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Re: SEUL: Installation steps

Michael Peck wrote:
> Greg Bell wrote:
> > 1) Scan BIOS area for data needed during the install
> Video, serial ports, and printer would be difficult to get from
> BIOS, as far as I know. Probing the video card can yield some
> information, but the day a video card is released after the
> release of any particular SEUL distribution, the distribution is
> befuddled. In these cases, one could default to SVGA, but it
> would still be problematic.

The best thing to do is to have a default VGA or SVGA mode that
SEUL falls back to when it cannot recognize the video card. This
is especially true for the initial install process since we don't
need any fancy display modes just to show the user a progress bar.
The default video modes would not be the fastest or most feature
rich but they would have the singular advantage of working with
minimal fuss.
> Serial ports are not foolproof from the BIOS. I added a PCI serial
> expander and the BIOS knew nothing about it. The best thing to do
> would be to run setserial on each COM port individually and find
> out what's available.
> Printers need to be handled at a much higher level.
> Other things that *could* be addressed by BIOS: Hard disk, floppy,

In general, I think that most PC BIOS' are pretty ilinfomed about
the actual hardware configuration. In order to get a reliable idea
of what hardware exists on a system we will need an elaborate auto-
detection program.

> > 4)Add needed drivers
> How does SEUL handle drivers? Suppose the user wants to use an
> experimental driver, that we have not prepackaged. How would they
> go about doing this?

Currently, SEUL handles drivers in exactly the manner that WinNT6.0
and MacOS 10 do: it doesn't because it doesn't exist yet.

> One thought is that we might have a generic "kernel compiler"
> interface program. It would let the user configure a kernel
> safely, then compile it with some sort of GUI front-end and
> install it (a la make zlilo).

SEUL stands to Simple END USER Linux. End users will not want
to recompile the kernel just to install something. This is why
we would have modules enabled as part of the default install.

It cannot be emphasized enough that kernel compiles and other
hackerisms are to be avoided at all costs with an end user
targeted system. I would go so far as to say that features
should be omitted from the SEUL project if they cannot be
included in a mannner that is simple and unthreatening to the
end user.

> > 5)install kernel & modules (install lilo???)
> My vote on LILO is simply to make it standard. Until a better boot
> loader comes along, I say simplify matters and just use LILO. I've never
> done it any other way; can someone point out the potential pitfalls?
> > 6) make a boot disk
> >
> > 7) personnelize linux (i.e. fonts, colors, etc., etc.)
> How much of this might we do? Are we talking about some sort of
> interface to setterm, stty, xterm, etc.? Or just X Windows stuff?
> And if just X Windows, how can we do this before we know a) The
> video specifics, and b) The window manager in use?

We ARE talking about X Windows stuff. We can do this because we
will a) auto-detect the video hardware and, at least, support a
minumum video mode (VGA) and b) madate a window manager. Again,
try to remember that we are targeting the end user, and giving
the end user the choice of half a dozen different window managers
will only server to confuse, frustrate, and eventually, deter
him or her from using the system.

- Jeff Dutky
Simple End User Linux Mailing list
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