Ten years ago today, msw made the very first commit to anaconda. A graphical installer for Red Hat Linux. A tool to make Linux more accessible to the masses by making it easier to install than the (at the time) text based newt installer.
Today, nearly 19000 commits later, the progress continues. And in one of those somewhat expected twists, we’re actually now deprecating the (interactive) text mode and stripping it to its very core. The graphical install has succeeded, I think, beyond what anyone would have expected.
That said, hopefully I won’t be writing a post like this in another ten years 😉
This week (and last) saw me spending a bit more time on “Fedora-y” things than I have been over the past while in an effort to try to help shore various pieces up in preparation for the Fedora 11 beta. Although the beta is actually going to go out a little later than the initial plan, it’s been a good run and there have been some good things accomplished.
First on the list was testing out the livecd. As is often the case, there were a variety of things which had either entirely or partially broken. Also, there was a (good) suggestion to go ahead and install xguest with the live image so that people can take advantage of the good work that Dan has done there. Luckily, this was all pretty straight-forward things and involved a few fixes here and there.
They did, though, highlight the fact that we lose out on some pretty valuable testing by not making live images available more regularly. The problems always come down, though, to how would we distribute such images — the mirrors probably wouldn’t like 700 megs x 2 arches x n spins (at least desktop + KDE would make sense) churning on a daily basis I don’t think. Especially since live images aren’t rsync-able. Would people be okay with torrent only distribution of more frequent snapshots? And be okay with live snapshots that were just produced in an automated fashion without any testing at all before they go out? Comments appreciated 🙂
The bigger thing that took some time was helping to get the new anaconda storage code working with the live install. This is something which isn’t big and glitzy because right now, it’s all unglamarous backend code. But Dave Lehman hammered out a nice start to overhaul the storage code in anaconda to take into account more of the things which are “modern” storage/partitioning needs. This has then been supplemented by an avalanche of patches from the rest of the anaconda team to get things into shape. My patches were some small ones to deal with some of the more interesting quirks with how we do an install from the livecd. Luckily, as of this afternoon, it looks like we have something there that will work pretty nicely. A shout out to the anaconda dudes for the hard work they’ve been putting into getting it into shape and pulling out what was one of the last pieces of anaconda that’s more than five years old. In Fedora 12, hopefully we can move on to the next step which is overhauling the user experience for partitioning in a major way.