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Major New Features in Debian Etch

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the spurred-by-the-offshoots dept.

167

Klaidas writes "Linux.com reports that the third beta of Debian Etch installer (released August 11, 2006) has some major new features, which might make this version of Debian the easiest to install. According to the original announcement, we will now be able to install using a graphical user interface on i386 and amd64 platforms. We will also be able to set up encrypted partitions during installation. Debian Etch is scheduled to be released on December 2006"

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167 comments

Oh, wow... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926051)

Etch-A-Sketch runs Debian?!

Re:Oh, wow... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926267)

Etch-A-Sketch runs Debian?!

This call for a reference that dates back from what, for the computing world, was the transition of the classical period to the early Middle Ages. This joke was popular among DOS apologists:

Q: What's the difference between a Macintosh and an Etch-A-Sketch?
A: You don't have to shake the Mac to clear the screen.

Newsflash (0, Flamebait)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926053)

Debian joins the 21st century. Film at 11.

Re:Newsflash (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926526)

Nope. No video. It's Debian.

Re:Newsflash (1, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926748)

Hmm, modded down as flamebait? Have you learned your lesson? Never say anything critical about Linux at Slashdot, especially if it contains a kernel of truth (no pun intended). Linux is perfect and cannot be criticized, especially mocked or made fun of. You fool!

Monitor (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926083)

> The installer is designed to work at a resolution of 600x800

Hm, looks like a rotated old LCD monitor.

The Brits may have a problem. (1, Interesting)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926087)

"We will also be able to set up encrypted partitions during installation. "

Isn't this a potential non-starter under the British Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)?

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/15/165 9233 [slashdot.org]

Re:The Brits may have a problem. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926153)

No?

Re:The Brits may have a problem. (4, Informative)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926154)

Did you even read the title there? Illegal to refuse to decrypt.

Not illegal to have encrypted partitions. A non-issue if you give the police your password when they ask you for it.

On the other side of the ocean, it's a potential starter for when HIPAA [hhs.gov] -level security is required.

Even if your physical location can't be secured you can still keep the data private.

Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926093)

I am teh Old Skool. Any Debian installation that does not require lamb's blood, sulfur, salt, mercury, a transcription from the original Assyrian, Fermat's Enigma, and a Circle of Power etched in holy chalk consecrated on Michaelmas is a Debian installation for which I have no use.

Friggin' noobs...

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (4, Interesting)

SamSim (630795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926131)

And for those of you who are noobs, here is how to install Linux on a dead badger [everything2.com] .

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927111)

And for those of you who are noobs, here is how to install Linux on a dead badger.

Heh, my work place's web proxy blocked the site with the following message (emaphasis unchanged): "The site you requested is blocked under the following categories: Criminal Skills"

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (4, Funny)

pb (1020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926195)

Hah, you had it easy--in my day, we had to use dselect!

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926340)

Don't worry. It's still possible to use a live CD à la Knoppix, then install the latest debootstrap and use it to install Debian. Well I suppose it will still be possible in the foreseeable future. This is about the only solution when your hardware is too recent to be detected by the installer anyway.

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926406)

Bah. Showoff. Anyone with training in the area knows you only need some small bits of wood and 3ccs of mouse blood.

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (1)

k1773re7f (828030) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926646)

You forgot about the virgins!! The only way to insure a uneventful install or upgrade is to appease the daemons with the offering of a virgin! Seesh, amatures!!!

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (2, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926961)

Well, the bit about the virgins is true, but if you sacrifice the nerd, who will complete the installation?

Re:Graphical Install For Debian?!? Bah!! (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926969)

You forgot about the virgins!! The only way to insure a uneventful install or upgrade is to appease the daemons with the offering of a virgin! Seesh, amatures!!!

are you suggesting that he should slit his wrists after installing?

Too Little, Too Late (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926094)

The bar for what is acceptable for a modern Linux distro/desktop is rapidly rising.

Not only is Debian behind in the race, they just woke up late(separate radio and alarm volumes probably) and realized they forgot to set their alarm...

Nice try guys, at least you will always have your ideology...I guess...

Re:Too Little, Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926809)

Red ink flows like a river of blood.... Just ask Mark Shuttleworth.

finally (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926098)

i've been waiting all day for a new /. story

encryption ? (0)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926101)

Encryption on the partition. Every time I hear about this I get a bad feeling about the false sence of security that it must be providing. Does this actually protect any data?

