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ahurst
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Bring back x86 Universal CD Reply with quote

I requested and argued the case for the Gentoo x86 Universal CD being brought back a while ago.

see

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-515122.html

and

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-512894-highlight-.html

Since we're now in 2007, and there hasn't been anything since 2006.1, I would like to reiterate my request,
because the LiveCD:
1) Doesn't contain the FULL Handbook and
2) Only boots on i686 or newer.

The x86 Universal CD not only made the best (most educational, reliable) installation method, but also served as a very handy tool when trying to fix unbootable machines.
Please please bring it back

Andy
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jmbsvicetto
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Gentoo Chat.

[mod]This is not an install question, so I moved the thread to GC.[/mod]
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Genone
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you can probably request as much as you want in here without being heard. Or you could contact Releng directly (via mail, IRC or bugzilla) and have a much better chance of getting a reaction.
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wolf31o2
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, and that reaction is that it is never going to happen. We don't like the Universal CD and have no intentions on bringing back something that increased our workload as much as it did. Also, it takes up a ton more mirror space, since the packages have to be separate.
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,
then please put the Full x86 Handbook on the LiveCD instead, not just the 2006.1 release handbook.

That document is an excellent first point of contact for Gentoo, and meant that I installed problem free, first time, with an excellent education in how Gentoo works, back on 2004.1

Andy
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styrmis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahurst,

I normally browse the handbook on gentoo.org using links while installing a system.

Since having an internet connection is a prerequisite to the Gentoo install process, is it really necessary to bulk out the minimal ISO with more documentation?

If you are installing on multiple systems that are not networked, then I would recommend that you make your own universal ISO based on your needs.
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm not sure I understand:

If Internet is a prerequisite, then why have any tarballs available? The download isn't generally the time consumer when building a system is it? And you need to emerge -e system anyway to get an up to date toolchain.

The full handbook isn't pointed to by the GUI installer. For those who are new to Gentoo, which I think makes up the majority of people using installers, the Full Handbook was the most fantastic introduction to Gentoo, and indeed Linux, you could ask for. Just following it through taught me an incredible amount, such that I never needed to bother anyone on forums/mailing-lists.

It's not exactly bulky either - besides I think having the 2006.1 Handbook, which is based around the GUI installer, on the Minimal CD is very silly indeed.

I don't think the other threads will explain why it's a big deal: I just feel passionately that the best introduction to Gentoo was the Universal CD, for both the hands on installation, and the step by step guide explaining how and why to do things.

Does this make sense?

Andy
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cwr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see the x86 Universal CD coming back - the Gentoo release team have enough problems already - but
it would be nice to see the Handbook on the CD. I myself have never installed Gentoo from a network, but
always from a CD or DVD; updating needs a network, but updating doesn't require the bandwidth of a full
install.

I've given up on the official installer, so what I'd really like to see on the DVD are the Stage 3 files, or even,
dare I say it, sources for some of the larger packages.

Will
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styrmis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahurst,

My point was that, since these days an internet connection is a requirement for an install, then it isn't much trouble to browse the handbook on the gentoo site.

I haven't looked at what documentation is on the minimal ISO, but if it is as you say then it does seem strange. Also I agree with your point regarding the space considerations, they are likely negligible.

I have in fact found myself in a position where a universal ISO would be a great help. However, there is a chicken and egg situation (for me) whereby if I am in a situation where I cannot install from the minimal ISO (e.g. no/limited internet connectivity) then I am also not in a situation to construct something similar to the universal ISOs.

At that time, when I was looking for a universal ISO, I conceded that given the (implicit) requirement for a high speed internet connection a universal ISO would be desirable but not essential.

This seems to be a requested enhancement that is being turned down due to lack of developer time. Am I missing something that makes it more serious?
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No you're not missing anything serious:

I just strongly feel that the Universal x86 CD was the best installation method: you didn't actually need a network connection to bootstrap a system, and the documentation, right there on the CD, was the best of any Linux distribution - really the one major reason I finally gave Windows the (forgive the pun) boot!

We're now missing that fantastic educational induction for all the newcomers to Gentoo. The long term effect has to be dumbing down of the user base; that's a pretty hairy discussion along the lines of Orwellianism!

From my point of view, I probably won't need an installation medium ever again. But I can't believe that the GUI installer LiveCD is easier to build and maintain than the Universal x86 CD. Am I mistaken?

I imagine the difference is that the installer developers now bear the backlash, rather than releng; but this is speculation.

Andy
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to say, re:

styrmis wrote:
ahurst,

My point was that, since these days an internet connection is a requirement for an install, then it isn't much trouble to browse the handbook on the gentoo site.



Is an Internet connection a requirement for an install? When was this made policy?

While browsing the Handbook on the website is feasible, it isn't referenced or encouraged anywhere by the GUI installer LiveCD; you'd never know it existed.

People are left much less capable of solving their own problems, as you might deduce from the way the forums have changed over the years (I used it as reference long before I ever felt compelled to post anything!)
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styrmis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahurst wrote:

Is an Internet connection a requirement for an install? When was this made policy?


Yes, an internet connection is a requirement for an install. I include in this scenarios such as downloading the necessary source tarballs at work, with the help of a friend etc.

It is not policy, it is a result of the way in which a Gentoo install is conducted. Isn't it just common sense? How else are you going to get up to date packages?

ahurst wrote:

Also, of course browsing the Handbook on the website is feasible, but it isn't referenced or encouraged anywhere by the GUI installer LiveCD; you'd never know it existed.
Instead the new little darlings flood into the forums and post things like:


I looked at those threads and I don't see how they are relevant to the issue of universal ISOs and/or documentation.

