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Debian Gets Win32 Installer

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-CD-no-USB-no-problem dept.

Debian 232

An anonymous reader writes "Debian hacker Robert Millan has just announced the availability of a Debian-Installer Loader for win32. The program, inspired by Ubuntu's similar project, features 64-bit CPU auto-detection, download of linux/initrd netboot images, and chainloading into Debian-Installer via grub4dos. The frontend site goodbye-microsoft.com/ has been set up for advocacy purposes. Here are some screenshots."

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Almost Too Easy? (4, Interesting)

P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1)) (1012109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788252)

The ease with which someone could blow away their Windows install (and apposite data) is hilarious, actually; the frontpage is slick, and the Debian logo has a nice, clean svg -> png feel.

The one thing I always felt FOSS had going for it were pious, minimalist interfaces;* goodbye-microsoft.com [goodbye-microsoft.com] is no exception.

_____________
* And dangerous ones, like fdisk.

Re:Almost Too Easy? (3, Informative)

greginterrupted (1025818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788302)

Well, it doesn't look like new users can "blow away their windows install." I read the site that was linked, and although it doesn't describe the actual process or show screenshots of terminals, it does make a huge point of (and so does the ubuntu link) showing large messages clearly stating that your hard drive will NOT be formatted.

I was kind of disappointed though, because without reading the documents on the site, the average user would not know what the installer is actually doing. They show a screen of the Windows XP bootloader, the one we are familiar with that lets you boot into Windows or Win with safe mode. It's the bootloader that you get when you hit F8 during startup. However, now it's got a "Ubuntu operating system" listed under "Windows XP professional." How did that get there? I'm not sure. The screenshot that precluded the bootloader screenshot only showed a message asking the user if he/she wanted to reboot. It's the ?????? step between steal underpants and profit.

I'm actually pretty happy with my windows xp pro install, and have been so for about three years. I'm not going to switch back over to any other OS anytime soon, even after owning a mac for six months. The point of this comment is to make sure that people know that users will NOT BE FORMATTING THEIR HARD DRIVES by using the installer. I believe they're only modifying the bootloader and installing a small linux on the ntfs or fat32 drive right alongside winxp or 2k. I could easily be wrong, but the images and the guide on the site didn't do anything to explain the process so it's all speculation.

Re:Almost Too Easy? (5, Informative)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788898)

It's a loop-mounted ext3 "hard file" like you get in an emulator.

The process is, basically - GRUB loads a kernel+initrd from the Windows filesystem. Kernel loads, mounts / from the initrd, mounts the NTFS or FAT filesystem from the Windows box, and finds the hardfile and initrd - then it swivels root to use the image via the loopback filesystem (so you can mount files as disks).

Not sure how this bodes for expandability of the disk image though. I guess the idea is the Ubuntu install just works, and you can put the data back onto your Windows disk..?

Well you have to install WINE... (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788442)

... oh, wait....

Re:Almost Too Easy? (0, Flamebait)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788878)

From the little I have gleaned from the non Slash-dotted sites it appear that they have a installer that runs under MS Windows that allows you to install their Linux distro be it Ubuntu or Debian (correct me if I am wrong). In principle this sounds great then I ask myself why?

If Linux evangelists want people to move to a Linux OS then you don't want a MS Windows installer you really want a proper Linux installer other wise you are just saying that Linux is a poor cousin to MS Windows and I can assure you that the majority of potential users who do this will eventually go back to MS Windows and usually with a bad feeling to Linux.

I think that a person who is interested in using Linux really needs to use a live CD/DVD first and then if they are interested they go ahead (get some help if possible) and create a dual boot and play with Linux some more. In fact dual booting is not a real solution either because users will eventually fall back to MS Windows because it is too easy to backslide. It is very important if you are trying to convince friends that if they are serious they must switch to a Linux only PC although let them play with a few distros before that and they need to get educated in basic security and System Admin practices.

Before anyone replies and says "What about games" (you can use Wine but you won't have the latest games), "What about MS tools" (I thought the idea was to get away from MS tools), "What about 'insert your excuse here'". The counter to all of these starts with the potential Linux user knowing what they really want to do with Linux. If they are not willing to give up their MS Windows solutions then let them continue down that path because you are wasting your time. This is especially true in a Business environment since Managers are very conservative and the only way to get Linux adopted in the workplace is when the order comes down as a very courageous decision from the top. Oh watch the fun then.

