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wizardaeon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:22 pm    Post subject: gentoo needs a graphical installer Reply with quote

This is not a trolling, or flaming message, but I just wanted to comment on what would otherwise be an awesome OS for me.

I find it very educational to install from command line, but to be perfectly honest I have yet to install gentoo with a graphical UI.

I totally understand that this OS is built with volunteers, but do you have to be a computer programmer to use it? Would you install this on a friends computer because he coudnt afford windows or because he wants something more stable? Why would anybody who doesnt have the level of skill recquired to install Gentoo want Gentoo?

I really want to say, I appreciate all the hard work that people put into Linux, but from a PC tech point of view, you really need something to automate the process. Even if all it does is install a base system like Archbang.

I feel like there would be more people to donate to and support Gentoo if more people had a reason to use it.

I cant use a OS for what I use it for without a GUI.
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albright
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I cant use a OS for what I use it for without a GUI.


But there are already lots of GUI-install distributions (e.g. Mint linux,
which I think is great).

In this regard, Gentoo is and is meant to be a little
different, and the installation process is immensely instructive
and entertaining (and I just installed gentoo on an old notebook
so this is fresh in my mind).
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installing Gentoo is not the end, it is the beginning. If you cannot install it you cannot maintain it. But this has been recited on these forums gazillion times.
You want a stable and fast Linux? You must be real good with your Gentoo (yes, your Gentoo, because Gentoo is just a set of tools to build your own Linux) to beat Debian or Ubuntu.
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Section_8
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years back, there was a gui based gentoo installer, but it had a lot of problems, and was dropped. Here, for example, is a postmortem thread from 2010: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-816844-start-0-postdays-0-postorder-asc-highlight-.html
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with jaglover, you give up granular control with a graphical installer. you dont know what was installed or how it was configured when you do that.

i object with jaglover, gentoo can be rebuilt from the ground up from an already running system with X. including evicting garbage packages you do not want.

i have to laugh at that thread, my first gentoo install was from that installer. i ditched because it was so empty of a distro once installed from that.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: gentoo needs a graphical installer Reply with quote

wizardaeon wrote:
...Why would anybody who doesnt have the level of skill recquired to install Gentoo want Gentoo?


Exactly. You wouldn't. There are dozens of actively supported distros that focus on easy or mainstream. There are only a small few that focus on the flexibility to let you control every little piece of software that lands on the filesystem.

Quote:
I cant use a OS for what I use it for without a GUI.


Then install a GUI. You can choose from pretty much anything available on any other distro.

FWIW the idea of not being able to afford Windows is a non-starter. You have to go out of your way to get PC hardware without a Windows license, and you'll almost certainly spend more money than you would had you bought the windows license with prebuilt hardware.

The idea of installing it on a non-expert's computer is ludicrous. If it were MY computer and a non-expert was using it, that's fine. But to install it and then hand it over to someone who can't maintain it? Not a good way to do business IMO.
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gentoo doesnt need a graphical installer, to make a bootable system, it requires just stage3 synced kernel built and installed and a boot loader (lilo.) past that, id emerge xorg-x11 xorg-server xfce4-meta networkmanager nm-applet. gentoo has a graphical installer, emerge porthole when you get to that point. like 10 steps and you're done.... ready to emerge a total hurricane...
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imaginasys
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried Sabayon ?
It's'gentoo based and they have a graphic installer.

Regards,
BT :mrgreen:
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just can't write an installer that is flexible enough for the average Gentoo user. We all have our own ideas about how to set up a system. Mine happens to include a root canal on the stage3 itself. While it seems nice in principle, in practical it just wouldn't be practical since there is no default install.

Using the system rescue CD to install is about the best GUI you could hope for. You can even copy and paste the commands without understanding them (not recommended)

I second the idea of Sabayon if your deployment requires simplicity but you want something "nerdy"
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Clad in Sky
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, having a GUI installer would be nice. Kinda.
Does Gentoo NEED a graphical installer? I don't think so.
Moreover, with the flexibility Gentoo offers, an installer that is useful wouldn't be less "complicated" than the CLI install, only more flashy.
As others already mentioned, a Gentoo install must be maintained, and if you don't learn some stuff during install, you'll probably not know how to do that. You can easily break things in Gentoo - mostly you can easily fix them, too, but you need to know what you're doing or at least what you have to ask to get the right answers.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I don't like about binary distro's is the fact that THEY decide what's good for you.
Seems like they all use systemd now.
After install you'll find they already made directories like Mypictures,Mydocuments etc in /home/<username>.
Might as well stay with Windows.
Like someone said:Gentoo allows you to install your own Linux.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Gentoo Chat. Not a support request so it fits better here.

