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Download Anaconda for Debian

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the kick-the-tires dept.

Debian 208

hsoom writes "Debian Planet is reporting that unofficial sarge-based ISOs using the Anaconda installer can be downloaded from here. The features developed so far include '...changed the code that installs software to use APT instead of RPM, removed Red Hat-specific configuration hooks, and written a new tool called picax that builds Anaconda-based installation CDs from a Debian repository'. However there are features that are not yet working and it is not recommended for use in a production environment."

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Reinstall the OS? (-1, Flamebait)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658681)

Why do I get the feeling that Linux users enjoy installing their OS so much? If you like to do it that much, just grab a copy of Win98 and reinstall to your heart's content.

My Linux machine would have an uptime of years (-1, Offtopic)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658706)

If I wasn't constantly reinstalling it.

It's harder this time of year when I'm so busy with last minute details, but come summer, I'm a reinstalling geek all over again.

Re:My Linux machine would have an uptime of years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659116)

Why are you constantly reinstalling?

Most package based distributions (be it .deb:s or .rpm:s) consists of nothing more than, that's right, packages.

Upgrading to another version is mostly as simple as upgrading the packages.

I've gone from RH 7.0 all the way to Fedora (including all versions in-between) with little or no problems. During this time I've changed all hardware at least once, but I've never had to reinstall from scratch.

That's one of the great things about Linux, IMHO.

Re:My Linux machine would have an uptime of years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659285)

I would think he is talking about installing different distributions. I am constantly trying out different ones. I know they are pretty much all the same, but I like to see what the different projects are doing.

Re:Reinstall the OS? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659055)

The difference is that installing linux is fun. Installing windows is a chore.

It's too bad that they are making linux so easy to install. Soon I'm going to have to move on to Hurd or something.

My experience with Debian (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658689)

It is official; UN Statistics now confirms: the USA is dying.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered USA when president Bush confirmed that their markets have dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction their value when he began his term. Coming on the heels of a recent UN survey which plainly states that America has lost its way, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. America is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by being the most hated nation in the world.

You don't need to be a foreigner to predict America's future. The hand writing is on the wall: America faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Americans because the USA is dying. Things are looking very bad for America. As many of us are already aware, as the American economy continues to collapse.

Red ink flows like a river of blood. For all practical purposes, all Americans are dead, or at least should be.

Re:My experience with Debian (-1, Offtopic)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658740)

Yar! Anti-american sentiment is cool! No wait, that was LAST fortnight... Now wait for it... Famous words coming up...

Get real... I'm a Brit and I can see that the Americans are all right. THe government is a pile of poo (how juvenile...) but the Americans are all right, and they'll pull through Bush without too much trouble. Wonder if the next candidate will be called William Clinton too..

Re:My experience with Debian (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658805)

I think we should all gang up on the Chinese.

This is good news. (5, Insightful)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658698)

One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment, and this will be a move in the right direction.

Give it some time.

Knoppix is right now probably the easiest way to install Debian, via knx-hdinstall.

Foolproof installer? (5, Insightful)

Trbmxfz (728040) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658779)

One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install'

I think it can be argued that the Debian installer asks many questions that may not be easy to answer for a Linux newbie.

But, as you say, there is hope: I remember someone saying, a few years ago, that a RedHat had formatted their drives without clearly mentioning that it would be destructive (oops!). Today, Mandrake can be installed after just a few minutes worth of clicking "OK". It generally makes the right choices for the user, clearly shows what partitions will be created, and warns if it's about to blank an existing windows partition. If it finds some unsupported hardware, it mentions what it knows about it, so that the user can simply ask their local guru for help.

I think it's no exaggeration to say that someone who already installed Windows can safely install e.g. a Mandrake.

Re:This is good news. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658781)

One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment, and this will be a move in the right direction.

It's not that hard to install, but one of the major hurdles I found when using Woody's boot CDs, was the completely obsolete kernels you have a choice of using. Neither of them was from this year. I tried 2.4.18-bf24 but it didn't recognize any of the ethernet nics in my machine... an intel gigabit ethernet PCI card and two onboard interfaces (nforce2 nvidia network interface and a 3com interface). It was an Asus A7N8X-Deluxe board I was trying to install it on. I eventually gave up and put a realtek NIC in to do the network install. Pretty embarassing with the other guys just did a Mandrake install and their NIC was picked up without a problem.

The other problem with the outdated kernel is the Nforce2 IDE chipset doesn't work in DMA mode at all. I needed to compile 2.4.21 with AMD Viper support before I could get anything better than 4-5MB/sec. Now it's great at 50MB/sec.

Another problem I had seemed to be related to the APIC on this board. I would get constant lockups under heavy I/O. Unfortunately one of the heavy I/O periods was during the initial apt-get over the network, thus it would lock up every single time I tried to install. I eventually got it to just install the base image off the CD, replaced the kernel with the 2.4.21 I built on another machine, and after that it was fine (I compiled the kernel without any APIC support).

