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Re: FTP method for "dselect" needed

Bruce Perens writes ("FTP method for "dselect" needed"):
> I notice there's still no "FTP" installation method for "dselect". 
> The latest base floppy set that I have uploaded is net-enabled. If "dselect"
> were able to do direct FTP, that would make it possible to install the system
> very easily from an Ethernet-connected system.


> If nobody else is working on this, Brian White would be an obvious candidate.
> The "dftp" program he's already written must contain most of the functionality
> needed.

I'm not clear on how dftp is implemented; this may or may not be
true.  I shall describe what the FTP method has to do, and then see
what Brian says.

The FTP installation method will have to do all the usual prompting to
find out where things are, and store them in its method-specific
directory in /var/lib/dpkg.

In the `update' script it will have to go and find the Packages files
in all three subdirectories (debian-current - or possibly another
directory if the user specifies one, non-free and contrib) and feed
them to dpkg, the first with --update-avail and then the others with

In the `install' script it will have to recursively descend the
`binary' subdirectory in each of the three trees looking for *.deb
files.  Each *.deb file will have to be presented to dpkg --unpack
--<other-options>.  Note that relying on the filename is not good
enough - you'll have to write a script that does hacky things with
named pipes to download enough of the package so that the control info
can be extracted and then abort the transfer if it isn't wanted.  I
can help with this if needed.  If possible it would be good to invoke
dpkg on several files at once, as this is more efficient, but this
could get very tricky.

When all the *.deb files have been processed, and if it all went
reasonably well, the install script should run dpkg --configure


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