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iplayfast
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:31 pm    Post subject: RFC: Re Idea for a different install procedure Reply with quote

It seems to me that the best thing about Gentoo is how configurable and flexable it is. The worst thing about Gentoo is how difficult it is to install.

I've been using the Knoppix CD to assist me in getting some quirks out of a botched Gentoo Install, and I've found that there is a nice way to make the knoppix install itself onto the hard disk and you've basically got debian. (actually not quite but close).

Why not take the Knoppix hardware detection and boot stuff (which I believe is all gpl'd, and is widely recognized as being the best at doing what it does), redo it with a gentoo directory structure. Put on the default desktop a nice big icon saying "Install to hard disk".

The default would have the all the large binaries that normally install to a system pre-compiled, (that is kde, gnome and xfree86, and any other commonly used files). What a dream, having a Gentoo system up in running in the time it takes to copy a cd.

In this way, we would have a quickly installed and working gentoo system, that would could customize after the fact. Emerging and unmerging what we want to add or remove. You want a completly built system from source, no problem. emerge system; emerge world. But at least the computer would be usable while this is going on.

I know this bypasses some of the gentoo advantages of learning by doing, but sometimes, you just want the system.

What do you think? Am I totally out to lunch on this?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think this idea really defeats the purpose of Gentoo.

I would never use such a system, if I would, I'd switch to a different distro.

The real attraction with Gentoo is that I build it directly from source-code with the optimal compiler siwtches for my system. I get a system that is fine-tuned with my hardware and my needs.

I see a lot of users wants a more streamlined install. I don't disagree with that. Maybe the install process could be more automated and bascially be an install that detects and downloads the SOURCE for whatever is detetced and compile it with the optimal swicthes for my hardware.

Anything else, and it is not called Gentoo, but RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, Slackware etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my mind this was only a streamlining of the install process. You can still fine tune it for your hardware. The difference is that:
1. you could be using it, while rebuilding it for your hardware.
2. you would have a clue as to what hardware settings would work. In some situations knoppix is quite good at figuring this stuff out. (My stupid board for instance).

Instead of having a perfectly working system (or not if you were using my board) after 48Hr of compile time, you would have a moderatly working system right away, and a perfectly working system in 48 hrs.

How does this defeat the purpose of Gentoo?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like the idea of having a bootable CD that would install a bunch of binaries. If I wanted that, I'd temporarily install Knoppix or Slack and then install Gentoo from chroot.

However, putting their hardware detection into teh Gentoo install CD so you could tell what was on your system and make configuration decisions accordingly doesn't sound like a bad idea.
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iplayfast
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea is that, the binaries, would be installed, in the same directories, as the gentoo tree would normally have. If you were to do the same thing with knoppix or slack, you would then have to fix up all the differences after you've gotten your gentoo installed, and I for one, don't pretend to know where all those differences are.

This idea is not to install binaries and you're done.

The idea is to install binaries, that you can use, until you're done, + have the great knoppix hardware detection stuff working for you.

If you get a new computer and you're putting gentoo on it, do you really like waiting for the world to compile before you can use it? With this system, you've got the world to use, and the compiling can happen in the background. And if an emerge is broken, (gcc 3.2, ring a bell?) you can at least quickly backup to to something that works.

Gentoo's strengths are that the system is built expressly for your machine. Knoppix, Mandrake etc's strengths are they are built to install and run with minimal headache.

What I want is a linux that will run with minimal headache, but is built expressly for my machine.

Hmm, if knoppix hardware detection was put into the stage 3, then you install a base system from that, emerge using the CD as the packages source, that would do it. Then emerge from source whenever you want.

I guess what I'm wondering is, what is the advantage of building from source without using precompiled binaries in the interm?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving to Gentoo Chat from Other Things Gentoo since it's a chat topic rather than a support question.

It sounds a bit like the Gentoo Reference Platform, which I believe is in the current RC. That's optional of course, but I think it would be kinda cool to have a bit nicer initial install environment for those that want it (Knoppix-like is a good direction). Obviously, it would be optional, you could still do it from source initially too.

