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Progeny Announces Graphical Installer for Debian Woody

CowboyNeal posted about 12 years ago | from the gui-but-not-sticky dept.

Debian 231

jdaily writes "In light of recent negative reviews of Debian in which the installer was roundly criticized, this announcement may have particular timeliness and relevance: Progeny has made available an i386 Debian 3.0 (woody) installer image based on PGI, the Progeny Graphical Installer. This is available at Progeny's free software archive." I've installed Debian so many times that I've just learned to cope with the installer, but this is a much needed boost.

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screenshots? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520679)

Wheres the screenshots? :P

Re:screenshots? (4, Informative)

humboldt (320028) | about 12 years ago | (#4520695)

Try these [progeny.com] .

GOATSE ALERT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520764)

Here is a real link [wikipedia.com]

The default debian installer is intimidating (2, Insightful)

Drunken Coward (574991) | about 12 years ago | (#4520680)

The first time I went to install Debian it was pretty intimidating with dozens of packages all over the place I didn't know what the hell was going on so I decided to go back to good ol' RedHat 6.2. Trusty and reliable I always say!

Re:The default debian installer is intimidating (5, Informative)

AntiFreeze (31247) | about 12 years ago | (#4520702)

Yeah, Debian can be like that. You either know exactly which packages you want, or you grab at random, or use something like tasksel to start you off. Tasksel is actually very useful, although sometimes it will install more than you want. Of course, that's better than not installing enough.

In addition, the guys in #debian on irc.debian.org (once the openprojects.net server, who knows what the deal is now with the fundraising fiasco) are extremely helpful if you're trying to figure things out, lost, or just tinkering around.

Re:The default debian installer is intimidating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521062)

I don't agree... Installing more than you you want is worse since then you have to go through all the damn package list and investigate every package (including librarys) to know whether it is needed or not. I have done this and this kind of cleaning up is quite painfull. If you don't do this then you have dozens unwanted packages slowing down updates and wasting disk space.
On the other side, when you have something missing then just apt-get install and you have it and see also what packages were grabbed by depencies for this package.
Mandrake and Redhat are no better - it is easy to install something but much harder to find out and remove unused junk.

What's better (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520682)

(a) a graphical installer

or

(b) sex with a mare?

stupid moderators (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520698)

Story Title: Progeny Announces
Graphical Installer for Debian Woody

Above post:

(a) a graphical installer

or

(b) sex with a mare?

How can the above post be offtopic?

Re:stupid moderators (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520722)

Because it's offtopic. It doesn't have anything to do with the Debian graphical installer.

And no, I don't care if you can't understand what it really means.

Re:stupid moderators (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520744)

Who cares about Debian graphical installer? Debian is a crap, out of date distribution with REALLY bad package management. If you want a real distribution, use Gentoo.

And yes, I still can't understand why you modify something as "Offtopic" when it's actually NOT Off-topic.

debian (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520684)

both r0x0rz and sux0rz

Why now? (2, Troll)

mikael (484) | about 12 years ago | (#4520685)

This installer has been available to the Debian developers for how long? 2 years? It's unbelievable that they haven't been using it earlier. No, they had to write it from scratch, and it is still not finished.

Re:Why now? (2, Interesting)

blackcat++ (168398) | about 12 years ago | (#4520752)

The problem with the Progeny installer is that it is not available for all platforms Debian supports, and it was decided it would be easier to write one from scratch.

Why it couldn't be used for the platform 90%+ of Debian users use (i386) I don't know.

Re:Why now? (5, Informative)

reynaert (264437) | about 12 years ago | (#4520779)

The Progeny installer has three major problems:
  • It doesn't work on most of the architectures supported by Debian (does it even work on anything but i386?)
  • It is geared toward CD installs, its support for network installs is just not good enough.
  • It's too much work to make a installer. The Debian people hope to have a installable version of testing available at all times, but that's just too much work with PGI.

Re:Why now? (3, Informative)

Turmio (29215) | about 12 years ago | (#4520810)

Perhaps because PGI only works with i386 (afaik?) But Debian/unstable is being developed for 13 different Linux-based architectures plus 4 non-linux (hurd, *bsd) [debian.org] . shiny-multimedia-super-douper-developed-for-pc-use rs junk just doesn't work there. That's why you have to build a modular installer engine from scratch so you can choose graphical back-end if your platform supports it or you want in in the first place. I don't want a graphical installation even for my monster AthlonXP box.

And you always have the right to stop bitching and use something else if you don't like the way Debian is doing things. Try it sometime. Thank you very much.

Re:Why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520829)

Which is why Redhat etc, crush debain in terms of number of install idiot!

