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Overview of open issues and things to be done for the ["DebianInstallerGUI"]. = Introduction =
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= Issues = Overview of open issues and things to be done for the ["DebianInstaller/GUI"].
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There is currently one remaining issue that blocks including the graphical installer from being included in the main installer build infrastructure: udeb dependency resolution. A complete list of bugs affecting the g-i can be found in the [http://bugs.debian.org/cdebconf-gtk-udeb bug reports against cdebconf-gtk-udeb] page.
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== udeb dependency resolution == [[TableOfContents([2])]]
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During a build, not all dependencies between udebs can be resolved if all udebs are taken from the official mirrors. The current workaround is to copy some udebs to "localudebs", but this is not acceptable for the main build infrastructure. = Per-architecture issues =
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The problem occurs if some udebs depend on a normal library package (libfoo.deb) while other udebs depend on the corresponding udeb (libfoo.udeb). We're trying to schematize bugs affecting the g-i on a per-architecture base, architectures considered here are i386, PPC, AMD64 .
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There are two known solutions for this issue.
 1. Change dependencies in udebs in such a way that they all depend in the same manner. This is what currently happens for the main installer. Problem with this solution is that the udebs involved are not maintained by the d-i team. Also, this would be ignoring the structural problem.
 1. Fix the toolchain (mainly dpkg-dev) to improve automatic dependency determination when udebs are build. A patch for this has been proposed but has not yet been implemented.
== i386 specific ==
 * No known bugs affecting i386 is known ATM :)
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== Other issues ==
 * Frontend crashes when user switches to a different virtual console while the frontend is busy. If the frontend is waiting for input, console switching works.
 * Option in the main menu to exit to a shell does not work.
== AMD64 specific ==
 * solve the console switching problem on AMD64 [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=373253 #373253]

== PPC specific ==

 * Builds with the tentative fix from Attilio are available at [http://people.debian.org/~luther/g-i], please test them.

PPC has been for a long time the toughest architecture of the three to support because DirectFrameBuffer seems particulary willing to mess up with input devices on PPCs.
Right now HW acceleration provided by DFB seems to be broken for almost every suported video chipset on PPCs, so it was forced off by default.
Read also this long [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=342053 thread] about the g-i on PPC machines.

||Tester||Test date||Model||cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep mainboard||cat /proc/fb||lspci | grep VGA||Magic directfbrc||Bad directfbrc lines||Notes||
||<bgcolor="green">Sven Luther luther@debian.org||22/09/2006||Pegasos||CHRP Pegasos ||0 ATI Radeon Yd||ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Radeon 9200 SE] (rev 01)||no-hardware|| ||
||<bgcolor="green">Sven Luther luther@debian.org||22/09/2006||Pegasos||CHRP Pegasos ||0 ATI Radeon NH|| ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R350 [Radeon 9800 Pro]||no-hardware disable-module=radeon|| || ||
||<bgcolor="green">alessandro de zorzi lota@klez.it||27/09/1980||ibook G4||PowerBook6,7 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon NV||ATI Technologies Inc M11 NV [FireGL Mobility T2e] (rev 80)||no-hardware||disable-module=linux_input|| ||
||<bgcolor="green">Jack Malmostoso jackmalmostoso@freesurf.ch||26/09/1980||ibook G4||PowerBook6,3 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon /c||ATI Technologies INC M9+ 5C63 [Radeon Mobility 9200 (AGP)] (rev 01) ||no-hardware disable-module=linux_input|| || ||
||<bgcolor="red">Elena Grassi grassi.e@gmail.com||26/09/1980||ibook G3||PowerBook4,3 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon LW||ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500] ||no way to make this work|| ||It needs video=radeonfb to be specified at boot time, otherwise even the textual console is corrupted||
||<bgcolor="green">Luca Suriano luka@linux.it||01/10/1980||ibook G3||PowerBook4,3 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon LW||ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]||no-hardware disable-module=linux_input || || ||
||<bgcolor="red">Marco Bertorello marco@nosgoth.homelinux.org||26/09/1980||ibook G4|| ||0 ATI Radeon /c||ati radeon mobility 9200||no way to make this work|| || ||
||<bgcolor="green">Attilio Fiandrotti||26/09/1980||ibook G4||PowerBook6,7 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon NV||ATI Technologies Inc M11 NV [FireGL Mobility T2e] (rev 80)||no-hardware||disable-module=linux_input|| ||
||<bgcolor="red">Rick Thomas rbthomas55@pobox.com||26/09/1980||ibook G4||PowerMac3,5 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh ||0 ATI Radeon QW||ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV200 QW [Radeon 7500] ||no way to make this work|| || ||
||<bgcolor="green">Mirko Grava mgrava@rhx.it||27/09/1980||ibook G4||PowerBook5,4 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh||0 ATI Radeon NP||VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10] (prog-if 00 [VGA])||no-hardware|| || ||
||<bgcolor="green">Eddy Petrișor eddy.petrisor@gmail.com||27/09/1980||powerbook G4||PowerBook5,2 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh ||0 ATI Radeon NP ||ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10] ||no-hardware disable-module=linux_input || ||disable-module=radeon has no ill effects||
||<bgcolor="green">Attilio Fiandrotti||29/09/1980|| MiniMAC || PowerBook10,2 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh || ATI Radeon Yb ||ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Raeon9200] (rev 01)|| no-hardware disable-module=linux_input|| || Keymap was messed up in DFB after language change ||
||<bgcolor="green">Sven Luther luther@debian.org||30/09/2006|| XServe G5 || RackMac3,1 MacRISC4 Power Macintosh || 0 ATI Radeon QY || ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV100 QY [Radeon 7000/VE]|| disable-module=radeon disable-module=linux_input|| || ||