Anyway, to make a long story short, it's outdated support like this that'll never get Debian to be accepted by my coworkers, and I can't say I blame them. I love the stability and easy of maintenance once it's installed, but putting it on a newer machine is sure a pain in the ass. I'll be stuck with Red Hat (Enterprise Linux) from now on I guess for our servers since Debian provided such a poor showing on a workstation setup.

Re:This is good news. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659483)

Try Libranet. You can download 2.7 for free or buy 2.8.1. Either way, you get a cleaner installer. You also get a wonderful admin tool called adminmenu. Adminmenu or Xadminmenu allows you to do wonderful things easily. Like, install the proprietary Nvidia drivers, update the kernel, and my favorite, recover your Xwindows setup after you screw it up. Updating the kernel is *Important*. That is one thing that up2date (Redhat) did well and as near as I can tell apt-get -upgrade doesn't. So making that easier is vital. Libranet is Debian with all the good that comes with that.
MC

Re:This is good news. (-1, Redundant)

Dylancable (718004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658802)

debian is hard to install?? IF you have problem's with debian installer maybe you shoulnd't be using Linux.

Re:This is good news. (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658833)

You think so? I think it's quite sad that there are people like you still around.

Why must GNU/Linux be some elitist thing? I like to think that Free Software can give users a real choice, and also bring together users who previously could not afford to use a computer - for example, affordable/no-cost screen reader technology could bring hundreds and thousands of people with sight problems to the table. Currently, their only real option seems to be paying an inordinate amount for a product on Microsoft Windows that doesn't even do the job particularly well. Wouldn't it be nice to empower those people? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are more than capable of becoming fantastic programmers, but until they can afford to get access to technology, they won't have that chance.

For your information, I'm making the case for new users to be able to install it. I myself had very few problems getting it to install, once I got over the hurdle of setting up the NIC.

Re:This is good news. (4, Interesting)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659185)

I don't think installing Linux is Elitist

It depends on the distribution you select and the requirements you have as a user.

You must first recognize that there is a trade-off between the two concepts of Simple to Use and Highly Configurable. I believe that the two are to a large extent, mutually exclusive of each other.

If you want Simple to Use then you can grab something like Knoppix or Libranet and have a Linux installation up and running in a few minutes without no idea what you actually did. However, you will not be able to customize the installation to include a mail server that can do something like:

  • SMTP + SASL_Authentication over TLS
  • Amavisd+spamassassin+clamav
  • LDAP+Kerberos/SSH user authentication
  • IMAP+SSL and IMAP-SSL(localhost) support
as an example.

If you want to do that, then you have a lot more work to do that a simple newbie and for that matter, most simple newbies don't know what the fuck I just said, unless the heard it in a trade magazine.

I can do all of this stuff using Debian with out much difficulty. Technically I can't even do what I posted in SuSE without going into custom builds on most everything. So even there, they (SuSE) has hit the barrier between Simple to Use and Highly Configurable

Arguably, Microsoft will probably come up with a configuration utility that does all of these things with the click of a button. But there will be at least two problems with their implimentation:

  1. It won't work quite the way you would like it to, so you'll have to compromise.
  2. Their security history has been less than stellar.
Other than that, Microsoft is probably the Leader of the Pack when it comes to Simple to Use. They do it very well and they have their millions of users out there with their installation of XP.

IMHO I think that the Computer User community is divided into approximately three camps:

Casual User

This is the guy who doesn't even know what a hard drive his, he thinks it's rush hour. He has no interest in learning about anything to do with computers but nonetheless is saddled with the requirement that he use email and web browsers as a part of whatever life he chooses to lead.

Super User or Interested User

These are the guys who ask questions about what their computer does, how does it work, can I do this? They will inevitably take up some kind of semi serious coding, even if it's HTML + Javascript. They might even get into C/C++, Perl, Python, dot-net. But they begin to approach the type of user who understands 99% of the questions asked when installing a linus distribution of circa 1995

God Mode User

These are the anointed dudes who can code you into a corner from their PDA. They can come up with shell tricks that hurt your brain and melt your eyeballs. These are the guys who really know their shit and consider installation of Linux-from-Scratch something of a Saturday Night Special

Assuming that my presentation of three types of users isn't completely out of line, then you have to recognize that GodMode Users and Casual Users will probably never be satisfied on the same system. At least not now.

It is entirely possible that these users can converge onto one distribution, but that remains to be seen. If I had to pick one today, I would say it's Debian. Because Knoppix, Libranet, and Lindows are all based on Debian, Debian is the best candidate we have today for meeting the needs of all three of these user-types.

And this is why Perens said we should all back Debian. Because right now, the foundation that is Debian is being used to satisfy the requirements of more types of users in the world than any other distribution out there, bar none. You can argue about exceptions, but the final score will be Debian.

Re:This is good news. (2, Insightful)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659221)

Just to clarify, I don't think it is elitist in the slightest, but some people seem to have the attitude that if you can't do X and Y without a hitch, you're not worthy of GNU/Linux.

That's just a stupid way to think IMO.

Re:This is good news. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658843)

I'm not sure if the parent post is a troll or not; but regardless, the point is valid.

