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Debian win32-loader Goes Official

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the like-a-live-cd-on-steroids dept.

Debian 246

An anonymous reader writes "After a long process of review and polishing, the win32 loader from goodbye-microsoft.com has finally made its way to official Debian CDs. Latest daily builds of lenny (the development version) are including it, making starting Debian Installer as simple as just a few clicks (OGG). The win32-loader version, now based on GRUB 2, includes new features such as detection and pre-seeding of Windows settings, and is translated to 20 languages."

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What? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20587983)

People still use Debian?

Re:What? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588035)

ubuttnut is not for everyone. at least debian's packages are well-tested.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

LinuxGeek (6139) | about 7 years ago | (#20588051)

Yup, including everyone running Ubuntu like me.

Re:What? (2, Informative)

deftcoder (1090261) | about 7 years ago | (#20588171)

But, more specifically, you're running Debian Sid, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Ubuntu seems to have done a pretty good job of stabilizing Sid for the everyday user.

Once they implement LVM/volume encryption into the Ubuntu installer, I may consider using it on my desktop at home. I want /home encrypted at the very least because that's where irssi/gaim logs are stored, and I'd rather not have a malicious person with physical access to my machine be able to get those logs. (short of rootkitting the system that is)

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588321)

You have a malicious person at home?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | about 7 years ago | (#20588403)

He must be married.

No no no (3, Funny)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 7 years ago | (#20588737)

He must be married.

This is slashdot you inconsiderate fool.

Re:What? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | about 7 years ago | (#20588419)

Ubuntu does import a lot of stuff from debian sid but they also package a lot of stuff themselves nowadays.

From what I can gather sid isn't too bad most of the time anyway it's just every so often big upgrades come through and break stuff.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 years ago | (#20588541)

Sid ain't so bad. The system itself is quite stable. What's not is the package repository. Once in a while a large update will present some conflicts in dependency resolution. This will prevent you from completing the update until it's fixed in the repository, but it leaves your system in a usable state. Not really a big deal. For most purposes Sid is an excellent choice. I wouldn't put it on a production server however.

Sid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589177)

>But, more specifically, you're running Debian Sid, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Sid is great - up to date and at least as stable as most non-Debian distros. I think it makes a perfect geek desktop. However, I wouldn't pick it as the first distro for someone coming straight from Windows, especially someone too timid to do the install from a bootable CD.

>I may consider using it on my desktop at home. I want /home encrypted at the very least because that's where irssi/gaim logs are stored, and I'd rather not have a malicious person with physical access to my machine be able to get those logs.

Er, do you have "malicious people" at your house that you trust so little that you feel you need encryption of your logs? If so, you have bigger problems to worry about than privacy of your data.

Re:What? (1)

TBerben (1061176) | about 7 years ago | (#20588725)

I have found it to be a very good distro. Stable and lightning-fast (I was really amazed when I tried etch in VMware). It kind of feels less bloated than Ubuntu and puts more decisions in the user's hand. But distros will always be a matter of preference.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

spuke4000 (587845) | about 7 years ago | (#20588017)

Since none of the links in the story explain what the win32-loader is, can anyone explain what it does?

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

ZOMFF (1011277) | about 7 years ago | (#20588059)

It appears that the win32-loader allows you to begin the install process of Debian from a Windows operating system.

Re: Huh? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 7 years ago | (#20588297)

Nice, but ehm... was I the only one who thought 'load/run arbitrary Windows executables from your Linux desktop/commandline' ?