Remote kernel exploit? no, that usually just gives you root privledges.
hacked user account? no, if that user needed access to the data, then it is just as well not encrypted
stolen HD? yes, but no good against stolen computer (and only good if the crooks cannot do the above two)

What provides better security, is a file-by-file level of encryption, but this is a major pain-in-the-but.

Re:encryption ? (2, Informative)

JavaScrybe (662349) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926189)

stolen HD? yes, but no good against stolen computer (and only good if the crooks cannot do the above two)

Yes, good against a stolen computer, as mounting the said partition requires the right passphrase.

Re:encryption ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926253)

I agree, but for backups of sensitive data that are done on swappable drives for example, this is a good feature. Especially when the drives are transported by employees to their homes (so that when the building is on fire the backups do not burn).

Re:encryption ? (1)

tppublic (899574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926334)

Like almost any form of security, encrypting a HDD does not provide complete protection against any form of attack. This is one aspect of protection, just like a stability control program in a vehicle adds to the seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, and airbags to protect you in a vehicle accident.

What one needs to analyze in a security sense is what threat model you are attempting to protect against. In the case of an encrypted partition, you are protecting data "at rest". This provides NO protection against someone who can get access to a system while the system is operating (ACLs will provide some protection there unless you're 'rooted')... however, mounting the encrypted HDD (due to a system being shut down because it was physically stolen) is effectively impossible.

For a home user, protecting data "at rest" on a Linux machine is probably one important aspect of security. The chance that someone breaks into the home and attempts to guess the password or hack the machine while it is running is pretty low, whereas breaking in to remove items from your home (including your computer) is much more likely. Encrypting the data "at rest" protects my identity (meaning tax forms, etc.) from being exposed under that situation.

I realize that doesn't help if the machine is broken into while it is running, but a good /etc/hosts.allow and firewall/NAT in front of the machine makes me a hard target. Impossible? I'll never make that claim. Hard? Certainly. Worth serious effort? Probably not.

Re:encryption ? (2, Informative)

nurmr (773394) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926399)

AFAIK the encryption key is required during the boot process. If the computer is shutdown during the removal process, then it'll need the key when the computer boots back up. The normal way to do this is to stick the key on a USB stick, which you insert while the computer is booting. Once the machine is online, you physically remove the USB key, and store it somewhere else. This is great if you have a machine at location you don't physically control, and you want your data to be safe from prying eyes if you machine is ever taken without your consent.

New feature (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926105)

>According to the original announcement, we will now be able to install using a graphical user interface on i386 and amd64 platforms.

Wow, thats a NEW feature!!! I'm in!

Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (2, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926113)

I believe that installation is one of Linux's biggest stumbling blocks to larger adaoption. I spend most of my Linux time running Live CDs where there is no OS installation at all (I love you Ubuntu). The issue for many home users is software installation. While there have been significant inroads made in this area over that past few years, it has generally not yet reached Windows' "double click the .exe to run" simplicity. Linux has a huge following among the geeks, nerds, and geeky nerds. It is also growing into mobile devices where people will have no idea they are running Linux and [nokia.com] schools [slashdot.org] on the desktop. The biggest market that needs to be tapped is the "average" computer user at home. People need to feel that Linux is user friendly and can easily do everything that they want to do. Firefox and OoO (both of which I run on my WinXP laptop) have brought it that much closer to the goal. Now easier software installation is the next step.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

daranz (914716) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926193)

I'd say that Ubuntu already has easier OS and app installation than Windows. You can run the installer from under the booted-up OS, and you can actually be using the system during the installation (to, for example, read some guides).

For apps, you have apt-get, the synaptic gui and even the simplified Add/Remove Applications proggy that Ubuntu (at least Dapper) provides by default. If you wanna install something, you mark it for installation and hit OK. Apt then downloads and installs everything for you, most of the time. No need to navigate to a website, find an installation proggy. Apt/synaptic will inform you what you need to make the app run, and handle everything by itself. It's easier than Windows, for Joe User: need a spreadsheet ap? Mark the checkbox and click apply.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927216)

No need to navigate to a website, find an installation proggy.

No, you just need to ensure your repository has the software you want to install.

Linux installs like these are powerful as long as everything is set up properly.

