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chrislee8
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:30 pm    Post subject: Why doesn't gentoo automate installation process? Reply with quote

Is it just for the purpose of having ppl to know what is going on when they install gentoo?

or it is just too hard to do it that way?

no harshing, just curious.
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woolsherpahat
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Gentoo had a automatic installation process then it could only install itself in a highly generalized matter. The whole point of Gentoo is that each user can custom install exactly to his or her needs. If Gentoo was automated that functionality would be lost.

Gentoo just takes a different approach to Linux, it let's YOU make the decisions about how you want your system to run. Compared to a binary, automated distro where the distro developer's make the decisions. It's just two different perspectives on what Linux should be.
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chrislee8
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe, that is expected answer.

isn't it great to have a UI(or prompt) to have user select to install or not? instead of having noobs, not that techie, willing-to-try-but-not-yet-willing-to-learn-inside-out guys to answers which app to install, how they want to install the configuration file.

right now, it is very very very very technical for those guys. unless gentoo don't care about their feeling. or they only target their products to technical guys.

i bet a lots of guys want to USE or TRY first, not want to learn yet.

it PROBABLY make ppl feel that all guys get involved in this forum might all want to know inside out, and that all guys want to know inside out. maybe the installation process scare the shit out of whole lot of ppl away already. they just try, and damn, so hard to install, that is it!!! Next...

u see what i m saying?

I learned something from my latest contract, always think for the customers. In this case, always think for the Users who USES the product.

word up
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally i love the install process, and gentoo was my first linux distro....

i learned so much from the install docs (whic, for the record, as long as you follow the instructions, eprfect)


the thing i love so much more about the install, is taht if you mess up, you dont have to start over... (i have tried all sorts of distros... and gentoos install makes the most sense)


the thing is, the docs let you learn a lot about linux just installing it, and you get a good feel about how your system is working....

besides, if gentoo got a gui installer, id find a new distro :)

my suggestion to any noobs:
print out the install guide!
and follow it to the step

and then youll be set

killfire
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a GUI installer project for Gentoo based on Anaconda but it hasn't been updated for a while:
http://gentoo.vidalinux.com/?q=node/view/35
PPC versions are not available, but could be made if someone cared to do this.

Besides this beeing totally off-topic on the PPC board (this issue has been discussed countless times on gentoo-chat, just use the search function), the sole reason that we have so many different linux distributions is that you are free to choose the one that fits your requirements, knowledge-level etc. best.
If you want to try Linux without any installation effort, boot off a Knoppix CD and start to explore (admittedly Knoppix PPC is still in pre-alpha stage, but the Gentoo Live CDs with KDE/Gnome are almost just as good).

The more you automate, the less choice you have. With Gentoo I can boot from a CD, start SSH and do the rest of the install from anywhere in the world. Or I can do work, surf the web etc. etc. when I am using the KDE/Gnome Live CD. The only OS installation that I remember having this possibility was Solaris 8 (and above) where you can at least surf while installing.

Automated installation actually would be useful if you had a cluster of computers that you want to install the same Gentoo setup on. But then I would probably do one install, make a disc image and copy it to all the other machines.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What your looking for is a different linux, you can still install portage, our most excellent package management system.
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ruben
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... i most definitely hate the "think for your customer"-mentality in software. This is all nice and well, *if* it works... if it doesn't work, and the software still insists on knowing things better than me, then i'm in trouble. I had way too many bad experiences with "software that thinks for me" i guess. Sorry i can't help it, but software with the "i know it better than you"-mentality just makes me angry.

Besides, if you just wanna try out linux, then go get a LiveCD, or KNOPPIX (i've heard there is a beta ppc version).

Also, i don't think that the gentoo installation is that hard. I hear several people claim that they learned a lot about linux while doing the installation, but I have my doubts about that. (yes, probably you learn a lot of things, but all very very basic things) All you have to do, is following the gentoo installation manual. Not that hard. And if the installation manual scares you off, then google for a Linux distribution which fits you better. (i never tried Yellowdog Linux, but i /think/ that one has an "easier" installer)

That being said, an automated installer with a set of profiles for specific Apple hardware (like iBook2.2 G3, or this or that) might be usefull for some people.

I also think there should be some place with additional information for people who try to compile their own kernel. A lot of issues seem to come back several times in the PPC forum... or maybe people should just use the search button a little more.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrislee8 wrote:
hehe, that is expected answer.

isn't it great to have a UI(or prompt) to have user select to install or not? instead of having noobs, not that techie, willing-to-try-but-not-yet-willing-to-learn-inside-out guys to answers which app to install, how they want to install the configuration file.

right now, it is very very very very technical for those guys. unless gentoo don't care about their feeling. or they only target their products to technical guys.

i bet a lots of guys want to USE or TRY first, not want to learn yet.

it PROBABLY make ppl feel that all guys get involved in this forum might all want to know inside out, and that all guys want to know inside out. maybe the installation process scare the shit out of whole lot of ppl away already. they just try, and damn, so hard to install, that is it!!! Next...

u see what i m saying?

I learned something from my latest contract, always think for the customers. In this case, always think for the Users who USES the product.

word up


Gentoo is targeted at technical and experienced Linux users. I would never recommend this distro to a newbie for two reasons. The first being that even though installing it is fairly easy if you can read and follow directions, it takes some serious experience to know what's actually going on. There's a big difference from parroting commands out of the Gentoo Handbook and actually understanding them. Secondly, Gentoo is not a very standardized distro. It uses a lot of custom gentoo-only scripts and programs for portage. This makes Gentoo a poor distro for newbie's that take the "dive-in-head-first-break-fix-and-learn" approach. The difficultly of installing and maintaining Gentoo also doesn't suit it to newbies.
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killfire
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would agree and disagree. yes, gentoo is not very standardized, when using other distro's (after starting out with gentoo) i was sometimes mildly confused, but always, i thought the gentoo way made more sense. and where i disagree, is that yes, it takes a bit of man paging/forum searching, but once you install it, (and by install, i dont mean finish the steps in the installation guide, i mean get everything up and running well enough: X, etc...) then you have a pretty good idea of where the main config files are, and what they contain, in addition to knowing a lot of (basic maybe) important commands....

with that knowlege, you can go on to learn more, through man pages and other resources...

i will agree, to use gentoo, you have to make the leap out of the complete newb shell as fast as you can...


killfire
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chrislee8
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Gentoo is targeted at technical and experienced Linux users.

This makes sense if that is where they want to go.

Quote:

I would never recommend this distro to a newbie for two reasons. The first being that even though installing it is fairly easy if you can read and follow directions, it takes some serious experience to know what's actually going on. There's a big difference from parroting commands out of the Gentoo Handbook and actually understanding them. Secondly, Gentoo is not a very standardized distro. It uses a lot of custom gentoo-only scripts and programs for portage. This makes Gentoo a poor distro for newbie's that take the "dive-in-head-first-break-fix-and-learn" approach. The difficultly of installing and maintaining Gentoo also doesn't suit it to newbies.

this is probably the most make-sense reply of all time.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

killfire wrote:
i would agree and disagree. yes, gentoo is not very standardized, when using other distro's (after starting out with gentoo) i was sometimes mildly confused, but always, i thought the gentoo way made more sense. and where i disagree, is that yes, it takes a bit of man paging/forum searching, but once you install it, (and by install, i dont mean finish the steps in the installation guide, i mean get everything up and running well enough: X, etc...) then you have a pretty good idea of where the main config files are, and what they contain, in addition to knowing a lot of (basic maybe) important commands....

with that knowlege, you can go on to learn more, through man pages and other resources...

i will agree, to use gentoo, you have to make the leap out of the complete newb shell as fast as you can...


killfire


i agree with you.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruben wrote:
Hmmm... i most definitely hate the "think for your customer"-mentality in software.


i don't agree with you, if you don't think for ur customers, i don't know how far your product will go.

as 101 said above, gentoo is targeting to technical and experienced linux users, they do a super job because they think for them.

they didn't think for the newbies, too bad for me, but i don't mind learning tho.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the short amount of time that I've been using Gentoo my knowledge and comfort level with the command line and linux in general has increased greatly. It's a wonderful distro from that perspective because it's puts you in the drivers seat and forces you to learn about your system. However, I find that without any kind of base knowledge even the most intellgent and stalwart newbies are prone to giving-up when picking Gentoo as a first distro. Sure if they can read they can install it, but can they maintain it? Portage is a complex system and it takes some serious reading and forum searching to even pretend you have control over it. Gentoo is a complex distro and I see it recommened to many newbies and I see too many newbies become frustrated with it and go back to "that other" OS.

I always recommend an easy-distro till you can understand what all the commands in the manual do... then I defiently think Gentoo is a great step for people to take.

EDIT: I think when Gentoo's binary package system because more developed newbie's can use that to ease into the Gentoo-way of doing things. A lot of complexity and agrueably the power of Gentoo comes from the fact that it's metadistro.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would also beg to differ there. because in my personal newb experiance, the most horrid thing a newb has when entering linux, is package managment. not the command line!

newbs are not used to having a program that depends on anothe r program (or a library), and are therefore turned off by package management that is incomplete, or not straighforward.

this is where gentoo comes in. i have tried caldera, redhat, and yellowdog, and i was completely turned off. all i could do was use what they had. as a newb, the rpm system made no sense at all, and when trying to install additional programs, i gave up, and went back to the other os, (which was mac osx) and didnt try again until gentoo.

gentoo's system is very logical, and very straightforward. i would suggest a very very basic knowlege of linux beforehand (which i found in online tutorials) just so that you understand basic commands. (like ls, cd, cp, mv, pwd...) i would also suggest reading the unix file system hierarchy before you go into it, but that can also be easily gotten ahold of.

in addition to that, all you need is an open mind and the install guide. answers can be found online for all of even the stupidest questions.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

killfire wrote:
i would also beg to differ there. because in my personal newb experiance, the most horrid thing a newb has when entering linux, is package managment. not the command line!

newbs are not used to having a program that depends on anothe r program (or a library), and are therefore turned off by package management that is incomplete, or not straighforward.

this is where gentoo comes in. i have tried caldera, redhat, and yellowdog, and i was completely turned off. all i could do was use what they had. as a newb, the rpm system made no sense at all, and when trying to install additional programs, i gave up, and went back to the other os, (which was mac osx) and didnt try again until gentoo.

gentoo's system is very logical, and very straightforward. i would suggest a very very basic knowlege of linux beforehand (which i found in online tutorials) just so that you understand basic commands. (like ls, cd, cp, mv, pwd...) i would also suggest reading the unix file system hierarchy before you go into it, but that can also be easily gotten ahold of.

in addition to that, all you need is an open mind and the install guide. answers can be found online for all of even the stupidest questions.


killfire
i totally agree with your pov. i have been using linux for years but never really got it till gentoo. im still a n00b compaired to most on this board probabley but it seems easyer to me than a binary distro. plus i can see a newbie wanting gentoo if he is power hungry and narsisistic enough. i like gentoo b/c i can say my computer build almost everything im using and i know allot about what is going on inside it. like i said i used linux for years b4 gentoo and thought i knew linux but then gentoo made me relise i was a noob
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've installed Gentoo on my iBook about 12 times already and man did I want to chuck it out the window. I've started out with a little experience with UNIX/Linux but damn did installing Gentoo help me out a lot. Now I have friends (some never even heard of Linux until I came around) running a Stage1 Gentoo install and they couldn't be happier. Hell I can't code to save my ass but I feel if I can switch as many people over just to check Linux out then I've done a part in the Linux community. And the great thing is I'm getting a lot of my friends that use to code to install Gentoo on there own. Straight from scratch and they will never go back to Windows or any other Linux distro. I mean anyone can pop a cd in point, click, zap and install a whole new operating system. But how many people can tell you what's going on with the install? Not many.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrislee8 wrote:
ruben wrote:
Hmmm... i most definitely hate the "think for your customer"-mentality in software.

i don't agree with you, if you don't think for ur customers, i don't know how far your product will go.
as 101 said above, gentoo is targeting to technical and experienced linux users, they do a super job because they think for them.
they didn't think for the newbies, too bad for me, but i don't mind learning tho.

I have to agree with the fact that you have to think for your customer when you build a software project for them. You have to listen to them, talk a lot to them, and take decisions about the software for them because they (supposedly) don't know a lot about it.
I do hate software which thinks for the user in the sense that a software program makes decisions for me based on assumptions which aren't necessarily true. (for example, i ask the program to do something, the program responds with "ah.. you probably meant to do this"; or for example a program which tests some properties of your computer and then decides your computer will not be able to run the program properly and then refuses to install the software)
I think i misinterpreted what you said.... i still don't really get what you mean with "think for"... (i'm not a native english speaker) do you mean "think for" in the sense of "leave the thinking to me, leave all the decision-making to me"? or do you mean it in the sense of knowing your target group and building your software so it can best serve your customers, while listening to them ? (wouldn't that be to "think about" your customers instead?)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10k1 wrote:
If Gentoo had a automatic installation process then it could only install itself in a highly generalized matter. The whole point of Gentoo is that each user can custom install exactly to his or her needs. If Gentoo was automated that functionality would be lost.