(I know that is possible for a large number of specific Windows applications -through Wine [winehq.org] -, but I meant everywhere, transparent, use Windows executables *as if* they were normal Linux binaries)

Re: Huh? (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20588431)

(I know that is possible for a large number of specific Windows applications -through Wine-, but I meant everywhere, transparent, use Windows executables *as if* they were normal Linux binaries)
That already exists. It's called binfmt_misc [wikipedia.org] .

ld-windows.so.2 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#20588535)

(I know that is possible for a large number of specific Windows applications -through Wine-, but I meant everywhere, transparent, use Windows executables *as if* they were normal Linux binaries)
That would require a bit of kernel-level support, but it appears straightforward. The execve [die.net] system call would detect PE binaries (whose data starts with MZ), and then it would use wine to load the executable, in much the same way that it uses /lib/ld-linux.so.2 to load ELF binaries. Wine Traffic 125 [kerneltraffic.org] states that some Linux distributions already do this (or at least have done this at some time).

PECOFF (1)

dmahurin (2128) | about 7 years ago | (#20589075)

No you are not the only one. But I assumed I misread it.

Netbsd has COMPAT_PECOFF which handles Windows binaries natively. Linux could do the same thing. This is quite different that using binfmt_misc to launch wine. Ideally, PECOFF binaries/libraries would be loaded natively like ELF and previous "A.OUT?" binaries.

There have been discussions about this before for Linux, but I don't think there is any code for it.

Re:Huh? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 years ago | (#20588423)

Why would anyone want to do that? What's wrong with popping a CD in the drive and rebooting?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20588475)

Why would anyone want to do that? What's wrong with popping a CD in the drive and rebooting?
Because not all machines are capable of booting from a CD, and, even if it's possible with a given machine, in many BIOSes this capability is not enabled by default. And telling a newbie to go into BIOS setup to change settings is likely to scare the crap out of them.

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

joto (134244) | about 7 years ago | (#20588809)

And telling a newbie to go into BIOS setup to change settings is likely to scare the crap out of them.

And the newbie would be right.

Installing debian on a windows system should also scare the crap out of a newbie. He will loose all his old files (including family photos), even if this "win32-loader" allows him to keep his worthless bookmarks.

While I have nothing against trying to convince people to try linux, I have something against the people who will try just about anything, including outright lying, in order to make people switch.

bad feeling (3, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 7 years ago | (#20589359)

What I find interesting is the potential for "Linux Phishing" or "Linux Greifing" that this creates. There are already plenty of problems with various viruses loading directly through the browser in Windows, can you imagine what would happen if a "religious Linux fanatic" were to take this, alter it to use a known but unpatched IE vulnerability to auto-install and reboot people's machines into Linux? What would happen if a "religious Microsoft fanatic" did the same thing to try and make Linux look bad?

I've got a baaaad feeling about this...

*My* question (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20588503)

My question is, what, exactly, is wrong with loadlin [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:*My* question (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20588555)

Ah, never mind. It's a small download that starts a net-based install. Would help if I would RTFA.

Re:Huh? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 7 years ago | (#20588537)

* forgotton bios password.
* motherboard that doesn't support CD booting or at least doesn't support it properly.
* USB or firewire CD drive and a bios that doesn't support booting from it.
* No cd drive at all (the loader can be used to set off an install from the network).

Re:Huh? (1)

r3m0t (626466) | about 7 years ago | (#20588621)

How about not having a CD burner or blank disc, and it's also difficult to find good ISO burning apps?

Re:Huh? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#20589425)

it's also difficult to find good ISO burning apps?

It is? CDBurnerXP Pro [cdburnerxp.se] and Deep Burner [deepburner.com] are two I have used. Deep Burner being the preferred of those two.

As for not having a burner or a blank CD.... You have a point...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588931)

OK, so not for more than a small fraction then.

Re:Huh? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#20589371)

forgotton bios password.

Can't that pretty much be reset by doing a CMOS reset? I haven't seen a motherboard that didn't have a jumper you could short to reset the CMOS. Alternatively, just remove the backup battery for a day. With laptops this might be an issue, though.

motherboard that doesn't support CD booting or at least doesn't support it properly.