As far as text-based dialog installs go, debians' is fairly straight-forward and powerful as well. If you are daunted by the mere fact of being presented with a CLI -good or bad- then perhaps you should stick to windows or macOS.

Simply because if you're that CLI-phobic, you're going to be screwed the first several times you're faced with a command prompt.

Re:This is good news. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658862)

Debian's installer is not a CLI.

Sure, it's text-based. However, it's got dialog boxes and other widgets familiar from GUIs. The only thing lacking really is support for a mouse.

I stand corrected (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658877)

Perhaps what I should have said instead was "text-based interface".

Re:This is good news. (2, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659056)

What's wrong with making it easier for those who are new to linux? One of the biggest drawbacks I think for newbies to linux is the "ease" of installation. It's gettting better and better, and I'm sure soon it'll be just as easy as Windows. What bothers me though, is this elitist attitude. How the fuck are people supposed to get into linux if they have a hard time installing it? You gotta start somewhere, and you gotta install to get started.

Re:This is good news. (-1, Troll)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659222)

We like the entry-barrier because it keeps the really stupid fuck-heads out of our world.

Remember how fucked up the news-lists got after AOL unleashed their millions of fucking idiots and retarding asswipes on the world?

They took a perfectly good thing and totally fucked it up beyond all practical usage by making it easy for idiots to get on

You need to think of things in Darwinian Evolutionary terms. People who are too stupid to think for themselves need to stay where they are and not bother those of us who are busy thinking for ourselves. After all, we aren't all descended from Hair Dressers, Phone Hygenists, and Marketing types are we?

But seriously, not that I've blown all my karma points, Linux is getting much easier for people to install. Have you actually tried using Knoppix or installing Libranet?

I hand out a copy of either one whenever anyone mentions any interest in the stuff. I just hand them a Knoppix CD and tell them to check it out. It won't do anything to what's on their hard drive, but it will give them an idea of what is available

Most at least try it. Some like it. Others come back for more.

Re:This is good news. (4, Insightful)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659272)

I don't think we're talking about stupid people, but people need to learn somehow. For example, $JoeAverageWindowsUser should be able to use GNU/Linux to a fair degree of competency in a short period of time, including installing it.

If he can do this on a Macintosh, why shouldn't he be able to do this on a GNU/Linux system?

Re:This is good news. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659455)

Dude go take some bong rips and chill out.

Re:This is good news. (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659261)

I'm with you on this. [slashdot.org]

Re:This is good news. (2, Informative)

Stir (446728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658806)

Don't forget about Libranet. Easy installer, pure Debian.

Re:This is good news. (0)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659093)

So your girlfriend throws a Honda
Playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda
Don't want none unless you got buns, hon
You can do side bends or sit-ups
But please don't lose that butt

Re:This is good news. (4, Insightful)

martinde (137088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658824)

> One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment,
> and this will be a move in the right direction.

And of course, the "standard answer" to this is "you only install Debian one time on any one machine". People who have not used it have a hard time believing this, but it's true barring hard disk failure or some other catastrophe like that. Even major updates happen via "apt-get upgrade", and 99.9% of the time it Just Works(TM) if you're running stable. (Take that down to about 97% for unstable/testing.)

I have a machine that started out around Debian 1.1, as a 486 and has been hardware upgraded several times (to a Pentium Pro and now a 1GHz C3) and apt-get upgraded routinely since those days. I had to reboot due to the recent linux security issue, prior to that this machine had an uptime of 172 days. It's running Debian/stable plus I've done some backporting out of unstable for a few key bits.

Anyways, between Knoppix, anaconda, and the new debian-installer work going on within Debian, hopefully the "it's hard to install" issue is just about a moot point. Enough proselytizing for this morning ;-)

Re:This is good news. (1)

Nakarti (572310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658995)

Even major updates happen via "apt-get upgrade", and 99.9% of the time it Just Works(TM) if you're running stable. (Take that down to about 97% for unstable/testing.)

But then, of course you have the apt-get upgrade success rate of Hacked to Chewy Bits Debian (Lindows) which takes care of Unstable's missing 3% and nothing more.

Re:This is good news. (1)

jpc (33615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659154)

Yes but some of us install a lot of machines, and mostly new ones without support. Simply updating the kernels in the install images would help a lot.

Re:This is good news. (2, Insightful)

martinde (137088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659217)

> Yes but some of us install a lot of machines, and mostly new ones without support. Simply updating
> the kernels in the install images would help a lot.

This is definitely the area where I've had the most issues too. I've had to install PCI ethernet cards in cases where a new motherboard's onboard ethernet isn't supported, and occasionally I've built my own install disks with custom kernels.

Next time I run into this, I think I'll try a Knoppix install and see how that works. It seems to be updated often and have modern kernels.

Re:This is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658967)

I beg to differ, Mepis ( http://www.mepis.org ) provides a KDE based installer for Debian.

Re:This is good news. (3, Informative)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659049)

Debian is working on a new installation process for their sarge release. This new debian-installer is greatly improved over the previous methods. I have been playing with it as a net-install and found it to work extremely well.