Re:Why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520904)

Thank you for a lovely example ( in writing no less! ) of the typical elitest Debian user attitude. I am certain the parent poster will no doubt "use something else". I would also like to say that part of Debians horrible release cycle problems are due to the fact that Debian as a whole simply never says NO! Find some architecture that is only used by a fraction of the possible market and here comes Debian to support it and drag the rest of the release cycle down even further. Face it already, the x86 architecture has won already. I can see maybe a Sparc port, but even then you have to realize it is for the hobbyist who scored an old pizza box Sun on ebay, and certainly not anyone running a modern Sun system. Grow up Debian, stop trying to be all things and the most egalitarian OS in the world and make some hard decisions. Drop about 10 architectures from the release cycle and at least half of those 8,000 packages for starters.

Graphical installer so ... (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 12 years ago | (#4520687)

... will I need a mouse to install my system ?

Re:Graphical installer so ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520769)

Bummer. Guess that means I'll have to get a graphics card as well. Hey ho, down the slippery slope...

Re:Graphical installer so ... (1)

Sonicated (515345) | about 12 years ago | (#4520777)

... will I need a mouse to install my system ?

I imagine that if would be very hard but possible to install it graphically without a mouse using tab to move around the widgets. However I'd want to tell it it to go back into text mode if I didn't have a mouse, who wouldn't?

Re:Graphical installer so ... (5, Funny)

$rtbl_this (584653) | about 12 years ago | (#4520923)

... will I need a mouse to install my system ?

Nah, use an eight-year-old child - they're much better suited.

It just struck me exactly how bad that advice would sound out of context.

It doesnt really matter... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520689)

I mean everybody knows Debian is dead.

I love debians installer (3, Insightful)

Tomah4wk (553503) | about 12 years ago | (#4520691)

Fair enough it might be intimidating to a 'new' user, but its the only installer ive ever used that offers me the flexibility i need. Ive used mandrake, SuSE, lycoris, corel and red hat and with any of those distributions it is impossible to do something that the devlopers didnt think of in advance. Debians installer lets you configure your system in as much detail as you want, and install from a large variety of mediums (various network, physical etc). All in all, id be suprised to see anyone improve it, making it graphical is just eye candy, you cant provide anything 'extra', you just make it more pleasing to the eye.

Re:I love debians installer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520704)

Agreed. Who carez about installers.
Decent systems, like Debian or FreeBSD, you only install once!

Greet,

Jorgen Maas

Re:I love debians installer (1)

minus9 (106327) | about 12 years ago | (#4520756)

Decent systems, like Debian or FreeBSD, you only install once!

If you only have one machine.

Re:I love debians installer (4, Funny)

psavo (162634) | about 12 years ago | (#4520914)

Decent systems, like Debian or FreeBSD, you only install once!

If you only have one machine.


dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1

Re:I love debians installer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520820)

(offtopic, but -) I am a Debian user working with FreeBSD (on my spare time), and I'd like to know if there is a easy to follow guide for upgrading a 4.6.x FreeBSD to 4.7.

I miss apt-get :(

Re:I love debians installer (1, Interesting)

malus (6786) | about 12 years ago | (#4520993)

I haven't seen debian's installer since 1998, when I installed this box.

I'm sure it hasn't changed, and I HOPE it hasn't changed, because OF that installer, I can get a debian box set up and going in less than 20 minutes.

I believe one of debians strengths [installer] has been to, perhaps, "weed out", those who are incapable of reading HOWTO's and README's PRIOR to installation.

Re:I love debians installer (5, Interesting)

AntiFreeze (31247) | about 12 years ago | (#4520738)

That's exactly how I feel. On the other hand, I know many people who want to use Debian for that same flexibility later on (apt-getting packages at a later stage) but have problems with the initial install and getting the right set of starter packages on the machine.

I, for one, will stick with the ncurses generic Debian install, for it is what I use and like, but I will also welcome the graphical installer, for it will be quite helpful to other people and bring more people over to use Debian who were initially scared away by the hardcore install.

In other words, I don't see this as a matter of improving the install, but simply making it more readily available to those for whom the install was previously too complicated for. This is a good thing.

[I apologize for any incoherence in the previous statements, I'm running on no sleep... again.]

Re:I love debians installer (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 12 years ago | (#4520789)

I don't mind debians installer, but when my XF86Config-4 is wrong and it won't let me into linux anymore... i stop losing faith. Being Linux savvy doesn't mean knowing every file in /etc by hart. It's like expecting everyone to be a good lisp hacker if they want to use emacs: not the way to go.

Re:I love debians installer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520836)

But that's how you get the most fun out of emacs.
And really, if a bum xfree config is 'keeping' you out, you probably should study /etc a bit more. Use a rescue disk, change one line in one file in /etc, reboot and you'll be in consol. Fix the config and change it back to normal.
There are easyer ways yet, but if you don't understand /etc/ you don't wanna play with them.

