FAQ
Hi,

Today I got a nice feature request from an OpenSUSE friend :)

When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you do not
need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to look up what the
correct mirror address is.

The actual suggestion was to have a pull-down list of mirrors per country,
but with our mirror-setup a single entry would most likely do anyway. Plus
it keeps the changes to anaconda down to a minimum !

This maybe something that we could take with us for CentOS 5.2 (and 4.7
and a 3.9 respin ?)

PS I know I have been in a similar situation in the old RH9 days :)
--
-- dag wieers, dag@wieers.com, http://dag.wieers.com/ --
[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]

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  • Bogdan Costescu at Feb 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

    On Mon, 4 Feb 2008, Dag Wieers wrote:

    When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
    centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you
    do not need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to
    look up what the correct mirror address is.
    While most of CentOS installs that I make use NFS from a local mirror,
    I've also been in the past in the situation described and have wished
    to have an address at hand.

    +1

    --
    Bogdan Costescu

    IWR, University of Heidelberg, INF 368, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    Phone: +49 6221 54 8869/8240, Fax: +49 6221 54 8868/8850
    E-mail: bogdan.costescu@iwr.uni-heidelberg.de
  • Sean O'Sullivan at Feb 5, 2008 at 11:51 am

    On Mon, 4 Feb 2008 20:39:10 +0100 (CET) Dag Wieers wrote:

    Hi,

    Today I got a nice feature request from an OpenSUSE friend :)

    When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
    centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you do
    not need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to look up
    what the correct mirror address is.
    The actual suggestion was to have a pull-down list of mirrors per
    country, but with our mirror-setup a single entry would most likely do
    anyway. Plus it keeps the changes to anaconda down to a minimum !
    This maybe something that we could take with us for CentOS 5.2 (and 4.7
    and a 3.9 respin ?)

    I think a major problem with implementing the above is lack of proxy
    support in anaconda : https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id1988


    Se??n



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  • Johnny Hughes at Feb 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Se?n O Sullivan wrote:
    On Mon, 4 Feb 2008 20:39:10 +0100 (CET)
    Dag Wieers wrote:
    Hi,

    Today I got a nice feature request from an OpenSUSE friend :)

    When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
    centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you do
    not need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to look up
    what the correct mirror address is.
    The actual suggestion was to have a pull-down list of mirrors per
    country, but with our mirror-setup a single entry would most likely do
    anyway. Plus it keeps the changes to anaconda down to a minimum !
    This maybe something that we could take with us for CentOS 5.2 (and 4.7
    and a 3.9 respin ?)

    I think a major problem with implementing the above is lack of proxy
    support in anaconda : https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id1988
    Well .. I am not necessarily against this, HOWEVER one other major issue
    is that by our most important goal, we are (be design) trying to
    absolutely minimize any code changes that are not in upstream products.

    Adding a default mirror to the anaconda would do 2 things:

    1. Greatly increase our traffic from where ever we decide to put there
    ... probably mirror.centos.org. Anaconda does not work with a
    mirrorlist option. This means a default would have to be obtained with
    new code or we would have to use something like mirror.centos.org and
    give out 1 mirror that can be controlled by geoip. However, I am not
    sure we can handle a 100x increase in our infrastructure bandwidth
    requirements (not sure it would go up that much, just throwing out a
    number) and still provide normal updates.

    2. May somehow impact anaconda and introduce bugs that do not exist
    upstream.

    ====================================================================
    Anyway, again I am not necessarily against doing this, but I don't think
    that centos.org infrastructure is where we want to drive this to by
    adding a default.

    Instead, a well written wiki article that points to the centos public
    mirrors page and allows users to pick their closest mirror ... maybe
    even a script that can be used from another machine in that location to
    get several up2date and close mirrors (the [base] repo which provides
    the server and path that is needed) from mirrorlist.centos.org.

    We might even include that script in anaconda that can pull the current
    mirrorlist for the base repo ... but I think that you can not go to
    alt-f2/f3 in this stage of the install process to run it.

    I am sure that Daniel de Kok or Karanbir could write something in python
    that would go get the info from mirrorlist.centos.org and make it
    selectable ... and we could add it to anaconda for http installs (maybe
    a dropdown box that pulls server names from mirrorlist.centos.org and
    populates a box ... if you pick one, it fills in the data). It would
    probably not work through proxy servers (since anaconda does not now
    anyway). I am not sure how difficult that would be or if we want to add
    that kind of code to anaconda based on reason 2 above.

    It is hard enough to get anaconda to work when we just take out the
    trademarks ... actually adding major functionality like this might be
    too hard to maintain, but I will defer to Daniel and KB on this one.

