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Re: SEUL: Starting point for SEUL - why not simply offer alternate installer for Debian?

George Bonser wrote:

> On Tue, 27 Jan 1998, Roland Turner wrote:
> > It seems to me that for SEUL to start from scratch would be something of
> > a waste of time. Instead, it should build on an existing distribution.
> > Such a distribution should:
> Which is, in fact, what has been decided.
> >
> > - already be capable of package management (RedHat and Debian spring to
> > mind)
> Debian was decided on.

Oh good. Perhaps the FAQ maintainer might like to make mention of this.

> I think SEUL will provide a more extensive default installation than any
> other distribution but the choice to be Debian based allows the user
> considerable freedom in configuring their own system to their liking.

Exactly. This is indeed what I was thinking when I thought about doing
this myself - most people (even some highly proficient users - myself
for example) really don't care for the most part about what is installed
and what isn't. Having to do a base install then add another 40 pacakges
to get everything working (I've just done exactly this - reinstalled
Debian because I re-arranged the hard drives on my machine, restored my
/home and /usr/local backup, then had to install all of the other
packages that I use, thankfully I came up with a means to machine
generate a list).

Incidentally, this is something that I'd consider for a wish list: some
means to record what packages have been installed, with what options o a
given machine so that later, this information could be fed to the
installer to install the same packages with the same options. This also
opens the way for support personal for particular groups of users to
provide an "installation profile" with appropriate packages and settings
already included. (This has some similarities to the Solaris "jumpstart"
installation procedure.)

More musings: a comprehensive default install is certainly a worthwhile
goal. Something that I have always liked about the Solaris initial
installation is that it doesn't require you to plow through hundreds of
packages, instead it offers 4 levels of installation with their disk
space requriements listed. I forget the exact selections, but it looks
something like:

- minimal end user (135MB)
- full end user (190MB)
- developer (250MB)
- complete (320MB)

You can still go in later and add specific packages if required, but
this trivial choice makes life particularly easy - and is simple enough
for most users to pick straight away what level they might be happy

> There will be more than a simpler installer.  If that is all there is to
> it, then SEUL is noting more than an installer project for Debian. The

That would be my starting point, but yes, I can see that there are other
areas worth tackling.

> There are a LOT of packages in Debian looking for new maintainers (kde is
> one) ... it might help BOTH distributions if packages were "distribution
> aware" and save a lot of duplicated effort.

Interesting. If I ever find the time to take on Debian package
maintenance, I'll keep SEUL conformance in mind.

- Raz