I am quite sure there are Consultants who have gone down the path of trying to introduce a Linux solution who have been shot down by Managers who don't want to learn something new and bring up a myriad of reasons (some may be valid but most aren't) why the business cannot switch. In a situation like this all the Consultant can do is walk away.

In keeping with what I have just said my new Laptop is running only on Fedora Core 6 (no dual boot) and I am using Firefox 2 to post this article. My son even put his legit copy of Guild Wars on it under Wine and it works.

A new /b/ has arisen. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788256)

If one considers the old /b/, being unchanging and resistant, one will see that our resistance was a shackle.
By being chained to a single URL before /b/day, our prescence was concentrated and ineffcicient.
Let our current plight of our many /b/'s being inactive motivate us to put /b/ upon a new path.

Anonymous shall rise again to power on the intertubes.
Let us consider water. The simplest, yet most important substance in our lives.
What are the properties of water? What allows it to both escape and fall to our control?

Water in it's fluid form will follow the path of least resitance. The steepest gradient. The lowest altitude. Water is constantly shifting course and maneuvering around obstacles with nothing but the constant pull of gravity to support it. Should if find obstructions, it merely avoids them. /b/ and Anonymous are like water. They have the ability to flow between channels in the event of obstruction, i.e. rule enforcement. This would allow /b/ to prosper as a truly fluid and shifting being.

Unfortunately, /b/ is currently frozen into several channels, and as recent events demonstrate, when these channels are broken (i.e. dead), /b/ and Anonymous are broken, many /b/ are lost and the remnants are scattered in small clusters on the fringes of Chandom.

I, Anonymous, hereby declare the movement of memetic propagation (MMPonomy, or MMPism), a system which allows an equal balance of order and chaos to serve as propgation for /b/ and Anonymous' spreading.
Vath.

Re:A new /b/ has arisen. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788272)

/b/ is urine, not water.

MURK LOAR.

Re:A new /b/ has arisen. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788288)

I thought after 4chan, 7chan, 420chan, 12chan, 2chan.ru, etc. were taken down, you fuckers were going to design a P2P-chan à la freenet [freenetproject.org] ; or were you full of shit?

Re:A new /b/ has arisen. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788334)

We're working on it, the problem is that all of the information is on 420chan ...which is at the moment.

Re:A new /b/ has arisen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788452)

4chan is not dead,they just have DNS problems.
However 7chan looks much better then 4chan(with all it ads,and /b/ threads that dissappear faster then you post them).That could be a reason for migration of thousands of users.
among 2ch.us sites only 3-4 have the hardware/bandwidth to cope with 4chan traffic.

the ultimate answer (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788260)

yes, it DOES run linux

Re:the ultimate answer (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788390)

yes, it DOES run linux


It may run Linux, but it doesn't run under Linux in Wine! Just complains about missing c:\boot.ini and that my version of Windows might be too old. So where's the Linux port?

Ubuntu+Windows not hard at all. (0, Offtopic)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788268)

Day one at my new job, the very first couple of things I did with a new Gateway P4 WinXP machine: Downloaded an ISO, some DVD/CD burner program (believe it or not, WindowsXP does *not* do this out of the box!), and then ran the Ubuntu installer, letting it resize my NTFS partition, installed, updated from universe/multiverse and have not had a single problem. Never even had to boot the WinXP partition after the initial test. (This is a job as a systems programmer so installing linux was something I was expected to do, not something I did clandestinely.)

I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised and relieved at how well the installer worked. The reason I did it *first thing* was because if I needed to deal with a *Windows* install, I knew I would need a whole day, maybe two, to do it.

Re: Windows .ISO burner (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788600)

For the curious...

Here is a link to the ISO Burner Power Toy for Windows XP. This will allow you to record a CD or DVD .iso image under WinXP without having to go out and purchase a full version of Nero or Roxio. This is a very handy tool.

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm [alexfeinman.com]

Re: Windows .ISO burner (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788786)

I've never managed to get that working - I emailed Alex Feinman (the author) about it recently but have yet to receive a reply.

Re: Windows .ISO burner (1)

5of0 (935391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788922)

Works fine for me - you do have the correct Service Pack one, right? There's different ones for SP1 and SP2.

Re: Windows .ISO burner (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789098)

Yep - I have XP Pro SP2 with the correct version. It all appears to work until the actual burning or image reading part - when I click go it immediately just tells me it's finished without doing anything.

