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Human readable changelog

Bellow goes the "shortlog" of the changes:

Preseeding and extensibility

  • Menu-Item numbers were multiplied by 100 leaving room for custom installation components by CDD. The custom components can now be lugged between any step of the Debian installation process.

  • Allow multiple ways of installing the base system since udebs depending on 'base-installer' now depends on the 'installed-base' virtual package allowing other package to take care of installing the base system. ?LiveInstaller already takes advantage of this.

  • Allow multiple ways for keyboard configuration since the 'keyboard-setup' virtual package has been introduced.
  • Add an option to skip installation of lilo using lilo-installer/skip=true so users can skip to nobootloader using preseeding.
  • Strip 'deb ' from the start of apt-setup/local*/repository, just in case somebody copies and pastes from an existing sources.list; see also 420894.

  • Creating plugins to extend cdebconf with new questions types is now easier. See changeset 49678 for an example on how to update plugins.

  • Manual mirror selection can now be preseeded by setting "mirror/country" to "manual".
  • Preseeding of language selection has been improved.

  • Support for /usr/lib/pre-pkgsel.d hooks has been added. They are called at the beginning of pkgsel. The installation of popcon is now done using this feature.
  • base-installer now provides the framework for installing base, including a shell library in /usr/lib/base-installer/library.sh.
  • Restructure kernel selection to allow for preseeding. Preseeding "none" to skip installing a kernel is supported.
  • A new component, kickseed, allows to preseed Debian installation using Red Hat "kickstart" configuration files. (XXX: link to relevant documentation)
  • Add support to control which default groups the initial user will be added. Preseed it at passwd/user-default-groups.
  • /etc/dhclient.conf on the target system is now longer rewritten by the installer.

Mirrors and additional packages on physical media

  • Add support for volatile.debian.org when adding additional APT sources.
  • For CD installs, ask more selectively whether to use a mirror or not. The question is still mostly asked as even on DVDs some packages belonging to tasks may be missing on the first image.
    • businesscard: mirror will always be used
    • netinst: default to true, ask only in expert mode
    • full CD: default to true, ask during standard installs
    • DVD: default to false, ask at during standard installs An explanation is displayed that is tailored to the type of CD image.
  • If the network has been not configured earlier (by user selection or lack of network card), the configuration of mirrors is now skipped entirely.
  • Support for loading additional CD/DVD from a set has been added back (this feature was missing in Etch). As language related packages do not all fit on the first CD, this greatly improve the situation for non-english speakers doing installations without Internet connectivity.

Localization

The following language was added (for the graphical installer only): Amharic.

Debian Installer translations are complete for 41 languages and over 90% for 18 more languages.

win32-loader

If you're migrating from Microsoft Windows, it is now possible to start the installer directly, without ressorting to BIOS boot. Simply insert your Debian Installer media (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM or USB Stick) and an autorun program (setup.exe) will be started, which will offer you a step-by-step setup process to start the Debian Installer.

The win32-loader version, now based on GRUB 2, includes new features such as detection and pre-seeding of Windows settings, and is translated to 20 languages.

See:

Memory usage improvements

  • A lot of memory leaks were fixed in cdebconf, resulting in a much lower memory footprint.
  • debconf templates for other languages than the one that was selected are now dropped after additional components are loaded. This also saves megabytes of memory. (XXX: link to relevant email)
  • Only load components for LVM and crypto support when there is sufficient free memory. For crypto this only loads base support components; additional crypto components will only be loaded on demand. Support for guided (encrypted) LVM partitioning is only loaded if partman-auto was already loaded (which it may not be for lowmem installs).

Optional support for GRUB 2

GRUB 2, the next generation of GRUB, is supported by the installer. When you select expert mode, you'll be given the option to install it instead of GRUB Legacy. Additionally, it will be automatically selected in some specific setups (e.g. GPT partition label).

Support for Etch installations

The installer now supports installing Etch, through the etch-support package. Only the netboot (pxe boot) or the business card image will install stable. Either add "suite=etch" (sans quotes) to the boot command line or use expert mode and choose to install stable during the mirror selection.