Installation time, not counting file downloads which don't require my intervention anyways, is on the order of 20 minutes or less

I don't know that Anaconda can bring much of anything to the installation process. When installing debian-installer I found I was asked fewer questions and have a faster set up then I did with SuSE 8.2.

One very important point to make abundantly clear about the debian-installer is that it is not responsible for the configuration of your X-Window environment. This is something that may confuse newbies who are not used to the concept of a non-GUI operating system. All the distro's offer it (non-GUI), but many are assuming a GUI interface is preferred.

Keeping this in mind, the debian-installer does what it is intended to do very well. And it's cross platform too!

Personally, I don't think it's a generally good thing to have more distribution models tied into to only one installation engine. There are advantages with this, but there are always disadvantages to a homogeneous environment.

Easier then Knoppix (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659066)

Morphix or Mepis ( or even one of hte commercialized distros ) is even easier.. just push a button on your desktop and it launches a ( mostly ) GUI install ..

Great for a 'new user'.. they dont even have to drop ot a shell ( whats that they will ask ) to start the install ..

Re:This is good news. (1)

bezbaq (717128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659147)

The Morphix HD install seems is a pretty good flavor of the same thing.

Single Package / Dep manager (4, Interesting)

kbsingh (138659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658701)

Would be nice to see this expand into a single installer / package manager and (importantly!) a Dependency manager.

Maybe a hybrid of Anaconda + dselect would be nice, if rolled into 1. Add 'kickstart' kind of capablity to that and it would be a kickass app to have around.

Specially since most people dont tend to install Linux from installable mode very often( i havent in the last 3 years)

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (2, Interesting)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658710)

I personally find dselect pretty quirky and awkward to use.

What we need is a tool with the power of dselect, but with an interface akin to something like yast on SuSE.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658721)

Don't worry, most of us do.

It might have something to do with the fact that its developers all use emacs, and that little flaw has worked its way into dselect.

I've found dselect is largely broken and will futz up your dependencies, etc. fairly quickly. Straight apt-get for me.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658742)

I don't mind emacs, it's now my editor of choice, after I sat through the tutorial one rainy weekend.

Glad I'm not the only person who doesn't like dselect though.

I usually apt-get, even on my Macintosh where I could be using Fink [sf.net]

!help emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658762)

-ChanServ- A novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a question. -ChanServ- The novice asked, "Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?" -ChanServ- The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be relied upon to know these things. He thought for several minutes before replying. -ChanServ- "I don't see why not. It's got bloody well everything else." -ChanServ- With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch. The novice suddenly achieved enlightenment, several years later.

Re:!help emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659365)

The novice suddenly achieved enlightenment, several years later.

When he switched to vi.</troll>

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (4, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658729)

use aptitude (console) or synaptic (gtk)

I'm amazed that more people don't know this. I used dselect for about a day, then quickly discovered apt+tasksel, then aptitude. Dselect is awful.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658749)

aptitude for me, doesn't seem simple enough... too much going on, but I will try it :)

yast is almost too nice to use, both in X and CLI.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659134)

There's a couple of tricks I discovered that really simplify things:

(1) Pretty much ignore "libs" and "libs-devel"; those are just noise; real apps will bring those in as needed, with aptitude.

(2) Use "tasksel" to get a "C/C++ environment". Then, type "apt-get build-dep mozilla; apt-get build-dep kcontrol; apt-get build-dep gnome-control-center" to bring in almost all the headers and libs for most things.

There are still a few heuristics I follow, but they're harder to describe: basically, ignore most stuff. If you follow (1) and (2) you'll find the # of packages doesn't seem mind-boggling vast; just huge.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

mirthworks (599250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658785)

yeah, aptitude is good for me. I use apt-get to install single package. And aptitude to install/upgrade group of packages, also for searching packages.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658977)

dselect is a simple app. If you want power and convenience, look at aptitude, gnome-apt, synaptic, kpackage, or any of the other apt front-ends out there. I prefer aptitude, since it's more convenient over ssh than dselect or any of the X-based alternatives.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (1)

BoysDontCry (595839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658997)

Well. You could try aptitude and/or synaptic. They're much easier to use. dselect is really ancient!

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (4, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658734)

But maybe what Debian should really be doing is copying from Knoppix. That has the easiest installation, i.e., no installation at all, and it's Debian-based. The conventional 'install it first and then run it' routine isn't nearly as easy or as much fun as 'run from CD and optionally install to your fixed disk later'. I'm surprised distros aren't making bigger moves towards a Knoppix-like installer, now it has been demonstrated that it can be done.

(Now Knoppix itself is i386-specific I think, but that's mostly hardware detection. On other architectures detection might be a bit less complex, I don't know.)

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (5, Insightful)

The_DOD_player (640135) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658751)

Amen to that!!.

Knoppix is becoming Debians default installer on x86 hardware. Its not just more fun than the conventional approach, but it feels safer, since you can SEE it working on your computer before installing for real.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (4, Informative)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658773)

I agree entirely.