Re: Windows .ISO burner (5, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789166)

Works fine for me - you do have the correct Service Pack one, right? There's different ones for SP1 and SP2.

That's the problem with Windows. Until they get that stuff sorted, it will never be ready for the desktop.

Re:Ubuntu+Windows not hard at all. (3, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788806)

Microsoft do provide a program to burn ISO images - it's in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit [microsoft.com] and it's called 'cdburn.exe'.

WHY they can't simply distribute a mission critical tool like this along with the OS I have no idea.

Re:Ubuntu+Windows not hard at all. (1)

slapys (993739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789060)

"WHY they can't simply distribute a mission critical tool like this along with the OS I have no idea."

Hmm...not shipping their OS with a tool mainly used to burn other OSes...why would Microsoft do that? This makes no sense! Someone please explain to me what is going on here??

questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788276)

seeing as the website is down....
anyone know if this does:
1) resizes the windows partition so you can still access it from debian?
2) scans windows for your settings and replicates similar ones in debian?

Anything else, and why not just use the damn CD?

Re:questions (5, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788324)

anyone know if this does:
1) resizes the windows partition so you can still access it from debian?
2) scans windows for your settings and replicates similar ones in debian?
Anything else, and why not just use the damn CD?
I was curious about this too. The site itself doesn't carry much information, but the related Ubuntu project [ubuntu.com] has more detail. The idea is that the linux disk image gets saved as a file (in C:\ubuntu apparently) which gets loopmounted and booted into via grub4dos. Thus Windows gets to stay exactly as it is, and there isn't even any disk repartitioning done - linux just sits as a disk image file on the C:\ drive. The Ubuntu project also talk about gleaning some info from the Windows registry for installation - though it only mentions locale and timezone data (presumably more can be managed).

It is, at least, quite different from a CD install in that your Windows install (presuming this works the same as the Ubuntu version) remains untouched (aside from getting a new directory and a couple of extra files) with no risk of data loss via repartioning etc. Certainly an interesting idea.

Re:questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788462)

Would be awesome if it copied the Windows DLLs for audio/video decoding over from your Windows install, then told GStreamer/pitfdll about them. I mean, you're running Windows and you paid for the right to use them... RIGHT? RIGHT? ;)

Re:questions (4, Insightful)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788512)

I mean, you're running Windows and you paid for the right to use them... RIGHT? RIGHT? ;)
No. You paid Microsoft to tell you how to use them.

Re:questions (3, Insightful)

Incidence (923443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788506)

If the installers are able to create a functional dual boot system without affecting Windows then this could be really good for Linux adoption, assuming my situation is even semi-common outside my group of friends.

I've worked with live-CD's in the past and would like to install Linux, but the problem has always been the threat of lost data and system downtime getting the OS to work. Between school and my job I can't afford to be without a functional computer for any real length of time, so even the small chance of something going wrong and the natural learning curve of a new OS have made switching impossible. If this option is able to do what Ubuntu plans then switching would be a very easy decision.

A few hours and an over-night download giving a fully functional Windows OS for work and school and a Linux OS for learning the system would be just what I've wanted.

Re:questions (1)

mikearthur (888766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788518)

Out of interest, as I don't know, is there much of a performance hit for using a loopback filesystem as your root, in this way?

Me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17789122)

This is the first thing that I thought. An efs3 disk image (including swap) mounted on a NTFS partition will incur a big FS performance hit. I think the Ubuntu installer idea is cool, my concern is that users may be put off by poor disk performance.

Any benchmarks?

Re:questions (3, Informative)

joey (315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788552)

The current implementation for Debian is different than what Ubuntu is working on. goodbye-windows.com just downloads the two files (kernel, initrd) that let the completely standard Debian installer [debian.org] boot, installs a grub bootloader and uses it to convince windows to boot linux. Thereafter it's identical to what would happen if you netboot the Debian Installer.

d-i does allow optional resizing of the windows partition and setting up a dual-boot system. It does not scan windows for settings or the like.

Oh BTW, while it's slashdotted, you can see it at http://www.mirrordot.org/stories/f592f4a8f9a66105d 885ff7a49228380/index.html [mirrordot.org]

Re:questions (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788614)

isn't this what BeOS used to have? where you can launch BeOS from within Windows. And in Windows you just see a file, which is the BeOS image.

