new sysinstall

Steve Mynott steve at
Sat Aug 30 06:50:06 PDT 2003

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Robert Garrett wrote:

> next is to seperate the disk partition/format utility 
> write somthing to be used as init that calls the disk utility
> then copies the neccessary parts of the system to the newly formatted,
> disks.
> then it would install an init, that is the second stage of the 
> installation proccess. 
> after system configuration is complete it would then replace itself as 
> being init with the real one.

One idea might be to convert the functionality of the current sysinstall 
basically into a library and then linking a scripting language against 
it (Python?) and writing the installer in that language.  You would then 
need to select a dialog text mode display type library and maybe a 
graphical library for an installer under X.

The downside of this that you would probably have to import more stuff 
into the tree although maybe work arounds are possible.

On the upside you are more likely to end up more rapidly with something 
with the ease of use of RedHat's Anaconda (written in Python and GPLed) 
and their automated Kickstart system which should be the target with 
something even better than the power of Debian's package management 
sitting underneath.

Many people trying to install open source UNIX systems probably wouldn't 
get any further than the install program so its good to have a nice one :)

For the non-expert user the simplest way is to present them with a 
number of screens in sequence asking questions rather than the current 
menu system, and also a way to drop to a command line prompt or skip 
questions for expert users.

I found

about the (apparently stalled) FreeBSD libh (with its dependency on QT!) 
sysinstall replacement had some interesting comments.

Is the intention to have a floppy install since you would also probably 
solve a lot of problems by just forgetting this?

Just my 2p!

-- Steve

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