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LCFG Linux install redevelopment

Project ID: 
68
Current stage: 
Manager: 
Unit: 
What: 

Description: This project will redevelop the LCFG linux install technology, possibly integrated with PIE.

Deliverables: An improved linux install technology.

Why: 

Customer: Computing Staff (and external LCFG customers)

Case statement: If we don't do this, we will need to build, and keep up-to-date our own install kernel. This is time-consuming.

UPDATE Oct 2009: it is suspected that the current install technology will not work with RHEL6.

When: 

Status: Prioritised for Nov 2009 -> April 2010 project round.

Timescales:

Priority: In project list for Nov 2009 -> April 2010

Time:

How: 

Proposal: The LCFG linux install technology relies on the install kernel being able
to mount the installroot filesystem directory, off eg a CD. This requires the driver for the relevant hardware (eg IDE CD) to be compiled into the kernel. Stock FC6 kernels, and late FC5 kernels, no longer have compiled-in CD support. Our current workaround is to build our own LCFG install kernel.

One possibility is to modify the install technology so that the initial boot will
be off an initrd image which will probe for suitable drivers, mount and then chroot into the installroot.

At the same time, we should look at integrating the IS PIE technology with
the LCFG install technology.

Resources: Around 3 - 4 weeks. Possibly less if Alastair does it as he knows his way around the existing code.

Plan:

  1. Investigate stock distro install mechanisms and Live CDs
  2. Discuss with IS their plans for PIE
  3. Poll for any requested improvements/enhancements
  4. Experiment with technologies found in step 1
  5. Decide on (with/without IS) solution
  6. Implement and package
  7. Test (for PXE and CD/DVD)
  8. Document
  9. Introduce into service
Other: 

Dependencies:

Risks:

Milestones

Proposed date Achieved date Name Description
2010-02-10 2010-02-10 4 Experiment Experiment with technologies found in step 1
2010-02-14 2010-02-05 2 Discuss IS Discuss with IS their plans for PIE
2010-02-10 3 Information Poll for any requested improvements/enhancements
2010-01-29 2010-01-29 1 Investigate Investigate stock distro install mechanisms and Live CDs
2010-02-15 2010-02-15 5 Decide Decide on (with/without IS) solution
2010-04-16 2010-04-09 6 Implement Implement and package
2010-04-28 2010-04-19 7 Test Test (for PXE and CD/DVD)
2010-05-14 2010-04-21 8 Document Document (inc service catalogue entry, if appropriate)
2010-04-30 2010-04-19 9 Deploy Deploy into service
2010-07-01 2010-07-01 10 CodeReview Code Review