Knoppix is pretty simple to install onto the Hard Disk too:-
  1. Boot Knoppix
  2. Alt-F2 (maybe Ctrl+Alt-F2)
  3. Type knx-hdinstall
Knoppix for older Macintosh computers would seem like the next logical step - ones that can't run OS X, or run OS X poorly... good time for it, especially as Apple just had to pay out [rosenthalco.com] for misrepresenting OS X as functional on older hardware.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (5, Informative)

sirReal.83. (671912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658916)

You forgot a step.

4. Reinstall entire OS just to remove Knoppix-specific packages

Don't get me wrong, I love Knoppix, but for use as an installer it's far from perfect. The last Debian install I did, I used Mepis [mepis.org] , which takes the hardware detection from Knoppix and makes it pure Debian, plus a couple of Mepis system admin tools (USB key /home syncing, APT-source config, spamassassin blacklist/whitelist... list goes on) and the install is super easy. It's all done graphically, after booting the CD.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (3, Funny)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658957)

"I stand corrected" said the man in the orthopedic shoes.

I'll give Mepis a go.

But knoppix is a mix of stable/unstable/testing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659050)

Knoppix seems like a house of cards to me, it works great as is, but when I did apt-get update I started running into some issues/errors. Then in my ignorance I changed my sources.list to all unstable and did apt-get update again, big mistake. By the end of that day the system wouldn't boot. I've also tried (and I am still running) morphix, which is based on knoppix but is deb unstable. But I've had a few issues with that as well although I'm still on an older version of morhpix (but as parent mentioned I don't want to reinstall now, I should be able to just update this deb distro.)

Oh and I tried mepis about a month ago which was mentioned here about a week or so ago. Nice installer but even though I told it not to write lilo to the mbr, it still did and hosed it(just saw a bunch of zeros). The morhpix live cd came in handy to fix that. Also mepis seemed a lot slower than the other 2 distro's on this same hardware setup. Just right clicking on a link would literally take about 2 seconds before I would see the floating menu, or same thing in just using the os in general (whether I was in kde or a light wm like icewm).

I actually prefer using unstable deb for latest software and morphix is a pretty good choice, just not sure if it's the one I want to stick with.

Anyone know of other deb based distro's that are strictly sid/woody? I don't want a distro that mixed with all of em.

Also since this is slashdot I'll throw out a few of my problems and see if anyone can help. I've posted these to boards but no help really.

1) I have a nvidia card. I want to have vsync on for opengl apps at all times. I put the env variable in my .bashrc and that worked. But once I installed kdm for logging in it doesn't read my .bashrc anymore. Where do I put it when kdm is installed.

2) I have a psx pad hooked up to my lpt port. It works fine in windows and has worked in older linux distros (mdk 8,9 redhat 7.2) but in all these deb distros it works, but it seems to be using up way too much cpu resources, games that run at a solid 60fps without the gamepad drop to like 30-35 fps with it enabled. I've searched this to no end and the only thing I came up with was modifiying gamecon.c and modifying the psx delay value to something lower. People said this worked for them, but it didn't for me. And gamecon.c hasn't changed since 2001 so I know that the previous distros I was using were using the same version of gamecon but yet had no cpu/slowdown issues.

Ok I could go on and on with linux problems I've had, but if the slashdot crowd can help me with those 2 I'd be a happy linux user.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (3, Insightful)

wuliao (75540) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659359)

Re-read your instructions from the perspective of an ordinary user.

1. Why do I have to hit Alt-F2? Why not a Menu option?
2. The fact that you don't know if it's Ctrl-Alt-F2 or Alt-F2 or if it changes shows a big usability problem right there.
3. Again, typing knx-hdinstall seems completely non-obvious. I'm sure I'd quickly figure it out by reading some docs or something, but why do I need to read some docs or google to figure that out?

Note: I've never used Knoppix, so maybe there are menu options, but those instructions aren't that easy, IMO.

Yes, and over the network as well! (1)

Walles (99143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658844)

I agree entirely.

This would have all sorts of benefits:

  • The installer can be written using the full GNOME / KDE / OpenGL / whatever-rings-your-bell libraries.
  • You know your hardware is supported before installing.
Also, imagine reading everything from the network instead of from a CD. Then you could make a Windows program based on loadlin [google.com] or whatever. Put a link to it on a web-page that says "Wanna try Linux? Click here!".

After it has booted into Linux and started GNOME / KDE / XFCE / Whatever, the desktop contains a "Click here to install Linux on your hard drive".

A nice way to lower the barrier of entry, no?

Re:Yes, and over the network as well! (2)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659030)

For people with high-speed internet connections, certainly. I'd like to see someone mass-mail some sort of LiveCD distribution to homes and small businesses.

It'd also be neat if someone would come up with a LiveCD set that demonstrated the client/server abilities of Linux, or some other OSS packages.

Re:Yes, and over the network as well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659203)

After it has booted into Linux and started GNOME / KDE / XFCE / Whatever, the desktop contains a "Click here to install Linux on your hard drive".

I remember a lot of distributions used to allow basically something like that by installing on a umsdos filesystem. It was kind of nifty, but I got bored and just reformatted with ext2.

