File Server Tasks

Mathias Gug mathiaz at
Tue Aug 28 18:51:49 UTC 2007

Hi Jamie,

On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 02:20:28PM -0400, Jamie Strandboge wrote:
> It is clear that there is a desire and need to provide novice admins
> with a way to install certain server software, in this case, file server
> software.  Installing a single package via tasks at install (eg 'samba')
> does not really get the novice user any farther along.  Yes, the package
> is installed, but now what?
> What is really needed is to install both the package and a configuration
> package.  Eg:

The configuration should be handled by debconf in the postinstall script
of the package. For example, samba already uses debconf to gather the
standard information from the user (the workgroup).

> Samba (Windows file sharing) -- task
>   installs samba and samba-default-shares
> NFS (Unix file sharing) -- task
>   installs nfs-kernel-server and nfs-default-exports
> Samba + NFS (Windows and Unix file sharing) -- task
>   installs samba and samba-default-shares
>   installs nfs-kernel-server and nfs-default-exports

I think that three tasks is too much. I'd see only one task, named 'file
server', that would install both nfs and samba. I model this on the NAS
appliances you can find in the market: their features are that they can
serve both windows and unix clients and integrate well in your existing

> Obviously, the samba-default-shares and nfs-default-exports packages
> need to be created.  They could start off very simply by creating a
> read-only share available to class A, B and C addresses, or could be
> more complicated and have debconf ask questions about ro/rw, the name of
> the share, who can connect to it, etc.
These are the type of configuration questions and management that needs
to be done with a higher level interface (such as ebox).

May be we should define what's the goal of a task in tasksel ? I think
it's a way to install a group of packages so that the system can be
configured more easily.


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