Re:I love debians installer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520856)

I don't have a problem with the complexity of the installer but it is bloody annoying to have to sit in front of the computer, answering question after quention for the duration of the install.

An ideal install would ask all the questions at the start then get on with the install.

Re: I love Debian installers...that can Discover (1)

Quietti (257725) | about 12 years ago | (#4520986)

The installer in Woody is already a lot better than the one in Potato, but still lacks the sort of flexibility most people need. Adding hardware detection using Discover and Mdetect would preconfigure hardware-related packages, but still leave the flexibility to partition the disk, etc. just the way we like it. For those who want a graphical installer, there's a PGI-based install CD too. Thanks Branden! This is just what we need to show the corporate world how easy it is to adopt Debian! :-)

PS: The Woody CD-1 image found on most European mirrors appears to be non-bootable. Even if I boot from floppy, the installer constantly complains that some packages on the CD are corrupt. Meanwhile, the non-US Potato rev.7 CD-1 always boots flawlessly. Could anyone fix this?

woody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520694)

I would recommend they change the name of the project. Was hardon already taken? I hope the installer isnt too graphic, whats it rated?

Re:woody? (2, Informative)

Ravenn (580407) | about 12 years ago | (#4520735)

Heh. Dork.

If you look at the history of Debian releases, you may just see the sequence:

1.1 - Buzz
1.2 - Rex
1.3 - Bo
2.0 - Hamm
2.1 - Slink
2.2 - Potato
3.0+ - Woody
Testing - Sarge
Unstable - Sid

But I bet that someone will still have to explain it more to some...

Ravenn

Re:woody? (1)

TerryMathews (57165) | about 12 years ago | (#4520828)

Why isn't Disney all over this? :-)

Re:woody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520955)

sequence eh?

whats the nth term then smarty pants?

Re:woody? (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | about 12 years ago | (#4521044)

4.0 - Mrs_Potato_Head?

ScreenShots (5, Informative)

Rubbersoul (199583) | about 12 years ago | (#4520696)

For those that are interested here are screenshots of PGI v0.9.6

http://hackers.progeny.com/pgi/screenshots/

Clickable link (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520706)

A clickable version of the above link [progeny.com] . (Posting as a coward since I am no karma whore.)

GOATSE ALERT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520718)

Thats a goatse link. DO NOT CLICK!

SUCK MY FILTHY TROLL COCK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520731)

It tastes like chicken, only with secret sause!
H

    • WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWWWW

      The worlds most infamous troll! [stallman.org]
      Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
      Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

EAT MY FILTHY CATS PUSSY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520746)

It tastes like chicken, only with secret sause!
H

    • WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWWWW

      The worlds most infamous troll! [stallman.org]
      Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
      Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:ScreenShots (1)

Sonicated (515345) | about 12 years ago | (#4520797)

For those that are interested here are screenshots of PGI v0.9.6

Urgh! They look horrible. I'm only going to use it when it supports anti-aliased fonts!

Re:ScreenShots (1)

vadim_t (324782) | about 12 years ago | (#4520984)

Is that a really weird progress bar, or they really offer no indication at all of how much has installation progressed? Sometimes I don't have the whole day, so a good indication of how much has been done and how much is left is very valuable to me. An estimation of how long will it take would be nice too.

Cheese (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520697)

GERMANS!!!

I think ill just stick to (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520700)

network.img from mandrake. This boot disk allows you to install from the internet WITH A GRAPHICAL installer and USES UPTO DATE SOFTWARE. Im using it right now, and Ive never looked back.

Here we go ... (-1, Flamebait)

LizardKing (5245) | about 12 years ago | (#4520707)

The recent reviews of Debian (or more pertinently the installer), highlighted genuine problems. I sat there and read the reviews thinking, "why don't they just add the Progeny installer as an extra option for i386". Having tried (and failed) to install Debian Woody on a Sparc several times, I went back to RedHat Linux and NetBSD. NetBSD is an example of how a text installer should work, and RedHat is an example of a GPL Linux distro that is of much higher quality than Debian.

Now the Debian zealots will come out of the woodwork pointing out that Debian is "more free" than RedHat. Bullshit unless your confusing standard RedHat Linux with Advanced Server. And all the Debian zealots ignore the fact that they are using it because they're mostly elitist f*ckwits who can't accept that RedHat pisses all over Debian in terms of quality and usability.

Flame away children.

Chris

Re:Here we go ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520760)


The recent reviews of Debian (or more pertinently the installer), highlighted genuine problems. I sat there and read the reviews thinking, "why don't they just add the Progeny installer as an extra option for i386". Having tried (and failed) to install Debian Woody on a Sparc ...


