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Can we make it harder to get NetBSD?
I apologize in advance, 'cause this is really just a rant ... but we're
a distributed project, and I feel the need to yell.
I decided I'm getting an new server today, and since I'm getting a new
server, I figured I'd try out 4.0. Now, 999 times out of a thousand, I
just get src and do what I want to do -- same as most of us, I presume.
But on the rare occasion that I'm installing a fresh box and upgrading
to a new version of the OS, I go download the latest iso image. So, I
went to go get it.
I went to www.netbsd.org, and clicked on "Get NetBSD". The first link on
that page is "Get the latest release: NetBSD 4.0". So I clicked on
that. It didn't do anything. Ah, OK, that's just a link back to the
same page I was already on. OK. Down below, I clicked on "NetBSD 4.0".
That took me to "Information about NetBSD 4.x". OK, I read through
that, and clicked on "mirror sites". Now I've clicked on way too many
things, and, as a semi-serious user, I've had to look at too much
information aimed at the inexperienced user. OK, maybe that's the way
we want the web page to be -- "friendly" for the novice; but I ended up
at the mirror page, which, I have to imagine, is something close to
jibberish for the novice user.
Anyhow, moving right along, I clicked on "ISO images", since what I want
is to burn a CD. Alright, historically I've avoided using the master
server, but, what the heck, I'm in Sillicon Valley now, so I clicked
"ftp://iso.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/iso/". After 15 minutes of that timing
out or refusing connections, it was time to move along. Scroll scroll
scroll scroll scroll scroll. OK. More US servers. There's nothing
else in the SV area, so, whatever, I picked one at random. How about
iso4.us? OK, log in with anonymous ftp fine -- this is a step in the
right direction. cd to pub/NetBSD/NetBSD/iso. No dice. Hrm. cd pub.
cd NetBSD. cd NetBSD. Aha! There's a typo in the URL on the mirrors
page. Fair enough. cd iso. dir. cd 4.0. Cool. Some check-sum files
and a torrent image. mget *.
Then I realize I'm on a new PC, and don't have BitTorrent installed. So
I went and installed BitTorrent. Then I went to open the torrent image,
and -- CRAP! sourcecd-4.0.iso.torrent. At this point, if I didn't know
what I was doing, I presumably would have burned a CD of the source, and
been very frustrated when it wouldn't boot (or maybe I'm wrong, maybe
the source cd does boot on i386). Anyhow, I went back to iso4.us. Sure
enough, there aren't any arch cd images (or at least I can't find them).
Now I'm beginning to get aggrivated. But, whatever, no big deal. Let's
try iso2.us. *shwew*. The URL is correct on the mirrors page, and all
of the arch types are where they should be. I download
i386cd-4.0.iso.torrent and the associated checksums. Spin up
BitTorrent, click on the torrent file, and ...
Here I am, an hour later, still 0% complete. The torrent logs are
[5.0.9 2008-01-18 11:18:39] WARNING : Problem connecting to tracker
I started off by warning that this was a rant, and the reason it's a
rant is that I don't really have any constructive suggestions on what to
do about this. I'll be fine -- I'll install from the 3.1 CD image I
already have, and then if I'm feeling adventurous, I'll download from
CVS and upgrade to 4.0. But seriously -- can we make it any harder for
new users to get NetBSD? Maybe it's just bad timing, and the server is
down right now, and if I'd tried this in another couple of hours,
nothing would have happened. Somehow though, I don't think that's the
OK, I'm done ranting. My apologies -- I was just aggravated.
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