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Draft proposal for debian-custom

Hello everybody,

I would like to summarize some issues discussed here at DebConf4 with
the Debian-NP[1], Debian-Edu/Skolelinux (mainly Petter Reinholdtsen)
teams, CDD developers (Cosimo Alfarano), and many other people.

Those discussions led us (Debian-NP group) to point out the
way in which we are going to "customize" Debian for Nonprofits
(and hence to be able to rule the world).

We think that our way could be useful also for a generic CDD,
so we would like to discuss it here with all you (we don't like
to conquer the world alone...).

We looks forward to have Debian-NP installable in almost 4 scenarios:

   o) Installation from scratch (CD, floppy, network, usb pen, .....) 

   o) Installation from an existing installation (turn your plain debian
   installation into a debian-np (or cdd))

   o) Installation from a live cd (Morphix.. Alextreme, thanks God you exsist!)

   o) Installation for a lessdiscs system

In order to realize this we look forward to use a "modified" version of
debian-edu/Skolelinux (that is really excellent), and we also take care
to respect the Policy (so that the CDD can be 100% Debian)
Ingredients for the recipe are:

- Several Meta-pàckages in the form:

 	  <cddname>-<kind of metapackage>_<version>_<arch>.deb
 	  Example: debiannp-usermanagement_0.3_i386.deb

- One package that handle all configuration stuff (i.e. contains the
stuff to perform the customization of the system)

          <cddname>-common_<version>_<arch>.deb (all meta-packages want to depend on this)
 	 Example: debiannp-common_0.3_i386.deb

- One _Base-Config_ package that override at our needs the installer behavior (if the
  system is going to be installed from scratch):

          <cddname>-base-config_<version>_<arch>.deb (depends on base-config)
 	 Example: debiannp-base-config_<version>_<arch>.deb

How to cook the recipe:

The configuration package contains an user-interface (dialog?) in which the
user can choose wich components[2] to install. This interface also take
care of the configuration stuff (the _real_ customization) outside any
post-install, to avoid breaking the policy.

The configuration stuff will be done as better as possible (using
debconf, cfengine, or whatever is whished.. it depends on every single

In case of scratch or lessdisc installation, _Basic-Config_ pkg will
contain instruction to run stuff from Configuration pkg.  The rationale
for this is to always use the scripts in the Configuration package for
doing configuration/customization works.

In case of live-cd, just ask Alextreme :), but he seems to agree with
the above scheme.

So, let us have your comments, because we are going to burn!!

Ciao Ciao 


[1] Enrico Zini, Mako Hill, Guillaume Pernot, Micah Anderson, Alessandro
Preite Martinezz, Paolo De Rosa, Blaine Cook, Cosimo Alfarano, Vagrant
Cascatian and myself

[2] We referr to the concept of components introduced by Ian Murdock at
DebConf4 (http://www.debconf.org/debconf4)

"I videogiochi non influenzano i bambini. Voglio dire, se Pac-Man avesse
influenzato la nostra generazione, staremmo tutti saltando in sale
scure, masticando pillole magiche e ascoltando musica elettronica

Kristian Wilson, Nintendo Inc. 1989

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