Re:questions (2, Informative)

keitosama (990483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788752)

You had to launch BeOS as an application within Windows, while this method still makes you fire up Debian in the bootloader before entering Windows, apparently.

Re:questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788868)

I really like the way Ubuntu does it, though I'm unlikely to make use of it on a PC myself.

What I do really want is something similar for the Macintosh. I have a (now kind of aging) PPC iBook which I run Mac OS X on, and am perfectly happy running Mac OS X on... most of the time. Occasionally, I find myself wanting to use Linux on it. As I don't really want to screw around with re-partitioning for the relatively small amount of time it would spend booted into Linux, I don't want to do a "proper" install. Running from a LiveCD is okay, but not the most convenient. For a start, I'd like to be able to use the optical drive for something else while I'm booted up into Linux.

Is what I want possible? And if so, have similar thoughts crossed anyone else's mind? Is anyone ever likely to do this?

If (on the unlikely chance) anyone is spurred into action on this, my preference of distro to use is Kubuntu... though Ubuntu, Debian, or just about any other reasonable Debian-based distro will do just as well.

Re:questions (2, Informative)

at2000 (715252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788578)

1. No
2. No

You only avoided the need for burning a CD, but not the d-i. That's why the Ubuntu one is much easier to use.

Slashdotted already? (2, Funny)

Doddman (953998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788280)

Has that site been slashdotted? And if so, is there a mirror?

Obviously slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788282)

What a great idea, linking a screenshot page on the /. front page...

Do you have a grudge against Debian ?

Mirrors are our friends (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788408)

Screenshots [mirrordot.org] via mirrordot.org.

Goodbye (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788284)

goodbye-webserver.com

IE exploit? (5, Funny)

Qwell (684661) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788286)

What would be funny, is if somebody managed to automate this, and used an IE exploit to force it to run.

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible if somebody actually does this.

Re:IE exploit? (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788312)

It'd be fairly hard to put it into practice (would require the person to download a LOT without interrupting the download, say, by turning the computer off- though in theory that's able to be worked around) and would end up damaging the public perception of linux. Right now, most people don't know what linux is or have a vague idea that it's something that goes on computers and think it's for tech nerds.
A "linux virus" would be just the thing Microsoft needs to completely vanquish any and all hope of people switching to linux.

Re:IE exploit? (3, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788314)

Funny maybe, but it would kill PR for Debian.
If there's one thing people hate more than holes in Windows, it's the software that exploits thoose holes.

Re:IE exploit? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788346)

Hmm... and what if a Windows fanboy were to build it with that very purpose in mind?

Re:IE exploit? (2, Interesting)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788354)

Microsoft would likely be willing to pay said fanboy big bucks.

Re:IE exploit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788382)

The entire slashdot community would stand in total awe, as a windows fanboy wrote something instead of downloading it off a 1337 \/\/4R3z site.

seriously, how many windows fanboys know more than visual basic?

Re:IE exploit? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788386)

Meh... they might still use VB... and just invoke the code for this autoinstaller once it is finished downloading it.

Re:IE exploit? (1)

noz (253073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788340)

I cannot be held responsible if somebody actually does this.
That's what you think. :P

Re:IE exploit? (4, Funny)

Oopsz (127422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788376)

you mean tuxissa [lwn.net] ?

Re:IE exploit? (1)

1310nm (687270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788380)

Who needs exploits when most people will install ActiveX controls without knowing what they do anyway? All the site needs is a "Be sure to click the yellow bar at the top of your browser!" notice.

Re:IE exploit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788718)

>What would be funny, is if somebody managed
>to automate this, and used an IE exploit to force it to run.

You're thinking of tuxissa: a combination worm+bittorrent
that uses bittorrent to download say the first cd of Debian
by leveraging the already infected other boxes to speed up
the install. It would be funny to see in action, and
at the same time the volume of spam might just go
down too!

Re:IE exploit? (4, Funny)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789030)

Most people would probably think "Windows looks a bit different after that update".

I told a neighbour recently that I did not use Windows. The reply was "What do use instead? Excel?"

Most people do not know what a PC is, or that it is a switchable component.

Debian + Beryl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788294)

If Debian could only get that 3D desktop [AIGLX + Beryl [beryl-project.org] ] out I would be even happier! Still, THIS IS GREAT!!!

Re:Debian + Beryl? (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788630)

Just add the repository from the beryl pages [beryl-project.org] . It's not very hard. Debian support will be forthcoming I'm sure.