- John
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Logicien
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very featured Gui can be a Linux host where you enjoy graphical applications and a Web browser where you can follow the Gentoo handbook while you install Gentoo in a chroot environment.

Install in a chroot environment is a feature that not all GNU/Linux distributions have. :D

A Gui used from the beginning of the installation would mask what you need to understand to go forward in the installation. The Sorcerer Linux is a sources based distribution who use an Ncurses graphical interface.
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genstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Gentoo - you install once, then use it forever. So a graphical installer is about the least important thing on my list. Imo, Gentoo doesn't even need to provide a LiveCD/DVD other than to show off a snapshot of the portage tree of a random point in time. Any Linux LiveCD can be used, while sysresccd is best suited for the task.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look, this is a community distro right?

If somebody feels they can make a GUI installer that provides enough flexibility to do what's needed, then maybe they can write one or maybe update the existing one that's no longer used.

If it gets stable enough, then maybe the devs will make an iso with it included.

IMO I think the installer we have now is what most of the regular Gentoo installers want. There might be some improvements to be made, but I really don't see that many complaints. Certainly, I wouldn't want the existing minimal installer to go away.
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TomWij
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all I know there is Easy Install (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-950912.html) which isn't necessarily a GUI but it does automate almost everything.

A GUI installer would be nice to have people jump start their installation; but if we go down that road, we have to carefully design it to provide almost as much functionality as a manual install provides. This means that for every step the user should be able to see (click on a button) which commands would get executed, perhaps even be able to manipulate them; also be able to open a terminal and/or chat along.

In other words, a GUI installer should not be a revised way of installing Gentoo easy but rather act a visual aid to make it much easier to perform the existing installation we already do.

The former is simply not going to gain much acceptance from developers and the community; because well, it simply isn't Gentoo.
Whereas the latter, I think that could gain much more success; but well, it requires quite some work and involvement to bring off the ground....

Makes me wonder how much people are up to make such thing really happen.
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creaker
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wizardaeon
As The Doc mentioned above, you creating you own system. Gentoo is not a complete system, it just a start point (named stage3).
While you building your system you will inevitably come across a problems that specific to your install only. So there is no prebuilt GUI (or script) installer that can solve all the problems that may occurs.
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about modifying porthole? like a gentoo-meta package for stage3 & kernel & boot loader instillation?
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Naib
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does xterm count?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW I've used the Gentoo installer to set up RAID/LVM/partitions for other distros on several occasions because it doesn't tell you what you can or can't do.

I use Gentoo as my system rescue CD, because it doesn't make any assumptions about what I can or can't do.

Just thinking about it, it's hard to imagine a graphical or even a guided installer that doesn't sacrifice something in terms of choice.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

everyone's like blasphemy about an installer, i cry blasphemy about gen-kernel... shouldn't it be using lspci -k & mount head or something to generate exact kernels????? instead of a module hurricane??? module hurricanes are blasphemy.... end of rant :twisted:
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
does xterm count?


Certainly, with xterm, firefox and gparted I cobbled together a systemd based gentoo for fun and study. Fortunately I could alt-ctl-F1 into a more legible 640x480 console to do the heavy lifting with help from midnight commander. This is still under development. :)
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swathe
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A gui installer or the lack of one shouldn't impact what you want to do on your linux distribution but I guess is a good litmus test of the user themselves in regards to a particular distributions suitability for them.

GUI is handy I guess and I'm far from a being Gentoo guru but I can get a basic, bootable, working install up in less than an hour followign the handbook and I think that's more than acceptable.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately there can't be something like a GUI installer that fits for everyone. That's what the old one was abandoned for.

However, it would be nice to have a GUI that one can use for the very basic setup. With strong hints everywhere that it is strictly bound to the handbook. So in some way an interactive version of the handbook, meant for people who already know what they are doing. And it only gets you far enough to boot the machine by itself so you can continue from there.
Of course this installer must explain every step, because every step in a gentoo setup must be understood.

Ah. Screw it.

Just add an Icon to the xfce4 desktop on SysRescueCD named "Gentoo Setup" which starts a webbrowser opening the handbook and an xterm. There it is, the "GUI" installer!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: gentoo needs a graphical installer Reply with quote

wizardaeon wrote:
but do you have to be a computer programmer to use it?

Yes, pretty much.

Normal people should be using a *distro* (where other people choose software combinations which work well together, and which have already been tested), not a *meta*-distro (where you have the power to break things in weird ways, so weird that sometimes even Google doesn't know the answer).
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