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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:

  1. Get you in a GUI, or text mod­­e. It does­n't mat­ter.

  2. Par­ti­­tion disks

  3. In­­stall ba­sic sys­tem (about 350M­B, top­s!)

  4. In­­stall boot­load­­er

  5. Boot in­­­to said sys­tem

  6. Con­­fig­ure net­­work

  7. 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

Christian McHugh / 2006-04-08 19:08:

How about the Debian installer? Recently written and as most of it is just shell, it is extremely configurable and modifible. Check it out . I have been impressed with it at least.

OCIOMax / 2006-04-11 19:35:

(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 ( and all testing has been made without need of install. Try:

export PYTHONPATH=/usr/lib/anaconda
export PATH="$PATH:/usr/lib/anaconda-runtime"
anaconda --test -m nfs:/

On the other hand, documentation is really poor. But anaconda-devel list is a great resource.

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-11 20:21:

Awesome :-)

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