Subject: Re: "default shell" [was: Re: CVS commit: src/usr.sbin/user]
To: Pavel Cahyna <>
From: Elad Efrat <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/03/2006 14:16:21
I completely agree with Pavel on this one, and if I may add, think that
our sysinst (as I remember it, anyway) needs a major overhaul.

Along with every question we present to the user (there should be close
to zero of those), there should be a *SANE* default (read: one that the
majority of people inside and outside NetBSD would appreciate) that is
chosen if only "enter" is pressed.

Sysinst is a critical component in NetBSD: a lot of the times, it alone
will create the first impression. I'd appreciate if we sat down to
redesign it entirely, perhaps with some people who have experience
designing user interfaces...


Pavel Cahyna wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 09:19:08PM +0200, Hubert Feyrer wrote:
>> OK, obviously there are many possibilities here, but no concensus.
>> 	So how about pushing the decision to the user?
> In general, we should be careful about that. Asking too many questions is
> not very good for usability, either. Many users won't have any idea about
> what to choose, because they never cared before (because systems that they
> used before had bash, or maybe tcsh or zsh).
> We should instead provide a default good enough that most users don't feel
> the urge to change it. Those who know exactly what they want probably also
> know how to use chsh or install an additional shell from pkgsrc.
> This is not an objection against your patch, which fortunately does not
> add more questions to sysinst. But I would vote for complete removal of
> the "root shell" question from sysinst, for the reason above. Also because
> offering a choice which does not include three most popular options (which
> are, I think, bash, zsh and tcsh) is quite pointless.
> If we don't remove the question, I think your change should be committed
> and the default in useradd changed to the first shell in the list in
> sysinst, for consistency.
> Pavel

Elad Efrat