That’s a really interesting idea, but it’s not really rethinking the OS install, as Ubuntu did with their liveCD approach, or Fedora did with the big anaconda update a few years back. It’s just exposing a new interface for going through the exact same steps as you would at the console.
Not that this isn’t actually a neat development, and I can envision it being quite handy. Imagine being able to set up a freebsd box with your phone.
It’s just not the article I was hoping it was. Not the article’s fault…
Having to muck about just this week with installing and reinstalling and mesing with things, I think a good improvement would be a “smart” installer. I don’t actually mean AI, but I do mean things like “we detected you have an AMD GPU, we suggest this driver” and then a change icon if you wanna go crazy.
And even more important: disk partitioning. You usually either have the option to do wipe everything and start from scratch, or pick one partition and ignore the rest. Everything else is manual. What if the installer read and said “Hmm, looks like an encrypted volume, pls gimme password so I can see what’s in there and re-mount your /home from there instead. Oh, btw, you have an NTFS disk, but no _Windows_ folder, just some music, let me add that as “/mnt/Music” automatically.
But these things are probably relatively niche and I don’t think worth the actual effort.
correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t autoinstall (8) get one somewhat there? I’ve just stepped into the OpenBSD world, but as for disk partitioning one can define a template, it seems.
This precisely. I was sort of hoping that this would be a “no install” installer; IOW, you boot up and can start working, and the system observes what you’re doing, and builds an install plan in the background.
Still, it’s not crap.
I think that maybe the next step is to install the OS using curl and the step right after that is to make a provisioner using Terraform or something. You boot the VM, wait on the installer to be ready, then POST some JSON blobs at it and then it configures/installs itself without any human intervention.
Having an HTTP endpoint makes an API (of sorts) which lends itself to both phone-based usage and automation.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the current installer. It would be nice to have a new ISO with SSH enabled by default with the freebsd user available, as the RPI ISO has. I’ve assumed there’s a way to create a custom ISO installer for x86_64 with this ability.
I keep an Nvidia card in my primary server in case disaster strikes and I need to reinstall. Would be nice to free that up.
How do you discover the machine’s IP? Does it announce itself over avahi? I wonder if there’s some really clever way to announce the IP, like by beeping it out in binary over the PC’s internal speaker or something.
It doesn’t look like they’ve solved that problem, but announcing it over avahi would be a good way of doing it. I think Morse Code over the internal speaker would be a much better solution :)
For the local network, advertising with a well-known name over mDNS (e.g. freebsd-install.local) would be fairly easy to add. I’m more interested in using this for VMs, where I know the IP address because I just created the VM and assigned it an IP address.
Interesting idea, and useful even - if you think “everything is web”. I am not clear who is the target audience though.
Out of curiosity, does anyone use FreeBSD or any BSD in run software in production? Can you share your use case and why BSD was used instead of something else?
I would be interested in reading the software deployment story.
Quite a number of companies, actually. For case studies, you may take a look at the FreeBSD Journal from January/February 2021: https://freebsdfoundation.org/past-issues/case-studies/