Last motherboard that didn't have a boot from IDE CD option, must have been in the Pentiun I class. I doubt any machine of that class is still running Windows at this point in time. These days, one finds P-IV class machines in the dumpster.... Anyone still running a P-I class machine with Win95/Win98 is not going to change over to Debian. They have already proven to be resistant to change.

USB or firewire CD drive and a bios that doesn't support booting from it

Granted, but I have a hard time finding a machine that supports USB and/or Firewire, that can't boot from CD. P-I class machines came with USB 1.x, and were unbootable over USB, but they certainly could boot from CD. So, just plug in a spare CD drive (I have some 20 spare IDE CD-Rom drives, you can have one if you want...)

No cd drive at all (the loader can be used to set off an install from the network).

See, previous remark...

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, but computers made in pretty much the last decade either have CD drive from which one can boot or can be easily "retrofitted".

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#20588799)

It appears that the win32-loader allows you to begin the install process of Debian from a Windows operating system.

Well, thanks, for the info....

But what does it say about the Geeks of "Goodbye-Microsoft.com" that no one bothers to explain something as basic as this? "Use of Debian logo does not imply endorsement by the Debian project."

Well, that is reassuring.

Who are these guys and why should I trust them?

In launching the installer are you committing yourself to a total erasure of your Windows OS, partitions, etc?

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

Rhaban (987410) | about 7 years ago | (#20588073)

Who care what it does? It has a domain called goodbye-microsoft.com, it MUST be good!

Re:Huh? (1)

lordtoran (1063300) | about 7 years ago | (#20589063)

You answered your own question. The domain name itself already explains what it does.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Achoi77 (669484) | about 7 years ago | (#20588089)

I'm assuming based on the screenshots [goodbye-microsoft.com] , it's a little windows app that begins the debian install process. Functionally the Debian ISO it would be analagous to a 'windows upgrade' CD.

But that's my guess

Re:Huh? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | about 7 years ago | (#20588327)

Functionally the Debian ISO it would be analagous to a 'windows upgrade' CD.
Blasphemer!

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588329)

It goes much further than just starting the installer. win32-loader is a boot loader that can start a Linux distro from a few files on your (Windows) partition, so Windows users can enjoy the benefits of a fully functional Linux installation without having to repartition their drives, or being unable to boot Windows. So it's really a very easy way to install Linux for dedicated Windows users.

Re:Huh? (1)

LarsG (31008) | about 7 years ago | (#20588731)

So in short it is a loadlin that works from WinNT.

Re:Huh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589615)

A "loadlin" that works from NT's bootloader, I believe. It looks like they're basically adding an entry to NT's bootloader which runs Grub when selected.

Re:Huh? (1, Offtopic)

JesterXXV (680142) | about 7 years ago | (#20588107)

Seriously, what the hell is the point of editors if this shit doesn't get explained? Ten percent of the summaries simply invoke confusion on my part because nobody bothers to give any background, or even just link to an explanation.

Re:Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

SpacePunk (17960) | about 7 years ago | (#20588233)

WTF? Are you some sort of n00b? If you can't understand something as simple as this then you need to RTFM! Go away lo.....

Re:Huh? (1)

lordtoran (1063300) | about 7 years ago | (#20589241)

Wow, nice to find a real Debian admin here!

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

3278 (1011735) | about 7 years ago | (#20588553)

More to the point, how is anyone going to say "Goodbye, Microsoft," when the goodbye-microsoft.com homepage - and a good portion of the rest of the site - is completely and utterly inexplicable in terms of function for anyone not already in the know? This is, please don't kill me, quite typically Linux.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588211)

More information on goodbye-microsoft.com would be interesting too. Their web page includes a link to what appears to be a Windows-based Debian installer. I assume that's the loader?

If this works as I'd expect, it should be very easy to install Debian on a Windows box without rebooting it using special boot disks. That's a nice feature (if it works). Has anyone tried this thing yet?

I wouldn't use the goodbye-windows.com installer from their web page because for all I know it's malware. I'd run it from a Debian disk, however.

