SCOPEInstallation starts with booting and ends when the chosen software is installed and the hardware working. Partitioning is outside of this specification. Please read the following notice about the optional pre install phase which can be found in THE SEUL PRE INSTALL SPECIFICATION.
NOTICEThe SEUL INSTALL SPECIFICATION does not cover the pre install phase made in DOS. It starts with a hard disk with available space, a computer which is rebooting and having either a boot floppy or a bootable CD-ROM in the corresponding reader.
There are many variables to be defined. SEUL anticipates the correct
values. The user is provided a means to override the values that SEUL provides
in the case that SEUL guessed incorrectly.
BOOTINGSEUL install includes some basics at LILO prompt
We are limited to 24 lines.
Looks in the DOS partition if there is one for the file with hardware info left by the DOS pre install phase.
One of the benefits is than we could get some info than we cannot get from Linux at present time like characteristics of Plug and Play Monitors.
CD-ROMIf the CD-ROM is IDE or SCSI and the controller is PCI, then the user is not asked what type it is or if it is hdb, hdc, or hdd. SEUL install gets the info from /proc and the output of dmesg.
For systems with proprietary CD-ROM's the user may be required to enter an IRQ, port combination. If the user does not know them SEUL install asks the user to insert another floppy and presents the user with possible values.
Space is at premium on boot floppies so there is a chance we will be unable to include a CD database in the boot floppy.
In addition SEUL asks the user to allow SEUL to probe all valid combinations until hitting the correct one.
This can lock up Linux especially if an Ethernet card is around. However it is believed that -this is an option, -if it does not work no harm is done -- the user just reboots. Ordinary users rarely have Ethernets at home, -it will work for some people so will have made the install simpler for some people without making it harder for the remainder.
PARTITIONING, MOUNTING POINTS, MKFSINGSEUL install advises users about suitable partitioning, considering available disk space and memory size. The heuristics that SEUL provides are read from a file. SEUL instal allows for easy adjustments without having to hack the partitioning program.
SEUL install establishes partitions and mount points and reboots.
SEUL Install saves the mount points and CD-ROM info on the boot floppy.
INSTALLING PACKAGESThe user is able to select software according to the role the user intends to use the computer. If the user wants to do package selection, in the first screen the user only gets categories of software.
In general SEUL install avoids requiring the user to make more decisions than are needed. This way the user is not forced to look at software the user is not interested in at all. This avoids confusion effects. A user may be disheartened by a long list of software of uninteresting software before getting the things the user wants.
SEUL install provides a description of the category represented. Selecting
categories selects lists of individual install packages. SEUL install provides
Dependencies are resolved at end of install
Select the Xserver using the following rules.
Keyboard choice: (selection in a menu)If the card is supported only in VGA mode SEUL install notifies the user. If the user has a non PCI box, SEUL install asks the user for video card information.
Packages are installed.
NETWORKING CONFIGURATIONSEUL install asks the user If their is an Ethernet card to configure.
Without ethernet SEUL skips to ppp otherwise SEUL install uses the following rules.
SEUL install configures PPP
The computer is assigned a hostname and the dummy interface is configured.
Too many distributions just abandon to his fate the user unfortunate enough to not be in a LAN. SEUL users get correct networking whether they be in a LAN or in a dial-up context.
MISCELLANEOUSAsk about services to start but this need necessarily to take the form of the user selecting them one by one. Some of them should be started automatically like autofs, others can be deduced (no lpd if the user has no printer, no NFS if the user is not in a LAN).
LILO AND KERNEL CONFIGURATIONSEUL install avoids kernel compilation.
Compilation is avoided by installing one of the several optimally working kernels with the correct modules. The set of kernels to choose from are cleverly designed to provide each user with a optimal kernel.
At this stage SEUL install knows enough to be able to infer much about the users configuration:
About the only thing we can't be know nis if advanced networking is required (firewall,router)
After asking about advanced networking SEUL determines the optimal kernel to install.
That kernel has sound support without need for recompiling (entirely modular). In case SEUL gets it wrong two kernels are installed. The optimal kernel and the kernel which was used to install.
The latter kernel provides a safety net in case the production kernel is overwritten. It could be accidental or a miss compiled a kernel.
Modify /proc/cmdlineAbout the module problem (not mixing modules for the two kernels) the simplest seems to pass an argument when booting the safety kernel. It is used by /proc/cmdline to modify the module path:/lib/modules/safety/version instead of /lib/modules/version.
Install LILOInstall on the MBR without asking unless one of two conditions is true.
The user has another OS or Linux installation
like floppy or LOADLIN.
SETTING ENVIRONMENT VARIABLESThis is invisible to the user.
SEUL places in the /etc/profile environment variables that can be deduced from install.
E.g. the language variables (it can be deduce from keyboard choice) allows SEUL install to select the users language for messages and links to hypertext documentation in the users language.
ROOT PASSWORD AND REBOOTINGSEUL installs a script that runs at the first reboot.
NETWORKING PHASE IISEUL install prompts the user for mail and news.
This is vital for the user to get help.
If the user is on a dial-up site SEUL install arranges for email and
news transmission and retrieval when PPP is started.
SOUND CONFIGURATIONPut things right with sound isapnp and sndconfig
PRINTINGAuto detect of printers is attempted.
Possible with modern printers
MISCELLANEOUSCheck for 24h operation to choose housekeeping scheme. Unless a scheme that works for both is developed.
X CONFIGURATIONBecause of there are risks it is left to the end. This saves the user the trouble of reinstalling if something goes wrong.
At present, Xconfigurator's hardware autodetection ability makes
it the best match to SEUL's target users.However many times it does not
provide the user with a perfect setting. E.g. the image is too small
or not centered.
Ask the user about XDM.
Considering the UI, It is generally a good idea to have more than one resolution configured, however X will use the highest real resolution as the lowest limit for the virtual resolution. But the combination of a virtual resolution != real resolution and virtual desktops that you can move on by pressing the mouse against the edge is confusing to enough users that it would be a good idea to disable this way of switching virtual desktops. (EdgeResistance 100)