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NetBSD-SoC: Sysinst enhancements

What is it?

The main goal of the project is to add to NetBSD installer (sysinst) ability  to install system to GPT-ed, LVM-ed, encrypted disks, RAIDs and to disk images (vnconfig). Also there are additional goals: improve sysinst usability and rewrite some utilities for more code sharing with sysinst.

Traditional partitioning format (MBR) doesn't support large HDDs currently in use. Problem fixing by goes to GPT, but there is some barriers to use GPT in NetBSD: installing to GPT-partitioned disk require much more skills and free time to installing by hand. Current disk tools are rather hard to use, and partition names may confuse user.

Anything aforesaid actual also for CGD, LVM and RAID, except that these technologies in most cases needed by experienced users and system administrators, who can manually configure all that needed. Nevertheless implementing appropriate features in sysinst (together with planned automated install support) may save many time and nerves for user. Most stages of install process can be automatized by advanced user in simple shell script, except disk partitioning since it require attention and manual work.

Also sysint have a bit little defects in usability. In this direction I'm planning to do work including: splitting all installation process to separate steps and adding ability to run some step independently i.e. disk partitioning or extracting tar-files (useful when /targetroot already mounted by hand), add menu back option, improve network configuration dialog.

Timeline

Deliverables

Mandatory (must-have) components:

Optional (would-be-nice) components:

See ftp://uzix.us.to/gsoc2012/ for downloads.

References

Technical Details

[Documentation of existing NetBSD interfaces used, new interfaces created, pointers to header-files, section .2/.3/.9 manpages created and used, etc.]
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Eugene Lozovoy <uzix dot ls at gmail dot com>
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