Subject: Installation of additional software
To: None <>
From: Guenther Grau <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/06/1994 18:31:48

there has been a thread on the amiga-mailing list of NetBSD
concerning the installation of precompiled ready to
install/deinstall softwarepackages. I tried out the installation
methods of other free operating systems and I talked with many
people about it. What I gathered is, that 

o We need an easy to use install mechanism

o We need an easy to use deinstall mechanism

o We need an easy to use configure tool for sysadmins

What do you think about this? What is the best way to achieve the
high goal of user-friendlyness? For the installation and
especially the deinstallation, it was proposed to create seperate
directories under /usr/local for each packet and sym-link the
bins to /usr/local/bin and the man-pages to /usr/local/man and
all the other files needed. 
This would easy the installation and deinstallation, but
would impose a load of symlinks, which might confuse users, e.g.
when they cd to a symlinked directory and cd .. and find
themselves in a completly different directory. Another proposed
method was to log everything that was installed in a special log
file. When deinstalling a package, the deinstaller could scan the
log file and find out, what files need to be removed. But this
method can be error-prone, too, because if a package is removed
by hand and not using the installer, the log-file would get

So, what method should be used for the (de)installation of all
the additional precompiled software-packages?

Besides the installation, I think, that we need a decent
sysadmin-tool for sysadmin-beginners. With the advent of
NetBSD-1.0, a lot of casual users might want to install NetBSD on
their home-systems and they don't know nothing about sys-admin.
Therefore we need a decent tool which helps to set up a system in
an easy way (configure networking, adding/removing users,
configure the partitions, ...). What do you think about this?
Yes, I know, this is not the usual BSD-style, but I think that
the user-friendlyness is a very important issue and that we have
to deal with it.

I hope to have started a constructive discussion and not another
flame war, so everyone responding to may email, please don't get
personally and stay to the topic.