Ideas/Questions about Jigdo...
First off let me just say that Jigdo is great and I've used it to download
Debian 3 a few times. Now I just have some questions and ideas about how
it could be possibly improved/altered.
So Jigdo files and the templates are the basis for the iso creation, and
it downloads .deb files. My question is how are the .jigdo files and
templates created and will there be an easy program/way to do this so that
one could basically design their own iso with custom packages.
I think this would be great as it would allow a great increase in the
flexibility/usability of debian. People could create their own custom
releases that have the packages they want/need while not wasting time on
packages that they won't use and couldn't comprehend.
I mean someone could create a .jigdo file and template customized for
older PCs say 486s that would focus on packages that would run easier on
the older platform, while avoiding newer packages that are too bloated for
a older pc to handle. This is something I'm interested in doing in
general, since I work at a community center with a lot of older donated
PCs that might be able to make decent workstations if I could get some
thinner software, I mean the fact that debian optimizes it's packages to
the 386 architecture still conducive to this idea. I just don't know if
anybody has really worked on it.
I mean the other possibilties for customized isos that could still be
downloaded from all of the debian mirrors are pretty exciting to me. I
don't know any of the other distributions that this would be possible
So what are the technical details that need to be filled in to accomplish
this ? I mean obviously if a program that allowed people to customize
their ISOs it would have to have a list of all the debian packages, it
would probably be very similar to DSELECT but hopefully GUI, is StormPkg
the only one that has been coded ?
My ideal would be a nice gui that could also be used for the install
process, something that explains each package, ideally each GUI app would
have a screen shot to go along with it to let people see what they're
getting. These are high expectations that I doubt could easily be
implemented, but it would be nice. I mean the DSELECT process is just a
little cumbersome to new people and doesn't really make debian seem very
up to date when compared to the slicker/easier installs that other people
utilize. With a program like this people could do the package selection
before they even start the install process and then the deselect aspect
could be skipped and the distro would just install all packages, making
the debian install seem to zoom by. I mean how hard would it be to code a
package selector program for Linux/Xwindows/Windows that would work on
most platforms since one idea against a GUI install is that it wouldn't be
easily implemented cross platform.
I guess there would be a lot of ideas/concerns, I mean some people would
want to use the testing database for their ISOs and that could mean that
they go outdated, or they might want packages that aren't available within
the standard woody distribution but jigdo wouldn't be able to download
them unless you did something similar to the whole NON-US allowing people
to input custom mirrors for packages that they have compiled to be
compatible with woody but they aren't. That might be kind of sticky ish
and add more complex issues.
So these are my thoughts, I think that if something like this was possible
it would alter the way debian works. I would like to hear feedback on the
feasibility and interest in this concept. I'd love to work on it, but my
programming skills are relatively undeveloped, although I'm trying to
learn and teach myself.