Some stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788848)

From : [edos-project.org]

Days delay - Number of packages - Percentage

0 - 13146 - 62%

    7 days - 14804 - 70%

    2 weeks - 18443 - 87%

    3 weeks - 19243 - 91%

    6 weeks - 20651 - 98%

    3 months - 21080 - 100%

Could we now expect less than 6 weeks from Unstable to Testing with 95% confidence?

slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788306)

Goodbye Microsoft? Uh, how 'bout Goodbye website!!! It has officially been slashdotted.

What would the Slashdot position be... (0, Redundant)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788310)

... if somebody made an auto-installing version of this, i.e. installed the same way as spyware is?

Re:What would the Slashdot position be... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788328)

i believe the position would be on the floor

rolling and laughing

Re:What would the Slashdot position be... (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788384)

I'm not sure that'd be so funny... people would actually blame linux for it, you know. The PR for debian would probably tank. Even, as I mentioned elsewhere, if a windows fanboy might do this with that very agenda in mind, I strongly suspect the outcome would be the same, regardless of who did it.

Re:What would the Slashdot position be... (0, Offtopic)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789014)

if they blamed "linux", who would they blame?

"Responsability" (1)

paul248 (536459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788320)

They spelled "responsibility" wrong in one of those screenshots:

http://goodbye-microsoft.com/screenshots/3.png [goodbye-microsoft.com]

Re:"Responsability" (3, Insightful)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788388)

Your patch would, I'm sure be very welcome.

You have sent it in havn't you?

Re:"Responsability" (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788520)

Nothing better to do at 2:31 EST?

Maybe not the best way to get new users... (4, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788352)

From the announcement:

This has a few interesting applications:
...
- Migrating to Debian for users who have no idea how to burn an ISO and/or how to configure their BIOS for CD boot.


Uhhhh, if someone doesn't know how to burn an ISO or tinker with their BIOS, is this installer really something they should be screwing around with?

Some Opperationz are Dangerous! (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788392)

Uhhhh, if someone doesn't know how to burn an ISO or tinker with their BIOS, is this installer really something they should be screwing around with?

I understand that it's dangerous to "screw around" with your computer when it's running Windows, but I did not know that writing a file was one of those dangerous things now.

You would be amazed at how difficult some vendors make it to do what should be very easy. Though burning an ISO image should be the easiest thing a program could do with a blank CD, most burning programs either lack the option or hide it. Telling your computer what device to boot off should also be easy, but the larger vendors don't display the keystroke required to get into the BIOS configuration utility. What should take five minutes can easily take hours and could take a trip to the store to buy burning software. People are usually put off but these types of guessing game, especially when the results are uncertain.

All of it backfires eventually. A user who's insulted enough will do something about it. Sooner or later, they all learn.

Re:Maybe not the best way to get new users... (1)

zxsqkty (869685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788536)

If it's really as simple as "click and run", sure why not? You don't have to be technically gifted to install Weatherbug or Bonzai Buddy either...

Re:Maybe not the best way to get new users... (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788610)

About eight years ago I knew nothing about computing except how to install a new game. But I wanted to experiment, so I installed OS/2 (pirated), then Linux. Of course I borked my whole system several times but since there was nothing valuable it was a Good Thing because I learned a lot. Oh, and after a Windows-basher-zealot spends the whole weekend configuring Xorg he'll probably be a little less biased against Windows.
This distro should focus not on the stereotypical granny or joe-sixpack users but rather on people who know nothing about computing but are willing to spend their time tinkering with Linux to learn more. Linux is great for learning how computers work and a lot of books are easier to understand than MSDN. I think the website should recommend a couple of good books that explain how Linux actually works. And set up good, friendly forums and a wiki.

Re:Maybe not the best way to get new users... (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788726)

That's how I got started. I wanted to learn to program in C and found it difficult on Windows as I couldn't afford copies of expensive software. A friend suggested linux and after trying multiple distros on my exotic hardware (scrounged from multiple old computers I could get off a local school for free) I managed to install and configure slackware as my first full distro. 3.5 Yrs and a new computer later debian is booted 98% of the time. I only boot windows for games (defcon at the moment, Introversion I'm waiting). I'm never going back.

very bad idea,IMO (2, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788980)

I always feel that different operating systems should be on different parttions so as to gve better redundancy and the ability to remove one without wiping the others. It was a bad idea when MS allowed Windows 2000 and 98 to coexist on a single FAT32 partition and this is a bad idea now..

