I'm hoping to make installing a good, complete, basic desktop a lot easier using preseeding and netinstall isos. Here's the plan, still in its infancy because it's only a few hours old.
Create preseed "situations" based on Debian stable (now Etch) with backports and third-party repositories added to fill in the gaps. While I'm extremely pro-FLOSS, I'm not going to worry about that issue for these preseeds, instead trying to make the desktop work out of the box. That will include programs, codecs, and decryption (CSS) which may not be legal in some areas.
I'm asking for advice about repositories from the seasoned Debianites out there. I already plan to include http://backports.org. What other repositories are you using to get your desktop up to snuff? I'm thinking particularly of drivers and firmware needed to make everything work well.
From the non-Deb users, I'd like to hear feature requests. With post-install scripts, I think I can accomplish most things, so the sky's the limit.
I'm going to eventually make several preseed files, but the first will be for Vista-era (i.e. newish) computers. We're talking multi-core with ~2GB of RAM. Here are the brainstormed specs:
- Newest kernel available
- Desktop: Gnome
- Search: Beagle
- Browser: Epiphany-webkit and FF2
- Office: OO.o (3.0b?)
- Music: Rhythmbox (maybe Banshee2?)
- Photos: F-Spot
- BT: Deluge
- RSS: Liferea
- IM: Pidgin (anyone champion Empathy?)
- VOIP: Ekiga and Skype
- Sync: Conduit
- Extras: Themes and fonts, Java, Flash