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    Re: Woody’s install process (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, October 27 @ 10:33:55 BST

    Why would a volunteer project want to cater to clueless users who are unlikely to contribute anything back ?

    That’s what commercial distributions are for.

    I tried most OS-s for intel out there including several Linux distributions and BSD variants.

    I found the Debian install by far the most staright-forward and reliable.

    The one thing I would change about them is make them simpler to build. Look at this:

    “Need to get 39.3MB of archives. After unpacking 107MB will be used”

    This is what I get for “apt-get install boot-floppies”, this is ridiculous.

    [ Reply | Parent ]

    Re: Woody’s install process (Score: 1)
    by jguthrie on Saturday, October 27 @ 18:17:12 BST
    (User Info)

    And the reason why a graphical install would fix the difficulty that many people have in installing Debian would be?

    I get disgusted when I see people who write about how hard Y is to install (where Y is some non-Microsoft operating system) and suggest that a graphical install would make it better. I wonder why asking the questions in a graphical screen is supposed to be so much easier for an end user than asking the exact same question in a text sceen.

    What makes installations difficult for new users are the questions asked by the installation that the user does not understand the import of. A typical trick is trying to select all the packages in the distribution and after which you’re presented what appear to be endless screens full of Dependency/Conflict Resolution requests.

    Now, of course, I know better, but I didn’t when I tried that trick some years ago. However, it wouldn’t have helped to simply make the process “graphical” because the problem was that I was trying to do something stupid, not that the information and questions weren’t posed in a clear manner.

    So, what would make installations easier? I don’t know, but I have some ideas and I think focusing on the graphical aspect of it is a major waste of time. Let’s focus on friendly, first, and then see if we really need to go to the effort of porting a non-text install to a system that supports a text mode display.

    I might suggest a printed installation manual. The New Riders book was the sort of thing I was thinking of, but I’d rather see something that used the stock standard install or, at the very least, came with a CD-ROM that you could actually use to install Debian with. (And a big raspberry goes to New Riders for shipping books with CD’s in them that didn’t have a prayer of working, and when I gave genuine Debian CD’s to the people who had bought the books on my recommendation, the disks in the book were sufficiently different from the official disks so as to make the book useless with the official disks.)

    I also might suggest an installer that installs some minimal system, getting it up and running, and only then allowing the user to select what packages he wants to include with it. You might come up with some sort of dependency conflict resolution tool to allow the user to see the decisions that actually caused the conflict and to select which alternative trees he actually can choose from and have it work.without knowing how the innards work. There’s got to be a better way of handling dependency conflicts. How about a big option given up front that says “install everything” that doesn’t really?

    There are lots of ways to make Debian installs more newbie-friendly without screwing around with graphical installs, and if it turns out to be (and it may very well be) easier to set up graphics mode and make it friendly than make it friendly in text mode, then let’s do a graphical installer, but the graphical part isn’t the essential part, if you take my meaning.

    Making Debian genuinely easier to install is worth some effort, if only to eliminate the possibility that someone will install RedHat because it’s “easy” and then ask me to maintain it because they don’t know how to.

    [ Reply | Parent ]

    Re: Woody’s install process (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Sunday, October 28 @ 04:19:24 GMT

    again, hw detection is a good idea, however, a graphic install does nothing more than take up memory. if you are unable to use a keyboard instead of mouse, then you probably shouldn’t be using any sort of linux distro anyway.

    [ Reply | Parent ]

    Re: Woody’s install process (Score: 1)
    by zapman on Sunday, October 28 @ 16:21:00 GMT
    (User Info)

    I recently tried Debian for the first time, and there is a LOT of room for improvment in the install. It doesn’t have to be graphical, but it must be much easier, or at least saner.

    My first problem was that it newfs’ed my filesystems BEFORE I could choose an install method. Therefore I didn’t know that the install couldn’t use my NIC. Since I was installing over my old linux install, this ment I couldn’t do much to fix the problem.

    The solution to this is fairly easy: just re-order what is already there. Make the user select his install method first. If the one they want isn’t there, they’ll back up and start over.

    Also, the use of dselect in the install is a VERY tedious process. After talking to some experienced debian users, I’ve found that most just accept BASE and use apt from there. However that knowledge is NOT AVAILABLE to new users, and they have the increadibly tedious job of running through dselect and finding packages they want.

    I’m sure if I thought about it more would come up. 🙂


    [ Reply | Parent ]

    Re: Windows’ install process (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, October 29 @ 11:15:40 GMT

    what about Progeny’s graphical install? it sucks less.. 🙂 actualy its very nice, this could be a nice basic installer and we have the old expert way too.

    also why arnt people complaning about windows install? the first text based stage of win 2k install, looks to me to be dificult for a newb, and the second stage they do is graphical but its just “packages” they install, after 8 or so reboots.

    I like debian’s install becuse I can get the system I want out of it, if it does change I hope they keep that aspect.

    [ Reply | Parent ]

    Re: Woody’s install process (Score: 1)
    by ejasucker on Tuesday, October 30 @ 16:59:45 GMT
    (User Info)

    There are good things and bad things about graphical installation and hardware auto detection.

    1) I agree if hardware autodetection is added to Woody. It makes new user easier to make their Hardware working.

    2) I’m not quite agree with graphical installation. Text based installation is enough for me now, even though the first time I touched Debian I was shaking during the installation hoping it would work! ;p But then again, after I re-think about it, I didn’t lose anything! I learnt something new. So I know what packages that I need. So graphical installation is doesn’t really matter. It’s based on the same thing. Also, if we keep using text based in Woody, it’s just like the way Debian is.

    [ Reply | Parent ]

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