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Re: SEUL: Partitioning

> I know that we aren't supposed to know what a SEUL-CD is at this stage, but
> if the base SEUL filesystem is in a file on CD, it could be copied to the
> DOS drive (if a user cannot do this, then they should not be attempting to
> run Linux, IMHO, although a setup program could be provided). This means
> that the generic Linux system is installed before Linux is even booted,
> which _removes_ the need for boot+root disks (something which I would love
> to see, although Debian is supposed to boot from CD). Once Linux has been
> booted from this file, all the optional components can be installed.

OK, we're back on the CD thing again, but in some sense it may be time (at 
least limited to this particular thread):

If we're going to have a live filesystem residing on the/a CD, why bother even 
making them copy it over to the HD for a trial run?  There are only a few 
(countable on one hand) CD-ROM drives out there that don't work under Linux, 
in which case we'll have to provide tools under DOS (eew!!) to copy over the 
live filesystem components needed.  (aside: we need to [eventually] provide 
tools for all contingencies if we plan to support older hardware.  Otherwise 
we start adopting some of M$'s policies: "It's supported, but you'll have to 
do this, this, and that to get it working, and oh, you'll need new hardware")

Basically, we have them put the CD in the drive under Winblows95, 
autowhatever.inf starts up the nifty-cool Windoze version of the install, 
operating in TRIAL MODE (as stated loudly by the splash screen), it copies 
over a basic loopback root, does some evil/disgusting magic to pseudo-mount 
the filesystem to change a few config files (told ya it's evil/disgusting), 
provide the means to boot the system, and let them at it.  loadlin would load 
the kernel, start in initloop-root mode, look for the CD, prompting the user 
if necessary, and off they go.  They have all the packages installed, they 
have /var and /home space to maintain their personal config, and they can 
de-install at any time using the normal Windoze methods.

Yes, this puts Linux at the mercy of M$, as users will think it's a nifty app 
and not a replacement, but this is where the utter coolness of SEUL and lots 
of marketing/propaganda (hate that word) and user education: "SEUL is a 
*replacement* for Windoze 95 that's so carefully crafted you can try it out 
RISK-FREE without disturbing your existing system!"

This brings up yet another interesting point (new acronym: YAIP).  If we're 
going to lean towards this "trial" thing, our installation system and manuals 
must be set up to deal with this, which will take a lot of planning.  I would 
hate to see 4 different CD's of SEUL built with different options: 
really-dumb-user trial, clueful-user trial, really-dumb-user Standard Edition, 
and clueful-user Standard Edition.  *ONE* distrib should be able to figure out 
and/or ask what kindof install is requested, allow the user to change from 
trial to full install, from clueless-mode to clueful-mode, even graduate to 
maintaining the system without any help from SEUL's tools.


        Erik Walthinsen - Programmer, webmaster, 3D artist, etc.   __
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