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Bug#409905: debian-installer: Unresponsive ftp server freezes install

Package: debian-installer
Severity: normal

During the installation of etch I accidentally selected a Debian ftp mirror
which was apparently buggy (ftp2.de.debian.org). For some reason or another
the progress bar during the initial download (I think just the Packages.gz
file) got stuck and didn't move for more than an hour. After that I had to
forcibly kill the installer and do everything up to that point over again,
selecting a different ftp mirror. Smooth sailing after that.

I think it would be good if the installer, during potentially lenghty
operations and especially those that can fail due to reasons outside the
installer, provided three things:

1) more verbous information of what is going on and why it could
potentially last very long.

2) An automatic timeout after whose expiration the user can try to repeat
the operation or go back to the previous step. In my case, this timeout
could have included the suggestion to try a different mirror.

3) A "cancel" function that can be activated at any time by the user, and
which will gracefully bring the installer back to the previous step.

Thanks a lot, and keep up the great work!

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 4.0
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (500, 'testing')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.18-3-486
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)

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