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Re: package pre-selections tool

Adam P. Harris writes:
>Yann Dirson writes:
> > Adam P. Harris writes:
> >  > Here's my suggestions for the prerolled configurations:
> >  > 
> >  > * basic (stripped down, minimal) configuration:
> >  > * minimal X11 (laptop) configuration:
> >  > * full user X11 standalone
> >  > * full developer box
> > 
> > * Intranet server:
> > MTA, WWW server, maybe others ?

For reference, here are the options under RH 4.0:

( )  C development
( )  development libraries
( )  C++ development
( )  print server
( )  news server
( )  nfs server
( )  networked workstation
( )  anonymous FTP/gopher server
( )  web server
( )  select individual packages

These are not mutually exclusive - the user can select any
combination.  This would be a bit difficult to set up, and IMHO not

For Debian 2.0, I propose a screen like this:

                  Installation Profiles

Please choose one of the following installation profiles.  You will be
able to add or delete individual packages later (either during the
installation, or after the system is up).  However, it is recommended
that new users install one of the *unmodified* profiles (that is, to
skip the "Select" step within dselect and go directly from "Access" to
"Install").  Total disk space is indicated.  Most of this is in /usr.

( ) minimal                                                           40 MB
( ) router/firewall                                                   70 MB
( ) server (ftp, nfs, smb, and http servers)                          90 MB
( ) workstation (all the above, plus X11 server, emacs, and TeX)     160 MB
(*) standard (all the above plus X11 clients and C/C++ development)  250 MB

This would be easy to implement - just keep a "dpkg --get-selections"
file corresponding to each, and copy it in using "dpkg
--set-selections".  Several other profiles are possible, of course.

The key points are:

  1. Advise the new user *not* to add/delete individual packages,
     because dselect's dependency/conflict resolution screen is
     user-unfriendly, and it takes at least an hour just to go through
     the 1400 packages.
  2. Indicate the total disk usage for each profile.  dselect ought to
     manage disk space, but does not.  We should give the user this
     basic information, so he knows whether he has lots of space left,
     or will have to revise his partitioning to get everything to fit.

I will work on a script to calculate disk usage based on a "dpkg
--get-selections" file.

                            - Jim Van Zandt

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