[Rule] Slinky installer, lifecycle reached end?

C David Rigby c.david.rigby at gmail.com
Mon Aug 27 08:28:07 EEST 2007

Hello Franz,

I agree with you on this, mostly because I see the main fedora becoming less
sustainable on resource constrained machines the further it develops. I have
the intention of trying to extend floppy-based slinky to fedora 7 myself,
but I've no illusions - it is sure to be a difficult task. I've been away
from fedora for a couple release cycles, so I certainly have a lot of
catching up to do. At the very least, I would like to be able to figure out
how to perform a minimal installation of fedora 7 on my old P-III system
which cannot boot from CD. For me, this might just be a question of booting
the network-installer from an image on hard disk, or creating a bootable
floppy that can launch the installation environment on the CD.

Other questions/thoughts:

   1. Is a "slimmed-down" version of fedora 7 itself still possible or
   2. Other uses for slinky, such as setting up a VM-hosted OS, have been
   proposed. Given that slinky now sets up a very minimal system for which the
   user must still install applications, maybe slinky becomes an installer
   and/or script(s) for retrieving packages from the repositories to configure
   a basic end user (or server/appliance/whatever) system?
   3. Maybe slinky should evolve towards using ISO, USB or other media as
   its delivery platform? Should we follow the trend of dropping floppy

It is interesting that fedora 7 is the basis of the OS for the One Laptop
Per Child (OLPC) project. Obviously, people are developing and using
fedora-based GNU/Linux for resource constrained systems. Probably not
applicable to RULE's goals of selecting appropriate packages from an
existing distribution, though, as that qualifies as a custom distro
(although the CPU is considered x86 compatible:

It does seem to me that there is a divergence, and that ultimately one tool
cannot span both:

   1. A fedora-based, slinky-descended installer/configurator for P5+
   systems (
   2. An installer for a less-than P5+ system that is resource
   constrained due to lack of bootable CD, low RAM, restricted HDD storage,

The first would be targeted towards newer, if possibly resource-constrained
hardware/environments. It might drop floppy support.

The second would truly be for "older computers." It would still support
floppy boot. This second one would need a kernel modified for older CPUs.

Which brings to mind another question:

Is it just the kernel that requires a P5+ or has the rest of the system been
compiled for Pentium class or better CPUs?


On 8/26/07, Franz Zahaurek <fzk at fzk.at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> let me add the following thoughts to the recent discussion about
> the list.
> I think the RULE-idea is still valid. Basicly it is about sustainability.
> Don't
> drop your hardware only because new software implies to do so.  But
> nevertheless
> every thing has its lifecycle be that for economical, ecolocical or
> tecnical reasons.
> And that is specially true for computers!  Don't expect slinky to boost
> your old
> PC.  But with the right application you could still use it (in principle).
> I developed slinky for about 3 years from FC2 to FC5 with a central idea
> in
> mind: keep it small, and use any recource at best.  I dropped the
> standalone rpm
> (and with it the second install floppy) and used busyboxs small rpm to
> install
> FEDORAs full featured rpm; added national keybindings and the character
> dialog
> interface.  But the installation changed from RULE to BUFE (Boot Up2date
> Fedora
> Everywhere).  Only the first Fedora CD is neccesary and applications MUST
> be
> installed later by the user. (But there is no need to handle package lists
> for
> some application-profiles)  The main effort to follow from FC2 to FC5 was
> to
> change versions of the RPMs in the packagelists.
> But I think things have changed too much since slinky started.  Floppies
> are not
> even available any more - we all use USB-sticks now with much greater
> capacity.
> I'am afraid slinky as it is now, has reached the end of its lifecycle.
> What do you think about it?
> - Franz
> --
> Franz Zahaurek                        fzk at fzk.at
> Gymnasiumstr. 26/7                    http://www.fzk.at
> 1180 Wien
> _______________________________________________
> Rule-list mailing list
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