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Re: debconf (Re: redesigning the debian installer)

> Ok. It's theoretically possible to generate a debconf db by just pulling
> in every debconf question the installer can possibly ask, and then use
> some sort of a database browser/editor program to fill in answers.
> You're not really using debconf to do this mind you. Then you feed the
> doctored db to an install.

Yes, but I would like to do it with debconf and then save the db instead
or before using it for the installation.

> Good enough? Note that the db browser isn't written, but can be. It
> would run on a full linux system.
> > I also suggest that we can merge more debconf databases during the
> > installation step, for example a default profile with very general
> > configurations, a class profile (home, workstation, server, firewall)
> > and a host specific profile (hostname, ipaddr, keyboard, mouse, monitor).
> There's a whole unimplemented part of the debconf specification that
> deals with exactly this. It allows merging and overlaying databases.
> Someone should implement it.

The same should be true for any config file. For example install a common
/etc/export on all machines and a different version on a server. What I
did in my installer is simply copying different file trees for different
profiles and machines on the target root after the base system files are

> > Yes, but can we do this with the new bootfloppies? I'm not speaking about
> > debconf here, but about the installation system which uses debconf. Can we
> > save and load different pre-stored profiles?
> Given the respone on this list, I think it's a must. (And I was planning
> on supporting it anyway.)
> Saving: after the debian-installer installs the base system, it simply
>         writes its debconf database to some place inside the newly installed
>         system. Probably it writes it directly to the new system's debconf
>         database.
> Loading: Move the data from the already installed system to each new
>          install somehow, hopefully by the network, and with an option of
> 	 just dropping a debconf db file onto the boot floppy.

I was thinking something different. The stored profile should include not
only the package questions but also the installer questions (keyboard, swap
root partition, source location, etc.) and it should be possible to create
one or more profile without actually installing any machine. Ideally this
should be possible from the bootdisk or on an already installed system.
The config browser should be able to load and save profile files like
any normal application does.

Massimo Dal Zotto

|  Massimo Dal Zotto               email: dz@cs.unitn.it               |
|  Via Marconi, 141                phone: ++39-0461534251              |
|  38057 Pergine Valsugana (TN)      www: http://www.cs.unitn.it/~dz/  |
|  Italy                             pgp: see my www home page         |

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