Now that everybody has had a chance to take a look at the patches and try out the test images (ahem...) we should decide how to use the new options and what it will mean for the images we make available for Lenny. Everything in this mail is a proposal (i.e. open for discussion), loosely based on some brainstorming Steve and I did a couple of weeks ago. The following images will remain essentially unchanged: - netinst/businesscard images for arches other than i386/amd64 - full CD images - KDE installation CD - alpha/hppa/ia64 multi-arch CD Light desktop environment CD image ================================== This image, supporting both the XFCE and LXDE desktop tasks, would replace the existing XFCE CD. For i386 and amd64 the isolinux menu supports selecting which desktop environment (DE) should be installed. For some other arches for which debian-cd supports the KERNEL_PARAMS envvar (powerpc, sparc, hppa), the default desktop will be XFCE; users will need to manually add 'desktop=lxde' at boot time to change that. For other arches the default desktop will be GNOME and users need to manually add either 'desktop=lxde' or 'desktop=xfce'. All desktop environments support ================================ There are two aspects to that: 1) what packages get included on the first DVD 2) desktop environment selection  in isolinux menu for i386 and amd64 Why not use this option for CD sets? * It would mean non-key Gnome packages get pushed back to later CDs. * It would make CD1 effectively unusable for any DE when used by itself. * To be certain you can fully install any DE task you'd need to scan *a lot* of CDs (about 7) or you'll be downloading most packages from a mirror, in which case you should be using a netinst image anyway. So, it makes a lot of sense to just keep the CD sets GNOME-centered and keep the KDE and light DE installation CDs for those who really want to install the other DEs from CD. DVDs (and Blu-Ray) ------------------ For DVDs it makes most sense IMO to keep the order in which packages are added the same for all architectures, so that would mean configuring debian-cd to use desktop=all for all arches. I have verified that for the i386 DVD all DE and server and language tasks easily fit on the first DVD with plenty of room left over for the top packages from popcon (first ~3900 get included). For all arches the default desktop will remain GNOME. For i386 and amd64 users will have the option to select which DE they want to install from the Advanced options boot menu. For other arches users will need to manually add 'desktop=...' to select an alternative DE. netinst and businesscard (i386 and amd64 only) ---------------------------------------------- We can also add the option to select an alternative DE to the smaller images. After all, packages will be downloaded from a mirror anyway so we know all desktops will be available. The contents of the images themselves will not change. I see only benefits from this as general usability is improved. This will mean configuring debian-cd to use desktop=all. Whether to do that for i386 and amd64 only, or for all arches is a matter of taste. For other arches it makes no sense, but it's also a safe no-op. multi-arch images ----------------- The i386/amd64/powerpc CD is basically a netinst image, so that can get desktop=all to enable DE selection in the boot menu for i386 and amd64. The i386/amd64/powerpc DVD is more problematic as having all desktops will completely fill the DVD leaving no room for other packages with a high popcon score. Proposal is therefore to drop powerpc support from this DVD. With only i386 and amd64 there is still room for the top ~2600 packages on the DVD. Dropping images that make no sense? =================================== Somewhat unrelated. We have several architectures that don't support booting from CD (armel, mipsel, s390) which means we're building a number of images that nobody will ever use: - businesscard and netinst - KDE, XFCE The full CD and DVD set make some sense for archival purposes. Should we configure d-cd to skip these arches for those images? Cheers, FJP  A bit of background info. One could wonder why this is being done in the isolinux boot menu rather than during the installation, e.g. in tasksel. The simple reason is that Joey Hess, the lead developer for tasksel, has always been opposed to doing it in tasksel with as main argument that tasksel is mostly for new users who are probably not aware of what DEs exist and thus would only be confused when having to choose between meaningless names as GNOME, KDE, etc. One could argue about the validity of that argument, or about implementing it so that the option would only be available for "expert" users, but the fact remains that tasksel currently does not support DE selection. But users do regularly keep asking about it. One reason I have chosen to "hide" DE selection in the "Advanced options" menu instead of in the main boot menu is to honor Joey's feelings about this: I think that this way it is buried deep enough not to confuse new users, while still being easily enough available to users who go looking for it. Still, the option to support DE selection in the boot menu can be seen as a workaround for the fact that it's missing in tasksel.
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