It's a bit like having a nice database set up with metadata and dependency information across packages and everything simply there, ready to go. Unfortunately, you don't always have all software you want in that tidy database. And once it's not in that database, you need to look up and add a new repository, and before that find which one that have your software. And then you're on a bit thinner ice. For Windows, there are no concerns like these. You go to the site and download the software package, run the installer, and then you're done. No worries you might have to edit some text file or configure a "Software Manager" to find the software and its metadata to download (no need to even involve the equivalent of Synaptic in the first place!), and no worries you might be using the wrong repository.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926208)

installing stuff provided by your distro is easy, arguablly easier than installing stuff on windows (you don't have to go searching for download sources etc first)

the problem comes when you wan't something more custom. Something from outside the distros "walled garden" the distros are very resistant to universal packaging efforts like autopackage.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (4, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926256)

How do these posts on Linux install being hard get modded up? First, the article was about the installer for Debian Etch, not about individual application installation. Installing Linux is generally *easier* than installing Windows. With Windows you have to search all over the Internet for drivers. Linux usually comes with all the drivers you need and configures them for you.

Second, even if you want to talk about installing apps, it's super easy to go into Synaptic or whatever tool your distro uses, click on something, and install it. Why is it that people think that "I can't install things the exact same way I install things in Windows" equals "it's hard to install things"? If you want to do things the Windows way, use Windows!

Third, I have seen Linux apps that are easy to install "the Windows way." Google Earth is a prime example; Skype is another. Download, click, and use.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (2, Interesting)

xiao_haozi (668360) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926443)

I agree with you. But (I think) what the poster was referring to may have been a more general reference to linux os installs. Yes, there is the ease of Ubuntu which is far easier than most windows os installs in my opinion. But there can also be the more comlex (but not always) installs of slack or vector, etc. For someone who has done partitioning etc, then this is no biggie. But for someone who is a non-power user or not for computer saavy then they may not even understand partitioning let alone installing without a 100% gui base. But overall, I think linux has grown exponentially in expanding its ease of to an audience that now encompasses just about everyone. And with more and more package management systems available with gui bases this is making things even easier than ever. Thats just MHO.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927040)

But there can also be the more comlex (but not always) installs of slack or vector, etc.
And can you give me any reason for a newbie to be installing Slack or Vector? The entire reason for having different Linux distributions is to allow some to cater to new users (Ubuntu, SuSE, etc.) while still allowing others (Slackware, Gentoo, Arch, etc.) to cater to power users who want manual configuration for all settings.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927036)

How do these posts on Linux install being hard get modded up?

Because its true and a lot of people are caught off guard so now they're pissed about it. It is a little offtopic tho, I'll give ya that.

Second, even if you want to talk about installing apps, it's super easy to go into Synaptic or whatever tool your distro uses, click on something, and install it.

Which gives you a very limited selection if you aren't using debian. You also need to learn a different way to do each time you switch distros. Its a far cry from windows style install-anything-you-find.

Third, I have seen Linux apps that are easy to install "the Windows way." Google Earth is a prime example; Skype is another. Download, click, and use.

Two apps is a _very_ far cry from install-anything-you-find.

If you want to do things the Windows way, use Windows!

Okay...oh wait a minute, that's not FLOSS is it? Looks like I'm stuck with Unix until ReactOS saves the day.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926389)

While there have been significant inroads made in this area over that past few years, it has generally not yet reached Windows' "double click the .exe to run" simplicity.

True, but.... making it very easy to double-click to run some binary from some server is one of the nice ways to get a ton of crapware (adware, malware, spyware, trojans, viruses, backdoors). And if you're installing credible software, then top it off with an equally crapware-laden crack, then you're just as bad off.

I must admit that I haven't tried to get a piece of software into a repository but I can't imagine it's that terribly hard if you're willing to package it yourself. Those who don't are because they contain anti-competition clauses (Sun's "Thou shalt not include any other Java but me") or no redistribution rights (many examples even with free/shareware), and I don't feel very sorry for them because they chose it.

Yes, Linux lacks a good way to download and install non-free-as-in-beer software, because the repositories don't want to act like online shops (except Linspire) and there's no universal package format. I really can't say I have any example that concerns me, but maybe it's a chicken and egg thing. Overall I think the problem is 98% "This software isn't made to run on Linux." and 2% "We didn't come up with a good installer for Linux." though.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

yankpop (931224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926737)

I can understand where you're coming from. If you have no experience installing a distro like Mepis or Ubuntu, haven't spent the ten minutes required to learn how to use Synaptic, and yet still feel compelled to comment on a topic you know nothing about, why wouldn't you resort to the old 'linux is too hard for joe-sixpack to install' line? You'd be joing hundreds, even thousands of others who have gone before you. Ignorance loves a crowd.

