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Re: SEUL: Observatons

Johan Grape wrote:

> The idea of SEUL is, in my opinion, to bring out a distribution
> that *introduces* linux.  Someone gets a copy, or downloads it,

Well...it better do a lot more than that!  If this is worthwhile, it
needs to be something that people can use and grow with.  What's the
point in getting them hooked, then say "go buy RedHat?"

>         I personally think we should assume that a FAT partition
> exists on the PC.  We should provide a boot manager that runs from
> this partition (the partition could be tiny) - but something more

I don't think we should assume anything.  If a FAT/DOS partition is
there, install some kind of loader on it.  If it's not, just put our
loader in the MBR.  No biggie.

> than lilo.  However, we should install linux into its own partition
> (no fudging with running from a FAT partition).


> 1. boot from floppy.  The kernel supports EIDE (also CD) and
> has modules for most SCSI controllers.  I strongly suggest we aim the

I also mentioned that Zip drivers would be nice, and I hold to that.  I
know, most complete newbies won't know what to do with them, but it
could be nice for some people.  And how much space could they take?

> first install disks at the most generic setups - ie. IDE disk/CD
> and/or SCSI disk CD.  Lets leave out all the different MFM/RLL/Mitsumi
> CDROMS etc.  Do autodetection for EIDE/CD first, then SCSI, if the
> kernel does not autdetect SCSI, give the user the option to select
> SCSI controller from a list and specify parameters.  Then let the user

Ok, no argument there.  Almost everyone has an IDE or SCSI CD-ROM.  If
they don't, they need to upgrade.  :-)  (or use the Zip driver after
they use a DOS box to copy the install images from CD-ROM to a Zip

> set up partitions, and format FS.  *Create a swap file* don't make
> them create a seperate swap partition - seems like a waste to many
> novices.  Then copy vanilla install system from CD/FAT partition/floppy
> onto the partition. Reboot.


> 3. Boot into linux setup.  Starts stripped-down vanilla VGA
> Xserver by default for config tools which will allow setup of X,
> PPP, users etc. etc.  Tell the user about the X three-finger salute
> and try the X configuration.  If it fails, have a way to revert to
> the generic VGA server again.  When it is done, present the user
> with the "tour of linux" by HTML.  (I just know the X-thing is
> going to give me a lot of grief - but at the same time, I don't
> know anyone who doesn't run X)

OK.  I used to be of the opinion that we should do the install in curses
AND do not require X to be used at all.  But it seems as though most
"end users" want GUIs and most of them have decent computers, so I guess
I can concede to making X be a "standard".  Perhaps there should be
another distribution for people with peices of junk 386s that can't run
X but would still like to do useful stuff (Internet, BBSs) with their

> 2. Management - we might as well hack away at RedHat's control-panel
> stuff.  It works pretty good.  One thing it's missing is that you should
> be able to fire it up as a normal user, and then have it prompt for a
> password to let you do the management.

Well, it's allright, but it would need quite a bit of work.  I think we
should probably start over.

>         I also think we should have a database of available programs
> that the user can peruse, and tell them to go visit sunsite or redhat
> or debian (or the CD)for that matter to get packages.  This implies

As I mentioned before (and don't think I got any replies to), I think it
would be a good idea to have a client/server install system.  Set up a
software.seul.org (or whatever), have a client program to connect to
it.  This program would let people query the software available,
determine if it would run on his/her computer, give good descriptions,
maybe screenshots, and let them download it and automatically install
it.  I'd actually like to work on that part of it myself!

Micah K. Yoder            My computer is 100% Microsoft free!
yoderm@geocities.com      Support freedom in computing:  Use Linux!
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