Re:Huh? (1)

Sczi (1030288) | about 7 years ago | (#20588961)

I wouldn't use the goodbye-windows.com installer from their web page because for all I know it's malware.

Heh, that would be quite apropos, given the name, and quite teh funnay imho.

I think I'll get started on deleteyourwindows.com and put some flash banners on it with an unexplained download link and hype it up to be the greatest thing since jarred cheese.. and the d'l will simply wipe the partition table and reboot. Oh man, I can already see the dollars rolling in as I "free" people from windows. Heh.

Re:Huh? (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | about 7 years ago | (#20589329)

Jarred cheese? It already exists??? Do you know if anyone has patented it yet?

I sure hope not, or that'll be three years of my life wasted in the lab....

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

asphaltjesus (978804) | about 7 years ago | (#20588217)

The Win32 loader is a new feature in the Debian installation CD. It makes it even easier to install Debian.

The installation of Debian may be a challenge for some who are afraid of changing the disk boot order in bios. Since bios menus vary, it's practically impossible to make good documentation about getting a CD to boot when it doesn't by default. More subtly, it addresses that weird fear that windows really isn't going away when you install Debian. Personally, I think the distro will be more popular now that the installation cd stops dropping you on a command line where you had to figure out what to type to start the installation process.

FYI: Debian's graphical installer is way, way ahead of the ubuntu installer u-bug-quity in terms of features and functionality. This is one of the many great things going on in Debian right now.

Re:Huh? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | about 7 years ago | (#20588369)

More subtly, it addresses that weird fear that windows really isn't going away when you install Debian.
I love that wording.

Re:Huh? (1, Interesting)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | about 7 years ago | (#20588521)

I'm sure this will be modded as a flame or a troll, but how many people who are willing to install a new (or at least new-to-them, i.e. non-Windows) operating system are afraid of changing the boot order in bios? I guess I'm just having a hard time imagining that those sets have a very large union.

Personally I'm a big fan of the Debian net installer, by far the best Linux installer I've ever used.

Re:Huh? (0)

Pojut (1027544) | about 7 years ago | (#20589651)

I would like to know what people are doing installing Debian if they are "afraid of changing the boot order in the BIOS"

Isn't that like spending 500 dollars on a video card just to play solitare?

***In before the Vista Jokes***

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

rbochan (827946) | about 7 years ago | (#20588467)

See an explanation here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Huh? (1)

eokyere (685783) | about 7 years ago | (#20588533)

also, checkout wubi (http://wubi-installer.org/) for ubuntu

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588771)

It's a secret Windows installer backdoor trojan virus worm spam rootkit that needs to be authenticated by WGA(Windows Genuine Advantage) that tells you if your copy of Debian is legit or not. If it isn't just call Microsoft and purchase a key over the phone via the automated attendant. Remember to have a nice day!(I'm just playin around, hehe.)

 

or (0, Offtopic)

wwmedia (950346) | about 7 years ago | (#20588039)

or why the video doesnt work in vlc player?

are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588807)

are used to make complete sentences.

(huh?)

the win32 debian package (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 7 years ago | (#20588113)

Since none of the links in the story explain what the win32-loader is, can anyone explain what it does?

Your wish is google's command
http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/win32-loader [debian.org]

Re:the win32 debian package (4, Funny)

frinkacheese (790787) | about 7 years ago | (#20588235)

Now it just needs to be intergrated into a virus/worm the the whole windows world will be converted!

