• Include iso-scan into debian-installer ISOs?

    From darkpenguin@21:1/5 to All on Sat Feb 20 20:20:01 2021
    Now that the official installer ISOs are isohybrids, it makes even more
    sense to include the "iso-scan" package on them.

    The problem:
    Now that the smallest USB flash drive you can buy is at least ten times
    the size of the installer ISO, more and more people want to create
    multi-boot flash drives with multiple ISOs on them. Currently, the debian-installer ISO does not support that - it can not find the "CDROM"
    during installation.

    The work to make it possible has already been done eight years ago: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=730348
    ...but unfortunately this package is only included in the hd-media
    installer, which is basically obsolete now that you can simply dd the
    iso on your flash drive.

    Currently, the workarounds are quite bothersome:

    - You can download the hd-media initrd which contains iso-scan. No
    further actions required. But it is impossible to download an initrd
    with a kernel version that matches a slightly outdated ISO - you can
    only download the latest one. Also, this solution is a hack.

    - Or you can create a second partition on your flash drive and dd the
    iso there. After that, when the installer asks about the CDROM, you can manually enter the path to that partition. In the installer
    documentation, I have not found any way to specify that path in a
    preseed file or as a boot parameter. With a hd-media initrd, this is
    also done automatically (but then it's easier to just copy the ISO
    normally). Maybe at least there is an undocumented way to preseed the
    CDROM path?..

    - You can probably create your own installation CD, but that is a
    serious overkill for just being able to copy the ISO.

    Are there any arguments against including iso-scan in the installer
    ISOs, other than "nobody needs that, so it must not be done, just dd the
    ISO on your flash drive and be happy"? Would it require any significant
    effort or have undesirable consequences? So far I have not seen any
    arguments against this, but I have seen people who want to use this,
    myself included.


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