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Re: [RFC] Consequences for official CD/DVD images for Lenny

Quoting Frans Pop (elendil@planet.nl):
> 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 

Ahem, as you say...:-)

I was planning to do such testing next week-end as I had no
opportunity to do it during that week. However, I wonder if that's
really worth it as Franklin did so and I trust him for the care of the
tests (at least much more than /me).

> 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.

As often with your proposals, Frans (and, of course, that's not a
criticism), it is well thought and written enough and therefore does
not leave much things to comment on (except "me too" statements).

Let's try, anyway because of the great work involved in the
preparation of that proposal.

> 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'.

Fair enough. With the noticeable exception of powerpc, most arches are
probably installed very rarely with a desktop environment
anyway....and this is not a regression, but only something that's made
easier for "popular" arches.

> All desktop environments support
> ================================
> There are two aspects to that:
> 1) what packages get included on the first DVD
> 2) desktop environment selection [1] 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.

In short: installs from CD will offer all desktops but only GNOME is
installable without the network or other CDs. Do I understand correctly?

> 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.

Perfect, imho.

> 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.

That is a *great* improvement. I see no objection at all, but the need
to document this.

> 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.

Isn't that facing the reality that powerpc is probably no longer a
"popular" architecture.....and, even more, an architecture where
people rarely reinstall new machines. Seems fair to me and a good
compromise for keeping a very useful DVD image (IMHO, the multi-arch
DVD will certainly be the choice of magazines who distribute DVDs or
the choice of those of us who distribute installation media at booths
in expos....)

> 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
> The full CD and DVD set make some sense for archival purposes.
> Should we configure d-cd to skip these arches for those images?

More a debian-cd question, but certainly building images for arches
that don't support booting from such media can be seen as
pointless...unless maybe virtualization environments for these arches
do allow booting from CD.

> 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.

Yes. We could some day come back on that topic later...but we know
that feelings from people who have dealt with such requests in the
past (you, /me, Joey, other "old" d-i team members) is somewhat mixed... 


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