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

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

See also open [http://bugs.debian.org/cdebconf-gtk-udeb bug reports against cdebconf-gtk-udeb].


There is currently one remaining issue that blocks including the graphical installer from being included in the main installer build infrastructure: udeb dependency resolution.

udeb dependency resolution

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 (see also [http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2005/10/msg00955.html this thread]).

The problem occurs if some udebs depend on a normal library package (libfoo.deb) while other udebs depend on the corresponding udeb (libfoo.udeb).

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.
  2. Fix the toolchain (mainly dpkg-dev) to improve automatic dependency determination when udebs are build. A [http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2005/06/msg00198.html patch] for this has been proposed but has not yet been implemented.

Other issues



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.


For font information, please see ["DebianInstallerGUIFonts"]


  • 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).

Migrate from gtk+-directfb-2.0.9 to gtk+-directfb-2.8.3

The udebs for gtk+-directfb are based on a [http://www.directfb.org/downloads/Libs/gtk+-directfb-2.0.9-2.tar.gz set of sources] released in Apr 2003; it's now possible to build a set of libraries based on gtk+2.8.3 which was released around Oct 2005. The main problem is that [http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstallerGUIBuild building] is rather tricky, and there are no pre-patched sources available from upstream. Upstream author is now working on [http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/cairo/2005-November/005625.html including directfb backend into Cairo main line] as a first step; [http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gtk-devel-list/2005-November/msg00057.html inclusion of gdk-directfb code into gtk+ tree] should follow then. Once upstream libraries will be ready to be used, they'll have to be packaged into udebs before we can use them in the installer.