Subject: Re: Graphical Sysinst in 2.0
To: Dick Davies <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/03/2004 13:38:35
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On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 10:58:52AM +0100, Dick Davies wrote:
> ( Let me start by pointing out my conspicious lack of l33tness (in case i=
t isn't=20
> bleedin' obvious from my posts). I have precisely nothing to prove wrt ge=
> credentials, I don't score points against other OSes, programming environ=
> or 'newbies', so I've got no axe to grind. )
> This has nothing to do with elitism, it has to do with functionality.
> What makes you assume a GUI installer would be any easier to use?

What makes you assume it won't? Just because it isn't easier for you to=20

> 3d buttons and a boot logo are cruft. The job of an installer is to setup=
> machine, that's all.
> As others have said, it's non-trivial (pronounced 'a fucking nightmare')
> to get X configured on unknown hardware.=20
> Would it be 'user friendly' to ask my gran to edit XF86Config to run sysi=
> The only benefit anyone has suggested for all this work would get you is a
> scrollbar to select your timezone.

And why do you think we would be so dumb as to require hardware configing?=

Other OSs (Red Hat and Fedora are the ones I've tried) don't. I think it's
quite easy to have a graphical installer use the same resolution they do
(which is 640x480 if I recall right, and in turn is rather standard for
all chip sets).

> (fwiw, my vote would be for a two-level heirarchy, so you'd pick 'Europe'=
 or whatever,
> and then your country. job done.)
> A GUI in itself isn't a feature.
> A feature is something like 'what kind of units would you like to setup y=
> hard drive in: Gb, Mb or CHS ? or 'can I use the whole disk?' or a tickbo=
x to say
> 'i'd like this kernel and all the sets please'.
> (I'd personally have liked a 'have you got a wireless/other non-standard =
NIC?' dialog
> that let you create an /etc/ifconfig.wi0 ).
> That makes your life easier. And all those things can be done in the exis=
ting installer.
> The last time I installed RedHat (v9 I think) it took all day.
> I swear the reason redhat is bloated is because the installer is designed=
> such a way that your options are :
> a) spend all day deselecting RPMs
> b) say 'bollocks, install everything, I'll be in the pub if you need me'
> and then you stagger in at 5pm and find it's asking for disk 2...

That wasn't my experience with Fedora Core. So while I don't doubt it took=
that long for you, it can be faster for other folks.

> It's rare for the NetBSD installer to take more than 10 minutes.=20
> So even if you don't like the way it looks, you haven't got to look at it=
> very long :)

I've had some take longer.

Also, don't forget that the Linux installs are, in our parlance,=20
installing most of pkgsrc too. Doing that would make our installs take=20
longer too.

Take care,


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