Ok, here you have a point, but its a pretty obvious one. I think that many people have acknowledged that Debian needed a nicer installer if it wished to attract a wider group of people. The reason that its such a tragedy to many is because they recognize the quality of the distro once its installed and configured.

Now the Debian zealots will come out of the woodwork pointing out that Debian is "more free" than RedHat. Bullshit unless your confusing standard RedHat Linux with Advanced Server. And all the Debian zealots ignore the fact that they are using it because they're mostly elitist f*ckwits who can't accept that RedHat pisses all over Debian in terms of quality and usability.


Flame away children.



This comment is worthless. Yes, I use Debian. But for you to use thoughtless purjoratives against a group of people that rightly don't exist (yet), or to make baseless criticisms of a distro you obviously don't have too much experience using is both childish and troll-like.


So, maybe I bit on a troll. But I think it had to be said.

Re:Here we go ... (1)

mtthws (572660) | about 12 years ago | (#4520781)

"unless your confusing standard RedHat Linux with Advanced Server." is the exact point that the zealots would be making. There should not be a differnce between the distros that RH makes. It should all do everything. I can understand having the installer let you do a little more customazation, say if you just want a web server it only installs apache perl etc, but I should not have to but that should just be choices everyone gets to make when they install. I have also used RH Mandrake Debian and Gentoo. I think RH and Mandrake are great for the linux newbie or the linux geek that does not want to get as into the inner workings of linux, but I think overall they are more restrictive to your use of linux, by tieing so much to their gui. And yes I know you can still do everything by the command line but how often people actualy do that as oposed to using the fast and dirty gui, and being limited to what it lets you do. Finaly I dont think anyone will disagree with the fact that RPM has the worst dependincies detection ever. That is the reason I left Mandrake. It is to easy to get into circular dependencies, and they are to tied to realeses. It would quickly get to the point where you just had to wait for the next realese becouse you could not upgrade with RPMs to a newer version becouse fo to many circular dependincies. You do not have this prob with debian at all. Once you get it up and running apt-get takes care of all of that for you.

Re:Here we go ... (2)

LizardKing (5245) | about 12 years ago | (#4520841)

I know you can still do everything by the command line but how often people actualy do that as oposed to using the fast and dirty gui

Many of us running RedHat Linux on a server with only console access. All the non-developmental servers I use or have used, had the X packages and anything related to them removed.

I dont think anyone will disagree with the fact that RPM has the worst dependincies detection ever

If that's your main technical criticism of RedHat's distribution, then you might want to check out a BSD. They have excellent package dependency detection, and a better text installer to boot. OK, the OpenBSD installer isn't too hot when it comes to partitioning, but that and the shitty attitude of certain OpenBSD coders is why I run NetBSD as my first choice of OS.

I think RH and Mandrake are great for the linux newbie or the linux geek

And how many companies do you know that are running Debian as their Linux distribution of choice? I understand that Slashdot are, but they are a geek (god, I hate that word) novelty. All the businesses I have worked for in the last five or six years choose either RedHat, SuSE or a BSD.

Chris

Re:Here we go ... (1)

PerryMason (535019) | about 12 years ago | (#4520952)

There should not be a differnce between the distros that RH makes

There's a good reason for maintaining different versions of RedHat. The Advanced Server version is left at a stable release level for a longer period of time. The releases occur approximately every 12-18 months so you get a stable platform and can focus on planning migration and upgrade cycles. For example, Advanced Server 2.1 is based on RedHat 7.2 and was released in March 02. I predict v3 sometime H203 when gcc has gotten stable on RedHat 8.X.

Also its got new features borrowed from a development build of the 2.5 kernel, such as asynchronous I/O, optimized SCSI and process scheduling and can scale up to eight processors from the non Advanced server version's max of four.

I'm personally trying to persuade my boss to stop pushing RedHatX.X and start getting Advanced Server on more sites. I'm dreading the widespread upgrade from 7.3 to 8 that my boss is sure to drop in my lap in the nice quiet time between Christmas and New Years....

Re:Here we go ... (1)

Ost99 (101831) | about 12 years ago | (#4520785)

Flamebait, but I'll bite :)
Debian might be more difficult to install, but where did you get the "RedHat pisses all over Debian in terms of quality and usability" from?

If by usability you mean "easy to install for grandma" perhaps, if not: please explain what makes RedHat better.

And for quality? If you define quality as having a stable system with packages that don't trash eachother, and is easy to keep secure. Then you are sadly mistaken. But if by quality you mean a system with new, hot and unstested packages and late security fixes, by all means RedHat must be of much higher quality.

