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D-I Etch Beta2 release status & timeline



This status update for Beta2 is probably a bit overdue. I find that really 
setting a timeline is quite daunting, especially while there are still a 
few uncertainties. However, here we go.

The most important release goals have been realized with as highlights:
- support for 2.6.14+ kernels (switch from discover to udev; initramfs)
- complete removal of base-config which means full installation before
  reboot
- LVM support in automatic partitioning

The final date of the release is dependent on 2.6.15 kernel packages 
migrating to testing. Quite a few udebs cannot migrate to testing before 
this has happened. There are currently 3 RC kernel issues, so it looks 
like at least one more upload is needed. 

We can use this time to do final uploads of udebs that we want in Beta2. 
The following updates should be looked at:
- hppa and ia64 are still at 2.6.14 for d-i and should upgrade to 2.6.15
- translation uploads for udebs that have not been uploaded recently
- uploads of arch-specific boot loader installers and partman modules:
  a lot of them have (minor) pending changes

I plan to start on the translation uploads next week.
NOTE: there is no hard string freeze and no guarantee that all translation 
updates will be uploaded; we will do our very best however to make 
translations as complete as possible.

From this point forward, we should be conservative when uploading changes; 
also please don't do string changes in packages that could still need an 
upload for Beta2 unless absolutely necessary.
Feel free to contact me for any changes you're unsure of.

Full current status of Beta2 preparation and changes since Beta1 are 
documented on http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstallerEtchBeta2Prep.
Let me know if I missed something.

ISSUES
======
- S/390 support is very unlikely for Beta2; basically nothing has happened
  yet since Beta1 to fix the parted support; this may yet change though
- partman-crypto is not yet ready for upload

Issues that need fixing for Beta2:
- grub bug breaking initramfs-tools initrd with lvm (#347482: uploaded)
- [sparc] no support for sbus devices; solution proposed (#346584
  together with hw-detect patch: NMU planned)

There is also the issue where devices change name after the reboot. 
Basically this is an existing issue that is occurring a bit more often 
after the switch to udev. There have been several threads on d-devel 
about this but so far I've seen nothing that would make an easy 
implementation in d-i, especially while keeping devfs support for 2.4 
kernels.
As it basically is an existing issue, I'm inclined to not see it as RC, 
but make it priority for post Beta2. Opinions on this welcome.

GRAPHICAL INSTALLER
===================
The blocking issue to integrate the builds for the graphical installer is 
udeb dependency resolution. The solution for this has been found, but 
will take time to implement as first dpkg-dev and the debhelper need 
updates (patch for dpkg-dev has been committed now) and then quite a few 
libraries need minor patches and uploads to fix the dependencies for 
their udebs.
We will continue work on this, but this is unlikely to be completed before 
Beta2. We will try for an unofficial G-I release again, possibly using 
netinst images this time.

PORTING COMMENTS
================
- hppa and ia64 porters: please start migration to 2.6.15 ASAP as new
  processing will be required for the kernel udebs
- alpha: initial work has been done for adding 2.6 support; if that is
  wanted for Beta2, implementation should start very soon
- for all ports: please check pending changes in boot loader installer and
  arch-specific partman modules and upload ASAP
- for all ports: please test daily images and report any RC issues

When there are new kernel uploads, please update kernel udebs ASAP.
There has also been a fairly recent (security) update of 2.4 kernels 
(2.4.27-12) in unstable; 2.4 kernel udebs should be updated if not done 
already.

For ports using 2.6.14/15 kernels base-installer has a template that sets 
the default initramfs initrd generator to use and whether or not the 
other is available as an alternative (for medium priority installs).
Let me know if changes are needed.

TIMELINE
========
starting now:
- porters can start uploading (and testing) arch specific udebs
- anyone interested: installation tests using daily images, especially for
  non-standard installations (RAID, LVM, network-console, lowmem, ...)
25-1: start of translation uploads

After kernel 2.6.15 migration to testing (X):
X+ 1: mass migration of remaining udebs
X+ 3: switch daily images from sid_d-i to sarge_d-i
X+ 5: start of testing period
X+10: final full CD builds
X+14: release

I'll try to fill in this timeline a bit more once the kernel migration has 
taken place.

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