Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: "Derek J. Belrose" <derek@×××××××××.com>
To: Jeff Rose <rosejn@××××××××.EDU>
Cc: gentoo-dev@g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] GUI installer
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 09:14:41
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-dev] GUI installer by Jeff Rose
I think we should take a look at RedHat's installer to see what goes on 
underneath.  For what I have used, it's hardware detection worked 
perfectly...i believe it's kudzu that drives it.

In my opinion, the installer should just do a stage install, and 
everything that the install doc describes...then on reboot maybe dump to 
X or a ncurses interface giving the user options on what to do next.  I 
like how Debian does it, basic install, then allow dpkg to be configured.


Jeff Rose wrote:

>Well, I'm glad to see that people are interested. After doing some >initial research I have some thoughts. First, we should decide on whether >we want to have a terminal or X based installer. Does anyone know how >well the generic vesa driver works for X? I personally have battled with >X so many times that I'm not sure I think its worth it for an installer. >(Although we could just use the RedHat stuff for autodetection etc. if we >want to go that direction.) Besides X we could use ncurses dialog >widgets or another terminal gui package. I was thinking it would be cool >to use somethine lighter than X like svgalib. I have no experience with >it and don't know how cross platform (or cross video card) it is, but it >could be a cool solution if a decent widget set is put on top of it. I'm >not sure if this would lead to more or less work than using X. > As for choosing stages, that should be a decision made by the user >at install time. We can very briefly explain how the system works and let >them do what they please. For the complete novice we can basically have >the "do everything for me" button. For the supreme hacker we can let them >have it all while still taking care of mundane details. (For example, >they could choose what file systems they want to use on what partitions, >but that would just be a selection dialog rather than having to type the >commands etc...) It might be nice if the installer can be exited at any >point so people have the ability to get things rolling quickly but then >tweak things out to their hearts content once its where they want it. > One of the major pains in the redhat like installers deals with >package selection. I think it is ridiculous to give people a list of a >thousand packages and tell them to pick. Especially since the package >documentation is horrible. Most people probably wouldn't know that its >important for them to have the e2fsprogs installed, for example. So, this >is the portion of the installer where I see the most room for innovation. >Especially since gentoo has such a unique package system, we should really >try to enable the user as much as possible, rather than just hucking a >bunch of packages into the mix. I'm still working on ideas, but we should >experiment with all kinds of stuff to get this stage really smoothed out. > This idea of processor detection makes me think that a whole lot >of detection could go on if we wanted it to. The thing is detection is >useless unless you can act on what you have detected. Changing some CPU >related compiler flags is one thing, but what about detecting network, >sound, video, raid, scsi, firewire, printers etc. This could all get very >tricky real fast. What about using RedHats kudzu? > >Peace, >Jeff > >
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