What I don't understand is how this bullshit gets modded +5 insightful.

yp.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926841)

Too true. I remember thinking, six months after I bought my first computer, how easy it was to install Mandrake 8.2 as opposed to the windows 2000 reinstall I'd done the previous week. I was a complete computer n00b then, and I can't really believe that Linux hasn't become any easier to install since 2001.

Re:Install is (1 of) Linux's biggest problem(s) (1)

Pryon (181814) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926937)

The biggest market that needs to be tapped is the "average" computer user at home. People need to feel that Linux is user friendly and can easily do everything that they want to do.

I see this a lot. Can you explain why Linux needs to tap any markets?

My favorite installer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926124)

is slackware. Simple, effective and has always worked. Have we got to the stage where granny can install your garden variety linux yet?

Re:My favorite installer... (4, Insightful)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926369)

Have we got to the stage where granny can install your garden variety linux yet?

No, but to be fair, granny doesn't really know how to install windows or OS X either.

Re:My favorite installer... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926586)

No, but to be fair, granny doesn't really know how to install windows or OS X either.

Granny is not a system builder.
Granny buys the PC with the OEM system install.

Re:My favorite installer... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926922)

DING DING DING, WE HAVE A WINNER.

My mother, grandmother, neighbors, co-workers, and non-technical friends still can't slap an install disk for Windows or OSX in to their home computer without sweating, cursing, and praying. They still don't know how to find and install drivers that windows doesn't ship with, and they sure as HELL don't have the patience to do all of that as routinely as it needs to happen on windows.

As a rule I format my Windows desktop once a year or more after regular use. The typical user, with their tendency to click [Yes] to every piece of spy/mal/shitware on the internet should probably be formatting every 6 months. But they don't, even with how simple the installs are, because they're intimidated even by Windows' "easy" install. (F6 to install drivers the moment the installer starts, and have the driver on a floppy. Still. On XP. When a lot of XP machines ship with no floppy. Anybody like that part?)

Even Mac users tend to sweat and curse when you tell them to do an install that wipes the drive, and that's saying something. The OSX installer is dead simple, and it will pretty much always have drivers for all the base system hardware, yet Mac users still sweat it.

Let's face it, easy GUI installers, while nice, will not bring people over to linux. It's not why they choose Windows to begin with. Let's say the reasons all together now:

"It's what I use at work"
"Microsoft Office support"
"It came with the computer"
"I need Internet Explorer"
"I'm familiar with it and don't want to learn a new system"
"It runs the software I use without any hassle"

Nowhere in the list for Joe Q. Public is "That old text based installer is the staleness. GUI installers are the new freshness, get with the times linux!"

Debian might win over a couple Windows server administrators looking to dabble in linux with this, but that's about it.

Major New Features (3, Insightful)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926128)

At the risk of sounding like a troll, is this not a sign of how far behind the rest of the Linux world Debian has let itself fall? An installation GUI touted as a "major new feature"?

For years, Debian was heralded for it's packaging system, and yes apt-get is/was great. But the rest of the distros caught up, and easy, automated installation and updating is now a feature that one expects in a Linux distro as standard equipment. Just like a GUI installer.

This is like a car manufacturer in 2006 saying they've just added airbags to their cars, and it's a "major new feature!"

It's not a major new feature. It's about damn time.

Re:Major New Features (4, Insightful)

eipgam (945201) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926168)

I'm just glad it's optional. I've never been a big fan of graphical installers, they've traditionally been awful and sluggish. And lets be honest, it's not like the current debian installer is hard to use.

Re:Major New Features (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926169)

AFAIK, nor yast nor RedHat eq. is not as powerful and stable as apt-get, so no, it is not just about features, but it is about features done WELL.

Fedora and SUSE still feels very old - because of rpm usage - against Debian and Ubuntu. And that is my expierence after 7 years of using Linux in work and home.

Re:Major New Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926214)

I agree, RPMs suck.

Re:Major New Features (4, Insightful)

Sketch (2817) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926242)

> AFAIK, nor yast nor RedHat eq. is not as powerful and stable as apt-get, so no, it is not just about features, but it is about features done WELL.

I find it funny that everyone says apt-get is what makes Debian great. I've used apt-get for years on Redhat. I'd say it's just as stable as on Debian. Sure, it didn't come installed by the OS but it only took one simple command to install it.

