EOS installer questions/suggestions

First post, so I guess an intro would be good.

20-year Linux user, 2-year Arch user (BTW, lol,) musician, car mechanic, and general “Mister Fix-it” to family and friends.

Discovered EOS a few weeks ago, have been testing installs in a few VMs. Only using the online installer. Looks nice.

Except as a “power user” who wants to control everything that gets installed, or at least know about it before it gets installed, the “Desktop-Base + Common packages” item on the package selection page, is a bit of a black box.

I assume the items visible when this is expanded are the “Common packages”. These, like all the others on the page, may be deselected.

But the “Desktop-Base” part doesn’t show you what it installs, or let you change anything. And it’s not just Arch base + base-devel, it includes every disk format progs/tools package, encryption stuff, dracut, eos keyring/mirrorlist/hooks, linux+firmware/headers, and many utilities. Some of which are necessary, some not.

It’s not a bad thing, per se, but I like to know what’s being installed. And probably wouldn’t install some things, like reiserfs or jfs utilities. And others, like dracut, I’d never heard of before and would want, so seeing it up front rather than discovering it afterward would have been nice.

So those are in /etc/calamares/modules/pacstrap.conf, on the live iso, if anyone else wants to view them before installing.

Personally, I would prefer to see the base install listed separately as an expandable list where items could be deselected. With a message such as “don’t change this unless you know what you are doing.” And a way to add extra packages would be nice, but that’s easy enough to do after the install. Other than that, the installer is still pretty “user friendly” while also mostly “power user friendly.”

Building a new PC. Been debating whether to go EOS or “straight Arch.” Already ruled out Manjaro and Garuda for various reasons. Probably will go with EOS after researching the “base packages” described above. Graphical installer is nice, I can install Arch with pacstrap or archinstall, but Calamares saves a lot of time and lets you go “back” and check things if necessary before it actually starts making changes.

I also like that the EOS community has a reputation for being more friendly/helpful than Arch. I haven’t personally been on the receiving end of any “RTFM” replies, as I usually just figure stuff out myself, and don’t think I’ve ever even posted on an Arch forum. But I don’t go for the general “Linux elitism” encountered in many places (not just Arch.) We were all n00bs once, who, even if we knew how to search, didn’t know the right keywords to search for, or how to understand the tech-speak in results we did find.


Welcome to the forum!

No, that is both “Desktop Base” and “Common Settings”.

The items in pacstrap.conf are not desktop base. Those are the items we believe are minimally essential and are deliberately not removable. Removing those items can make the install fail and we try as hard as possible to make the install succeed. We try to give you as much leeway as possible in being able to select or deselect packages but if something can cause is the install to fail, we place it in pacstrap.

Yeah, that is something we have discussed. The problem is that those packages are needed depending on what you select during the install process. In other words, if you pick jfs as your filesystem and we don’t have the tools installed, the install will fail.

We had some recent conversations about what we could do to address this but it would require writing custom code to handle so that would have to be something we decided to implement in the future.

That being said, if you want to, you can edit the file pacstrap.conf and remove packages prior to launching the installer if you want to. Just be aware if you remove the wrong thing, the installer might fail because it counts on those packages being present.


Welcome to the Purple Side! Yes, this crew is friendlier than most. Some are crazier than most too…wait 'til you run into the Wabbit, and the Clown…
It’s good to see a more seasoned veteran jumping on board.

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Welcome to the forum! :smile:

The install process can be customized in many ways, see this:

Power user might want to use the possibilities provided by file $HOME/user_commands.bash on the ISO live session. This file can customize practically anything in the install process, but it assumes also that the user knows exactly how to do it all.

And we are going to release a new ISO relatively soon, then user_commands.bash will be capable of customizing calamares configs before installing. This is not yet possible in Cassini.

Wabbit? I only know the :clown_face:

Edit: Sorry I also know the :frog:


How about :turkey: ?

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Ya…i forgot all about the :turkey:

Gobble Gobble!

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Welcome aboard! :rocket:


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Aha, so the actual “base” is totally hidden. That’s fair, EOS has goals, if the required packages help meet those goals, well, it’s your distro, and people have plenty of choices. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I tried that, it worked. Thanks. But probably would leave the rest for “real install” later, and not sure leaving out a few disk formats is worth the trouble, as they would be a miniscule percent of packages/disk space, especially once I start installing other stuff.

Not sure I’d call myself that, but maybe I sell myself short. I know some stuff and other stuff not so much. I’m a programmer, Java for many years, lately Python, and some proprietary stuff like OSB and Mulesoft. For years I’ve used find/xargs/grep/sed etc. to search for files with certain content/patterns, sometimes pass the files to Perl one-liner search/replace to fix bugs en-masse, stuff like that, but not really an expert on systemd or stuff like that. I learn what I need to when I want to do something.

Thanks, I’ll look into that.

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