Holiday Wish list
Ok, so this is coffee induced, but my one wish is that all HOWTOs include
a last modified date so I don't spend hours learning and installing the
old way, and that all HOWTOs explain *why* each step is done instead of
just the steps. (Is that two wishes?)
The main reason I pick Debian is that I want to install just what I need
and use, and understand *why* it's installed and *how* the parts fit
together. I've often been tempted by Linux from Scratch for this reason,
but I love apt-get too much.
And if I can ask for anything, I'd ask for Debian specific HOWTO wikis.
I think most all debian setup and config options are discussed on this
list - often over and over. I'd love to see individual topic HOWTOs
specific to debian that can be annotated/updated as questions and answers
come up on the list.
And then perhaps a CGI interface where a new user can be asked a series of
questions about what kind of system they want and get a list of steps that
are pointers to the individual HOWTO wikis. Kind of like tasksel, but in
It would also have to be a rather smart system to detect that addition of,
say ide-scsi, might need a kernel recompile and include those docs.
Ok, it would never work as TIMTOWTDI when setting up a machine. But for
newcomers some time there's too many ways, and one good way would be a
The other reason to reject such an idea is that there already is a ton of
really good docs available. Still, I like the wiki idea to update docs as
things come up on this list.
I say all this because I have been trying to keep good notes when I set up
a new machine. I install a base system and then try and apt-get only what
I need. My notes try and explain why I need to install something, some
basics of how it works (e.g. "/etc/init.d/foo runs, reads
/etc/default/foo.conf, and foo updates something else" kind of thing).
Rarely perfect but takes some of the mystery out of it. And I cut-n-paste
the actual commands I type into my notes which make re-using them really
easy (as I can then cut-n-paste from the notes).
I reinstalled a machine a few days ago and I picked sections of what I
wanted to install from the notes of three other installs and it was so
easy to set up that new machine for me. That's what made me think about a
way to select the things I want setup and have the notes compiled together
Ok, enough of that. Time for another cup of coffee.
Bill Moseley email@example.com