Re:Major New Features (3, Informative)

joshua (2507) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926330)

It's not so much apt-get as the vast number of really good packages. If you want to install something, you're far more likely to find it packaged and packaged well on debian than on redhat.

Re:Major New Features (2, Interesting)

MartinG (52587) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927155)

and how many packages for redhat are available from apt repositories? No more than a couple of hundred last time I looked.

And most of the few that were available have moved to yum.

Can you even get official security updates for redhat via apt?

yum or the name "rpm" (1)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926388)

are you saying that you like apt-get in debian better than apt-get or yum in fedora?

Or you just like the .deb extension more than .rpm?

The obvious long term solution is to aggree on a unified repository that rpm based systems and debian based systems moved to use.

Then .rpm and .deb could be used on a single system (if file locations are also agreed upon).

Finally, a non-vendor name would need to be agreed on. .. .lpf ?

 

Re:yum or the name "rpm" (3, Insightful)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926436)

Or you just like the .deb extension more than .rpm?

Lets face it, before yum, rpm was a pain in the ass. Before yum, rpm users were likely to find themselves in "rpm hell" seeking numerous rpm packages that were required by whatever they sought to install. Many people who migrated to debian or gentoo during that period are likely to have only bad memories of the rpm packaging system.

Re:yum or the name "rpm" (1)

oscartheduck (866357) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926659)

I'm a big debian fan, but I need to start exploring scientific linux, which is red hat based. I installed a vm, told it "yum install gaim" and it couldn't find the package. I'm not familiar enough with the yum syntax to be usefully able to help myself out right now; you seem to be more knowledgeable than I am so what do I need to do to perform the equivalent of apt-cache search foo? Thanks!

Re:yum or the name "rpm" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927213)

Try
yum search gaim

Re:Major New Features (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926464)

AFAIK, nor yast nor RedHat eq. is not as powerful and stable as apt-get, so no, it is not just about features, but it is about features done WELL. Fedora and SUSE still feels very old - because of rpm usage - against Debian and Ubuntu. And that is my expierence after 7 years of using Linux in work and home.

I used to use the RPM style of apt in my older RH/Fedora machines. Loved it. But it's just not supported anymore with FC5. Apt/Synaptic beats out Yum/Yumex in my book any day, hands down. Guess which one FC5 supports? Yup, good old 'Not Invented Here' syndrome.

Re:Major New Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926187)

That's true.
It's normal for linux. But for Debian, it's *major*

Re:Major New Features (4, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926213)



At the risk of sounding like a troll, is this not a sign of how far behind the rest of the Linux world Debian has let itself fall? An installation GUI touted as a "major new feature"?

For years, Debian was heralded for it's packaging system, and yes apt-get is/was great. But the rest of the distros caught up, and easy, automated installation and updating is now a feature that one expects in a Linux distro as standard equipment. Just like a GUI installer.

This is like a car manufacturer in 2006 saying they've just added airbags to their cars, and it's a "major new feature!"

It's not a major new feature. It's about damn time.


A graphical installer adds ABSOLUTELY nothing to the installation. Unless you're a newbie to Linux (if you are, debian isn't really too suited for you), you will see and understand this. Who the bleeding heck cares how the installation looks? The focus should be on a fast installer that works on as many configurations as possible, not fancy eye-candy.

Re:Major New Features (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926487)

Regardless of what level of a user you are the installer's looks are meaningless. My current machine (running Debian unstable -- which, as a side note, has been very unstable lately) had Debian installed in October of 2002.

Think it matters much when you will probably use the installer once or twice ever?

Not to me it doesn't.

Re:Major New Features (1)

JPribe (946570) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926644)

A graphical installer adds ABSOLUTELY nothing to the installation. Unless you're a newbie to Linux (if you are, debian isn't really too suited for you), you will see and understand this. Who the bleeding heck cares how the installation looks? The focus should be on a fast installer that works on as many configurations as possible, not fancy eye-candy.
It makes me sick you got modded insightful. In this world looks are *everything* and there is nothing you can do about it. What a stupid comment. Open your eyeballs, man. A GUI installer adds everything to the installation.

Let's take a walk back in time...to the first time you booted up a *nix distro and stared at a CLI. Oh wait, let me guess: you knew *exactly* what to do, because you are so special, so smart and sexy with your intimate knowledge of partitioning and installing an OS. It seems you are forgetting not everyone speaks in binary or assembly.

