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[MEETINGS] Minutes from the Debian Installer team meeting of June 24th 2006

Please find below the minutes of the Debian Installe rteam meeting of
June 24th.

As usual, these minutes are linked in the D-I meetings wiki page

Debian Installer team meeting number 12 has been held from 16:00UTC to
17:29UTC on Saturday June 24th 2006 on #debian-boot@irc.debian.org

There were about 70 people connected to the channel during the meeting
and 13 of them spoke during the meeting at least once.

The full log of the meeting is available at

Status of partman-crypto

David Härdeman and Max Vozeler gave a pretty complete picture of
partman-crypto and partman-crypto-auto in [1].

partman-crypto is considered ready enough for being included in D-I
beta3 as long as enough documentation is written for being included in
the Installation Guide.

(update: has been done in the meantime)

partman-crypto-auto has been widely tested by David but could be a
little bit too young for beta3. It needs more testing by other users
and will not be included in D-I beta3.

The root filesystem on an encrypted partition ("root-on-crypto") needs
some work in order to have some keyboard mapping for users of non US
keyboards. As a temporary solution, a warning will be included in the
password prompt to remind users that the keyboard is temporarily using
a US keymap. This solution will allow waiting for a better solution
with detection in D-I and addition of a keymap in the initramfs config
when needed.

The default for partman-crypto will be dm-crypt.

Graphical installer

Davide Viti wrote a summary in [2].

Fonts and new libraries remain the hot topic.

The refinement of the fonts list is under way. Most needed fonts have
been identified. Some needed new udebs which have nearly all be
included by their respective maintainers. Some of these require some
NEW processing to enter the archive (ttf-bpg-georgian-fonts,
ttf-farsiweb, ttf-tamil-fonts). The topic is not considered priority
enough for a specific request to be sent to ftpmasters.

Some cairo-directfb packages are under heavy work by Dave Beckett and
packages have been uploaded to experimental, which allows to build
experimental images when some tests are needed.

The GTK+DFB patch should be integrated by Josselin very soon and
packages uploaded to experimental.

(update: done in the meantime, see [3])

Davide will create a wiki page to give the details of the
libraries migration plan.

Xavier Oswald's work on a C reimplementation of gparted is still work in
progress and is committed in the parted SVN on alioth. (update
post-meeting; Xavier posted a summary as of [4]). All this is mostly
waiting for gtk2.8 to be used. Xavier mentioned that help will be needed to complete this work.

Beta3 release

The release preparations have just started ([5]). The tentative plan
is to release in 3 weeks.

 Kernel 2.6.16 for the release

The main blocker for the release is 2.6.16 to enter testing. If that
process goes normally, the timing should be possible.

Actually, we are missing udebs for some arches. Frans will remind
porters very soon.

The topic of the target kernel release for Etch is briefly
mentioned. No one has actually a clear idea about this, though..

 Migration of udebs

A massive migration of udebs to testing will be needed for the
release. This also includes some removals, such as "prebaseconfig".

From now on and until the release, ALL CHANGES THAT MAY BE UNWANTED IN
BETA3 should be coordinated with Frans and not committed without his

Almost all changes to be included in the release have already been
uploaded. A lot of changes affect several udebs and require them to be
migrated to testing together. The migration is certain to break most
Beta2 images (except for full CD and netinst images).

udebs not maintained by the team ("non d-i udebs") will soon be
checked by Frans.

 Changes in debian-cd needed after migration

S/390 and Sparc builds need some updates.

Some discussions about including yaird as an alternate initrd
generator to the netinsts occurs but no strong conclusions is reached. 

 Ports need testing

Nothing really new here: all ports need some testing by porters before
the release of a new version of d-i.

Apart from i386, amd64 and s/390, most ports are not very deeply
tested, from the reports that we get.

Sven Luther will conduct deeper tests on most powerpc arches and

It is suggested that a mail is sent to debian-devel-announce to
request more tests of d-i ports.

 ppc64 native installer

The native port does not get much support within the project. However
it is agreed that the suggested changes have up to now not been very
invasive and have always been made very openly and proactively. After
some discussion the following proposal is accepted:

 -d-i team will not maintain ppc64 data 
 -ppc64 will not be allowed to interfere with release plans (i.e. any
 needed changes have to be submitted in time)
 -in principle no separate uploads for ppc64 changes 
 -to be removed if not maintained 

Post-Beta3 development

 Removing 2.4 kernel support

2.4 kernels will be dropped for Etch. As a consequence, the team
agrees that we don't want to support 2.4 kernels. This will be
announced and the porters for arches which still need it will have to
do the needed work to migrate. Up to now, this concerns m68k on some
subarches, mipsen and arm.

This fits the project's plans to drop support for 2.4 in Etch.

It is then decided to drop support for the first Release Candidate
version of D-I.

This will mean all ports still using 2.4 kernels (or even 2.2) will need
to drop these. In several udebs some code cleanup will be possible
because of this decision.

The m68k d-i porters, who are most dependent on older kernels for some of
their subarches, have earlier stated that they have no problem with this
decision and will possibly maintain a temporary fork of d-i to keep
support for those subarches.

 Persistent device naming

This works for network devices, with the exception of s/390.

The situation is less clear for disk devices....and the meeting did
not clear it up more...:-). Frans mentions a "bad feeling" about the
general situation here.

 Proposal for screen-based installs

Sven mentions a recent idea that came during a work on IBM powerpc64
hardware with serial-based installs.

The idea is about using a system similar to the current
open-ssh-client udeb by using screen for doing multi-console installs.

It is agreed that this is a prospective idea that needs a more
detailed plan and a further discussion.


The next meeting is very likely to be held either at the end of July
if that seems needed for the release or much later, to prepare the
Release Candidate 1 version, probably at some moment in September.

We should probably have a meeting shortly after the release to
discuss dropping 2.4 and code cleanup. We should specifically invite
porters for ports that still use 2.4 for that meeting.


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2006/06/msg00893.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2006/06/msg00902.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2006/06/msg01588.html
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2006/06/msg01358.html
[5] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/EtchBeta3Prep

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