Re:the win32 debian package (4, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | about 7 years ago | (#20588723)

So in practical terms, does this mean that they can install Debian on a Windows box without having to burn a CD? That could be useful on systems that don't have a CD burner, and could also be easier in terms of cutting down on the number of steps, and eliminating the need to own CD-writing software. It would be totally cool to have an Ubuntu installer that you could download and double-click on, and that would automatically resize your partitions and leave you with a double-boot system; I think there would be a *lot* of people I could convince to try Linux if it was that easy. Although the normal Ubuntu install CD (not the alternate install) already has a live CD feature so you can run Linux without installing it, I've always hesitated to suggest to people that they try Linux from a live CD, because the performance is so horrible that I'm afraid they'll get a bad impression. Of course a live CD can be useful if you want to find out how much of your hardware is supported. Realistically, I think the main obstacle these days for someone wanting to install Linux isn't the need to burn a CD and boot from it, it's issues with (a) printing, wifi, and winmodems, and (b) being committed to file formats that are only supported on Windows.

EULA (4, Funny)

thegnu (557446) | about 7 years ago | (#20588151)

Everyone remember to click right through the EULA like they do in the instructional video, or it won't work. :)

Re:EULA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589301)

It always annoyed me that everyone seems to leaves these details out when comparing software.

If you include the time needed to read, study and understand the EULA, then installing binary software on Windows takes way longer than installing from GPL source in Gentoo.
There are only a couple of open source licenses, and they are usually short and easy to understand, while every little piece of closed software comes with a different license that usually changes on every update, or even without notice.

Having a (good) lawyer read and explain the license to you, on every update of every piece of software hurts your TCO badly too. this could easily be the biggest part of the TCO, but is often left out.

I don't have time to to read licenses (and probably could not understand the implications anyway), so I use these simple steps: click "I don't agree". If it doesn't install, add "+gpl" to your google search....

Well that's a bummer. (5, Funny)

kwabbles (259554) | about 7 years ago | (#20588173)

I don't have any Windows machines to test it out on.

Will this work in Wine? :)

Seriously though - nice work, guys.

Does it work in wine? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | about 7 years ago | (#20588245)

I don't have any Windows machines to test it out on.

Will this work in Wine? :)


Yes. http://packages.debian.org/sid/win32-loader [debian.org]

Re:Well that's a bummer. (1)

Valen0 (325388) | about 7 years ago | (#20588343)

Seriously...

I tried the loader on Gentoo wine-0.9.44. Installation complained about not having boot.ini on Drive C at first. After copying that file over from an XP drive, the installer worked properly until it asked to reboot (where it died because WINE can not reboot the system). As WINE currently has no support for boot.ini files, I am unable to proceed any further in the process.

Re:Well that's a bummer. (1)

quantum bit (225091) | about 7 years ago | (#20589315)

As WINE currently has no support for boot.ini files, I am unable to proceed any further in the process.
Currently? I hope that's a joke, because I can't think of why on earth Wine would want to parse boot.ini, much less even be aware of its existence.

Info: (0, Redundant)

WK2 (1072560) | about 7 years ago | (#20588205)

win32-loader is a Windows program that installs debian. That has already been said. One might also wonder why a windows program that installs debian would actually be installed in debian.

For 1, it is not included in Lenny like the summary says:
http://packages.debian.org/win32-loader [debian.org]
It is only included in sid, for now.

Debian regularly includes debian installer packages in debian. Developers who create release CDs do so by creating a custom debian installation, with these debian installer packages (on CD). These packages are usually not useful on a regular user's primary system.

Just ran the installer (5, Informative)

ZOMFF (1011277) | about 7 years ago | (#20588225)

Ran the win32 loader on a test-VM here at work. Pretty quick and painless, 4-5 prompts, 45 seconds of downloading, a reboot and debian was installing. However it was interesting to note that administrative privileges on the Win32 OS are not required. Not that big of a deal for most users, but could prove troublesome in some environments (Corporate, etc).

Re:Just ran the installer (1)

value_added (719364) | about 7 years ago | (#20588487)

Ran the win32 loader on a test-VM here at work. Pretty quick and painless, 4-5 prompts, 45 seconds of downloading, a reboot and debian was installing.