Now that I think about it, it might be cool to have a usuable Knoppix-style booted system, with the compiles going on in the background. You can use the LiveCD thing for browsing the web, sending e-mail, word processing, whatever, while the rest of your stuff compiles in the background - no binaries get installed, but you get to use your computer in the mean time.
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iplayfast
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phong wrote:

Now that I think about it, it might be cool to have a usuable Knoppix-style booted system, with the compiles going on in the background. You can use the LiveCD thing for browsing the web, sending e-mail, word processing, whatever, while the rest of your stuff compiles in the background - no binaries get installed, but you get to use your computer in the mean time.


That's an angle that I hadn't thought of. I assumed you would want your cd free for other things, so the binaries would be installed, onto your computer. But by just using them off the CD, you could use a binary that was currently being linked...

My daughter was exclaiming that all of a sudden Linux is her best friend... She got everybuddy working. I was a bit surprised since the computer she was on was basically broken. I only found out as she was shutting down that I had left a knoppix cd in the drive. I am continually amazed at how much of knoppix just works(tm)

BTW, I could use a new pair of eyes, and some additional arms. You got any brains available, I always need those... :)
I love your sigs.
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phong
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iplayfast wrote:
I am continually amazed at how much of knoppix just works(tm)

A bit spooky actually. I need to surreptitiously drop copies in unsuspecting people's CD-ROM drives to expose them to Linux.

Quote:
BTW, I could use a new pair of eyes, and some additional arms. You got any brains available, I always need those... :)
I love your sigs.

Actually, I was just getting ready to rotate in a new one - for historical purposes, those reading this thread should know I had an Umgah quote in at the time of this post.
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iplayfast
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here I thought you were a total original with a very wierd sense of humor. :)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to register a strong yes vote for the original idea behind this thread. I use Gentoo and love it on my main machine, but there are many occasions when I refrain installing it because of the long compile times for things like X and KDE.

Why not have up to date binaries for packaages like KDE3.1 and Gnome 2.2? Many people would like to try them without waiting for the long compiles.


Last edited by nevets on Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we should try to use the knoppix cd as a livecd. No binary installs or such, just use the knoppix environment instead of the livecd. this would allow the user to play w/ linux while he's installing it over several hours and he'll know what app he wants.

When i have time, i'll try to write an installer(gui versin of traditional install -- from source) designed to run over knoppix.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsfgf wrote:
I think we should try to use the knoppix cd as a livecd.

I get this, the knoppix cd is much more stable then the current gentoo live cd.
Quote:
No binary installs or such, just use the knoppix environment instead of the livecd. this would allow the user to play w/ linux while he's installing it over several hours and he'll know what app he wants.

I don't get this. Anyone installing Gentoo has a good idea of what he wants, after all this isn't a Linux for the first timers. Why not put the binaries (which would be on the live cd anyways) onto the hd, so that a system is up and running. For that matter, why not have a html menu seleting what default apps to put onto the hd, so that the user can go on using the system, and have a cd to use.

Picture this:
Code:
 Wilst installing Gentoo, I selected kde and cdbakeoven to be the default binaries. After rebooting into my working gentoo system I was able to burn CD's or listen to tunes while recompiling the world, so that my system is optimized for my computer. After 30 hours I exited kde, and then logged in again. Everything was noticably faster.... The power of the Gent!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd chime in and say I wholly agree with the original poster, and have used knoppix quite a bit for fixing little glitches with my gentoo installs. (getting a modeline that worked with my laptop lcd for an example) I came to this thread from another discussion looking at an installer for gentoo, but I think this would fit the bill a bit more nicely - you could have the best of all three worlds: cli to start from scratch, livecd to fix problems or to try to convert people, and an installer to get up and running NOW, then customize as time permits later.

I should also note that while I went straight from a stage 1 the first two times I installed gentoo on my box, I haven't touched it since. I've done pretty much what was mentioned above - installed initially with a stage 3 tarball, installed the GRP packages, rebooted, and started using my computer while an emerge sync; emerge -u system; emerge -u world ran in the little xterm in the corner.

I understand the arguments that you learn a lot from installing gentoo the way it is now, that you want control over the install process, and that you don't want to redhat- / mandrake-ize the install process with bloat. Fine. Go ahead, install from stage 1, keep control, don't use an installer. Fact is, this just isn't for everyone. I have other things going on in my life, that I'm not going to give up two days (letting things compile overnight) everytime I want to install an os on a computer.

People who don't realize that suggestions for an extended install procedure mean exactly that (extended, not replaced) need to get a clue, be quiet, then go away.
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iplayfast
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your vote. This topic was a request for comments (rfc) and I was hoping that this would generate a discussion. I've had a few people say they wouldn't use such a system, and a few people saying that it would be useful.

What I was hoping for, was a discussion saying why they would or wouldn't use the system.

It seems that people who have used Gentoo for a long time, are less inclined to see this as useful, whereas newcomers are more likely to see it as useful.

I don't understand the old timers point of view, and I wish they would explain it more fully.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to say I would prefer the austere install routine we've got know over a big fancy GUI one, since one of the things I love about Gentoo is knowing (for the most part) everything that goes on with my machine. The GUI installer would make me feel like I'm in a Windows situation, where you just say "Go" and hope for the best.

I think the only thing that should be done to the install routine would be to automate small sections of it, sort of like how Slackware does things. You could have a script called setup that could be run (would not be required, but could be used) and it would have options like "Set up target drives", "Create/delete partitions","Basic configuration." The first two I would assume would be fairly obvious; basic configurations could cover stuff like make.conf and rc.conf settings. The idea is they can automate some commands for people who are either unsure they are entering the commands exactly right or just plain lazy and don't feel like consulting the Docs as often. They wouldn't do anything behind the scenes or without consulting the user.

There's my piece. Comments are welcome, of course.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarkJedi9 wrote:
They wouldn't do anything behind the scenes or without consulting the user.


I quite agree with this. As a matter of fact, the only real difference between what the gentoo install does now, and what I'm proposing, is that there be a number of scripts availabe to copy the binaries along with their etc files from the CD to the HD. Perhaps even using emerge with packages to handle it. Of course if special configuration where needed, that would be up to the user. The scripts could help in this regard.
The other difference would be the hardware detection available from knoppix.

Of course the binaries installed would be lowest common denominator binaries, but that is the price to pay for a fast install (slow compared to RH, but fast compared to gentoo 48hour compile).

The nice thing is that it would be usable immediately while the optimized compile goes on in the background.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, when I install Gentoo, I install stage3, and get the machine up and running. After the fact, I'll do an emerge up world overnight or something.

I'd much rather have the machine running quickly, on the network, remotely administrerable. Then, with the power of the linux command line and ssh, I can configure *everything* from somewhere else.

GRP is good for this too, getting X and a Desktop running quickly.

I agree that installing the OS itself doesn't need to take 48 hours. I love the package management system in Gentoo, so I "put up" with it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree. I'd love for the install routine to be able to tell me what hardware I have and download the proper source for what I have. That'd make it easier for sure. I've installed from a stage 1 tarball, but I found it really cumbersome when it came to getting my sound and pointing devices (I have an Inspiron 8200) configured. That just plain sux. The general install is way too time consuming, too, and as has been said before in this thread, I don't like waiting forever for an OS to be installed.

I really like the portage system, too. It's why I came to Gentoo. I just wish I had more of a choice when it came to installing. If I'm feeling patient, I wanna be able to start from a stage1 tarball. If I'm feeling less patient, I'd like to be able to have it do my hardware discovery for me and get me up and running faster and compile stuff in the background while I play with the live CD.

I think it's a great idea, as long as it's set up like you guys are saying, as a choice for install rather than the only way to do it. Linux is all about choice, after all.

Sorry this post is so random and choppy.