Back to the looks issue, let's consider the impact of how something looks. Hummer H2. Giant piece of crap vehicle that is mostly OTS (off-the-shelf) parts. But it *looks* cool, right? But it costs $100 to fill the tank. So who cares how it looks. The focus should be on how fast, durable, economical and tough the vehicle is, right? NO! It is all about the looks, and quite frankly the H2 is none of those things. How about a Ferrari? Except when you hit something, you aren't wrapped in a carbon fiber cage like in a real race car. How about your favorite restaurant? If you walk in and watch the roaches open the door for you, are you going to head in and eat?

Perception is the key here, man. Perception is everything. As the saying goes, "Your perception is your reality." Try to be intelligent and apply that. Quit being so narrow minded. And pull your head out of your ass.

it matters (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927133)

Navigating an unfamiliar tree in text mode is a pain in the ass. The only decent way to navigate a tree in text mode is via command line with tab completion, but that sucks when you are unfamiliar with the tree. You need tree navigation to customize the list of packages to install.

Not everybody can read a language that works fine with 256 fixed-size characters. There exist languages like traditional Chinese, Thai, and Arabic. You won't get these people to suddenly switch to a more practical alphabet.

Completion bars are more readable with graphics. It's nice to see a diagram of how the hard drive is partitioned. Scroll bars are fast and informative.

Re:Major New Features (1)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926258)

At the risk of sounding like a troll, is this not a sign of how far behind the rest of the Linux world Debian has let itself fall? An installation GUI touted as a "major new feature"?

Correct me if I'm wrong (it happens!) but wasn't a graphical installer one of the major features of Ubuntu's last release, way back in June?

Re:Major New Features (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926261)

It's not a major new feature. It's about damn time.

Do all the other distros have an installer that works across 11 arches? (Yes, it's the same back-end across all arches).

The Debian installer is pretty fine IMO - the graphical front end is pretty nice & counts as a major new feature in my book.

Re:Major New Features (1)

Walles (99143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926351)

For me, apt-get isn't the big thing with Debian, it's the huge selection of packages. Unstable has 20968 packages, Testing 19533, and Stable 17014 (counted from wc -l of the full packages lists at packages.debian.org).

AFAIK no other distro is even close to that, and you're thus forced to install lots of third party stuff.

For me, if I can't apt-get install it, it doesn't exist.

Re:Major New Features (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926357)

It's not a major new feature.

I agree with you but probably for different reasons. I've been using Debian for two years now and I think their regular installer was very user-friendly and easy to operate - and I'm not particularly smart or linux savvy either - so, personally I would have preferred that the project spent their time on something else especially since the installation is run only once.

Re:Major New Features (4, Insightful)

Phleg (523632) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926824)

At the risk of sounding like a troll, is this not a sign of how far behind the rest of the Linux world Debian has let itself fall? An installation GUI touted as a "major new feature"?
Actually, this is a pretty reasonably significant step forward. Debian lacked a good installation for a long time, simply because of the vast number of architectures it supports. Debian-Installer was written from the ground-up to support all (eleven? thirteen?) architectures that Debian supports, plus provide hooks for CUIs, GUIs, and scriptable interfaces.

While the current iteration of the graphical installer only works on AMD64 and x86, it's only a matter of time before it's supported across all capable architectures.

Also importantly, Debian has finally gotten this done "the right way", in that there aren't any significant hacks to provide nice things like accurate progress indicators, etc., that other graphical installers have used.

And no, I can't think of any other Linux distro that has "caught up" to Debian in terms of packaging. Debian comes with over 15,000 packaged libraries/software, which is a shiton more than other distributions offer (Ubuntu excepted, for obvious reasons). Not only that, but there's simply no comparison between yum and apt.

Re:Major New Features (1)

El_Isma (979791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926840)

Remember that Debian is (mostly) about stability, not feature-ness. A graphical installer doesn't add much, either. Just how much time does it take you to install it? Compare it to the time actually running linux... You spend a very very little time of your linux life installing systems. So, most polish there is just mostly wasted effort.

Re:Major New Features (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926857)

Well coming from a guy who likes to recycle a lot of older 486's* and early pentiums I kind of appreciate the text based installer. I guess you could argue that letting the person installing pick between the two or falling back to text based automatically when faced with a limited resource system would be the way to go (ala RedHat) but as another poster pointed out the Debian installer does work on a number of different architectures.

