What I learned about hacking anaconda...
...Don't hack anaconda!
It's pretty evil stuff. It "builds" with dietlibc (?!) in the CentOS 4 version.
The latest doesn't but it's unbuildable on anything other than FC5.
Oh, but that "builds" is really not quite true. It doesn't build at all. I don't know how they compiled it in the first place.
On the other hand, if you switch it to plain glibc, it crashes (no warning, no error) when running loader.
And how can you debug it? Well, you can't really, because there seems to be no way to run anaconda unless you are installing.
Why? Why not create some way to run it on a test setup?
There are no docs I could find on the internals, there is not even a damn explanation of what binary does what, so I have to track it down theoretically by mounting and examining the .img files!
Sure, I can probably hack it... but why?
Personally, I think it's better to wait until someone writes a sane installer. Then again, noone has in 12 years :-(
Dudes, here's what the installer should do:
Get you in a GUI, or text mode. It doesn't matter.
Install basic system (about 350MB, tops!)
Boot into said system
Start package management tool
Knoppix already had all the hw autodetect figured years ago. Why are we not using it everywhere?
I am just not the guy who can do it. I don't have the stamina :-P
How about the Debian installer? Recently written and as most of it is just shell, it is extremely configurable and modifible. Check it out http://www.debian.org/devel... . I have been impressed with it at least.
(First of all, sorry for my english.)
There IS a test mode in Anaconda. I've hacking for a chilean Fedora-based distro called EduLinux (http://www.edulinux.cl) and all testing has been made without need of install. Try:
anaconda --test -m nfs:/
On the other hand, documentation is really poor. But anaconda-devel list is a great resource.