Maybe I don't get it, but isn't that what you'd get out of a typical PXE boot/NFS install?

Re:Just ran the installer (2, Informative)

r3m0t (626466) | about 7 years ago | (#20588899)

Yes, if your motherboard supports network boot and you have a computer to store the boot image and you are able to change the boot order of your computer.

None of which is required for this.

Re:Just ran the installer (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about 7 years ago | (#20588983)

Yes, once it's rebooted it's basically equivalent to the businesscard/netboot install images as I understand it. This is just one step lazier for those converting Windows systems. Not everyone has a netboot-capable environment set up at home and double-click is easier than download/burn/reboot/{boot menu,change bios settings}

Re:Just ran the installer (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 7 years ago | (#20588631)

maybe there is something wrong with your windows install, this method relies on changing boot.ini which on a properly set up system should not be possible for non admins.

If your system drive is fat32 or was fat32 at install time and was converted then windows security is basically nonexistant.

No administrative privileges required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588695)

I think that's a problem with Windows, not Linux.

Re:Just ran the installer (1)

quantum bit (225091) | about 7 years ago | (#20589399)

>quote>However it was interesting to note that administrative privileges on the Win32 OS are not required. Not that big of a deal for most users, but could prove troublesome in some environments (Corporate, etc). Then your system is broken or otherwise incorrectly set up. The default permissions on boot.ini don't allow non-admins to modify it, so the installer should have failed at that point. Perhaps you're using FAT32 which doesn't support permissions and thus is completely unsuitable to run any NT-based system on (I wish they'd take that out of the installer).

Re:Just ran the installer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589497)

bad, typo'd, sorry. I'm sure you can figure it out.

Who would want to install Debian anyway...? (0, Troll)

aswalkeraus (563276) | about 7 years ago | (#20588309)

Seriously.... apt-get hell awaits, ... be afraid, very afraid!

Re:Who would want to install Debian anyway...? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588497)

Seriously! You're a giant fucking dumbass cock sucking piece of shit who should die in a fire.

Re:Who would want to install Debian anyway...? (1)

simong (32944) | about 7 years ago | (#20588597)

I'd rather take apt-get over rpm/yum these days. Ubuntu has made it almost easy to use.

Re:Who would want to install Debian anyway...? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | about 7 years ago | (#20589459)

Ubuntu changed it not at all. Apt-get was always easier than rpm-based systems.

"apt-get hell" (3, Interesting)

Filter (6719) | about 7 years ago | (#20588601)

>>Who would want to install Debian anyway...? (Score:1)

>> by aswalkeraus (563276) Alter Relationship on Thursday September 13, @11:07AM (#20588309)


>>Seriously.... apt-get hell awaits, ... be afraid, very afraid!



Thats the first time I heard that expression, not a total surprise I guess; google says:

Results 1 - 10 of about 558 for "apt-get hell". (0.30 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 16,000 for "rpm hell". (0.12 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 208,000 for "dll hell". (0.07 seconds)

btw. see how much longer it takes google to even come up with the list for apt-get, .30 seconds! That proves something for sure.

Re:"apt-get hell" (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about 7 years ago | (#20589153)

to be fair...

1 - 88 of 88 for "deb hell"
1 - 22 of 22 for debian "apt hell" (just "apt hell" got 271 results, but most were in no way related to debian or any OS at all)

Still an order or magnitude less trouble to run an apt based system versus RPMs. There's a reason many RH/FC/COS users run apt-rpm where there isn't anything even close to an implementation of rpm/yum for Debian. The closest I have to get to RPMs is running them through alien to convert to debs in the rare case that there isn't a Debian package for whatever I'm installing.

At this point it's more likely that I'd give up my Mac before I give up aptitude. Hell, thanks to fink I even have apt on my mac and it works just as well.

Re:"apt-get hell" (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | about 7 years ago | (#20589297)

Huh?! Where are you people getting those Google search numbers from?