- Ost

Re:Here we go ... (2)

LizardKing (5245) | about 12 years ago | (#4520934)

But if by quality you mean a system with new, hot and unstested packages and late security fixes, by all means RedHat must be of much higher quality

Do you or your employer (assuming you actually work), actually use Debian for mission critical systems? As I said in another post, how many companies do you know of who trust Debian as there Linux distribution of choice, (and no, a site like Slashdot is not a representative example)? The only corporate settings where I have heard rumour of Debian being used, is where it's been slipped in as a file server on the quiet.

All the Linux using companies I have worked at have followed a similar path in selecting their distribution:

  1. Do we have to use a particular distribution for a commercial app we need support for (eg. Informix mandating SuSE a few years back).
  2. If not, which suits our technical requirements best?

Based on those criteria, the choice (made by programmers, not managers) has always been RedHat unless option one applies. And no, as a contractor I didn't have any input on those decisions.

Chris

Re:Here we go ... (0)

cHiphead (17854) | about 12 years ago | (#4520990)

last time i checked, slashdot was the perfect example. after all, slashdot is the site that tends to SLASHDOT OTHERS. You will probably never know who really uses debain in teh back end, b/c debian is a commercial venture that waves the PR flag "we just sold 1000 seats to American Airlines, buy our stock and make us rich"...

They should have done this a long time ago (5, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | about 12 years ago | (#4520708)

It drives me crazy that with the incredible talent behind Debian the install process is such a pain. Installing Suse, Mandrake and RH are not harder to install than installing Windows XP or OS X. Installing freeBSD is confusing until you find a few hours after you think you mastered sysinstall a kind soul at a bsd chatroom tells you to use the ports instead.

Installing Debian (or Gentoo) is just too damn confusing. I admire what Debian and Gentoo are aiming for, but they need to come up with a no-hassle installer.

Re:They should have done this a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520817)

Installing Debian (or Gentoo) is just too damn confusing. I admire what Debian and Gentoo are aiming for, but they need to come up with a no-hassle installer.

Both projects have publicly stated that they are aimed at *advanced linux users*. So why are you imposing your will on these advanced users who think the installation is just fine? They do *not* need to come up with a no hassle installer.

Re:They should have done this a long time ago (5, Insightful)

psavo (162634) | about 12 years ago | (#4520871)

Debian is not aimed at simple minds. It's done by developers for developers/power users. If you're n00b, then you should start with some other distro, with some available commersial support.
Then, When that becomes too limiting, move on to debian. At that point debian installer is not confusing, but raher powerful. (I just installed debian from scratch after disk failure, so I know what I'm talking about). That install of mine was first in 3-4 years.

Re:They should have done this a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520901)

But you have been using Debian for 3-4 years. That means you know tasksel/dselect. A n00b doesn't know these programs and has a lot of problems with them.

Re:They should have done this a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520874)

How can you even compare installing Debian with installing Gentoo.

With Gentoo I can create a boot disk contaning a bash script that will install a system just the way I like it. Can you do that with Debian?

While installing Gentoo I use Bash. A program I know.

When I tried to install Debian I have to use tasksel? dselect? A program I don't know.
The keybindings are as bad as vi.

Installing Gentoo is easy. It just takes a lot of time. I understand the installation.

Installing Debian is impossible since you have to understand dselect?, tasksel? (Some people have recomended that you quit the installer at that point but how will a newbie know that? )

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520709)

It looks like a blatant rip off of the red hat installer.

Re:WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520802)

Since when has open source ever been innovativ? It's always been about undercutting the competition with cheesy imitations of quality commercial software.

They always say it's about Free as in Freedom not Free as in Beer....

But the first sales pitch they give ya is "We are way cheaper and have no licensing fees".

Open source is all about getting college kids to hack together cheesy ripoffs of existing technology.

Innovation has nothing to do with it.

Much needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520715)

Trying to install Debian today, gives me falshbacks to when I tried to install Slackware for many many years ago.

I went back to RedHat when I foundout with what rate new software make it into debian (that is a very low rate)

The dialogs are clumsy (1)

patro (104336) | about 12 years ago | (#4520726)

I took a look at the screenshots, and the dialogs don't seem very polished. They should hire GUI designer or something.

What? (1, Funny)

D4M4DH477X0R (548464) | about 12 years ago | (#4520728)

A picture of Tux holding a glass of beer in the top left corner isn't graphical enough for you???

What ? (0, Troll)

I'm not a script (612110) | about 12 years ago | (#4520736)

I've just learned to cope with the installer.

What, are you a drooling retard ?
Do you need big shiny buttons to press ?
Debian's installer's only problem is no hardware detection,
otherwise it's the most logical and well laid out one I've seen
in linux or bsd.

Re:What ? (2, Insightful)

McDee (105077) | about 12 years ago | (#4520774)

The problem with installers is that by the time people understand the system enough to work out what the installer is asking for they are already familiar enough with the install process not to care.

