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Re: package pre-selections tool

"James R. Van Zandt" <jrv@vanzandt.mv.com> writes:

> 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
> necessary.  

Another nice thing about Red Hat is that you can easily customize
these.  There is a text file called "comps" that detemines the component
names and the contents of the components.

For each component the user selects the install program goes through
and marks the packages as selected.  Then, if the user selected
"select individual packages", it allows the user to go through the
tree of all packages to select and deselect packages.

It then computes dependencies and presents a list of additional
packages it wants to install (with reasons) for the user to ok.

Finally, it installs all the selected packages without asking the user
20 times in a row if they prefer XV (or which dictionary they prefer).

> 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 profiles should be stored in the install tree _and_ there should
be a text file containing lines like the following:


which would be used to create the above menu.  (This makes it easy for
third parties to add their own custom profiles.)  Other than that, it
sounds like a good idea.

> 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.

I would feel a lot better about 2.0 if the install-mime issue were
resolved.  Does anyone have any good ideas on how to improve this?
(This issue is that the install-mime dialog is very confusing and

(The dictionary issue isn't as important since fewer people install
English, German and French dictionaries.)


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