[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Installing non-interactively/improving interactive postint-scripts

On Fri, Aug 01, 1997 at 01:10:06AM -0400, Steve Dunham wrote:
> One nice thing about RPM is that the packages can be installed 
> non-interactively.

Can you give a short summary how rpm achieves this?

> (This isn't an implicit fault of the .deb format,
> rather the packages that are available in the .deb format.)

I couldn't agree more. What I'd propose is a standard way for
postinst-scripts to ask questions. If we wouldn't use simple shell-scripts
with 'read' but something a bit more advanced (maybe like the
kernel-configuration scripts), installation could be made much more
user-friendly (for novice *and* advanced users).

'read' is completely unusable for an X-based installation (one of the goals
deity wants to achieve, IIRC) and it's not very comfortable. It doesn't
allow you to go back to the previous question if you made an error or would
like to change your opinion (like in the Windows '95 installation, where
you always have 'Back' and 'Next' buttons that even allow you to peek at
the next question before answering the current one). Also, providing
default answers for non-interactive installations is difficult with this

If we would have a standard program to ask questions during the
installation, this could do the right thing depending on then installation
frontend used. This program could have a Tcl/Tk backend for X, a
dialog-based one for the console or even just a simple 'read' for those who
like the current state. It also could force the package-maintainers to give
symbolic tags to every question, so that you can identify all questions and
put default answers for them into a file. This would be very useful for

A simple query-program won't be able to go back to the previous question,
however. To do this, we'd need something like the kernel-configuration
scripts I mentioned above. This would require rather big changes to the
postinst-scripts, but I think this definitely would be worth the effort.
What do others think about it?

/* Martin Buck                      E-Mail: martin-2.buck@student.uni-ulm.de */
/* Student of electrical engineering   WWW: http://www.uni-ulm.de/~s_mbuck1/ */
/* University of Ulm, Germany  Snail-Mail: Paukengasse 2, 89077 Ulm, Germany */
#include <disclaimer.h>            /* PGP Key available    MIME-Mail welcome */

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-devel-request@lists.debian.org . 
Trouble?  e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: