[Nottingham] Expert support in installers (Oh how I laughed)

Joshua Lock incandescant at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 20:06:57 UTC 2012

On 2 December 2012 11:28, Martin <martin at ml1.co.uk> wrote:
> On 02/12/2012, Joshua Lock wrote:
>> On 2 December 2012 09:35, Jason Irwin wrote:
>>> On 2 December 2012 16:59, Joshua Lock wrote:
>>>> I almost thought you were serious until this point. Then I realised
>>>> you must be trolling because, of course, the alternate CD *was* just
>>>> happy button clicking too, or at least happy key pressing.
>>> I was being a bit OTT, but I quite liked the alternate CDs and used it in
>>> preference to the normal one.
>> As I understand it the netinstall/mini ISO will enable you to do the
>> same things the alternate installer did, so long as you have an
>> internet connection.
>> In seriousness, if the lack of an alternate installer is a genuine
>> regression for you then you should file a bug. My first response to
>> any rant aimed at me is "did you file a bug report".
> Why must there be an 'alternate' installer that then suggests
> 'alternate' support and development and maintenance. Why not include
> multi-layered filesystem stacks as an abstracted layer as part of the
> *normal* installer?

The most common argument I hear is that distributors want to offer the
most reliable and easy to use installation they can. One can equate
this to the thinking that one way to help reduce the amount of
installation failures is to have a smaller, more well controlled, code
base for performing those installations.

> Old Mandriva went a long way towards supporting that. Worked well for
> RAID and LVM and RAID + LVM. But then, I had a setup where I wished to
> use drbd and I'm sure I replicated work that EVERYONE else must have
> to go through to include drbd...

I take it by EVERYONE here you mean everyone who wants/needs drbd?

> Why can we not have a 'plug-in' or abstraction for that to be a normal
> option in the installers?

I believe both Anaconda and YAST have such architectures.

Why does every distribution feel the need to write their own
installation architecture? *shrug*

> If not already considered and included for mdadm RAID, LVM, others,
> ... : What happens when people wish to use the raid and snapshot
> features of btrfs?...

I believe Anaconda and YAST already support btrfs.

> Also provision now for GPT for example?...
> Or do we all follow the proscribed install and have to rework the
> wheel for anything 'different'?

Ubuntu have chosen to go this route in their *desktop* installation
CD. If you want to use RAID and what not they would rather (so far as
I can tell) you use either the server installation CD, or spin your
own custom ISO (with the tools they provide).

Fedora and OpenSUSE support many more options in their installers.
I've known several technical folks get confused by the wealth of
options in YAST.

> Or do we promote easy polished choice?

Why wouldn't we promote easy?

>>>> Why? Why not just install Mint? Which (so far as a cursory glance
>>>> shows) is an Ubuntu re-spin with CInnamon on top.
>>> Same issue as Ubuntu.  No RAID support in the installer.  I have read
>>> around
>>> a fair bit today on resolving that (installing mdadm etc), but using the
>>> 12.04 alternate is in fact a much simpler solution.
> "Reading around a fair bit" is not 'polished'.
> Is this where FLOSS falls down in that the clever geekie
> 'under-the-hood' stuff is done well but then is left only occasionally
> utilised because noone cared to do the boring user-friendly
> interface?...

I started to respond to this but ended up writing far more than I felt
most folks would care to read. I'll see if/how others respond.

Joshua Lock

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