[Dev] Rework of the ARM installation guide

Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli GNUtoo at no-log.org
Mon Apr 30 22:28:38 GMT 2018

On Mon, 30 Apr 2018 09:12:22 -0400
bill-auger <bill-auger at peers.community> wrote:

> On Mon, 2018-04-30 at 14:54 +0200, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli wrote:
> > I think it would be better not to have the root account without
> > passwords, like on the x86 installer.  
> one thing i can say is that there is one key difference from the other
> "installers" - in that the ARM tarball is technically not an installer
> nor a "live" environment = it is "the" pre-configured permanent target
> environment to be cloned "as-is"; so it should be configured
> generically, and as closely as possible to a clean chroot install -
Why was this approach taken? Is it because there is often only one
storage device (a microSD) which cannot act as an installer/live
system and the system being installed at the same time?

There is a way to handle that if the microSD is big enough and the
partitions well dimensioned, but as everything it has pros and cons:
1) you create an u-boot compatible ext4 partition to hold the installer
   rootfs at the end of the microSD
2) you extract the installer there, and chroot inside it, install the
   bootloader on the microSD and boot on it.
3) Once booted in the installer you can partition the beginning of the
   microSD for the final installation. For instance if you want
   simplicity you could create an u-boot compatible ext4 rootfs. Else
   you could create a /boot and a second partition as LVM.
4) You install Parabola as usual with pacstrap
5) You make sure to configure the bootloader configuration file to
   boot on the final installation.
   extlinux.conf makes it easy to have both in the config file.
6) You reboot, it will reboot on the final installation.
7) Since the installer is at the end of the microSD, you can
   repartitionate with fdisk/gdisk, and remove the partition. Then you
   just delete the last remaining partition and recreate it until the
   end. Then you resize the filesystem (or LVM) 'online'.

- it's more fragile because you have to reboot on the final
  installation, but if you have extlinux.conf that's doable without
  much trouble and robust enough in my opinion.
- The partition must be properly dimensioned

- The resulting installation more clean
- You can use whatever partioning scheme you want (like LVM or
  encryption for instance)

Another way to do it would be to chroot inside the installer from an
x86 computer and do the installation on the microSD from the chroot.

I did most of my Parabola ARM installations through 'online'
repartitioning described here.

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