As far as I'm concerned the Debian installer *is* graphical. I just can't use the mouse. But it's a pretty stragiht forward process, gives you a number of customization options and if you don't need to customize then it lets you pretty much walk through it by hitting Enter over and over.

I don't typically use Debian on my desktop machines, I use it on my servers. My favorite aspect of Debian is that they don't release new stuff because it's cool and fashionable, they release it when it's ready. When I want pretty graphics I use Ubuntu. Kind of like using Windows Server vs. Windows Pro IMHO. Except with Debian (and Ubuntu for that matter) I don't *have* to use the graphics if I don't want them on my server. But hey, as they say, YMMV.

My take on it is Debian is not about flashy software, it's about *Free* software and the philosophy that surrounds it.

Re:Major New Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927129)

Could you name a distro that has a graphical installer
for 11 architectures? Does it rhyme with "plebian"?

Thought so.

Support other items out of the installer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926134)

Does the installer now support lvm and software raid installs? Does it support connections through vnc?

Re:Support other items out of the installer? (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926191)

I haven't testing LVM, but I know that the sarge installer supports software raid. I wouldn't be surprised if it supports LVM as well.

Re:Support other items out of the installer? (4, Insightful)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926233)

According to the blurb from FTA, the graphical installer supports everything available in the regular curses installer, so yes, support for installing onto LVM and software RAID should work perfectly.

TBH I can't see what all the fuss is about. To my knowledge, Debian has never marketed itself as a general purpose distro for desktops a la Grandma Linux, it's always just been a damned stable system that's particularly suited to servers (it's utterly fantastic to do an apt-get dist upgrade and be 99% certain that nothing will go wrong). Last I heard, Debian were quite content for others to use this as a baseline to extend Debian into the user-friendly market, hence distros like Ubuntu.

Like I keep saying over and over again - there's a place for Debian, just like there's a place for Ubuntu. A corporate server farm doesn't need a GUI installer - they have one of their code-fu's do a single install and then roll out an image to 300 empty boxes via BOOTP. Someone rolling out Debian on the desktop at a company would do much the same thing. If you've wanted a pretty installer that'll make the process easier on the eye, Mandrake, RedHat and SuSE have been on the game for years. Do people decry LFS for not having a GUI installer?

Disclaimer: I like and use Debian at home and at work. I've never had any problems with the text mode installer, but likewise I've never had problems telling someone to use Ubuntu for their first distro rather than Debian. Different strokes.

£0.02

Re:Support other items out of the installer? (1)

brianerst (549609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926901)

According to the blurb from FTA
That's getting a little too familiar with the article for my tastes. But hey, what's a lonely geek to do on a Saturday night...

Weeeeeee! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926148)

I just so thrilled.

The *real* question: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926173)

Will it run Duke Nukem Forever?

About time (3, Funny)

makomk (752139) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926220)

I mean, even Gentoo has a graphical install now (though not a very user-friendly one, of course...)

Edgy Eft Etch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926237)

Debian Etch and Ubuntu Edgy Eft being released around the same time. Coincidence? I don't think so

GUI = easy ? (4, Insightful)

jimcooncat (605197) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926246)

GUI doesn't necessarily mean easy to me.

GUI does mean slow and many times buggier to me.

GUI means (to me) that, unless shown in a text box, long error messages will be truncated or summarized.

That said, I've never installed Debian from scratch. Instructions to get (which?) .iso file are too damned confusing.

I've had no problems with the Ubuntu alternate install. A few years back I was installing Gentoo and though it was involved, I wasn't confused about what to download, thanks to the Handbook.

If they want to market to Joe Average, they should clean up their website.

Re:GUI = easy ? (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926574)

That said, I've never installed Debian from scratch. Instructions to get (which?) .iso file are too damned confusing

The answer is "any" (or well not CD 2-X of the set, unless you get disc 1). It comes in many different sizes, but the only difference between netinst, businesscard, cd-iso, dvd-iso is how much you need to download during install, which is a balance between having to redownload (if you install on several machines or need to reinstall) and downloading packages you don't need. If that is really too complex for you, well... Debian is not for you.

Re:GUI = easy ? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926755)

what cds you wan't depends on the number of machines your installing and your ease of access to the internet during installations.

if you are planning to work away from an internet connection get the whole damn set of main CDs/DVDs.

if the machines don't have CD drives get the boot root and net-drivers floppies

if you are just doing one box and don't plan to use the cds after initial install get the netinst CD

if you wan't it to fit on a buisnesscard and don't care about ending up with an 486 optimised kernel (you can install an optimised one later from the net if you wan't) get buisnesscard.

otherwise get main CD 1.

Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926255)

Last Post

Re:Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927028)

Last Post
Who died?

LSB? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926287)

I did not see anything about LSB in the official announcement! Is LSB dead? Debian should have mentioned something about LSB. Could somebody please breif a slashdotter on what is happenning on the LSB front? I'll appreciate, thanx.

Re:LSB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926740)

(they are aiming for lsb 3.1)

Re:LSB? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927154)

Is LSB dead?


Yes. The purpose of LSB is so that proprietary software vendors can produce binaries that run on any LSB-compliant platform (it's unnecessary for anybody who is willing to ship source for the user to build on their own platform). Most of the current platforms support LSB and have done for years. The proprietary software vendors have been completely uninterested in producing binaries for it, preferring instead to produce them for Redhat and SuSE. So you have a plethora of LSB platforms and precisely zero LSB applications. Ergo, LSB is dead.

Re:LSB was born dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927162)

LSB was dead before it was born. Its purpose is to support binary applications. What do I want with binary applications? I want the source, everything else is stupid.

Installer Screen shots (4, Insightful)

vivekg (795441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926326)

One of its real advantages is that it allows installation in nine new languages that cannot be displayed in the regular installer.

I have also noticed that GUI installer is bit faster than the regular text based regular installer. However, this installer is not as polished as RHEL or Suse Linux GUI installer but project promises to polish it later on... If you are interested you can see Screen shots -
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/wp-content/uploads/2 006/08/debian-testing-gui-installer-1.thumbnail.pn g [cyberciti.biz]
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/wp-content/uploads/2 006/08/debian-testing-gui-installer-paritition-dis ks-2.png [cyberciti.biz]

There is a catch using the new installer. (3, Funny)

stsp (979375) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926348)

The catch is that you need to tilt your monitor.

From TFA:
The installer is designed to work at a resolution of 600x800;

NO new Features in Debian Etch (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926631)

These are features of the installer, which is only used one time in the life of a debian-installation. This is non-news.

ubuntu - deb done right (0, Troll)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926713)

I love ubuntu. easy install, recognizes all hardwrae, even my wifi. synaptic is great. debian is like my kayak I fish off of: great platform, but I had to add the custom rod holders, bait tank, etc. now it's a fishing machine. ubuntu has taken a great base and made it into truly an awesome OS.

Encrypted partitions in SuSE for 3+ years! (3, Informative)

Terje Mathisen (128806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926738)

I have been using SuSE's encrypted partitions for more than 3 years now, they have always been completely integrated into the graphical installer.

Yes, they do require someone to enter the (very long!) passphrase during the OS startup process, but that's a small price for the measure of peace of mind that it provides.

Terje

Easy Debian installation is now a catch-up game (2, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927119)

I'm really glad to see the official Debian project making good moves on installation; though people gripe about the focus placed on installation ("How many times do you install a frickin' OS?" goes the refrain), it really is important. People who might be interested in and benefit from Free software are under no obligation to spend confusing hours getting things to install; it's true that most OSes get stuck on a machine and stay there for a while, but that doesn't mean that installation can be ignored. With Free Software OSes especially, it's actually really nice to be able to install whenever you want, without worrying about intrusive "validation" procedures, etc -- I know I dabble with various OSes, just to check out what's new.

That said, to install a Debian system by means *other* than the official installer can be a pretty easy process, especially if you're a bit flexible (just for a few seconds, I swear!) about what constitutes Debian. (And since I really am a perpetual newbie, I think that I'm not exaggerating the ease I'm claiming.) A few examples:

Xandros: a mix of commercial / proprietary stuff, but it's based on straight Debian. Easy to install, nicely graphical, supports a lot of hardware, and (I didn't realize until yesterday) can read and write NTFS, which their sales reps say is unique among out-of-the-box commercial Linux distros. That sounds unlikely to me, but I can't think of a counterexample off-hand. You don't have to use their proprietary stuff.

Ubuntu: Yes, there are divergences, but there's no denying that Ubuntu is at heart a Debian operating system.

Knoppix (along with Kanotix, and many of the other Knoppix derivatives)is nicely installable.

The eLive Live CD not only is one of the easiest ways to install a Debian system, but also one of the simplest ways to install and play with Enlightenment.

And of course I've named just a few of the Live CDs based on Debian, a great many of which are installable.

timothy

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