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  1. The interface uses debconf for consistency with the rest of the Debian
  2. installer.
  3. On startup, the tasksel program will read all *.desc files in
  4. /usr/share/tasksel/ for information about what tasks are available. The
  5. tasks will be presented in a simple list selection screen with their short
  6. descriptions.
  7. On exit, tasksel executes the appropriate command to install the selected
  8. packages. If the -t option is given, then tasksel prints out the command
  9. line to use to stdout instead. All other messages are printed to stderr.
  10. To get a new task added to Debian, please file a bug report on tasksel.
  11. Debian derived distributions can add a new .desc file to
  12. /usr/share/tasksel/ to add additional tasks, or modify/divert
  13. debian-tasks.desc to remove tasks.
  14. The file format is a rfc-822 style stanza, with fields named Task, Section,
  15. Description (which should include an extended description), Key, Packages,
  16. Enhances, Test- and Relevance fields. Here is an example:
  17. Task: graphical-games
  18. Section: user
  19. Relevance: 10
  20. Description: Graphical games
  21. This task provides a variety of graphical games. Old-school unix games are
  22. not included.
  23. Key:
  24. x-window-system-core
  25. Packages: list
  26. quake
  27. myst
  28. monkey-island
  29. The Key field lists packages that are essential to the task. If those
  30. packages are not available, then the task will not be available either. It
  31. need not list all the packages in the task, if some only serve to make it
  32. better when they are available.
  33. The Packages field tells how to get a complete list of packages that are in
  34. the task. In the example above, it uses the "list" method, which is defined
  35. in /usr/lib/tasksel/packages/list. This simple method just lets you list
  36. the packages you want to include in the task in the following lines.
  37. All Key packages will be also be selected for installation when a task is
  38. installed.
  39. In Debian, we mostly use the "task-fields" method, which is built into
  40. tasksel, and looks for Task fields in the control data of available
  41. packages, that list the name of the task. Another available method is
  42. "standard", which just installs all standard priority packages, and another
  43. is "manual", which, as a special case, runs aptitude interactively to
  44. select what to install.
  45. It's also possible to define other methods, by adding programs to
  46. /usr/lib/tasksel/packages/. Then list the name of the program as the first
  47. word of the task field, and it will be run and passed the name of the task as
  48. its first parameter and any further lines of the task field as its other
  49. parameters, and should output a list of packages in that task. The "list"
  50. method described above is a simple example of such a program.
  51. There is support for automatically installing tasks based on test programs.
  52. If a task has a Test-* field, then a program in /usr/lib/tasksel/tests/
  53. will be run. For example Test-lang fields cause /usr/lib/tasksel/tests/lang
  54. to be run. The test is passed first the name of the tasks, and then the
  55. contents of the field as parameters. The exit code of the test controls
  56. what to do with the task:
  57. 0 - do not display, but do install task
  58. 1 - do not display task
  59. 2 - display task, marked for installation
  60. 3 - display task, not marked for installation
  61. One use of these tests is in automatically selecting a language task
  62. appropriate for the user's locale, and hiding the rest. The lang test
  63. handles this by comparing the value of the Test-lang field of a task with
  64. the locale setting. Tests could also be used for things like automatically
  65. installing hardware support tasks on systems with the right hardware.
  66. There is support for tasks that enhance other tasks. If a task has a
  67. Enhances field, then it should only be installed if all the tasks
  68. listed as in that field are installed. For example, a french-desktop task
  69. enchances a system that has both the french and desktop tasks, and will be
  70. automatically installed on such a system but not others. Such tasks are
  71. hidden from the menu.
  72. If two enhancing tasks have the same Provides field, then tasksel will
  73. try to avoid selecting them both.
  74. If a task is important enough that it should go near the top of its
  75. section, give it a relevance of 9 or 10. If a task is not likely to be
  76. used, give it a relevance of 1. Default is 5.
  77. tasksel also supports preinst, postinst, prerm, and postrm scripts for
  78. tasks. These are run before a task is installed, and after it is removed as
  79. with the dpkg scripts. These scripts sould be installed in
  80. /usr/lib/tasksel/info/, for example, /usr/lib/tasksel/info/desktop.preinst.
  81. Currently they are passed no parameters, but this might change later. These
  82. scripts should take care not to output anything to stdout.