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Re: Localisation Options

Hello James,

Sorry for the late reply, but I've been a bit busy over the last few weeks 
with the Release Notes for Sarge and had to push other stuff back.

I suggest we keep this discussion on the debian-boot list.

On Tuesday 24 May 2005 11:46, you wrote:
> Christian Perrier wrote:
> > This probably belongs to the "preseeding" section of the installation
> > manual, or as a comment in the example preseed file.
> >
> > The relevant file for languagechooser is "languagelist" in
> > packages/languagechooser. Pick up the first field for each language.
> >
> > For preseeding the country, just mentioning that the value should be
> > the country's 2-letter ISO code should be enough.
> >
> > For kbd-chooser, this is a bit more complicated. The files to look at
> > are debian/console-keymap-*.templates files in the source of the
> > *console-data* package which is NOT in D-I repository (just apt-get
> > source console-data will bring it to you.)
> What do you think about this? I'm willing to write something up to
> document the localization preseed values but Christian suggested I get
> in touch with you for advice first.

The main question here is: how far should we go with documenting 
preseeding. If you'd want to document all possible values for all 
possible templates, that would lead to endless unreadable lists. That is 
why the preseeding example currently in the manual gives only a rough 
guide on how to preseed these options.

However, I do think setting language, country and keyboard could use a bit 
more detailed description.

There already is basic info in [1]:
# Language, country, and keyboard selection cannot be preseeded from a
# file, because the questions are asked before the preseed file can be
# loaded. Instead, to avoid these questions, pass some more parameters
# to the kernel:
#    languagechooser/language-name=English
#    countrychooser/shortlist=US
#    console-keymaps-at/keymap=us

The hardest option to document properly is setting the keymap, as that 
depends on:
- architecture (the manual does not only document Intel x86 systems);
- kernel version (2.4 works completely different from 2.6 re. 
  keyboard configuration);
- default "keyboard architecture" autodetected (with values for PS/2 (AT),
  USB-MAC, Sun (for the sparc arch, ...);

This means, for 2.4 kernels, console-tools/archs may also need to be set. 
This does not need to be documented in detail, but does should IMO be 
touched upon.
Also, "console-keymaps-at/keymap=..." will only work if the default 
architecture detected is PS/2; for other architectures other templates 
need to be set (console-keymaps-<arch>/keymap=...).
For 2.6 kernels this becomes a lot simpler: all keyboards should be 
configured as PS/2 (i.e. "at").

So, hope this gives you some extra background (and some of the reasons why 
maybe it is under-documented currently) :-/

An extra section to explain this in appendix C would be welcome, but to 
keep it concise and still cover kbd configuration properly will be a 
I guess only covering "console-keymaps-at" with a well-worded explanation 
of limitations would also be acceptable (especially as that should always 
work for 2.6).

Oh yes, what also needs to be covered is that for the Etch installer it 
_is_ possible to preseed these values if a initrd preseed file is used.

Frans Pop

[1] http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/apcs01.html.en

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