If the Debian people want to make migration easier, they should built a Win32 app that exports outlook express email to mbx and installs it into Thunderbird, copies over address books, favourites and wallpaper. THATs the sort of thing that gets a newbie linux user feeling happy.

Mirror? (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788356)

Are the pictures mirrored anywhere?

It would seem that after less than an hour of slashdot traffic, their server has melted into slag.

Well that didn't work (2, Interesting)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788360)

I just tried it, it said everything went fine, I chose the Debian Installer at reboot, and I got a grub menu with 3 choices, expert, standard and auto. All three resulted in a "file not found message", so I booted back to XP.

Re:Well that didn't work (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788378)

Install Linux and run it under Wine.

Re:Well that didn't work (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788494)

What do you mean ?
It worked fine, I can see your desktop clear as day.

Re:Well that didn't work (4, Funny)

the donner party (1000036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788588)

That's nothing! When I tried it, everything went fine, but when I first booted linux, it burned down my house, killed my dog and ran away with my wife! They really have to fix problems like that if they want non-technical users trying out this linux thingy.

could use a better description... (1)

chicagotypewriter (933271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788412)

The last screenshot has the caption, "which in turn starts the D-I we all know and love."
Those saying goodbye to Windows that haven't already said hello to Debian don't know or love the "D-I" (which they probably know what D-I is).

Sure, it makes sense to most of us here, but Joey Bagodonuts won't have any clue what that page means.

And I was thinking something else (1)

mikek3332002 (912228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788422)

When I read the headline I though the article was initally an installer for Debian GNU/Windows. LOL

Re:And I was thinking something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788842)

hahahahaha. I wonder how that would work...the windows kernel with a GNU userland and debian package management?

Try the Ubuntu version now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788432)

It's not really ready, but it seems to work for the moment.

http://omattos.co.uk/setup-ubuntu-v3.exe [omattos.co.uk]

goodbye-microsoft? (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788448)

I believe you meant goodbye-server.com there. But seriously I'm assuming that Microsoft is going to be to happy about this and will probably have their lawyers try to cue that domain into their possession. Any more legally inclined people out there care to offer there opinion/insight?

Because... (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788468)

...loadlin is too difficult ?

Re:Because... (2, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788632)

You will be surprised just how noob some users are.

I have written a cross-platform application that consists of just an executable and a shared library (DLL/.so, respectively).

Even with the email-assistance I give them, regularly it proves too difficult for users to copy the library file to the default library directory (c:\windows\system32 or /usr/local/lib, respectively). Especially Mac users have trouble because they have to do this as root user, which often is a concept unknown to them.

This happens so often that I'm working on an installer now. End users just can't be bothered with technicalities and procedures.

Re:Because... (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788854)

OK, so why not simply create a script that relies upon loadlin rather than reinvent the wheel.

Re:Because... (1)

nyu1 (1056558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789016)

That's what I did ;) Just that instead of loadlin, it's grub4dos [sourceforge.net] (loadlin doesn't support win >2k). And instead of a silent script, it's a GUI script [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788856)

In windows, the dll search path includes the directory the executable is in. No need for admin rights to install into system32.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788934)

Yes and the fact that it won't work under Win NT/2000/XP/Vista. Loadlin only works from DOS and I believe Win 95/98/ME. I did try setting up Loadlin on my sister's Win98 box as a means for her to easily try Linux since she is constantly complaining the problems she has with her computer (because of Windows), but I couldn't get it to work for some reason and didn't have the time to work out how to make it work. I also had problems with Linux on that machine in that it ran dog slow for no obvious reason so I ended up with leaving it just running Win98.

Just in time! (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788474)

For the release of Vista in two days, which will make this installer break! Vista no longer uses boot.ini or the NTLDR loader.

In fact, I'm using the Vista RC2 bootloader to boot Windows XP. The Debian installer would fail horribly because the boot process would not be altered atall.

Bleeding edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788490)

Yeah, because people who upgrade to Vista ON ITS FIRST DAY OF AVAILABILITY are really the sort of clueless users who are trying to get away from Microsoft if only they knew how.

Re:Just in time! (1)

lantastik (877247) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788498)

Vista was released over a week ago. The download version is the version they are releasing in two days.

