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Fedora Deciding Whether CD/DVD Installation Issues Should Still Hold Up Releases

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  • #31
    Jees, take a ticket on yourself torsion? Are you also psychic? I dont recall meeting. I know the book colours well enough to know the issies, and really could care less. Your use case makes sense to you, except you might well be a part of a small minority and Fedora have recognised this might be a thing and are discussing the possibilities to reducing potential costly time sinks for other more important.

    Do you think Fedora have forgotten how ISO's work?

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    • #32
      I kind of wish it was possible to install Linux straight from the UEFI menu/shell, without downloading any installation media. I suppose some PXE setup would work here, but wouldn't UEFI allow downloading the image from the internets?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by caligula View Post
        I kind of wish it was possible to install Linux straight from the UEFI menu/shell, without downloading any installation media. I suppose some PXE setup would work here, but wouldn't UEFI allow downloading the image from the internets?
        You can connect to an http server with ipxe. https://ipxe.org/howto/winpe
        you’re welcome

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        • #34
          Originally posted by caligula View Post
          Requires?
          Clarification: Distros don't usually ship USB disk images, in most cases they ship a "hybrid ISO" which can be written raw to a USB drive.
          There is no TECNHICAL reason why they couldn't just ship disk images you can restore on a USB drive, of course.

          Other than that, if I understood correctly, the boot process is a bit of a mess, and modern systems totally skip the ISO part and either begin by directly reading the MBR boot sector or UEFI system partition.
          AFAIK the issue is only for UEFI, because embedding a FAT32 partition with UEFI bootloaders was easier than adding the CD/DVD UEFI boot support to existing bootloaders (namely GRUB2).

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          • #35
            Originally posted by caligula View Post
            I kind of wish it was possible to install Linux straight from the UEFI menu/shell, without downloading any installation media. I suppose some PXE setup would work here, but wouldn't UEFI allow downloading the image from the internets?
            Theoretically, yes, UEFI specificantion has its own "download from http" capability https://ipxe.org/appnote/uefihttp

            But I personally never saw it implemented. (i.e. never saw how to set it up in the Setup interface of the firmware)

            Also, UEFI has the network stack (in theory) but in most cases it's disabled by default, some times it is broken, and some times it is missing outright (no surprises here, who thought UEFI firmwares have anything remotely alike, besides the boot process).

            So for most intents and purposes you are still stuck with whatever crap firmware network boot functionality your cards have, which is very meh.

            Which is why projects like iPXE are still a thing nowadays, and were updated to create EFI binaries you can run from the shell (or through rEFInd).

            iPXE is completely self-sufficient and has its own network "drivers" so it does not care in the slightest about what UEFI or BIOS or whatever else is capable of using https://ipxe.org/appnote/hardware_drivers

            You keep a USB drive with EFI partition plugged in and you can "boot" iPXE binaries and then do whatever you want.
            Last edited by starshipeleven; 12-15-2019, 10:04 AM.

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            • #36
              I would like to abandon both cd/dvd and flashdrive. Why not have a wrapper program (linux/windows) that accepts at least one parameter, the address of the ISO file.
              With the wrapper, and the ISO file being read, and with 8gig or more ram memory, alread prevalent, it will treat the ISO as a DVD and allow the installation to proceed.
              In fact, include the wrapper with the ISO which as a benefit avoids the following:
              • No need to Download an ISO, to disk, read it directly to ram.
              • No need to use dd or a USB to Flash tool to create a bootable flashdrive and subsequently
              • reboot to run the installation from the flashdrive and
              • finally reboot into the new system.
              The simple view. Every distribution includes the wrapper. When an ISO is released and an individual wants to install that Linux distribution, run the wrapper that either fetches the ISO from the web or from a Download directory. Load it up and transfer to the ISO's installer.
              Last edited by lsatenstein; 03-14-2020, 08:32 PM. Reason: confused sentences

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              • #37
                Originally posted by lsatenstein View Post
                I would like to abandon both cd/dvd and flashdrive. Why not have a wrapper program (linux/windows) that accepts at least one parameter, the address if the ISO file.
                With the wrapper, and the ISO file being read, and with 8gig or more ram memory, alread prevalent, it will treat the ISO as a DVD and allow the installation to proceed.
                In fact, replace the ISO with a integrated wrapper that has the ISO integrated. Avoid the following:
                • No need to Download an ISO,
                • No need to use dd or a USB to Flash tool to create a bootable flashdrive and subsequently
                • reboot to run the installation from the flashdrive and
                • finally reboot into the new system.
                The simple view. Every distribution includes the wrapper. When an ISO is released and an individual wants to install that Linux distribution, run the wrapper that either fetches the ISO from the web or from a Download directory. Load it up and transfer to the ISO's installer.
                Your system is plain worse.

                You are downloading the ISO in any case, with or without the "wrapper".

                To run the installer you MUST reboot because you are re-partitioning a drive, and you CANNOT guarantee that what you write in RAM is preserved on reboot, so writing in RAM is foolish. In all other cases you don't need to waste RAM like that.

                Most decent distros already include a tool to create a bootable USB drive (sometimes they also download the ISO)

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