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Re: debian-installer status -- 2002-07-29

* Anthony Towns 

| 	* getting the directory structure setup -- unpacking the udebs is
| 	  easy. running postinsts isn't as easy, but seems like it should
| 	  be easily avoidable: anything particularly necessary can be
| 	  scripted separately.

postinsts aren't run until the image is booted, so that's not an issue
at all.

| 	* getting the image created. This is pretty easy: it either requires
| 	  a loopback fs to be mounted and such, which can be done anywhere
| 	  except on the buildds; or it requires one of the magic tools that
| 	  let you create the image in place


| 	* making the image bootable. This is trickier. One possibility is
| 	  porting milo, yaboot, silo, palo, etc to i386, and requiring
| 	  d-i images to be built either natively or on an i386. There
| 	  are probably others.

this is what I was talking about wrt building the images on i386.  I
don't know how hard this would be.

| FWIW, I've poked at cdebconf and anna in the past, and I wrote
| debootstrap, so I'm not completely naif.


| My only real concerns about d-i are related to its debconf usage:
| that it still doesn't have a cfdisk equivalent says bad things about
| that, IMO. But I'm biassed against debconf, and rewriting all the UI
| stuff into debconf isn't remotely hard enough to be a showstopper.

cdebconf < /dev/tty > /dev/tty 2> /dev/tty

might work.  Haven't had the time to test it, though.

If the main showstopper for you ATM is no cfdisk, I think I should be
able to fix that quite easily using the above trick.

| I think it'd be a huge win to have dbootstrap and/or pgi UIs
| available concurrently with d-i (stick in a CD, choose a kernel,
| choose a UI...).

hopefully we'll have support for gtkfb at least as well in cdebconf.

| It'd let us do cool things like have an "Eye Candy" installer with
| XP-like graphics, that we can target at kindergarten kids and distro
| reviewers without having to worry about whether it'll work on m68k, eg.
| I dunno if any of the "yay b-f's!" people are convinced enough to try
| porting the core of it to udeb format.

: tfheen@arabella ..heen/debian-installer/doc > tail -3 TODO 

Maybe, if somebody picks it up:
        - skinnable/themeable installer
: tfheen@arabella ..heen/debian-installer/doc > 

| In any event, it's a win to have each of the "features" of the
| installer be separate: debootstrap, hardware detection, base-configu,
| the distribution mechanism (udebs), the UI. That way if any of them turn
| out to be fundamentally stupid ideas, we can drop it without having to
| start completely from scratch.

true.  those do require proper interfaces, though.  And the UI
interface is called debconf.  Sure, one can use PGI's UI, but then
you'll have to emulate debconf somehow or something.  Which would be
icky.  hardware detection is done using discover, which is the same as
PGI uses (afaik).  Debootstrap should be the same, base-config is the

That leaves udebs and the UI protocol as the points where d-i differs
from PGI.

Tollef Fog Heen                                                        ,''`.
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are      : :' :
                                                                      `. `' 

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