I just got over 420 000 for "apt-get hell", 1.8 M for "rpm hell" and 2.1 M for "dll hell". Granted, the comparison still holds its place, but how the hell do you get such low numbers?

Re:"apt-get hell" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589565)


Thats the first time I heard that expression, not a total surprise I guess; google says:

Results 1 - 10 of about 558 for "apt-get hell". (0.30 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 16,000 for "rpm hell". (0.12 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 208,000 for "dll hell". (0.07 seconds)

btw. see how much longer it takes google to even come up with the list for apt-get, .30 seconds! That proves something for sure.
An argument ad googleorium, weak. Fail.

Kind of Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588325)

For an organization that dislikes Microsoft Corporation and the platforms distributed by them, they seem to spend an aweful lot of time developing software on or for it. If this was developed in a test-driven environment, wouldn't they have to spend money to license the platform(s) they dislike so much? With such hypocracy, maybe they can join forces with the Global Warming crowd...

Re:Kind of Ironic... (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#20588445)

For an organization that dislikes Microsoft Corporation and the platforms distributed by them, they seem to spend an aweful lot of time developing software on or for it. [...] With such hypocracy, maybe they can join forces with the Global Warming crowd...

That makes as much sense as calling it a hypocrisy that creating cure against illness require that you have ill subjects to test on.

Re:Kind of Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588811)

This organization CHOSE to spend money on licensing and CHOSE to install it on their PC's (for testing, if not developing purposes). In contrast, subjects don't choose to become ill -- they're infected by natural selection or by someone trying to cure them :)

From my perspective, the project is a waste of time. The reason people aren't flocking to Linux isn't because they can't install it; rather, its because they can't do the things they want to do on the equipment they've already invested in. If people with a little PC acumen have difficulty printing, connecting to wireless networks, playing movies, and ejecting their DVDs, what makes you think the clueless masses who still think AOL is the internet are going to have any more success? This installer certainly isn't going to help them. In fact, it will likely reflect poorly on Linux because after they installed it, none of their peripherals work and they cannot connect to the internet to get help.

Re:Kind of Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588923)

This organization CHOSE to spend money on licensing and CHOSE to install it on their PC's (for testing, if not developing purposes).

So what would you prefer, that they just released it without testing? If you're thinking of saying that they shouldn't have written it in the first place, note that even more conventional installers need to be tested on a Windows machine, assuming the installer is designed to allow installing without destroying an existing Windows installation. And if you don't think installers should be designed to allow that, why not? Are you suggesting that a group that in general doesn't like Windows should make it as hard as possible for people to leave Windows? Because very few people are going to want to wipe out their Windows partition just to try out Debian.

Re:Kind of Ironic... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 7 years ago | (#20588827)

Debian is a loose knit community of developers with different priorities. Many of theese will have copies of windows (legal or otherwise) they can use to develop and test such a launcher.

I very much doubt this took a lot of time to develop. How to boot linux from NTLDR has been known for a while and the rest of it is really just a simple download manager and a few infromation screens.

Re:Kind of Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589009)

With such hypocracy, maybe they can join forces with the Global Warming crowd...

An illogical rant followed by this. I'm guessing you're a Republican (not from the Global Warming thing, which is ambiguously worded, and generally non-political save for a hardcore of generally right-wing anti-science extremists who seem to be disproportionately represented on Slashdot; but from the general lack of thought and knee-jerk comments, which certainly seem to match the article earlier this week about the evidence that Liberals actually think about things before making a decision.)

Re:Kind of Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589087)

>For an organization that dislikes Microsoft Corporation and the platforms distributed by them, they seem to spend an aweful lot of time developing software on or for it.

For a corporation [Microsoft] that 'dislikes' UNIX/Linux/etc. they seem to spend an awful lot of time developing SFU [Services for Unix]..