By the way, is anybody else having trouble getting the RC3 images downloaded?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just noticed this in tricks and tips

It's how to install using Knoppix as the base CD....

Almost what I want :lol:
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:14 am    Post subject: Hmmm Reply with quote

You should call it Goppix.

This would rock. What would also rock would be an accompanying CD packed with a portage snapshot and all the distfiles that you could ever need.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reason that some people don't like the idea of this is because Gentoo is a source-based distro.......As far as most people are concerned, the compiling from scratch method is fundamental to the Gentoo experience. If there was multiple binaries available, it would become more like debian with a different package manager. A lot of people would stick with the binaries and never experience what Gentoo does best.

There's still some good ideas here though, i like the idea that the live-cd has the awesome power of hardware detection from knoppix and maybe that it could inform the user what kernel-modules etc.. are needed to work.

Also, building the base system and emerging the larger packages whilst in knoppix is cool......i may try this if i need to re-install sometime.

Again, i don't want to flame/offend anyone but i use Gentoo because it's source-based....not because it has a fanastic package system (although it certainly helps hehe)

Of course......what direction Gentoo takes in the future is up to the developers and the people who express their ideas to them (us!). So whatever really...... :D
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raoul_Duke wrote:
I think the reason that some people don't like the idea of this is because Gentoo is a source-based distro.......As far as most people are concerned, the compiling from scratch method is fundamental to the Gentoo experience. If there was multiple binaries available, it would become more like debian with a different package manager. A lot of people would stick with the binaries and never experience what Gentoo does best.


I thought Linux was about choice? I agree that Gentoo built from scratch is better then Gentoo with binaries preloaded, and I agree that building from stage 1 is a learning experience that shouldn't be lightly tossed. However, I've gone through that experience enough thank you. What I want is my favourite distro on a different computer, without that computer being out of commission for days on end.

Raoul_Duke wrote:
Again, i don't want to flame/offend anyone but i use Gentoo because it's source-based....not because it has a fanastic package system (although it certainly helps hehe)


I labeled this thread as RFC (request for comments) because I wanted to know if it was worthwhile to persue. Feel free to flame. I want the info :)

But to reiterate, The idea is not to do away with Gentoo being source based. ( :!: NEVER :!: ) The idea is to do away with the time that the computer is down while the system is created. I would fully expect that the user would set their flags and USE variables and then rebuild the world, after their computer is up and running.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion comes from personal experience..........given the chance, i would've installed binaries to start with because i'm lazy :roll:

I agree, that its a pain to install to another machine when you've already spent days doing it............perhaps making a live CD that is based on knoppix with WM, browser etc... that can be used for a standard install would be a good thing. That way, you have a functioning machine to 'play' with but still have to compile everything and learn all the config stuff :)

If it was done that way........you could pop the cd in the tray, cue up some ogg's to listen to in xmms, open a browser on the install instructions, open a terminal and start installing. Then during the 'boring bit's' like the bootstrap, emerging KDE/Gnome, etc.. you could write some emails, surf the net for boobies, listen to music, maybe even play frozen bubble for a bit?

Now, that i wouldn't mind :wink:
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one aspect of this idea that I like:

Being able to create a "LiveCD" that includes an X server, so that I can Do Stuff graphically, while I wait for the installation to finish.

I do not however, think that the installation process Itself should be changed at all. I learned more from Gentoo's install than I ever learned about linux before, and that's saying a lot. But, the second and third times around, I'd really appreciate a little play-pen to work on while the system is crunching.

Considering that it takes a gentoo install anywhere from 2 - 48 hours, depending on what you're installing, I'd absolutely love to customize my own installation CD with some of my favorite software binaries simply to use while the regular system gets installed as usual.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't you roll your own install CD?

I think basically nothing bad with the gentoo install, it should stay like this. But of course, if I should install it to hundreds of servers or workstations, it's boring to start with bootstraping always. So you can do a LiveCD with a good installsript on, and put a well compiled and selected /usr/portage/packages dir on it, together with portage snapshot, too.
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