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Re: redesigning the debian installer

(Dan, search for 'detect' to see why I cd'd you.)

Hartmut Koptein wrote:
> > After the kernel boots up, the first thing the user will see is whatever UI
> > is being used, configuring itself. This is equivalent to the current
> > installer asking if the screen supports color, and keyboard configuration.
> > It might also include language selection, mouse setup, etc. All up the
> > individual UI.
> Which UI: Text, fb, X11 or all selectable ?

Whatever UI is being used. (Not sure I understand the question.)

> "It might also include language selection"  ??  Not might, it is a must.

I meant that it may or may not make sense to do this as part of UI
configuration. It may turn out that it makes sense to do it as a
seperate step if the code can be shared amoung all UI's.

> >   - Reboot the system
>   We will avoid system reboot. 

We may provide an _option_ to skip the system reboot. To be used if you
don't care if, 4 weeks down the road, after tweaking, installing, and
fine-tuning your new debian system, you reboot it and discover that LILO
was not properly set up, and it won't boot. And then try to remember
where that rescue floppy/install media were filed a month ago..

Caldera skips the reboot. I have had this problem when I was doing
installs to get a look at caldera's installer. No thanks.

Anyway, the "reboot the system" menu item is just provided by another
module. If someone wants to make a "start up debian w/o rebooting" menu item,
they just need to make a module that does the work. Either or both modules
can then be included on a given install media.

> Another important point is an hardware detection database.

This is left up to the modules that provide support for the various
hardware. We need to pick a good hardware detection library for those
modules to use, that's for sure. There are several. libdetect0 is
already in Debian (but it's 155k! Urk!).

We really need a hardware detection library that is modularized or can
be modularized. There is no need to have code in the installer to detect 
your sound card. And if you're installing from a floppy and the network, 
you need NIC detection code, but code to detect a CD drive is
unnecessary bloat.

Also, we have to keep in mind that hardware detection is a two-edged
sword. It's great until it probes somewhere it shouldn't and crashes
your system. Strictly passive hardware detectors avoid this of course,
but they detect less hardware too (no ISA cards, probably).

Would some interested people like to get together and do some thurough
research of the available hardware detection software, and present a
report w/reccomendation to this list? Speak up if you're interested.

> We might also include samba, beowulf/cluster, mass-install, ... 

Yes, there could be a SMB retreiver if someone wants to write it.

beofulf/cluster? Arn't those post-install configuration options?

This design is geared from the beginning to support mass installs.
That's a big part of the reason it uses a debconf clone, so you can
install once and get an install script for future installs.

see shy jo

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