Debian Installer

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Debian Installer

Postby KBD47 » 2012-06-19 20:11

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this, but Debian needs a better gui installer if it ever hopes/wants to get new users. I can easily install pretty much all the Debian based distros, complete installs, full installs to usb sticks, to external hard rives, installs to particular sections of hard drives, but the Debian installer seems to choke on me every time. I have even installed Centos 6 with no issues. This is not to bash Debian, I think Debian is great, but for heaven's sake get a better gui installer for noobs :-)
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby josephg » 2012-06-19 21:30

imho, noobs would be better off using debian derivatives like linuxmint debian edition, or crunchbang, or any others, till they get a better understanding of linux and debian.

the non-gui installer is more than sufficient, if you understand the boot parameters. the gui does not give anything more, other than allow you to use the mouse.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Randicus » 2012-06-19 22:30

Yes the installer is much too difficult. Pushing the Enter key a few times is much too taxing an endeavour. The installation process would be greatly eased by adding a pretty backdrop, smiley-face icons and music.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Bulkley » 2012-06-19 22:54

The difficulty I have with installations, whether Debian or any other distro or os, is that I often make poor decisions the first time around and have to do it again. In other words, the weak link is me.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Teufel » 2012-06-19 23:04

Randicus wrote:The installation process would be greatly eased by adding a pretty backdrop, smiley-face icons and music.


I have an good idea. It would be nice to have ability to play solitaire while selected packages are downloading. At least for netinstall. For installation from CD or DVD it's not so important.
It's so boring to wait while all the packages would be downloaded :roll:
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby 62chevy » 2012-06-20 00:09

, but for heaven's sake get a better gui installer for noobs :-)


I don't think Debian is meant for first timers. And I like the installer just the way it is. Besides if Debian made a fancy installer who would need Ubuntu?
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Bulkley » 2012-06-20 01:55

Just what would a better installer do that the present one doesn't?
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Randicus » 2012-06-20 02:14

No matter how easy the installer is, there will always be some people complaining about it. If it was as simple as pushing the Enter key once, someone would suggest making it less complicated by having it voice activated.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby dasein » 2012-06-20 02:34

KBD47 wrote:I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this, but Debian needs a better gui installer...

I agree, except I'd go slightly further and suggest that it needs a better installer, period.

Debian's installer works adequately well if one follows the most commonly used path to installation. However, when/if one deviates (however slightly) from that well-worn path, the experience becomes a crapshoot.

But any suggestions for improving the installer invariably fall on deaf ears. Which is a real shame.

Bulkley wrote:Just what would a better installer do that the present one doesn't?

Many things. Not the least of which is gather all the information necessary to perform the install "up front," instead of gathering some information, then doing a portion of the install, then gathering more information, then doing another portion, etc.

It would also provide recovery-based error messages.

I could go on but it's... well... pointless.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Randicus » 2012-06-20 02:55

dasein wrote:It would also provide recovery-based error messages.

That is a good idea. Of course, I am taking your word it does not have that feature. So far, I have never had any problems during installation. Hopefully, my good fortune continues. :D But then, I follow a commonly used path to installation. So it would seem the installer does what it was designed to do well: install the system and let the user tweak it, until his or her heart is content.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby pendrachken » 2012-06-20 03:15

62chevy wrote:
, but for heaven's sake get a better gui installer for noobs :-)


I don't think Debian is meant for first timers. And I like the installer just the way it is. Besides if Debian made a fancy installer who would need Ubuntu?


Who needs Ubuntu NOW?
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Your love life will be... interesting.
:twisted: How did it know?

The U.S. uses the metric system too, we have tenths, hundredths and thousandths of inches :-P
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby dasein » 2012-06-20 03:22

Randicus wrote:...it would seem the installer does what it was designed to do well...

If you are among the fortunate ones, yes.

But for anyone who hasn't experienced it first hand, it's hard to communicate just how unpleasant an experience an atypical/unsuccessful Debian install is.

Both because it's the "first impression," and because it does Inherently Dangerous Things, I think the installer (on any distro) should be the most thoroughly tested, bug-free, utterly unshakeable part of the system. But hey, this is Linux, so I might as well wish for a purple sky.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby KBD47 » 2012-06-20 04:35

My thought is why should a noob have to go to Ubuntu? Debian is a hell of a lot more Stable and reliable IMO. But no, they need an easy-to-install system, so they go with Ubuntu, it gets borked with the first few updates, and they give up on Linux. I was lucky enough to start with Mepis, I beat the hell out of it trying to learn Linux, and could not break it. I would not say it has the very best installer, but it's pretty good for a noob coming from M$. I think once someone has run Debian Stable, got it doing what they need it to do, they will wave goodbye to M$ forever. But let them upgrade Ubuntu a few times...I don't think I need to add to that bit.
SolusOS, SalineOS, and Mepis are all very nice Debian spins, I just think it would be nicer if Debian used a noob friendly installer, or at least had the option for a noob friendly Live Debian Stable CD with an easier installer. It's not like it would be impossible :-)
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby Randicus » 2012-06-20 05:02

Again. For most people, installation is simply a matter of pushing the Enter key a few times. How can it get any simpler?

I have installed Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, Mandriva, Dream, Sabayon, Salix and a few others I forget. The installers were all about the same. Slackware and Crunchbang gave me some difficulties, but those installers are not meant for beginners. Most systems use installers that are remarkably similar, surprise, surprise.

The only thing I can think of that makes systems like Saline and Solis easier to install (although I have not tried them) is that they include non-free drivers, which is not possible with Debian, due to the distributions philosophy.
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Re: Debian Installer

Postby KBD47 » 2012-06-20 05:13

I've also installed numerous systems. If you have ever used the LMDE or SolusOS installer compared to Debian's--well there is no comparison. The last time I used Debian's installer I chose 'manual' to see if I could install Debian to an external drive, I got to the point of choosing sources, but no matter which mirrors I chose I got an error window. Also got an error window when it came to installing grub. I had no issues at all doing the same things with SolusOS and LMDE and Buntu's installer. I did have some trouble with Mepis, but it eventually worked. It shouldn't be a '12 step' process to install a desktop system, especially when so many other installers make it painfully simple. Again, this is not about bashing Debian, I get that a more complicated installer is useful for running servers, but for desktop users my view is the easier to get Debian installed the better. I've said my piece, and I appreciate the feedback.
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