Ticket #702 (review enhancement)

Opened 14 years ago

Last modified 10 years ago

installer should use debconf

Reported by: geofft Owned by:
Priority: normal Milestone: Current Semester
Component: installer Keywords:
Cc: Fixed in version:
Upstream bug:


So, we have this thing that asks you for some questions and then installs some Debian packages. Sounds familiar...

If we use Debconf to ask questions for the installer, and use debconf-apt-progress to wrap our aptitude calls, then we get a couple of nifty things:

  • The normal text-mode install is capable of giving a little nicer menus with back/forward options and such.
  • We get a graphical installer for free, just by switching to the GNOME or KDE frontends, with a progress bar for apt.
  • It will integrate with the PXE install UI (i.e., debian-installer) instead of being a shell script run in a separate window.

Perhaps part of the latter is getting the preinstall PXE stuff to also use Debconf, so that we can prompt for stuff before the base install completes.

Note that, if we actually want a Debconf frontend other than "noninteractive" running during the initial install, we'll need to deal with #479 and preseed "seen" flags appropriately instead of abusing the noninteractive frontend into doing that for us.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 13 years ago by jdreed

Perhaps part of the latter is getting the preinstall PXE stuff to also use Debconf

I'll note there's comments from amb in the stage2 that say:
# Using debconf here will hang, so parse the command line manually.

We run stage2 as an include_command, not an early_command, and that's possibly relevant. Now that the mass upgrade is done, we could maybe switch to early_command for stage2, since we pass the netcfg options manually now and in theory you should never get to stage2 without valid networking (statically from the passed parameters, or DHCP from being registered).

comment:2 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Milestone changed from The Distant Future to Quantum Quetzalcoatl

comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by jdreed

When we do this, we should remove the conditional in the installer (added in r25883) that still makes PXE installs non-interactive.

comment:4 Changed 10 years ago by jdreed

  • Status changed from new to review

Here's a rewrite using Debconf of the stage1 installer:  https://github.com/mit-athena/scripts/pull/12

At the moment, it just mirrors existing functionality, and passes nothing to stage2.

This is testable by booting from PXE and holding down Shift to get a PXELINUX boot prompt, and booting "stage1-test"

comment:5 Changed 10 years ago by jdreed

The actual new pull request. I have tested it, and nobody has complained, so I'm considering pushing this at the end of the week.


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