Feh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658990)

BeOS had that *years* ago

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (2, Insightful)

BoysDontCry (595839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659032)

You hit the nail on the head with your last line. The problem is that Debian supports many architectures (I think it's even more architectures than XFree supports!), so there is a lot of work to be done to build an installer.

There's a new installer in the works right now (it's in Beta). Don't know much about it though.

Re:Single Package / Dep manager (2, Informative)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659242)

Hell No!

I like Knoppix and all, and it's kind of cool.

But it does not allow for configuration options at time of installation.

You can't use knoppix to install:

  • RAID
  • LVM
  • Any partitions beyond swap and everything-else
  • I don't like KDE!!! Don't force it on me.

Leave Knoppix where it is, it does a very nice job. But don't make Debian == Knoppix. That will make Debian == Stupid for those who have more advanced requirements for their system.

Not in a production enviroment (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658703)

However there are features that are not yet working and it is not recommended for use in a production environment.

A bit like Debian overall then, really.

I would continue but I can see the hoards of Gentoy kiddies charging over the brow of the hill to assult us all with their whiny and "insightgful" commentry on how much cooler emerge is than apt-get and anaconda are.

rightious karma whoring (5, Informative)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658705)

Here's the link to building anaconda-based debian ISO images. [progeny.com]

Finally a quick, easy way to remaster debian to hand out to friends.

Big Butts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658722)

My Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hon.

I laughed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658900)

It's a shame about that moderation, man.

Not to excited (4, Informative)

killmuji (465179) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658754)

Before getting too enthusiatic about this, please do remember to read the errata [progeny.com] before downloading the iso images. Lots of work still needs to be done, but this is a step in the right direction.

Debian Sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659149)


Debian is outdated.

Debian sucks.

There is nothing to see here.

Move along! Move along!

No thanks, Ill stick with Mandrake Cooker. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658755)

If your a Linux Fanatic, that wants an Easy to use desktop Linux, with upto date packages, gui configuaration and hardware support along with the mom approval.

I tried Srackware, Debiam, Gen2, Windows XP, but in the end I found Mandrake Cooker. Now with 2.6 kernel KDE 3.2-b2, OpenOffice 1.1.1, and more. Debian can keep its geek (I mean bearded-loser-geek locked in the basement for 20 years, not the cool punk geeks like me) operarting system for them selves, While I work productivley with OpenOffice.org 1.1 using my Microsoft Natrual Keyboard, utilizing the Windows and Internet keys as killer shortcuts, those bearded losers are writing using LaTeX using Emacs with a Dvorak Happy Hacking keyboard thinking somehow, they are a master author.

While I'm using the Apple+enchanced Konqueror to browse the web at lighting fast speed on my cable modem, the bearded losers are browsing on their 28k modem using Lynx or Mozilla with ugly alaised fonts (ughh), trying to figure out how to mod me -1, flamebait on slashdot, but DNS dosent work, so they have enter the IP address manually.

I'm playing the hottest linux games such as Unreal Tournement, Tuxracer, Frozen bubble and Chromian along with my case modded gamecubee and PS2, while the bearded losers are playing snakes in emacs and nethack.

I'm playing all the latests hits with Rhythmbox and listening to Internet radio, while the bearded losers are listening to ogg files from the command line, after hhaving to edit 20 text files and recompile their kernel 5 times, oh, Debian regarded all the good drives as "non-free", so he uses a POS ISA sound card instead.

Simply put, If you want to be leet, but don't have time for gentoo, and don't want to be in the basement all your life, Get Mandrake Cooker!

Does Anaconda support text (3, Interesting)

armando_wall3 (728889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658768)


I still prefer text based installations, so it will be great if Anaconda will be optional, so Debian will have the best of both worlds.

Does anybody know anything about it?

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658776)

Anaconda is just a script that asks you a bunch of questions and eventually just calls the normal installer with a set of user-selected options.

Not much different from what you're doing now, unless you're compiling your own Linux from scratch.

So don't worry. Your precious text-based installation is still right there where it always was. In the stone age.

Re:Don't worry (1)

nick-less (307628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658840)

So don't worry. Your precious text-based installation is still right there where it always was. In the stone age.

Good to hear - so I can keep my hercules card until it amortized...

btw: does anyone know about an isa to pci-x interface card?

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659388)

So don't worry. Your precious text-based installation is still right there where it always was. In the stone age.

Spoken like someone who has never had to install a machine with a brand new Nvidia card in it. X doesn't work for shit with a GeForce FX card until you get the binary driver from Nvidia which you can't do until you get the OS installed which you need to do in text mode. ;-)

Re:Does Anaconda support text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658794)

Re:Does Anaconda support text (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658809)

I'm guessing here that like Red-Hat, and other distros that have fancy GUI installs, they will also need a curses-based text installer for people who prefer graphical installs, or for people who need a text install for whatever reason.

I think Bruce Perens made the case for a text-based interface being more accessible for users in need of assistive technology, for example:- Blind users.

Re:Does Anaconda support text (4, Informative)

zerblat (785) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658920)

Anaconda won't be Debian's default installer -- the next version of Debian will use the new Debian Installer [debian.org] , which supports multiple UIs and all the Debian platforms.

