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Re: Linuxconf

On Fri, May 29, 1998 at 09:13:01AM -0500, John Goerzen Linux Expo Laptop wrote:
> On Fri, May 29, 1998 at 02:21:45PM -0500, David Engel  wrote:
> > Lucky you.
> What I didn't mention is that it has been 90 F and very humid outside, the
> taxi service is rather poor, etc.  But still, the Expo has been great :-)

Hey, I live in Dallas where it's usually _well_ over 90F with
significant humidity from May through September.  I hate it too!

> What really got me impressed was that it does not use its own database -- it
> groks the REAL config files for each program.  This, I think, eliminates the
> largest problem from other similar types of systems.

This is what I had understood.  If done right, it has the potential to
keep both techies and non-techies happy.

> Also, it's got a lot of really nifty features, such as powerful
> configuration synchronization between machines, automatic restarting (by

Oooh, oooh, oooh!  This is a real need.  We have a growing number of
Linux systems that our anti-Linux MIS people won't touch.
Consequently, we need a way for non-admin people to manage multiple
systems easily.

> Yes, I think it looks good.  We still need to do a bit of work on ease of
> installation; particularly for those that are not familiar with the concept
> of multiple partitions.  FreeBSD has a nice "auto-fill" mode where it will
> automatically create partitions of appropriate sizes using whatever space is
> available on the disk.

I believe Debian used to have something where it would automatically
partition a single disk at installation.  IMO, it wasn't flexible
enough and never caught on.  If something like this is to be tried
again, it needs to be more sophisticated.  I think something like the
following would work.

	Automatically determine what free disk space is available.

	Query the user for what type of system they want (server,
	workstation, development, etc.).

	Query the user on how granular to make the partitions (e.g.
	separate /var, /usr, /home, etc.) and explain the pros and
	cons for each option.

	Query the user for what free space may actually be used.

	Intelligently layout the partitions using the given parameters,
	propose it to the user and allow it to either be tweaked or
	complete redone with new parameters.

> My initial idea was that each package that has config info could provide a
> Linuxconf module instead of asking questions in postinst.  The problem,
> though, is with binary-all packages -- being written in C++, Linuxconf
> modules are all architecture-specific and thus will pose some problems in
> this context.  I do not know what a good solution would be at this time.

I don't see this as a major problem.  binary-all packages can easily
be converted to binary-arch packages.

David Engel                        ODS Networks
david@sw.ods.com                   1001 E. Arapaho Road
(972) 234-6400                     Richardson, TX  75081

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