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Re: Integrate Knoppix in Debian (was: Re: Debian Enterprise?)

Everything that follows is inspired by or lifted directly from
conversations with Skolelinux folks like pere.

On Wed, Nov 26, 2003 at 02:38:38PM +0100, Javier Fern?ndez-Sanguino Pe?a wrote:
> Knoppix (or Knoppix-derived versions) provide three things:


> 3- preconfiguration of all the software and customisation for a specific 
> need.


> The (3) part is not something that debian-desktop will do since it
> boils down to modifying, at leisure, the system's configuration
> (/etc directly, since there is not a single point of configuration,
> debconf is not an option here).

I'm not sure you can speak so categorically about this. Skolelinux has,
in some ways AUIU, gone this route already. 

What we *can* do is find the ways that we, as a custom distribution,
want to change the configuration files of other packages and then
submit wishlist bugs with patches adding low-priority debconf
questions with defaults set to the current behavior. Now the package
need never even *ask* those questions!

Now, when someone does a Custom Distro installation, they'll have a CD
that is vanilla Debian plus some presets to fill the Debconf database
with the values you want for your new debconf questions.

> It's also something that cannot be 'packaged' easily (there are as many 
> possible setups as users out there), and usually this packaging violates 
> policy (since the package would modify other packages configuration 
> files).

This is the beauty of the method above. I'm sure there are limitations
on this model but if we follow this sort of plan, it's not difficult
to imagine a time in the very near future when every Custom
distribution is pure Debian plus a single policy non-compliant package
and the goal of every custom distro to reduce that the size of the
package to zero. :)


Benjamin Mako Hill

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