setup.exe - un-attended installation support

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setup.exe - un-attended installation support

Duane Ellis
Hello,

I support an internal development group and I need to have a number of
people install and use cygwin.

I've had more then a few problems with "Human Factors Problems"
        - Missed packages that should have been installed but where not...
        - Wrong versions installed
        - Newer versions - that caused problems... [I have not fixed yet]
        - Package not present on the mirror they choose
        - Mirror they choose is not reachable right now for some reason

In a perfect world this is what I'd like to have:

        some 'un-attended install process'

        a simple text file listing the packages & versions to install.
                I want to specify the packages - not them.

        a CDROM or DVD with the packages already present.

I would then run "SETUP.EXE" program with options that says:

        The list of packages to install is on the CDROM.
        The packages are on the CDROM located in drive X
        Install CYGWIN in directory Y.

I've download the SETUP.EXE source codes... and looking through it,
I don't see an command line option that would let me do that. {Hmm, seems
the two options that exist, -h and -q don't seem to do anything anyway}

Any suggestions?

-Duane.


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Re: setup.exe - un-attended installation support

Christopher Faylor-2
On Tue, Dec 13, 2005 at 09:14:43AM -0500, Duane Ellis wrote:

>I support an internal development group and I need to have a number of
>people install and use cygwin.
>
>I've had more then a few problems with "Human Factors Problems"
>        - Missed packages that should have been installed but where not...
>        - Wrong versions installed
>        - Newer versions - that caused problems... [I have not fixed yet]
>        - Package not present on the mirror they choose
>        - Mirror they choose is not reachable right now for some reason
>
>In a perfect world this is what I'd like to have:

I'm not sure of your intent in providing the above laundry list but,
assuming that it was more than just frustrated venting about possible
cockpit problems, in a perfect world, people who report bugs would also
provide details about the bugs rather than just making assertions of
problems:

- What packages were missing?

- What was the "wrong version" installed and what was the mechanism via
which a wrong version was installed?  Was it specifically selected?

- What newer versions caused problems and what were the problems?

- What package was not present on a mirror?

- How would you expect an unreachable mirror to be handled in setup.exe,
given that the fact that a mirror which is unreachable by you may be
reachable by others?  (You do understand that the mirrors list is
automatically checked and updated on a regular basis, right?)

See http://cygwin.com/problems.html for hints on the kind of details
we need to fix reported problems.

cgf

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Re: setup.exe - un-attended installation support

Duane Ellis
Christopher Faylor <[hidden email]> wrote on
12/13/2005 10:40:24 AM:

> assuming that it was more than just frustrated venting about possible
> cockpit problems, in a perfect world, people who report bugs would also
> provide details about the bugs rather than just making assertions of
> problems:

Thanks for responding.

I think I worded my problem poorly.

I'm not reporting a bug. I'm asking for suggestions on how to solve
a problem I have. My problems are simular to these SETUP wish list items:

*       Incremental/recoverable download capability.

*       Downloading from the internet should be _able_ to list
        based on what is present in the cache, as opposed to what
        is installed. (To help building a complete install set for
        a different machine).

*       Save all options.

If needed, I might be able to spend some time and may be able
to contribute a fix/enhancment to the setup.exe program that
would help with these issues, and my issues. I don't know.

I build internal SDKs for people here to use [I support multiple
development sites world wide], it is my responsiblity to make sure
these developers can use the packages that I produce with little
error or problems.

The SDKs I produce are non-trivial - the Binary releases tend to be
around 200MEG to 300MEG, they include multiple scripts, source code
cross compilers, debuggers, etc.

The problem is I support the "pilots with cockpit problems" and I'm
trying to make it easier for them *not* to crash their development
airplanes. These pilots of course like to say it another way:
My instructions are lacking :-)

> - What packages were missing?
> - What was the "wrong version" installed and what was the mechanism via
> which a wrong version was installed?  Was it specifically selected?
> - What newer versions caused problems and what were the problems?
> - What package was not present on a mirror?

It's more of this:
   By default - CYGWIN installs some "core" set of features.

In order to use the SDKS that I produce, our developers need to
install the CYGWIN CORE - that part is easy!

But - I also need "the pilots with cockpit problems" to install
around 20 to 30 additional CYGWIN packages that my SDK packages
require in addition to the core set.

I don't know of a reliable way to get CYGWIN installed the way
I need it installed {on other machines} for these reasons:

a) Cockpit Error - Clicking on the wrong thing - etc.
        I wish "setup.exe" would read a script I could supply.
        This way the development sites I support don't have
        cockpit problems.

b) External Network Connections Go Down - in mid setup.
        Sometimes - the mirror you started with times out.
        Sometimes - there are too many connections.
        Sometimes - your connection to the internet has problems.

        Like it or not, I have to deal with this issues.

        The solution I have always found that always works is
        to supply either a CD image with all the files on it
        or host the data on a local internal mirror server.

c) At some point - if you must stop and restart the installation
        Network stopped responding.

        Laptop battery died

        You picked too much stuff to install
                your hard disk is full.

        You have to go home, and setup is only 25% complete
                after 3 hours.

        I found this setup WISH LIST item sort of funny:
                "Some way to download *all* the source."
                I have people who do that by accident.

d) Sometimes - not always - a new CYGWIN package is introduced
        and I have to fix my stuff. And I don't have the time
        to right now... but due to various other package
        dependancies I am pushed into a corner.

There is no way to tell SETUP.EXE to re-use the same set of
options I choose last time - and continue where it left off.

It is at times, an iterative process :-( with mixed results.

CYGWIN is like the Debian network install. Works great, if that
is what you want.

If you compare this process to a Linux (from CD install) Linux
is very simple - (a) get a big enough hard disk, (b) select
install everything and (c) feed it CD-ROMS until it is done.

It's not easy to do that with CYGWIN. Or perhaps its not clear
to me how to do exactly that with CYGWIN.

-Duane.


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Re: setup.exe - un-attended installation support

René Berber-2
Duane Ellis wrote:
[snip]
>         The solution I have always found that always works is
>         to supply either a CD image with all the files on it
>         or host the data on a local internal mirror server.
[snip]

This plus changing the file setup.ini by setting "category: Base" to all the
extra packages you need installed will allow your users to use setup.exe, don't
select anything (is already selected) just finish the installation.

You do need your own repository or CD to avoid unexpected version changes.

Just an idea, I haven't tested it.
--
René Berber


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Re: setup.exe - un-attended installation support

Igor Peshansky
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, René Berber wrote:

> Duane Ellis wrote:
> [snip]
> >         The solution I have always found that always works is
> >         to supply either a CD image with all the files on it
> >         or host the data on a local internal mirror server.
> [snip]
>
> This plus changing the file setup.ini by setting "category: Base" to all
> the extra packages you need installed will allow your users to use
> setup.exe, don't select anything (is already selected) just finish the
> installation.
>
> You do need your own repository or CD to avoid unexpected version
> changes.
>
> Just an idea, I haven't tested it.
It should work, but a nicer approach would be to reuse setup's dependency
mechanism and create a dummy package in "Base" that depends on all of the
needed packages...

Oh, and setup's "unattended install" option ("-q") should work once you
have all the needed packages either in "Base" or as dependencies of
"Base".  It'll still pop up a window, but shouldn't require any user
input.
HTH,
        Igor
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