Installation Philosophy

tfreeman at tfreeman at
Thu May 11 20:56:47 UTC 2006

With appologies for inline responses...

On Thu, 11 May 2006, Les Mikesell wrote:

> On Thu, 2006-05-11 at 13:25, tfreeman at wrote:
> > Ok. I'm through trying to be reasonable now. I'm curious if an install 
> > routine could be added to FC which starts with an absolutely minimally 
> > bootable system, to which only selected components get added at the choice 
> > of the installer.
> If you are internet-connected it makes more sense to let yum
> install the particular add-ons for specialized uses. You
> just tell it the packages you know you want to run and it
> will pull in any needed dependencies automatically.  With
> fedora it's almost certain that most of what you installed
> from the CD was obsolete and will be replaced on the
> first 'yum update' anyway.

Well, I have a somewhat narrow pipe to the greater internet so that 
impacts me somewhat to begin with. Second, when I'm playing around with a 
new release, or trying a new(er) way of setting things up, I may not 'yum 
update' right away because I figgure I'm trying to make mistakes anyway 
and will nuke and pave the system before making real use of it. I could 
also pull the updates in on another system and make a local repository, 
there by performing 'yum update' locally, but that is adding another two 
steps to the process of finding out what looks right on the hard disk.

> > >From this "working" system, in one case, I want to have a headless server. 
> > I need packages for samba, nfs, dhcp, MTA (postfix?), IMAP4 (dovecot?). 
> > For the moment I'll ignore some utilities like nut, and ssh(d) which would 
> > be excellent additions to the system. While installing X isn't going to  
> > actively hurt anything, for a headless machine X is pure waste.
> Don't forget that X is a client/server system.  It makes perfect
> sense to install a headless server, yet manage it with GUI
> programs that display on your desktop.

I havent forgotten X being client/server. I guess I should have said 
"Putting an X server on a headless machine is pure waste."

> > Note that the package/capabilities list covers only one relatively unique 
> > situation. Somebodyelses server could need a database server, but drop 
> > dhcp. Or maybe add a sound streaming server and ldap server without file 
> > shareing. And so forth.
> Yes, yum will install exactly what you tell it.  The piece that
> is possibly missing is a list of what some experienced person
> has working together for the cases where an inexperienced person
> wants to easily duplicate that exact functionality.
> > My point isn't that FC can not be customized to this type level, but the 
> > approach feels backwards to me. Packages need to be removed, or turned off 
> > and removed to reduce the security exposure. A fair amount of background 
> > knowledge is needed to do this reduction without hurting something.
> I'm not sure how much more can be done to share the knowledge or
> how safe it is to proceed by copying someone else without it,
> but the list of packages seems to be the only thing you
> need to accomplish what you ask here.
You have pointed out one, at least partial, approach working from a 
drastically minimal install and using 'yum install' afterwards, using 
either self or expert generated lists of applications to choose what to 
install. That should work, but isn't _quite_ the point I was working on.

I guess a different way to ask the point is "Is it worth the developer's 
time and resources to build an installation wizard to accomplish an 
arbitrary install pattern as "yum install" before starting to install any 

If you think Education is expensive
Try Ignorance
                   Author Unknown

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