Installers are *always* the first thing that people meet in a distribution. Doesn't matter how similar the underlying OS is to other products, if the installer appears to be unfriendly or asks questions that people don't understand they aren't going to get a lot further.

I found this when I moved from RedHat to Debian, it took me a few goes to work out what exactly the installation process was asking for. I would only recommend Debian to people who really understand both linux and their hardware, anyone else would just be put off before they even got the distribution up and running.

People can argue about why one distribution is 'better' than another, but one of RedHat's strengths is that it is a pretty-much automated install and the bits that require the user to tell the install process ask questions that the user can understand.

sometimes (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520742)

thinking about natalie portman gives me a woody, then I release my "distribution". It looks a lot like hot grits, but tastes salty.

cross-platform? (5, Insightful)

4im (181450) | about 12 years ago | (#4520745)

If Debian remains true to it's high standards, no graphical installer will make it into a stable distribution unless it works for every platform supported by Debian.

So, sure, go ahead, use the Progeny one... but do make it work on (Ultra)Sparc, Alpha, Amiga, Atari ST, PA/RISC, S390, whatever... not so easy, is it?

Guys, remember, there's more to Linux than just x86!

Re:cross-platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520784)

sure they better do it - maybe different way.
everybody knows X runs on most platforms, i guess they can start there. have seen 2-fdd Linux 'distro' with X, so why couldnt they use one for their installer?

-- wanna make your dreams true? wake up!

Re:cross-platform? (5, Insightful)

Fluffy the Cat (29157) | about 12 years ago | (#4520894)

The next generation Debian installer is designed to be modular (the idea is that the same installer will be usable on all architectures, including the Hurd and BSD ports). It's possible that graphical modules will be available, but this won't compromise the functionality of the text based install.

On the other hand, refusing to provide a graphical installer because it doesn't work on all supported hardware isn't a sensible attitude only. There are items of hardware that are never going to support a graphical install (I've a Sun with no framebuffer here) - should Debian refuse to allow graphical installs as a result?

huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520747)

Someone critisized debian? Impossible! Debian is the most perfectest distro ever! Redhat sux0rz! Sure debian developers don't give a flying fuck about the users and the packages are old as dirt but it's still the most leetest there is i tells ya. If you uses redcrap you is teh sucks!

Plese don't ever make this the default (5, Interesting)

Psiren (6145) | about 12 years ago | (#4520749)

I fail to see why this is any better than the standard text installation. Worse, it requires a graphical display, so you then enter the fb/X11 compatability issues. Whats wrong with a text installer? You're only going to be looking at it for say, an hour at the very most, right?

Does the graphical frontend actually offer any significant additions over the text one?

Re:Plese don't ever make this the default (3, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | about 12 years ago | (#4520772)

Does the graphical frontend actually offer any significant additions over the text one?

Consistency for starters. There is no consistency in the way that the pieces of the current Debian text installer work. And that "thing" to select various packages is the worst console application I have ever seen - unintuitive, slow and a nightmare to navigate.

Chris

Re:Plese don't ever make this the default (2)

Psiren (6145) | about 12 years ago | (#4520793)

I assume you're talking about dselect?

Again, I'll have to say I like it. I've tried various other package installers and none of them are as straightforwward and useful as dselect. Aptitude just doesn't cut it for me. Well, maybe I'm just wierd ;)

Re:Plese don't ever make this the default (5, Informative)

Fluffy the Cat (29157) | about 12 years ago | (#4520875)

Does the graphical frontend actually offer any significant additions over the text one?

Hardware autodetection. Fewer questions asked. It's not just a graphical version of the standard Debian install, it's something a great deal closer to the Red Hat or Mandrake installers.

Debian will always have a text installer available, because it supports platforms which may not have graphical capabilities. Doing a graphical install over a serial console is, uhm, tricky.

Graphical installer? (1)

Sam Lowry (254040) | about 12 years ago | (#4520755)

Hm... It's probably time to move over Debian.. Hey, what's the name of that distro without graphical installer? Gotta try it...

Debian installation difficulties are exaggerated (5, Insightful)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 12 years ago | (#4520761)

(Disclaimer: it's been over a year since I did my Debian install, and my memory is somewhat fuzzy).

The first part of a Debian install, where you make disk partitions, set the hostname etc. is similar enough to a RedHat text-mode install (of which I've done several) that it didn't faze me. I don't think that part of the Debian install is difficult at all.

The difficult part is the second stage of the installation: selecting packages with tasksel/dselect. I took one look at it and just hit "quit". That gave me a base install, with nothing else. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat: I used apt-cdrom/apt-get to install all the rest of the stuff I wanted.