    Thanks,
    Johnny Hughes

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  • David Hrbáč at Feb 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm
    Johnny Hughes napsal(a):
    I am sure that Daniel de Kok or Karanbir could write something in python
    that would go get the info from mirrorlist.centos.org and make it
    selectable ... and we could add it to anaconda for http installs (maybe
    a dropdown box that pulls server names from mirrorlist.centos.org and
    populates a box ... if you pick one, it fills in the data). It would
    probably not work through proxy servers (since anaconda does not now
    anyway). I am not sure how difficult that would be or if we want to add
    that kind of code to anaconda based on reason 2 above.
    Johnny,
    I've been looking on anaconda yesterday to think about implementation
    and it seems to me now, that it's much harder than to write some code in
    python. As for me I guess the mirror list is useful in network text mode
    install mainly... and here we go with C not python. So, although I find
    it a nice feature, I think we should stick with upstream and rather
    teach end-users to use kickstart properly.
    David
  • Dag Wieers at Feb 8, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    On Tue, 5 Feb 2008, Johnny Hughes wrote:

    Se?n O Sullivan wrote:
    On Mon, 4 Feb 2008 20:39:10 +0100 (CET)
    Dag Wieers wrote:
    Today I got a nice feature request from an OpenSUSE friend :)

    When doing a network installation, it could be useful to have a
    centos-mirror pre-registered into the installation form so that you do
    not need a second system (or a reboot to your previous OS) to look up
    what the correct mirror address is.
    The actual suggestion was to have a pull-down list of mirrors per
    country, but with our mirror-setup a single entry would most likely do
    anyway. Plus it keeps the changes to anaconda down to a minimum !
    This maybe something that we could take with us for CentOS 5.2 (and 4.7
    and a 3.9 respin ?)

    I think a major problem with implementing the above is lack of proxy
    support in anaconda : https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id1988
    Well .. I am not necessarily against this, HOWEVER one other major issue is
    that by our most important goal, we are (be design) trying to absolutely
    minimize any code changes that are not in upstream products.

    Adding a default mirror to the anaconda would do 2 things:

    1. Greatly increase our traffic from where ever we decide to put there ...
    probably mirror.centos.org. Anaconda does not work with a mirrorlist option.
    This means a default would have to be obtained with new code or we would have
    to use something like mirror.centos.org and give out 1 mirror that can be
    controlled by geoip. However, I am not sure we can handle a 100x increase in
    our infrastructure bandwidth requirements (not sure it would go up that much,
    just throwing out a number) and still provide normal updates.
    Indeed, we need to consider the implications. I was thinking of using the
    geoip setup for this. (Otherwise the changes to the interface would indeed
    be much more complex allowing users to select a mirror...)

    I doubt however that the increase would be 100x, as most people that have
    the boot medium most likely would have everything on CD. It is only useful
    for people booting from USB or a specially devised installation CD.

    If you are in the situation where you have a local HTTP mirror, you
    obviously would be changing the default CentOS mirror. So I think it would
    be very convenient only to people that otherwise would be have to look up
    the correct URL and providing it themselves.

    If this would not be acceptable nevertheless, than I would propose to
    write the mirror-information somewhere on the dialog so people that need
    it can retype.

    2. May somehow impact anaconda and introduce bugs that do not exist upstream.

    ====================================================================>
    Anyway, again I am not necessarily against doing this, but I don't think that
    centos.org infrastructure is where we want to drive this to by adding a
    default.

    Instead, a well written wiki article that points to the centos public mirrors
    page and allows users to pick their closest mirror ... maybe even a script
    that can be used from another machine in that location to get several up2date
    and close mirrors (the [base] repo which provides the server and path that is
    needed) from mirrorlist.centos.org.

    We might even include that script in anaconda that can pull the current
    mirrorlist for the base repo ... but I think that you can not go to alt-f2/f3
    in this stage of the install process to run it.

    I am sure that Daniel de Kok or Karanbir could write something in python that
    would go get the info from mirrorlist.centos.org and make it selectable ...
    and we could add it to anaconda for http installs (maybe a dropdown box that
    pulls server names from mirrorlist.centos.org and populates a box ... if you
    pick one, it fills in the data). It would probably not work through proxy
    servers (since anaconda does not now anyway). I am not sure how difficult that
    would be or if we want to add that kind of code to anaconda based on reason 2
    above.

    It is hard enough to get anaconda to work when we just take out the trademarks
    ... actually adding major functionality like this might be too hard to
    maintain, but I will defer to Daniel and KB on this one.
    Well, I agree with the fact that CentOS should modify as little as
    possible, obviously. But this is not something that Red Hat will ever do
    and therefor the feature request is very specific to CentOS.

    I would propose to keep it simple by doing either:

    Fill in a geoip location for the server and directory name by
    default, people that do not need it have to type their own
    location anyway

    or:

    Put that information in the same dialog so people can retype it
    when they need it

    Everything else is not a real improvement as it requires people to have
    Internet access at the same moment (or think about it in advance). In
    certain situations you don't know in advance you are going to need this.

    Including this geoip mirror for HTTP installations in the release notes
    on the media would be a bonus as well.

    If there is a wiki-page that keeps a list of things to include in future
    CentOS release (or versions) I will put it there.

    --
    -- dag wieers, dag@centos.org, http://dag.wieers.com/ --
    [Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]

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