Anaconda has been ported to Debian by Progeny, mainly because Progeny supports both Red Hat and Debian and they want to use the same installer for both distros.

Oh, and yes, Anaconda can be run in text mode, but it doesn't currently work [progeny.com] in the Progeny port.

Re:Does Anaconda support text (1, Informative)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658924)

Does anybody know anything about it?
Anaconda does support text install, also an unnatended instal via kickstart. It is not about GUI but about having a good flexible (easy to use but powerful) installer. Personaly i find Anaconda (since I'am Red Hat's user) very good, but important thing is that Anaconda support less architectures then Debian Installer (i don't know if Anaconda supports anything more than i386?).
Anaconda text mode is suitable for people having older machines since grapchical mode requires 64MB RAM, text mode only 32MB.

Re:Does Anaconda support text (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659123)

Anaconda is both text based and gui based. You choice. (provided they didn't just port the GUI part..)

Re:Does Anaconda support text (1)

damian (2473) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659380)

Current Redhat and Fedora anaconda still support text mode installs, but some things like the partion editor are much easier to use in graphical mode.

Bittorrent link needed. (2, Insightful)

chrestomanci (558400) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658791)

Serously, the anaconda site will be in for a very heavy slahsdoting. They have links to two isos on the page that slashdot links to. How many will click on those links? how many will be disapointed? The filesisze are BTW: sarge-2003-11-25-bin1.iso 688,074,752 bytes sarge-2003-11-25-bin2.iso 42,174,464 bytes ie, about 720 Megabytes in total. I would consider putting up a torrent link myself, but I don't have a large enough pipe to download those files before the site (inevetably) goes down.

Good thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658796)

I think this is cool. I have been thinking of ditching Windows and was leaning towards a Debian "based" distro. Easier to install (for me) is a good thing.

Are you an IT specialist or a user? (5, Funny)

_Pinky_ (75643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658804)

I can understand some people saying Debian, in it's current state is difficult to install.

But I cringe when I hear that from a fellow computer person. I mean honestly, just because it's not using framebuffer and a mouse on install?

True, deslect/apt can be intimidating, but much easier the trying to manually find rpms down the road...

Do you spend more time supporting systems or installing systems??? Me, it's supporting them, so I love apt...

And if I hear one more RH person say "Well, just select 'everything' on install, then Up2date doesn't have dependicy problems" I'm gonna kick them in the kneecap...

Re:Are you an IT specialist or a user? (3, Funny)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658855)

And if I hear one more RH person say "Well, just select 'everything' on install, then Up2date doesn't have dependicy problems" I'm gonna kick them in the kneecap...

never heard that one before, but I did once know a guy who'd built up a few CD-Rs full of Windows DLL files he'd copy onto every Windows using friends PC.

Re:Are you an IT specialist or a user? (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658894)

I can understand some people saying Debian, in it's current state is difficult to install.

But I cringe when I hear that from a fellow computer person. I mean honestly, just because it's not using framebuffer and a mouse on install?


Well, dselect could be friendlier: it's not so much that it's text based, but that the interface itself is alien to most people. It's a good interface, like vi is a good interface: but it's not quick and easy to pick up, and if you skip past the instructions, you're in trouble.

But that's not the worst thing about the Debian install. It's been proved that auto-detecting hardware can be done in Linux, yet to install Woody I needed to manually specify an Ethernet driver and select an appropriate X server. That's really not good enough, and would scupper a lot of people, computer professionals or not.

This may be fixed in Sarge: someone reply and tell me.

Re:Are you an IT specialist or a user? (4, Informative)

BoysDontCry (595839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659062)

Well. Keep in mind that the Woody installer is several years old now.

The new installer should have good hardware detection. It's in beta right now.

Debian Installer [debian.org]

Re:Are you an IT specialist or a user? (3, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659204)

Well. Keep in mind that the Woody installer is several years old now.

That seems like a serious problem in itself to me!

Re:Are you an IT specialist or a user? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659420)

And the point is... the *current* install of Debian is hard. Way to miss the point

Knoppix anyday... (2, Interesting)

Dylancable (718004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658832)

Common guy's just because Debian has a nice GUI installer doe's that really make it any better distro then it currently was?, For people who think debian stable is outdated, Give Knoppix a try , uses unstable branch and comes with nice hardware detection. I had problems with Redhat 9.0 detecting inbuilt hardware on a compaq armarda m300 and knoppix had no problem...

Debian Problems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7658861)

I don't to critisize OpenOffice here, but I do have some problems with it. I have a Liebermann Mach 3.8 [go-l.com] machine (A P4 clocked at 3.8Ghz with 4Gb of PC3600 DDR RAM) running Debian Unstable with kernel 2.4.23-bk7 compiled with -o3 with Anacoda installed.

I have been waiting for 2 minutes for it to load, then it types very slowly. Normaly I can do around 50-70 WPM on my Microsoft Natural Internet Keyboard, With Debian I'm lucky to get even 10 WPM. The problems don't end there. I won't even go into the stabillity problems, the annoying command line, the broken package mangement and the annoying kde bias (I'm a gnome user).