The first and second would be solved by more clearly stating that the graphical installer is still beta.

The third thread is from a potential new user who does not understand how to partition his drive.

The fourth is another potential new user who does not quite understand how he/she might migrate a machine running one flavour of Linux to another.

Is your argument now that new users are not dissuaded forcefully enough from trying the GUI installer? If so, I agree.
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

styrmis wrote:


Yes, an internet connection is a requirement for an install. I include in this scenarios such as downloading the necessary source tarballs at work, with the help of a friend etc.



But once you've burnt your CDs, you can take them away to a networkless machine and bootstrap it with Gentoo, and some software from tarballs and package CDs. Your CDs could indeed arrive in the post, as at

http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/where.xml #Official Gentoo Store, #Gentoo Linux CDs

Quote:


I looked at those threads and I don't see how they are relevant to the issue of universal ISOs and/or documentation.

The first and second would be solved by more clearly stating that the graphical installer is still beta.

The third thread is from a potential new user who does not understand how to partition his drive.

The fourth is another potential new user who does not quite understand how he/she might migrate a machine running one flavour of Linux to another.

Is your argument now that new users are not dissuaded forcefully enough from trying the GUI installer? If so, I agree.


Well, fair enough I read back my post and realised I was turning into a bit of a bitch; hence the nifty edit. I just want to discuss things .. I'm hanging my head ashamedly.

I just mean had those chaps had the Universal CD, and the handbook, they would've either found the solutions to their problems immediately, or been shown where they would succesfully learn how to solve their problems, without resorting to posting pleas for help on forums, which I think is much healthier, and enabling in the long term.
So, yes agree with your sentiment.

Andy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

--

Last edited by 96140 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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styrmis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightmorph wrote:

styrmis wrote:
Yes, an internet connection is a requirement for an install.

Wrong. Completely wrong. That's why we have networkless installs. I suggest you go actually read the handbooks before spreading such misinformation around the forums. You can install Gentoo without an internet connection for all architectures, except for ARM and MIPS. If you had read the handbooks, you would have known that.


I stated clearly that this is not policy, but I did not clarify exactly why I said this.

I had the need for a networkless install and was directed to the live cd and graphical installer.

The graphical installer wiped all the partitions on the drive despite being asked not to, and in other attempts froze.

Has the installer been fixed? If it has then you are right, you don't need an internet connection.

If the installer is still broken then I stand by my statement but would make it clear that it is my opinion and as I said before, not policy.

I have of course read the handbooks, but only for x86. I just now checked out x86 and sparc.

The x86 handbooks looked the same, with the option of either the curses or GTK installer.

Interestingly, it seems that sparc users have an up to date universal ISO to work with. Having read that, I can only say that I believe an internet connection is required for x86 installs.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an aside, has anyone from Gentoo Release ever considered selling an install CD/package CD combo pack and perhaps subscriptions to monthly package update CDs and DVDs? I know it might seem like a silly idea since all one has to do is emerge -ef world on an existing install and burn the resulting distfiles to disc but if there is a market for it it could mean some pocket change for the foundation.
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ahurst
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

the handbooks aren't divided into 'networked', and 'networkless' versions.

The Full x86 Handbook tells you how to install Gentoo, every step of the way, by hand. Use a network, or some package CDs, it's up to you - the knowledge is there in front of you enabling you to do either. It teaches you in detail about every aspect of building a system, and tells you how to go about finding help for problems.

The 2006.1 Release Handbook no less well written, it is just far less extensive.
The Full Handbook would be just as applicable to the GUI installer, because the GUI is trying to do all the bits which are missing from the 2006.1 handbook without you ever having to learn about them.

So if the GUI installer works, great, you've got a system, but no idea how and why it was built like it is, and thus little idea how to maintain it.
If the GUI installer fails, you've got nothing, because the 2006.1 Handbook assumes the GUI installer just worked perfectly, and that your fresh-faced Gentoo (and quite possibly GNU/Linux) first-timer will know what to do if it doesn't.
So when something doesn't work quite right, they just flood into the forum and start posting questions, even though the solution to their problem is almost always readily available - they don't even bother with the search box, or Gentoo Wiki, or Google. They haven't learnt to deal with the little easily soluble problems themselves, and they probably never will, since they are now hooked on forum posts for answers.

When you say using x86 -> GI, you are actually saying i686 or better -> GI.

Also I don't understand why the LiveCD is built only for i686: is the performance increase that crucial in the installer? Aren't you going to rebuild your toolchain with the new CFLAGS set during installation anyway?

The Internet connection -> documentation assumes (1) that bootstrapping and dhcpcd all went fine and (2) that the graphical installer shows you where the Full x86 Handbook is, which it doesn't. It isn't mentioned.

It's a silly waste of that extremely valuable document. People should have the Full x86 Handbook thrust in their faces, because it really does contain all the answers, or how to learn how to find them!

Sure you know how to bootstrap a system, and sort out your partition table, and custom build your kernel with all the right drivers, and use portage and make.conf and package.use, and build the toolchain, and set up grub: and probably how to find answers to all kinds of problems relating to these.

But those who come into Gentoo via the Graphical installer?, without that info in the handbook, and therefore wondering how on earth to find answers to these tricky problems ... ? And if they just want to tinker with Linux and learn about it ... on their old Pentium 2 box before commiting their brand new Windows Vista Beast (tm) to Gentoo?

The 'less is more' paradigm doesn't apply to education.
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