BASE-CONFIG(8) System Manager's Manual BASE-CONFIG(8)
base-config - Debian base system configuration
base-config is the program that was run when you first rebooted into
your newly installed debian system. It walks you through setting up the
system and downloading additional software, and so forth. The program
can be run at any later date to walk you through essentially the same
base-config generates a menu of choices from the contents of
/usr/lib/base-config/, and from debconf templates.
The .mnu files in /usr/lib/base-config/ control whether the menu item
appears only on new installs (Only-New: true), whether debconf can
already be running when the item is run (Debconf: true), a numeric
Order controls placement in the menu. If a .mnu file contains "Exit-
Menu: true", then base-config will terminate after running that menu
item. Finally, a "Changes-Menu: true" line will make base-config
rebuild the menu after running the menu item.
The .tst files in /usr/lib/base-config/ are run when base-config builds
the menu and must return true for that menu item to appear on the menu.
The menu items are taken from debconf, by looking for items in the deb-
conf database named base-config/menu/whatever.
When a menu item is selected, the corresponding program, in
/usr/lib/base-config is run. If this is a fresh install onto a new
debian system, the program receives "new" as its first argument.
base-config checks the return codes of each of the programs. If a pro-
gram returns nonzero, the main menu is displayed (this may involve low-
ering the debconf priority).
Generally the user is advanced down the menu from item to item as each
succeeds. If a menu item needs to jump back to a previous item in the
menu, or skip over a subsequent item, it can write the name of the next
menu item to show to the file "jump-to" in the current directory.
Every base-config run is logged to /var/log/base-config.log.
/var/log/base-config.timings contains timing information to go with the
log. This allows replays of base-config runs using the replay(1) util-
/var/log/debian-installer/cdebconf, if it exists, is used by base-con-
fig on new installs to get values from the debian-installer first stage
Other packages can drop files into /usr/lib/base-config/, and add menu
titles in debconf, and they will be added to the menu. It is very
strongly encouraged that any such programs communicate with the user
entirely via debconf, so that the base configuration maintains a con-
sistent and professional look.
Another useful thing for custom distributions is /usr/share/base-con-
fig/debconf-seed. If that directory exists, every file in it will be
loaded into the debconf database using debconf-set-selections(1)
If the file /var/log/debian-installer/debconf-seed is created by the
debian-installer, it will also be loaded into the debconf database.
The following environment variables influence base-config. These vari-
ables may be set at run time, or for new installs, may be passed to the
kernel at the lilo(8) (or other bootloader) command line. Consult your
boot loader's documentation for details. For example, lilo can be
booted with something like "linux DEBIAN_FRONTEND=readline".
Control various things about debconf(7)
By default, base-config deletes the debs that debootstrap(8)
used to install the system. This is useful on very low disk
installs. If you don't want that to be done, and prefer that
the debs be kept, set this variable to "yes".
Joey Hess <joeyhATdebian.org>