Meanwhile, my Dell Optiplex with a Pentium II at 400Mhz, running Mandrake 9.2 loads in 20 seconds, if that and its predictive text and autocorrection means I can get around 80-90 WPM and get it all correct.

I'm sorry, but in the current state, Debian is a piece of dog shit. Don't get me wrong, I love linux, I use it exclusiveley for games thanks to WineX and KDE, but as far as getting REAL work done, Mandrake 9.2 is unbeatable.

Now this is inevitably going to be moderated -1, troll or flamebait, but it dosen't change the fact Debian is the WORST distrobution ever

Re:Debian Problems (1, Interesting)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658932)

Nope, I agree with you fully. I think for the most part that Mandrake and SuSE are probably the best distros out there.

Re:Debian Problems (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659252)

Nope, I agree with you fully. I think for the most part that Mandrake and SuSE are probably the best distros out there.

Many of us don't use those distributions because they are European. Personally I don't like Europeans and only use Linux itself because Linus has renownced his Finnish heritage by coming to America, the land of the free and home of the brave. Plus I hate the French (Mandrake) and the Nazi^H^H^H^HGermans (SuSE).

anaconda-debian, apt-redhat (4, Insightful)

danny (2658) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658889)

First they ported apt to Redhat, now they're using anaconda for Debian installs! This is a great illustration of the flexibility of free software.

(Review of The Art of UNIX Programming [dannyreviews.com] )

Danny.

Kickstart... (4, Interesting)

Crossfire (15197) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658951)

Hopefully this means we have Kickstart too.

Debian has been needing kickstart-like functionality for a while. (No, FAI is not the answer, it works in a somewhat different manner, and its a royal pain to set up to bootstrap unstable systems from a host running stable).

Re:Kickstart... (1)

dieman (4814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659254)

I actually use autoinstall for the most part. Its way better and more flexible than kickstart, but it has a hell of a learning curve.

Hopefully this winter I'll find some time to release my patches and either fork autoinstall or get it merged into the official debian package.

Anaconda??? Is it too much to ask... (-1, Troll)

_Pinky_ (75643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659018)

That the person installing the computer know what hardware they have?

I understand confusion among MB chipsets and the likes... But when a sysadmin comes up and says "Do I have a southbridge?"

I have helped many people compile a kernel, and they always say "Well how am I supposed to know that?"

For a homeuser, sure, I understand... But even then, couldn't manufacturers include a cut sheet?

But sysadmins, come on... If you don't know the hardware in the machine, maybe it's best you don't work on it, and find someone in the office who does....

Re:Anaconda??? Is it too much to ask... (3, Interesting)

vondo (303621) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659135)

Why should I care what NIC or video card or sound card is in a machine?

We have 30 machines in our research group; there are probably 20 different configurations. Sure, I can find out if I want to, but why should I open each machine up to take inventory before upgrading the OS?

Re:Anaconda??? Is it too much to ask... (4, Informative)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659266)

Just a suggestion, but the next time you can't identify the hardware, flip to another console window (Alt+Ctrl+F2) and type "lspci -vv" and you will have all the information about hardware detection you could want.

And the best part is, you don't have to remove the cover!

Re:Anaconda??? Is it too much to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659236)

But sysadmins, come on... If you don't know the hardware in the machine, maybe it's best you don't work on it, and find someone in the office who does....

I remember spending weeks hand picking equipment for a new machine based on reports I got from Usenet about how well the hardware worked with Linux. Sure, it may have been supported, but it may have been a bit buggy, etc. People just need to spend a little time researching hardware before they buy it to ensure it works instead of expecting it to automagically work on their shiny new computer. Buy a system that is two or three generations out of date for example. Get a PIII instead of a shiny new P4 with some unknown chipset. Buy a 100Mbit Realtek nic instead of that fancy new gigabit network card. Buy a SB16 PCI card instead of some new fangled surround sound card. Linux works great on OLD hardware.

Re:Anaconda??? Is it too much to ask... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659443)

linux works great on new hardware if you have a clue as to wehat you are doing when you buy it.

want the surround sound pee-myself uber soundcard? Great! buy one that is supported. same as video, and all other cards/parts.

it is not hard to buy something that is new and works unless as a shopper the person has zero self control and has to grab the closest shiny object.

people bitch about hardware compatability, yet it's their fault for being idiots when they go shopping.

Debian is dying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659036)


Debian is outdated.

Debian sucks.

There is nothing to see here.

Move along! Move along!

Glossary (5, Informative)

nsushkin (222407) | more than 10 years ago | (#7659277)

It took me a while to figure out the meaning of this article. It needs a quick glossary.
  • sarge [debian.org] - The code name for the next major Debian release after woody is "sarge". It is likely that this release will be numbered "3.1".
  • Anaconda [redhat.com] - the Red Hat Linux installation program.

Why do we care... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659328)

about a broken version of Debian being offered up for public consumption?

Use Gentoo.

Re:Why do we care... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7659556)

Or just install FreeBSD and skip the anal rape you get with Gentoo.
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