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Re: console-* tools and debian-installer for Debian/*bsd

On Thu, Apr 17, 2003 at 09:09:06AM +0100, Alastair McKinstry wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm the console-{tools,data} maintainer and a debian-installer hacker;
> in particular I'm working on getting d-i working on each debian arch:
> (see http://people.debian.org/~mckinstry/ports-status.html)
> I am interested in the state of the Debian/BSD port; specifically in two
> things:
> (1) I'm working on console-tools "next generation" in kbd-chooser, a kbd
> selection utility (first for d-i, then replacing console-common with it
> when its stable). Whats different about the keymap  / font stuff in
> Debian/BSD and what would be required for supporting both Debian
> GNU/Linux & Debian GNU/*BSD?

About all I can offer off the top of my head is "wscons", which is the
(modern) console stuff for NetBSD. I'm not sure what FreeBSD uses, and I've
never dug into wscons very far, to date.

> (2) I'm downloading & testing out the install floppies. Do you expect /
> intend to use d-i in the future? What would Debian/*BSD need to use the
> d-i system (other than a different kernel installer, obviously;
> bootloader changes? filesystem? 

I believe the intention is to release with debian-installer as the
installation path; the floppies are a 'good enough for now' solution that
isn't very robust or, really, probably the right answer long-term. Some
large number of things need to be resolved with d-i first (for example,
partitioning support for NetBSD, to name just one of the ones I've seen
some work on). NetBSD natively uses it's own bootloader; I'm not sure if
something like GRUB can reasonably be taught to replace it (though it's
quite possible, *if* I understand how GRUB operates). Both FreeBSD and
NetBSD ports will probably use their native filesystem by preference, since
ext2/3 support, if available, is often in a "not well supported" state. On
the flip side, those are probably fairly easy to deal with, since they're
in the kernel already, and the support tools are easily portable and work
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>

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