Alright, we are narrowing in. I think starting with a CLI installer makes
sense because it will allow us to work on the true installation issues
rather than getting bogged down in gui code. Lets use python. That will
let us to use both Cursing Cow and Anaconda as great resources for just
about every step of the installation. Once we feel like everything runs
smoothly on a variety of boxes then we can work on putting a gui on top.
(I think wxPython is the best solution. Its clean, quick and extensive.
We could even use a gui builder to quickly experiment with a variety of
interface options.) Anyway, that is for later.
Building the installer as a set of install/configuration modules
is a great idea. Lets start with defining those modules, and then we can
work on common code etc. before digging in.
I propose that we break this whole idea into 3 main sections.
(Note: This has nothing to do with the stage1,2,3 tarballs.)
First, we need the basic gentoo installation:
- partitioning and file systems (RAID support? SCSI cards?)
- nic detection and module loading (Pretty much complete?)
- dns, routing, firewall stuff
- date & time
- keyboard, mouse, language
- cpu detection and compiler flags
- mounting partitions and getting stage tarball setup
- password & hostname
- bootloader setup (interfaces to lilo and/or grub)
Once the basic system is installed we move into part 2,
initial Portage system installation and configuration:
- Portage tree sync
- Setting use flags
- Kernel configuration
Now we have a basic system installed. We can reboot into our new
kernel and start the final, most difficult, stage of installation: package
selection. Rather than just copying everyone else and making large lists,
lets try to make this more intuitive. Maybe we could have a few bundles
that people can select to get rolling quickly, but full control should
still given to the user. Personally, I would rather just get a
working gnome/kde installation and then use a gui selection tool rather
than some clunky ncurses thing. Maybe we could have a very lightweight
CLI manager that lets you select gnome, kde or just cli. If they use
gnome or kde then we give them a slick gui manager once X starts up. If
they use cli then they are probably setting up a server and they can deal
with using emerge as is.
After looking through a bunch of code I agree we should really try
to use a lot of the existing stuff to get things started. The LiveCD
pretty much does all the very initial stuff. After that we can use the
cursing cow work to put together the install stage1 and part of stage2.
For stage 3, I think we should build a python gui (wxPython?) that doesn't
use kde or gnome specifically. This is where a lot of the experimentation
will need to go.
Whooh... What do you say? I'll be graduating in a month so I won't be
able to work a whole lot until the summer begins, but I think we should
try to refine this idea/design a lot before diving in and hacking out
something that just works.
On Sun, 13 Apr 2003, Alain Penders wrote:
> The main installer that was being worked on is Cursing Cow. Both developers
> that were working on it recently left Gentoo, however.
> If someone wanted to continue it's development, we probably can get the
> information needed from them. From what I know, it's in pretty good
> condition... part of it needed to be rewritten, but nothing major.
> There's at least one (I think two) other installers in CVS, but I have no idea
> on their status or where they were left at.
> Building a good installer goes beyond installing Gentoo. For example, if the
> installer has a module to configure networking, that module should be written
> so that it works in the installer, but also in an after-install system
> configuration tool. Installers also need to be able to handle updates or
> "corrective installs", which means integration with configuration file
> On Fri, Apr 11, 2003 at 05:04:10PM -0600, Jeff Rose wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I'm pretty new to gentoo, but I am an instant convert. Just a
> > few months of emerge bliss and now I'm an avid supporter. Anyway, I'm
> > thinking about starting a summer project and I'm pondering the idea of a
> > gui installer. I've been looking around a bit and it doesn't look like
> > anyone is working on one. Is that true? If there isn't already a project
> > then I think I'll give it a whirl. I know, I know, gentoo is so great
> > because it allows you to customize and tweak the hell out of everything.
> > That is completely true. So, an installer would have to allow just as
> > much but it could take care of the mundane details for those who aren't
> > interested or knowledgable enough.
> > I haven't been around to see what people discuss in terms of the
> > installer so I'm sorry if this is all stuff that you have gone over
> > hundreds of times. Even more minimal than a gui installer, have you
> > thought about adding more scripts to do the standard directory setup,
> > download, chroot... type of stuff?
> > What do you think?
> > -Jeff
> > --
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