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guaranteed non-interactive installation and upgrades

#include <hallo.h>
* Brian May [Sat, Dec 07 2002, 12:40:12PM]:

> It seems to be set for a "pbuilder login" operation on the stable
> version of pbuilder.
> So do you think debian-image should check the value of DEBIAN_FRONTEND?
> Sounds like a good idea to me...

I think we should document this in the policy and force maintainers,
following this simple rule. When DEBIAN_FRONTEND value is Non-Interactive,
no question should interrupt the installation process. Really none.

Take the kernel postinst, for example. It rely on some keywords in
/etc/kernel-img.conf conf, and does not care about DEBIAN_FRONTEND. This
is a thing that should be changed. Imagine following solution:

 DEBIAN_FRONTEND is set to Non-Interactive. kernel postinst reads that
 value. If the keywords in /etc/kernel-img.conf are not set, does not
 ask the user but makes some autodetection. An additional variable in,
 say, /etc/setup-profile (eg. keyword: default-desktop) does tell the
 kernel-postinst to use the default installation settings (lilo as
 bootloader, no additional boot floppy).

This concept could be expanded to all packages that use direct console
interaction, where 99.9% percent of decissions can be guessed
automaticaly, based on some profile-keyword.

Same for the debconf questions with priority=critical. Show me one such
setting where the answer cannot be determined automaticaly.

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