[custom] Some issues for custom debian distributions
As discussed during debcamp in Oslo, all the groups/projects making
debian based custom distributions should join together to find common
solutions to the common problems. This is a start, with a few of the
issues that Skolelinux had and solved.
- Automatic installation
Using the new debian-installer and a few hooks to get the
partitioning we want and the packages we want installed into the
hard drive. I'm fairly satisfied with this solution.
- Installing the list of package we want
Using meta-packages (ie packages consisting only of dependencies)
to install the packages we want. Used hooks in base-config to
get them installed during first time installation. Not too happy
about the meta-package approach, as it is fragile and break
easily if some dependency is unavailable.
- Preconfigure the packages we install
Using two different approaches: (1) Load answers into the debconf
database before the packages are installed using some home-make
scripts, and (2) rewrite/replace configuration files using
cfengine at the end of the installation if the package is unable
to configure what we want using debconf. I'm fairly satisfied
with this solution, but am not sure if the method used to feed
the debconf database is the best available. I believe the best
option would be to extend all the packages we use to make it
possible to configure everything we need using debconf answers.
- Automatic X configuration
Using home-brewed script filling the debconf database, and then
call dexconf from the xfree86 package to generate the
configuration file. The HW detection info is fetched from
various packages (discover, kudzu, detect, etc).
- CD building
Using a heavily patched version of debian-cd to create the CDs.
Most of the patches is to include the d-i boot floppies. This
should now be possible with the standard version of debian-cd,
but no one in Skolelinux have taken the time to update our copy
of the scripts.
- Configure default language for all users
Using a custom script to rewrite config files to modify the
- Making simpler KDE menus
Working on a system to make simple menus and change the menu
depending on the users group membership.
There are probably others, but this should be a good starting point.
Are these issues common to other custom distros? How did you solve