Online Installer for Haiku?

Perhaps we could consider an online installer for Haiku? I recall several operating systems (i.e. FreeBSD) have online installers, which only contain the minimal files to boot and download packages. I imagine there would be multiple benefits:

  • The online installer image would only contain the minimum files to boot and download Haiku, which means it would be smaller in file size.
  • Downloading packages during the installation means that the latest version of any packages are installed, and there is no need to use Software Updater to update any software post-installation.
  • Adding on to my last point, the installer could be made so that it downloads the latest version of Haiku no matter how old the image is; this could make sure that even if someone pulls out an image that is several years old the latest version of Haiku is installed. We could use something like IPFS (not sure if it’s the best way to do this, though) to ensure the latest version of Haiku and its packages are found.

What does everyone else think?

The use-cases mentioned by you seem to suggest you are interested in online updater rather than online installer. For this option Haiku already has SoftwareUpdater. Do you suggest replacing its interface with Web+?

The installer per se is more than the program that copies some files from one folder to another. It is also a partitioning program. Additionally, the target BFS volume should be possible to mount on that arbitrary OS for which you consider online Haiku installer. So at very least libBFS and some GUI for partitioning is necessary to be downloaded and compiled / run for desired OS.

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We have compatibility breakage in various places between each beta version. So, such an update may not even be possible. The old installer may not know what to do with new packages.

Also, this would make it impossible to install anything if you don’t have a network connection.

It is also an additional thing to maintain, test and update, if we want to do this officially.