Re: Changing Anaconda Installation Source Spoke GUI

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Replying inline,

On 05/04/2018 03:51 AM, jkonecny@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
Hello Pat,

On Tue, 2018-04-24 at 14:12 -0500, Pat Riehecky wrote:
Hello Anaconda folks,

I'd like to get a conversation going about the Installation Source

If this looks viable, I can do a lot of the non-i18n of the work. But
I'd like to test out the thoughts before diving into the code.

My biggest need is to show users there are other repos they could
This conversation is really about the UI workflow (inspired by

I've got an addon that does a fair job of showing these to users, but
I'd rather get some of my behavior upstream instead of continuing to
port the SL anaconda addon.
Could you please point us to screenshots of your addon? I think it
would help us to get better overall idea of what are you trying to
achieve here.

Can do,

I've attached three screenshots:
- context.png is our existing SL addon
- NewInstallSpoke.png is what I'm proposing we leave on the Install Media spoke
- NewSpokeUI.png is what I'm proposing for the new UI spoke

== Background ==
The Spoke GUI is trying to do two actions:
   1. Locate the install tree
   2. Configure additional repositories

The TUI Spoke is only trying to do (1.) Locate the install tree.

I like the GUI layout of - 1. Locate the install tree.
All of that looks great and works for me and my user base
and is consistent between TUI and GUI.

It is the second one - 2. Configure additional repositories - that
like to reimagine.  It is only available within the GUI.

Configure additional repositories is itself divided into two
   A. Enable/Disable updates.repo
   B. Create other repos for use

Behavior A. "Enable/Disable updates.repo" has an obvious use case.

Behavior A. is visible to:
   - Fedora
   - Scientific Linux

Behavior A. repo can be enabled/disabled via the InstallClass.

Behavior B. "Create other repos for use" is used to add additional
such as ELRepo or EPEL (under EL builds) or Addons such as HA.

Behavior B. is visible to:
   - Fedora
   - RHEL
   - CentOS
   - Scientific Linux
   - Springdale Linux
   - Etc

Behavior B. is populated with entries from .treeinfo under:
   - RHEL ISO 7 (High Availability, Resilient Storage)
   - Scientific Linux 7 (Bugfixs, Extras, Repos)
   - Springdale Linux 7 (Computational, Updates, Addons)

The Behavior B. repos are disabled by default.  Additional repos
can be seeded by the InstallClass now too.

== Problem ==

P1. If you don't have an install tree specified, when you click
on "Installation Media", there are no extra repos listed.
This means the workflow for enabling the Behavior B. repos for
a netinstall with no set install tree is as follows:
   Step 1. Click on "Installation Media" and set the install tree
   Step 2. Click done to validate the install tree
   Step 3. Click on "Installation Media" again to review additional
The User Experience for Step 3 here is unexpected.
This is a UX problem and it would be nice to solve.

P2. Folks who are looking for the Additional repos don't click on
"Installation Media" to look for them. If install media is found and
working, my users don't expect to find them under a "Media" item.
With nothing broken and nothing requiring interaction, they just
click it.
   . The RHEL7 addons are on the media, but users are unaware
   . With the liner install from "old anaconda" users saw these repos
   . Fedora could possibly put the Cisco H264 and modularity repo here
   . As an SL maintainer I'd like users to see the repose we've added
   . I assume the Springdale folks would also like the higher
   . The CentOS SIGs could be listed here where folks could see them

P3. Repos imported from .treeinfo/InstallClass have no clear way to
automatically activated by the InstallClass.
. SL updates are in 'security' and 'fastbugs' repos, not just
. CERN folks expect some packages to be loaded from a specific repo
This may be solved by some of the changes we are making right now. See

== Existing Solutions ==

anaconda-addon-org_scientificlinux_contexts (Solves P2 and P3)
   The lack of clicks on "Installation Media" was a major driver for
   creating the Scientific Linux Context Anaconda plugin.
   I am the primary maintainer of this addon.

updates.img (Solves P3)
   The CERN folks have an updates.img that forces the CERN repo into
   installroot, activates it, and adds a hook in firstboot (locmap) to
   tweak settings.

== Proposal ==

=== UI Workflow (Solve P1 and P2) ===
Move Action 2. "Configure additional repositories" into a separate

Basically this is just chopping sourceWindow in half and moving the
behavior to another (non-mandatory) Spoke.
(from pyanaconda/ui/gui/spokes/

I propose the name "Additional Software".

I'd like to talk about moving "Install Updates" over here as in this
workflow "Updates" becomes yet another repo.  Having it activated by
default for Fedora and SL feels like a solvable programming problem.
Wouldn't it result in empty spokes? Spokes which have only a few text
fields really don't look nice.

I'm hopeful that .treeinfo will have a few things to toss into the new spoke.

Also, the new ability to add repos via installclass, should help put more bits into the window.

=== Automatic Activation Workflow (Solve P3) ===

Add a flag for `/proc/cmdline` that can be set multiple times.

Maybe `inst.enable.repo=XXXX` where XXXX is the repo 'id' ?
What is the purpose of this. Which repositories you want to enable by
this? On the installation media or repositories from the inst.repo

This is really targeted at Fermi and CERN usage, but could have wider appeal.  I'm generically thinking OpenStack could provide a custom boot.iso that automatically enables the relevant CentOS SIGs via a simple change to isolinux.cfg.

We've each got our own Site Specific repos that setup things like Kerberos, ssh, and system inventory.

Each of us ships a custom install image that add this repo and enables it.  I'd prefer a simple change to to the isolinux.cfg (Fermilab current) rather than changing base repo and shipping a custom updates.img to populate and activate the installclass repos (CERN current).

Quick example ISOs:
Normal SL7 boot.iso: Fermilab SL7 boot.iso:

The only real difference between them is isolinux.cfg.  I've got a 12 line shell script that uses 'genisoimg graft-points' to make the change.

== Followup Thoughts ==

The User Experience outlined in P1 isn't ideal.  You can sorta test
with the CentOS7-1708 net install media.

pyanaconda/ui/gui/spokes/ suggests the
needs work.

Chopping the size of that task up a bit may simplify this down the
Definitely chopping this to smaller sizes is necessary. Plenty of that
code is history and some pieces could be hard to modify. Side benefit
is that smaller PRs will result in quicker response from our side :).

In overall we are now working in moving Anaconda to modular system.
Which will result (and already did) in plenty of rewriting. We already
moved most of the kickstart commands processing to modules and change
those calls from UI spokes to these modules. We will continue and our
great goal is to simplify logic in UI and move it to the modules. So UI
basically should have much less complexity and should be easier for

The reason I'm mentioning this is that I like your solution. It won't
be that easy to achieve but most of those points would be beneficial
for all users which is great.
However, thanks to our work now, it is probable that your changes you
want to do will be rewritten by us later. I really like your passion
and I don't want to discourage you, I only think we should wait at
least when the Source spoke logic will be moved to modules and
cleaned. When that happen we can start discussion with details how to
implement those pieces. In that time the payload module API won't be
set in stone so we can add/modify what is needed before we make it
stable. You can help us with the modules API definition.


That makes a lot of sense, is there a tracking bug/workflow/todo/design doc/etc I can read up on beyond these?[1]

I can see about trying to get some ideas/design/code/etc into place based on what is going on there, but I'd need to get up to speed on dbus and the existing API thoughts/definitions/best practices/etc.

Not discouraged,



Pat Riehecky

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Attachment: context.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: NewInstallSpoke.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: NewSpokeUI.png
Description: PNG image

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