New installer features: LVM changes; manual package selection

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Tue Feb 17 17:54:23 GMT 2009

I've made a few changes to d-i (the alternate/server installer) recently
that are ready for testing.

Firstly, I've done some work on LVM partitioning. If you select the
"Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM" option on the first screen of
the partitioner, then rather than filling up the entire volume group
with logical volumes, the partitioner will ask you how much of the
volume group you want to use. This is a middle ground between fully
noninteractive automatic partitioning and fully interactive manual
partitioning, which I hope will be useful. (For automatic installations,
you can preseed the partman-auto-lvm/guided_size question.)

Following this, automatic LVM partitioning is now the default on the
server install CD (only). The question is still asked - it's just that
the cursor is placed on a different answer by default.

Secondly, as of tomorrow's daily builds, the server install CD will
offer a "Manual package selection" checkbox in tasksel, which if
selected will drop you into aptitude so that you can select packages at
a finer level of granularity than tasks if you so wish.

The UI is not quite ideal here from the perspective of the modern
installer, although those already familiar with aptitude should have no
trouble with it. Specifically, after selecting packages, you need to
press 'g' to show a final summary of what will be installed, and then
'g' again to actually install it; if you quit aptitude without doing
this, your selections will be lost and tasksel will proceed on the
assumption that you didn't want to install anything (which may or may
not be what you actually wanted). While installing packages, you'll see
dpkg output on the screen rather than a progress bar, which is a bit
retro although it does work.

I'd appreciate any other comments people may have on this work,
preferably filed as bug reports on debian-installer:


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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