This will allow installations of the "Etch+1/2" release supporting more hardware through an updated kernel version. (XXX: link to relevant email)

Misc improvements

  • The installer has been updated to use Linux 2.6.22.
  • Clock synchronization through NTP
  • Detection of other operation systems
    • Dell Utility partition is now added to the boot menu.
    • Skip partitions that have the "whole_disk" sysfs attribute set. The kernel set the attribute for partitions like SUN Whole Disk. In situations where the OS is on the first partition, it would be detected twice in the first and the whole disk partition.
    • Recognize Frugalware XXX: link
    • Recognize Solaris
    • Ignore more partitions from detected GRUB installation in order to prevent exponential growth of entries in case of repeated test installs on multiple partitions.
    • Support usage of ntfs-3g (XXX: link) when detecting filesystems on NTFS partitions.
  • Rescue mode now supports LUKS encrypted partition.
  • Add support for virtualized console via onboard service processor (hvsi/hvc).
  • Multiple ISOs for different architectures can now be put on hd-media. ISOs for irrelevant architectures will be skipped.
  • Country selection improvements:
    • Serbia and Montenegro are now listed as two distinct countries.
    • A new region, Atlantic Ocean, was added and relevant countries moved to it.
  • acpi-support-base is now installed as acpid dropped support for power button shutdowns.
  • mkvmlinuz is now run on Pegasos as the bootloader.
  • laptop-detect is installed just on suitable architectures (for now they're i386, amd64 and powerpc).

Partitioning

  • Experimental support for installs on Serial ATA RAID (dmraid). See DebianInstaller/SataRaid for installation instructions.

  • Mount vfat filesystems with the utf8 mount option if the locale contains ".UTF-8", which is the default since Etch.
  • Support for the "relatime" mount option has been added.
  • Move the "Done" option in the partition menu down to the bottom for consistency with the main partman menu.
  • Handling of previous LVM data has been improved, reducing the risk of failures during automatic partitioning.
  • Changes to partman:
    • Major function library reorganization:
      • function libraries are now in /lib/partman/lib
      • most of definitions.sh has been moved to base.sh
      • lvm-base.sh contains basic LVM operations
      • lvm-remove.sh contains LVM removal operations
      • auto-lvm_tools.sh has been renamed to auto-lvm.sh
      • crypto_tools.sh has been renamed to crypto-base.sh
      • disk-label.sh contains label related operations
      • commit.sh contains changes confirmation prompt and activation
    • auto.d has been renamed to display.d.
    • If a display.d script has exited with an error code >= 100, all other scripts are skipped.

    • Add support for /lib/partman/check.d scripts, intended to contain sanity checks run before changes are committed. (These checks were formerly typically in /lib/partman/finish.d.)

Development

  • devfs style paths have been removed and udev is now used on all architectures.
  • Missing copyrights and licensing added.
  • Other code cleanups:
    • remove support for 2.4 series kernels
    • remove support for discover
    • remove support for old versions of hotplug/udev
    • remove compatibility support for old versions of initramfs-tools
    • remove support for initrd-tools
  • The GTK+ frontend for cdebconf has been rewritten to be easier to understand and extend. It also now supports to be built outside the d-i environment, using standard X11 GTK+ libraries instead of the DirectFB port.
  • Remove the r3k-kn02 and r4k-kn04 images since DECstation machines are no longer supported.
  • RiscPC are no longer supported.
  • Add support for the Orion (ARM) platform.
  • Remove support for sparc32.
  • dhcp3 is the current default DHCP client for the installer.
  • Support for various new platforms has been added to archdetect: m68k/aranym, mips{,el}/{4,5}kc-malta, QNAP TS-109/TS-209, powerpc/cell, powerpc/ps3, i386/mac, amd64/mac.
  • debootstrap is now maintained by the d-i team.

Misc bug fixes

  • After scanning CDs, scan for things that look like USB floppies to list-devices, since these can sometimes really be USB CD drives. (Which is probably a udev or kernel bug).
  • eject is now installed for all machines with a CD drive, even those installed through the network.
  • Serial console support has been improved when configuring GRUB and LILO.
  • Support for HP SmartArray controllers (cciss/ida) when using LILO.

  • lilo-installer is now compatible with the link_in_boot option of the kernel packages.
  • GRUB password are now written in encrypted form in its configuration file.
  • The netinst CD image is disabled in the sources.list for the target system before reboot if other sources are present.


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