I'm not saying that Joe Average would/should be happy with apt-get from the command line; I'm saying that it's dead easy for someone with only a small amount of Unix/Linux experience to use, and it's much easier than dselect. It's perfectly possible to install Debian without wrestling with dselect.

-Stephen

Re:Debian installation difficulties are exaggerate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520809)

And for those still think apt-get is hard to use, try aptitude.

Re:Debian installation difficulties are exaggerate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520921)


The difficult part is the second stage of the installation: selecting packages with tasksel/dselect. I took one look at it and just hit "quit". That gave me a base install, with nothing else.


How are you supposed to know that the easiest way to install Debian is to quit the installation program halfway through?

Thanks for the tip though. I'll try that next time.

Re:Debian installation difficulties are exaggerate (1)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 12 years ago | (#4520968)

How are you supposed to know that the easiest way to install Debian is to quit the installation program halfway through?

I cheated and did some research about dselect, apt-get, dpkg etc. before starting the installation. For someone coming to a Debian installation without prior knowledge, you're right, it's a total mystery that there's more than one way to install packages.

-Stephen

Re:Debian installation difficulties are exaggerate (3, Insightful)

IkeTo (27776) | about 12 years ago | (#4521041)

> The difficult part is the second stage of the installation

No, no, I don't think so. The people complained about Debian not because of tasksel. After all, tasksel is just a bit more difficult than Redhat "install type". They complained it because there are so many things that Debian don't configure, and don't provide any interface to install other than reading HOWTOs.

See how sound is unconfigured, CD-RWs can't be written to, firewall accessible only to people with a text editor and time reading the long iptable doc, and even things as basic as setting date and time has no interface other than firing date and hwclock.

Don't get me wrong, Debian is now in everything I use regularly, and I love it the current way. After all, I don't have to do a system install until the next time I buy a new computer. But it is undeniable that Debian is not the easiest thing to put into your computer.

debian (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520770)

Debian serves a great service to the linux community.

They give everyone a look into the past of linux.

The stable release is always at least a few years behind schedule so if you install debian you feel like it's 1999 all over again!

They're like the amish of linux, always using old outdated crap that everyone thinks is cute.

Re:debian (1)

Ost99 (101831) | about 12 years ago | (#4520803)

They're like the amish of linux, always using old outdated crap that everyone thinks is cute.
Or: ... always using old outdated crap that everyone *knows* work?

Do you need XFree 4.2 with KDE 3.1beta on you server? I don't.

- Ost

Re:debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520823)

Who cares for state-of-the-art version if you just need a rock stable server?

RE: debian -- not up to date (1)

LFS.Morpheus (596173) | about 12 years ago | (#4520890)

This was my biggest bain when I installed Debian earlier this week. I got through the install just fine (having installed Slackware, Redhat/text-mode, etc etc in the past), but when it came to using it I found all the software out of date. When I attempted to install a more current fluxbox package, my libc was out of date; and libraries are the only thing I want my packaging system to take care of for me.

There is a mass amount of 'testing' and 'unstable' packages, but I could not figure out how to get apt-get to look at them. apt-setup does not ask you which level you are willing to brave, and it should.

Sure, stable is great for a server, but can't I get something a little more current? How do you do it?

Re: debian -- not up to date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520947)

edit /etc/sources.list, replace stable to testing/unstable, apt-get update.

(testing and unstable do not have security update)

Re: debian -- not up to date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520964)

** sigh ** it should be /etc/apt/sources.list

lame wads (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520782)

If you look at the graphical installer it does the same exact fucking shit as the regular installer accept it's at a higher resolution. It asks you the same fucking questions. You do the same fucking shit. I mean are you that fucking retarded? It's the same god damn thing. WTF. Some people are fucking tards. Could the installer be improved? Ya. Is making it graphical instead of text make any fucking actually difference? No.

Mix and match? (2, Interesting)

twilight30 (84644) | about 12 years ago | (#4520792)

Is there any way to just simply mix and match different disks? I'm wondering if you could install the PGI-enabled first CD, then when tasksel or whatever prompts you for additional CDs, use the other 6 in the set. I get the impression you can't, as the Progeny site talks about creating your own installer CDs (plural, not singular).

Debian ain't for n00bz. Get over it. (2)

Qbertino (265505) | about 12 years ago | (#4520808)

That's what you pay distributors for, y'know? Honestly, if you wanna switch from 'doze to Linux, you'll best be of on a money-making distro (or give that money to the Linux geek-friend for him setting up a system for you).
Yet I don't get the heavy RH bias on /. - seems from the measily 30% of slashdotters using Linux regularly, 90% use RH with no knowlege of what's going on in the rest of the *nix world.
Anyway, you want a graphic installer? I recommend SuSE and for good reasons [slashdot.org] too.

