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Re: Corel/Debian Linux Installer

On Mon, Aug 16, 1999 at 09:39:38AM -0700, David Bristel wrote:
> > So how do we make the debian install better?  The answer, at least to me,
> > seems simple:  Do not make disk partitioning priority one.  It is not;
> > don't force it as though it were.  Leave partitioning to later; for
> > example, until _after_ they have chosen the software to install.
> The problem with this is it forces the minimum ammount of RAM to be larger to
> handle the package list.  We need to allow for people with 4 or 8 megs of RAM.

Well, that's true, but it's not necessarily a problem. For example, what
would be wrong with, say:

	Installer boots

	Installer pokes around

	"Hmmmm. You have no free disk space for Linux -- It's all allocated
	 to Windows. I'm going to resize it a little so I can use some of your
	 disk as scratch space. This won't harm any of your data."

	Installer runs LinuxFIPS or something

	Installer makes a 128MB temporary swap partition, and maybe a
	128MB temporary / partition if it needs other working space.

	Installer does preliminary package selection

	dpkg --get-selections > somewhere_safe

	"Okay. You'll need at least <x> MB of disk space, plus however much
	 you want for your own files. I'd recommend reducing the Windows
	 stuff to <y> MB, leaving <z> MB for your stuff on Linux, and <w>
	 MB free under Windows." (with sliders or something to change, or
	 an [Expert] button to get into fdisk or cfdisk or something)

	Resize, repartition, format, etc.

Now obviously that's a long way from code, but (with the appropriate
escapes so expert users don't have to get their partitions resized all
the time, and such) it doesn't seem completely unreasonable.

And being able to know exactly how much disk space you're going to use
*before* partitioning would be very nice. If someone gets around to
doing the du -S files, the installer can easily calculate how much you
need on each partition you might choose to create too.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

 ``The thing is: trying to be too generic is EVIL. It's stupid, it 
        results in slower code, and it results in more bugs.''
                                        -- Linus Torvalds

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