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Re: Installation hangs because asks for input from terminal (Attn: tetex maintainer, setup maintainer)

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004, Alexander Colesnicov wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam,
> I tried to install cygwin and it hanged when executing
> /etc/postinstall/ . To proceed further, I marked this
> script as "done" and all the rest was OK. Then I started cygwin and run
> this script manually. I found that it was a conflict with my existing
> fpTeX installation (fpTeX is a TeTeX port to Windows) that defined an
> environment variable TEXMFCNF to one of Windows directories. The script
> diagnosted that and asked for user's reaction. I redefined
> the variable in my .bashrc as TEXMFCNF="/usr/share/texmf/web2c:", and
> the script run. The bad thing is that the terminal window does not exist
> during setup.exe run. Therefore, the user can not react to script's
> questions. My recommedation is to reprogram in such a
> manner that it will never ask for user's intervention, and will set the
> TEXMFCNF variable uncoditionally to its true value to avoid the
> described conflict.

This is a bug -- postinstall scripts should *not* be interactive, and
certainly not via the TUI (since their output is not seen by the user
while installing).  Thanks for reporting it.

As I see it, there are two places where this should be fixed:
- setup.exe should run postinstall scripts with stdin redirected from
  /dev/null or equivalent (so that errant scripts don't hang the install)
- the postinstall scripts themselves should have reasonable defaults on
  encountering EOF in the input (as a consequence of the first fix).

Hope this helps,
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