Oh no, a graphical installer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520824)

Why is everybody whining about the disadvantages with a graphical installer?

Ok, so the text-installer *works*, but that's just bearly. You will have to work a lot of things out by yourself, specially when it comes to hardware detection.

As it is today, it seems like Debian is only for people with an already extended knowledge about Linux, and these people wants to keep the difficult ancient text-only installer to "keep the newbies away" from Debian, and make it a distro for the experts.

This is not the right way. Linux should be for *everybody*, not just those who can understand the way-too-difficuly installer.

The best would of course be to have both at graphical installer AND the text-only installer. Then the hardcore Debian users could still use the text-only installer since they seem to like it so much, and we mortals could use the nice GUI installer. Then both partys would be happy.

Why isn't it so already?

Re:Oh no, a graphical installer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520859)

FYI, debian has hardware detection using discover.

WTF is up with GUI installs? (-1)

Zapper (68283) | about 12 years ago | (#4520868)

Why do we have to have a GUI installer?
The first time I installed Debian I had no problems (this was my second Linux install, the first being Slackware (sometime 'round kernel v1.2 )).

So the same information can't be conveyed with a 'curses style interface?
It seems to me that the problems people are having is with the information presented not how it is presented.
This demand for a GUI is just fucked and places requirements on the system that is being installed to that are not necessary in many cases. This let's "keep up with the Joneseses" attitude is not useful.
Now, granted I haven't had time to digest all of hackers.progeny.com apart from the screenshots [progeny.com] so I may be just shooting my self in the foot here.
Yeah, it looks nice. But what others merits does this have? Do we really need to cater to the lowest common denominator with every distro on the planet?
Why does the burden always have to be shifted from the user to the people with the most work to do? In this case it's not too bad as the code is already there, but integration still takes time.
My point? GUIs are not the answer to the world's (or at least poorly presented information's) problems.

I'd like to see a better text-based installer (5, Interesting)

vrt3 (62368) | about 12 years ago | (#4520878)

Making the installer graphical in itself doesn't make any difference towards ease of use. Hardware detection and less technical questions do, but that can be done in a text-based installer as well, with the added bonus that you don't need X just for the install.

I haven't had any problems with the Debian installer , but I can understand it can be daunting to a newbie. Allthough I've seen Debian installations done by people not too acquainted with Linux (but they did have experience with other OSes (sp?)).

Anyway, I'm confident the Debian developers will come up with a decent installer by the time Sarge is promoted to stable.

Maybe time to swap distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520881)

" I've installed Debian so many times that I've just learned to cope with the installer, but this is a much needed boost.


I'd recommend Slackware [slackware.com] because it's not right that you have to install a distro over and over again. I should work period : )

(for the people who think Debian is god or whatever, this was merley a joke, sure he can be installing debian on a lot of boxen and still be installing it a lot of times. However, true geeks now I'm right eitherway : p GO SLACKWARE!)

PleeZZZZe 4 FreeBSD 2!!! (0, Flamebait)

Glanz (306204) | about 12 years ago | (#4520931)

By far the worst installer ever conceived by the mind of geek is the BSD installer. I have installed FreeBSD on scores of machines over the years, and I can say without reservation that it totally stinks. On my machine, a Dell 4100 Dimension, 1GHz, 40GB, I had to do at least 25 red-button shutdowns and reboots to get the friggin' thing to continue its task, from the beginning, of course. This installer NEVER writes the XFree config correctly, and more often than not, it takes no account of accounts, which meand a first boot into a passwordless and useless interface. I believe that FreeBSD is the best OS out there, but the installer is by far the worst. Many times, I have thought just how lovely it would be to stuff the 1st CD up the developers ass sideways......

I have had similar probs with Debian, however I must say that they were user errors concerning XFree*^ and not the installer's fault. But in FreeBSD..... it is definately the installer that suX that causes ALL the probs.

who needs it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4520965)

If you can't figure out how to install it...you don't need it

Debian installer rocks (2)

Random Walk (252043) | about 12 years ago | (#4520966)

I don't care whether an installer is graphical or not, as long as it works. And having installed Debian, Redhat, and Gentoo lately, I have to say that the Debian install was the only one that went without even the slightest problem, quite contrary to Redhat (failed when configuring X, machine locked up, reboot, finish install manually) and Gentoo (trouble with the PCMCIA ethernet card).

Plus, Debian doesn't have a multi-Gb default install full of crap, contrary to some other distros ...

Show them what you got (2, Interesting)

Yuioup (452151) | about 12 years ago | (#4521024)

Hardcore Linux guru's are respected because they can pull off anything in Linux. Well I say this: it's about time the Hardcore Debian hackers show the world what they can do and create an installer that can put distros like RedHat & Madrake to shame.

Just my two cents,

Yuioup

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