 * An endianness color [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=341770 issue] for powerpc was experienced some times ago with DFB 0.9.22, but it seems it was fixed in 0.9.25 and so recently closed

 * The list selection is invisible bug seems to be gone on both radeon 9800 and 9200 on pegasos, when using disable-module=radeon.

 * Going to the console on pegasos/radeon9200 leaves a garbagy font. Using disable-modules=radeon fixes this issue.
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The graphical version of the installer is currently available for Intel x86, AMD64 and PowerPC. The PowerPC port probably needs work to get different types of system correctly supported. Other architectures the graphical installer could be ported to include Sparc, Alpha and HPPA. The graphical version of the installer is currently available for Intel x86, AMD64 and PowerPC. The PowerPC port [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=341597 needs work] to get different types of system correctly supported. Other architectures the graphical installer could be ported to include Sparc, Alpha and HPPA.
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One of the main advantages of the graphical version of the installer is that it can support languages that use combining characters. We are currently using mainly TTF fonts, with the exception of Japanese and Chinese.
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Fontconfig is used for font management. fc-cache files are automatically generated at startup.

The following issues are open with respect to fonts:
 * Not all fonts needed for the graphical installer have yet been packaged into udebs (needed for inclusion in the official Etch release).
 * Translators should check if their languages are displayed correctly and check for missing characters. Special attention should be given to Indic languages, Arabic and Hebrew.
 * There are known problems for Indic languages and Arabic. These need to be specified and traced. Possibly extra software is needed for correct display.
 * Ideal would be to have each chararter we need present in only one font. The current fonts have a lot of overlap which wastes space.
 * Possibly font configuration can be improved. It would be very nice if we could influence which font is used for a specific language.

=== Requirements for packaging fonts ===
 * Total amount of space used for fonts should be minimized.
 * Only font files that are actually used in the installer should be included.
 * Minimize overlap between fonts. Is is possible to "strip" characters from a font?

=== Overview of fonts currently used ===
FIXME
For font information, please see ["DebianInstaller/GUIFonts"]
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 * Resolution  * Screen resolution.
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 * Improve accessability (for the visually handicapped). One way to do this is to [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=339735 support different themes] (color schemes). (Note: should not lead to a major increase in initrd size.)
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=== Interface design ===
Most of the work on the graphical side has been done by Eduardo Silva. He has set up a [http://www.geocities.com/jobezone/d-i_gtk.html webpage] with images he designed and some comments about possible future changes.

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'''Update'''
The size of the initrds is now down to around 10MB. Further reduction would be nice, but it is no longer a major issue.

Introduction

Overview of open issues and things to be done for the ["DebianInstaller/GUI"].

A complete list of bugs affecting the g-i can be found in the [http://bugs.debian.org/cdebconf-gtk-udeb bug reports against cdebconf-gtk-udeb] page.

?TableOfContents([2])

Per-architecture issues

We're trying to schematize bugs affecting the g-i on a per-architecture base, architectures considered here are i386, PPC, AMD64 .

i386 specific

  • No known bugs affecting i386 is known ATM :)

AMD64 specific

PPC specific

PPC has been for a long time the toughest architecture of the three to support because ?DirectFrameBuffer seems particulary willing to mess up with input devices on PPCs. Right now HW acceleration provided by DFB seems to be broken for almost every suported video chipset on PPCs, so it was forced off by default. Read also this long [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=342053 thread] about the g-i on PPC machines.