Re:Just in time! (1)

joey (315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788558)

I'm sure that someone will figure out a way to boot linux from vista eventually. In the meantime, I understand that vista has fairly extreme system requirements, so there's a whole load of machines that won't be able to run it, and the installer seems like a nice advocacy move to switch those away from the obsolete version of windows they're stuck with, and over to linux.

goodbye goodbye-microsoft.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17788508)

The frontend site goodbye-microsoft.com/ has been set up for advocacy purposes. Here are some screenshots."

And just like that, the site has been brought down for slashdotting purposes.

http://goodbye-microsoft.com (0, Redundant)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788560)

I think this should be

http://goodbye-server.com/ [goodbye-server.com]

Re:http://goodbye-microsoft.com (5, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788616)

I think this should be

http://goodbye-server.com/ [goodbye-server.com]
Damn! That one's slashdotted, too!

This sort of thing really is needed (1)

gjuk (940514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788646)

By most standards (although perhaps not those of /.ers) I'm no newbie - I used to write assembly on the Z80 and x86. I run a number of Linux servers and am fairly confident with a degree of admin on them via ssh. However, my only attempts at running desktop Linux (without destroying Windows, which I dislike but need) have been abject failures. Sure, I believe it's probably not too hard - but life's too short for the endless pages of details I have to read. Still, I want to do my bit for the cause. The easier we make it for people like me - the more chance we've got of making it easier for everyone else. It's important for the future of technology that we break the Windows hegemony (not anti-MS, just pro-competition). Steps like this might just help.

Re:This sort of thing really is needed (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788792)

The installer does it for you. Just make sure you defrag and backup (extra security I've never needed) Win disk first and during partitioning click to shrink Windows partitions. Make sure you choose desktop install.

oh it works, mostly (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789134)

You already seem to know more than me, and I've exclusively run different Linux distros, all Debian-based, for about 6 months. My WinXP install was about a year old and I didn't want to go through the pain of reinstalling all those dozens of programs. Apt-get is much faster in that regard, and with the default install I get a much more usable system than I do with the default install of Windows Anything. I like Kile, Synaptic, the terminal, and Knoppix. When things work, they work better than Windows. They work 90% of the time. When they don't work, they just don't work, and I can't fix it. My sound is at half-volume and apparantly it's a chipset issue with no resolution yet. Also, my university's distance-education portal (WebTycho at the U. of Maryland) won't work with Ubuntu, because it says I don't have Javascript installed, though it's there. So I have to reboot into Knoppix to do my homework.

So there have been frustrations, but not enough for me to re-install all the progams I would need to give me a Windows install as useful as the one I get with Knoppix or some other Linux distro. Also, I can't figure out how to get Konqueror to view all the folders in detailed-list view by default. I keep having to select it. So yes, again, there are frustrations. But it works, by and large. There were frustrations with Windows, too. But I'll at least have to get a VMWare install of Windows together, because I just ordered a Garmin GPS with the Mapsource software, which is Windows-only.

goodbye-microsoft.com (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788824)

i predict MS lawsuit and legal challenge for that domain name in 5, 4, 3, 2 ....

Re:goodbye-microsoft.com (1)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788974)

if http://ie7.com/ [ie7.com] can survive this long, goodbye-microsoft.com should have similar luck.

Worms (3, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17788832)

I am loving this 'click here to install Linux' trend - I am wondering how long it is going to be before we see a worm exploiting this to install Linux on vulnerable machines.

All it would take is a silent installer with a built in bit torrent client to download the files and an XP theme for Gnome or KDE.

They could even advertise - don't like Windows? Want Linux? No problem - just plug your Windows machine into the net, turn off your firewall and go out for a few hours.

Re:Worms (1)

traabil (861418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789054)

I am loving this 'click here to install Linux' trend - I am wondering how long it is going to be before we see a worm exploiting this to install Linux on vulnerable machines.


Why would someone do that? It would for sure kill off all their zombies.

I Love it! (1)

frsmith (836165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789112)

Classic!!!!! Bob

goodbye-microsoft.com (4, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17789164)

I think it's better to promote Linux because of what it does well, rather than promoting Linux by saying MS is no good.

Tinfoil hat time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17789176)

Strange memo circulated early today in the hallways of Microsoft, targeted at any and all employees currently in the building:

As soon as you sit down, please enter the address http://goodbye-microsoft.com/ [goodbye-microsoft.com] in your browser. There will be an announcement later.
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