection, comps for grouping packages. You can 
see how one complements the other, but not vice-versa.

> I have also included a package list of all the packages that are 
> installed using @core and including adding kernel, dnsclient, yum, and 
> lokkit

I'm not sure which of these packages you would want to strip off. If 
yum, then again that brings out a fundamental difference between an 
Appliance OS and a Server Spin (on installation media).

Kind regards,

Jeroen van Meeuwen

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