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Wed Sep 9 13:32:13 2020 UTC (2 years, 2 months ago) by kim
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[[!template id=project

title="Sysinst enhancements"


[Martin Husemann](

duration="3 months"
done_by="Eugene Lozovoy"

The goal of this project is to enhance the NetBSD system installer (sysinst) to provide additional support for (in order):

* partition disks using GPT
* prepare multiple disks
* combine multiple partitions to raid/lvm volumes
* encrypt partitions via cgd
* other enhancements

The installer currently supports installing the system to any available single disk. It is possible to select which parts (distribution sets) of the system to install, and also to customise the disk partition layout. Sysinst can also use vnode pseudo disks, so can be tested without the need to re-install the host system.

The first goal is to allow partitioning disks using the GUID partition table (GPT). The current partitioning code is tied heavily to the BSD disklabel. Fixing it is straight forward, but both methods have to be offered and only some architectures can boot from GPT disks.

The second goal is to allow preparing several disks. This part would also be usefull (see "other enhancements" below) as a stand-alone tool. Various disks may be partitioned using different shemes, for example when the boot disk can not use GPT, but secondary (large) disks should use it. This part also is a direct prerequisite for the following one.

The third goal is to (optionally) create logical volumes from multiple partitions or disks, either using raidframe or LVM. This includes making the volumes bootable, if possible.

The fourth goal is to add support for creating and installing on to cgd (encrypted) partitions. The initial support will not be for the boot partition, but other partitions should be supported.

The other enhancements that might be possible are (not in priority order):

#### user interface
* customise colours
* add "back" and "forward" menu options
* run parts of the installer independently (e.g. disk partitioning, set installation)

#### cgd enhancements
* add the ability to encrypt the whole disk and to enter the decryption key at boot time

#### automated test setup
* add the ability to install Anita for automated testing 

The candidate must have:

* familiarity with the system installer. You should have used sysinst to install the system.
* familiarity with C programming. The system installer program consists of C code.
* a test system, preferably with a 2nd bootable device.

The following would also be useful:

* familiarity with NetBSD.
* familiarity with user interface programming using curses.

### References:

* [sysinst source (opengrok)](
* [[!template id=man name="vnconfig" section="8"]] manual page
* [[!template id=man name="raidctl" section="8"]] manual page
* [[!template id=man name="cgdconfig" section="8"]] manual page
* [LVM on NetBSD](
* [Anita automated testing](

[[!tag gsoc]]

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