Gentoo just takes a different approach to Linux, it let's YOU make the decisions about how you want your system to run. Compared to a binary, automated distro where the distro developer's make the decisions. It's just two different perspectives on what Linux should be.


I wonder why this is necessarily so. "Automatic" does not imply "everything and the kitchen sink". How about a live CD with some GUI tools? Anaconda, or at the very least QTparted and some scripts to help walk newbies through disk setup etc. Having a common partitioning setup as the default (not mandatory) will help people who are new to it all. Once that is done, its just an issue of un-tarring the stages. (to what ever level the user wants) And setting up a boot loader. We are talking about a base system here. There is no loss of flexibility at all. Just more user friendly work flow to a base system.

just my two cents
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think using qt parted would be more dificult then having a user friendly ncurses based interface.

because to use qtparted, or anaconda, you need somekind of a (stripped down of course, for size) x server, and then you need to have it automatically configured.

and ncurses base thing would not need that, and though it may not look as pretty, it would be usable.

that said, i am all for the install the way it is, but linux is about choice, so i have no problem with that being an option... it could even be an argument that you pass to it on boot :)

like "G4 -simple" or something like that

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with vfxpro. It is about all about the way of distributing Gentoo. It would be a lot easier with a decent installer. I know there are many choices to be made while installing, but they are easily to be made build-in.
It is more about that one has to install many times over and again because of errors, bugs or other 'stupidity' of the user. Also with an installer a user has the option to make the installation more automatic by doing an unattended install, like fedora etc.
I myself and many (business related) friends returned to some other distribution just because the installation time of a base system is less time consuming. We would have sticked with Gentoo when we had more time to spend. And no it isn't about a different approach to linux. Nor has the experience of the user anything to do about it. The user still has all options wide open when they install from stage 3 for example.
It also has a better commercial use with an installer and in the end it is all about the money, isn't it .....? :D
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

commercial use, money? what?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

umm, i think you dont really understand what gentoo is... or more, what linux is..


free software, open source, gnu public license...... see something common?

gentoo is a non-for-profit orginization....

also, the most common comercial use for linux is in servers....

and if you are running a server, you had better know how to use linux welll enought o do something as simple as install it....

no offence meant :)

just my own 2 cents..

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

QTparted, curses based, whatever. My point was, just some kind of hand holding and maybe even an automatable system for getting to a base install.

The Gentoo docs are great, and I leaned alot. But the amount of manual steps is just a major pain in the ass. Basically all you are doing in making partitions, untarring some some files, (maybe) bootstrapping and then configuring stuff. No rocket science but the steps take a non-zero amount of time.

Personally, I did my install from Knoppix so I could have a decent browser to read the docs as I worked. While I was there I used QTparted to do my partitions. Why work any harder than you have to?

Now I'm thinking about converting one of my other boxes over to Gentoo. But I'm lazy, so rather than go though all the steps of another "traditional" Gentoo install I'll probably just tar my entire previous install and bring it over to the other system. Fortunately, they are both the same sub-arch. I'll have to recompile the kernel since the other box is a dualie, but that's nothing compared to the entire traditional install sequence.

If I had something like Anaconda, I could take my kickstart-like file from my first system, boot up from the Gentoo CD load up the Kickstart, reconfig the kernel for the new machine, hit "Go" leave and have a life. And when I got home I'd have a sweet Gentoo system that matched my other without me having to spend some non-zero amount of time configuring the new system. Maybe the kickstart-like file could even have my /etc dir tarred up with it, so the system would be a complete clone of the old one with no manual intervention.

If I was a developer (I'm not) and I didn't already work like 70 hours a week (I do) I'm interested enough to do something rather than complain. Unfortunately I don't have the skills or the time.

As it is I'm very happy with my working Gentoo system. I just can hardly bear the thought of going through the install again. Thanks to Gentoo I now have the confidence to think I could do a hack like the one I describe above. Before, I didn't know enough about compiling kernels and the boot system to feel confident to try something like that. Now I do. So there is something to be said about being forced to do things "the Gentoo way" But you only really need to do it once of twice before you "get" it. After that it's just busy work.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, you want portage you gotta work for it :D
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And work you do. I should have kept a log of the steps I did last time so I could write a shell script from it. :x
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