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Re: SEUL: Installation steps

Micah Yoder wrote:
> Well, for a lot of things, the kernel simply has to be recompiled.
> Why can't we make a nice program (actually, isn't there already
> one?) that knows most of the things that should be included, but
> allows the user to enable or disable something?  The program could
> then make an "emergency disk" to restore the system in the event of
> a messup.  Remember, we're talking about at least somewhat intel-
> ligent users here, not complete idiots.  They should be able to run
> a simple program to do this.

We may not be talking about users who are complete idiots but a
kernel compile is complicated enough that even an incomplete
idiot (or a marginally bright person) can get screwed up along
the way. Emergency disks are all well and nice but we should
not invite emergencies by requireing the user to do things that
could cause the system become unbootable.

> What about sound cards - should the modules for all sound cards be
> installed?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like built in
> drivers would be more efficient.

Built in drivers would be more SPACE EFFICIENT but far less USER
EFFICIENT if we required the user to do something complicated and
scary just to get their sound card to work. It would be MUCH better
to have sound cards enabled as modules and detect what sound card
is installed at initial configuration time (when LINUX is first
installed). Then the install proceedure only includes the module
for the sound card that is actually installed in the system.

> Also, there's things like SCSI.  It wouldn't make much sense to put
> SCSI in a module, but not everyone will want it in their kernel.

Again, this should be detected at initial configuration time. When
LINUX is installed on a system with SCSI the install proceedure
would select a kernel that had the appropriate preinstalled. This
would be the case for all boot device drivers, not just SCSI.

> I agree with that.  I just don't think a kernel compile has to be
> complicated!  Tell them to start it and play Doom while they wait...

The question is not how complicated or uncomplicated a kernel compile
is but how intimidating it is to the user and how much inconvenience
a mistake could cause. Kernel compiles are both intimidating and liable
to cause a great deal of inconvenience in case of error.

- Jeff Dutky
Simple End User Linux Mailing list
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