Tester

Test date

Model

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep mainboard

cat /proc/fb

lspci | grep VGA

Magic directfbrc

Bad directfbrc lines

Notes

Sven Luther luther@debian.org

22/09/2006

Pegasos

CHRP Pegasos

0 ATI Radeon Yd

ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Radeon 9200 SE] (rev 01)

no-hardware

Sven Luther luther@debian.org

22/09/2006

Pegasos

CHRP Pegasos

0 ATI Radeon NH

ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R350 [Radeon 9800 Pro]

no-hardware disable-module=radeon

alessandro de zorzi lota@klez.it

27/09/1980

ibook G4

?PowerBook6,7 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon NV

ATI Technologies Inc M11 NV [FireGL Mobility T2e] (rev 80)

no-hardware

disable-module=linux_input

Jack Malmostoso jackmalmostoso@freesurf.ch

26/09/1980

ibook G4

?PowerBook6,3 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon /c

ATI Technologies INC M9+ 5C63 [Radeon Mobility 9200 (AGP)] (rev 01)

no-hardware disable-module=linux_input

Elena Grassi grassi.e@gmail.com

26/09/1980

ibook G3

?PowerBook4,3 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon LW

ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]

no way to make this work

It needs video=radeonfb to be specified at boot time, otherwise even the textual console is corrupted

Luca Suriano luka@linux.it

01/10/1980

ibook G3

?PowerBook4,3 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon LW

ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]

no-hardware disable-module=linux_input

Marco Bertorello marco@nosgoth.homelinux.org

26/09/1980

ibook G4

0 ATI Radeon /c

ati radeon mobility 9200

no way to make this work

Attilio Fiandrotti

26/09/1980

ibook G4

?PowerBook6,7 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon NV

ATI Technologies Inc M11 NV [FireGL Mobility T2e] (rev 80)

no-hardware

disable-module=linux_input

Rick Thomas rbthomas55@pobox.com

26/09/1980

ibook G4

?PowerMac3,5 MacRISC2 MacRISC Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon QW

ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV200 QW [Radeon 7500]

no way to make this work

Mirko Grava mgrava@rhx.it

27/09/1980

ibook G4

?PowerBook5,4 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon NP

VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10] (prog-if 00 [VGA])

no-hardware

Eddy Petrișor eddy.petrisor@gmail.com

27/09/1980

powerbook G4

?PowerBook5,2 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon NP

ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]

no-hardware disable-module=linux_input

disable-module=radeon has no ill effects

Attilio Fiandrotti

29/09/1980

MiniMAC

?PowerBook10,2 MacRISC3 Power Macintosh

ATI Radeon Yb

ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Raeon9200] (rev 01)

no-hardware disable-module=linux_input

Keymap was messed up in DFB after language change

Sven Luther luther@debian.org

30/09/2006

XServe G5

?RackMac3,1 MacRISC4 Power Macintosh

0 ATI Radeon QY

ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV100 QY [Radeon 7000/VE]

disable-module=radeon disable-module=linux_input

  • An endianness color [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=341770 issue] for powerpc was experienced some times ago with DFB 0.9.22, but it seems it was fixed in 0.9.25 and so recently closed

  • The list selection is invisible bug seems to be gone on both radeon 9800 and 9200 on pegasos, when using disable-module=radeon.
  • Going to the console on pegasos/radeon9200 leaves a garbagy font. Using disable-modules=radeon fixes this issue.

TODO

Porting

The graphical version of the installer is currently available for Intel x86, AMD64 and PowerPC. The PowerPC port [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=341597 needs work] to get different types of system correctly supported. Other architectures the graphical installer could be ported to include Sparc, Alpha and HPPA.

Fonts

For font information, please see ["DebianInstaller/GUIFonts"]

Usability

  • Screen resolution.
    • Currently fixed at 800x600. Should be made flexible (adapt to resolution set by system or user).
    • Interface should adapt itself so that text blocks are never too wide for optimal readability.
  • Improve accessability (for the visually handicapped). One way to do this is to [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=339735 support different themes] (color schemes). (Note: should not lead to a major increase in initrd size.)

  • Progress bar in separate window.
  • Alternative (graphical) ways to start a shell or browse log files.
  • Interface design.
  • Create custom plug-ins for cdebconf to improve handling of some dialogs and make optimal use of possibilities offered by the graphical environment.

Interface design

Most of the work on the graphical side has been done by Eduardo Silva. He has set up a [http://www.geocities.com/jobezone/d-i_gtk.html webpage] with images he designed and some comments about possible future changes.

Reduce size of initrds

The initrds are currently very large which also results in fairly high memory requirements to run the graphical installer. Size has thus far not been a major concern, our focus has been on getting things working.

Options to reduce initrd size.

  • Library reduction for graphical libraries.
  • Remove unused files from udebs.
  • Reduction of space used by fonts (see above).

Update The size of the initrds is now down to around 10MB. Further reduction would be nice, but it is no longer a major issue.