Fwd: FreeBSD 7.1 Content

Ken Smith kensmith at cse.Buffalo.EDU
Sun Sep 7 04:46:40 UTC 2008

On Sat, 2008-09-06 at 14:51 +1000, Ian Smith wrote:
> I just booted off the 7.0 disc1 to check, and /usr/local/bin/links is 
> still the default browser in Options, available during installation from 
> another vty.  So I was a bit surprised, on rebooting into my so far not
> much configured 7.0, to find that it hadn't actually been installed.
> It's a pretty small package, useful enough to at least read local docs, 
> and would be handy installed from disc1 .. and maybe even by bootonly?

I'm actually planning to go in the opposite direction so to speak as far
as sysinstall is concerned.  There are a couple projects in the works to
replace sysinstall, along with the other nifty projects that roll
FreeBSD into "another distro" in Linux-speak.

Basically this is something where one thing can't cater to everyones'
needs/tastes/bikeshed-color.  All you need to do is tolerate this thread
long enough to reach this message to see that...  :-)

I'm with Scott in that I like the "other distros" being around.  I don't
think that necessarily means we shouldn't try harder.  But IMHO trying
harder needs to be reflected in a new installer.  Lets face it,
sysinstall s*cks...  For the type of folks who want the installer to do
more than sysinstall does now sysinstall simply isn't the right tool (no
offense intended).

That said I think "I" (as RE) am stuck with sysinstall being around for
the forseeable future, even after we get a new installer, because some
people are so accustomed to it and it fits their needs (again witness
this thread...).  So I do have some plans for sysinstall but as I said
above it'll be more towards a different direction than mentioned above.

The path I'm planning is based on these observations:

	- Many people believe you should just use sysinstall to install
	  the baseline system, and any packages/ports installs should
	  be done post-install.  Its hard to say that point of view is

	- The baseline system and the ports are fundamentally different.
	  People should be aware of that from the beginning.

	- At least some of the packages on the ISOs are stale within a
	  week of release at times; a bit longer than a week in most
	  cases but ...

	- My plans for DVD sized media (still uncertain how that will
	  factor into 6.4/7.1) are to provide CDROM sized ISOs that have
	  no packages on them at all (giving people who don't have DVD
	  drives something they can still install from) and one DVD
	  sized ISO that has packages.

The path will be to finish what I started a while ago when I removed the
X11 options in the "installation distributions" section of sysinstall by
removing the last couple of tidbits that touch packages before you get
to the "Would you like to view the list of available packages?" section
of sysinstall (e.g. the offer to install Linux compatibility on i386).
This will provide us with a clean separation of the baseline system from
the packages.  After doing a baseline install you can choose to:

	- reboot and install ports/packages when it comes back up
	- switch install media to be an FTP server and get a larger
	  selection of packages to choose from
	- use the available packages if you're installing from DVD

No matter which approach you use, you're clearly seeing a separation
between the baseline system and the packages/ports.  If you want lynx or
links or Gnome or KDE you're aware that they are packages/ports and
simply select them.  If you didn't want them then you don't wind up with
them sitting on your disk.  Basically I'm saying any of the things that
may have been in the "Distributions" section of sysinstall before (X11
stuff used to be in the Distributions) are now in the packages section
along with all the other things that are packages.  And with the
packages only being available on the DVD sized media we stop needing to
deal with deciding what precious little amount of stuff is worthy of
being on disc1 versus disc2/disc3/etc. and all the disc swapping that
comes with CDROM sized media.

And for at least some arch's we *might* be able to move the livefs
support back onto disc1 if there are no packages there for CDROM sized
media - I haven't had a chance to check if that's still feasible.

                                                Ken Smith
- From there to here, from here to      |       kensmith at cse.buffalo.edu
  there, funny things are everywhere.   |
                      - Theodore Geisel |

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