From "About the GNU Project" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#20589363)

If this was developed in a test-driven environment, wouldn't they have to spend money to license the platform(s) they dislike so much?
Yes, but even Mr. Stallman states that this is an acceptable use of proprietary software. In About the GNU Project [gnu.org] , he wrote:

Unix was (and is) proprietary software, and the GNU project's philosophy said that we should not use proprietary software. But, applying the same reasoning that leads to the conclusion that violence in self defense is justified, I concluded that it was legitimate to use a proprietary package when that was crucial for developing a free replacement that would help others stop using the proprietary package.

loadlin? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 7 years ago | (#20588355)

So it's basically loadlin using grub instead of lilo? I hope it works better than loadlin did...

So many options there. (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 7 years ago | (#20588447)

- Linux on vmware or equivalent
- wubi style installations on a windows partition http://wubi-installer.org/ [wubi-installer.org]
- USB bootable stick
- this new debian installer
- live cds and cd installers
- network

One might find the debian installer useful in those cases where the keyboard is locked on startup of the live cd, which prevents to choose one grub option. I guess it's an OS vs. BIOS issue at reboot, sometime it helps to reboot after a brief disconnection of the pc from power/battery.

Oh wait
- floppies

I recently had to install on an old server with borked cdrom. I had to install potato through bootfloppies and upgrade up to sarge. Went well but i hope not to do it again ever :)

I still prefer my method (5, Funny)

boudie2 (1134233) | about 7 years ago | (#20588493)

Mr. Windows partition, meet Mr. fdisk.

Re:I still prefer my method (1)

BugAttack (624234) | about 7 years ago | (#20588897)

Mr. Windows partition, meet -Mrs.- fdisk would sound funnier. A mrs. easy to get into, and will take up alot of your space.

Re:I still prefer my method (1)

boudie2 (1134233) | about 7 years ago | (#20589201)

Funnier? I don't think so. fdisk: So do you want to be the husband or the wife? windows partition: I'll be the husband. fdisk: Okay then, get over here and suck your wife's dick. Now that's funny.

Hmm, we tell people not to blindly click on exes (1)

simong (32944) | about 7 years ago | (#20588663)

and the link to goodbye-microsoft.com offers to download... an exe.

(Yes, I am being super paranoid and I know it's a bit of promotion for Debian but I can see someone clicking on that and then wondering where Clippy has gone).

My first thought is virus (3, Insightful)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | about 7 years ago | (#20588683)

My first thought following the link is that this is a virus. When I follow a link that says "Good bye Windows" which wants to launch an .EXE with no explanation, what else would I think?

I run Ubuntu in VMware. I thought from the article that perhaps I could run Windows programs inside Linux with this. Another WINE.

Best Windows Program Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588705)

The only thing you ever need.

What's the point? (1, Informative)

gigantu' (1156191) | about 7 years ago | (#20588781)

If you need a Windows application to install Linux you are not ready for Linux. I believe the efforts should be focused on improving the usability of Linux (hardware compatibility, software update issues etc.). The installation of many distributions is nowadays a painless process. But what happens after the first reboot can hurt you.

Finally I can install Linux on a Toshiba Portege (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20588981)

I've had a Portege for ages that I haven't been able to install anything on (apart from the existing W2K) because it has no CD, no floppy and no way to boot off USB devices. I'm guessing this will let me copy get Debian on there with a minimum amount of dicking about. Great!

I hope no viruses abuse this... (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 7 years ago | (#20589127)

If somebody created a virus or a worm to automate running this, it would only spell disaster for Linux PR. Let's hope that the Debian crew have some sort of checks to help minimize this possibility.

Quite Useful (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about 7 years ago | (#20589331)

This could come in very handy for reinstalling a dual boot system.
As windows updates itself every 4 years but debian every 6 months. So you just install windows again then launch the debian installer from windows once its all setup.
What would be good is for it to grab the already install ndis drivers and use those.
And maybe even copy over the windows dll's and fonts for wine.
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