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IWBCMAN
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 12:01 pm    Post subject: PGI — the Progeny Graphical Installer Reply with quote

ok, I know its silly of me, but I just visited /. and they have an article about 'piggy' a GNU/Debian based graphical installer....I don't need something like this, I love the normal gentoo install routine, but many newbies long for something like this....

a) could this ported *easily* to gentoo ?-it seems to be GNU/Debian speicifc, but it could be hacked!
b) could it be included on the gentoo iso ?

I maybe barking up the wronge tree here-but it seems that someone has done a lot of work putting this together and that if it could be modified to work with gentoo that many newbies would be in heaven......


just a thought for gentoo 1.4
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pjp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: PGI — the Progeny Graphical Installer Reply with quote

IWBCMAN wrote:
many newbies long for something like this....
I question what they will do when things don't compile. I think the installation should be a test. If you can't get through it (with help from the forums), then you cannot snatch the pebble from Gentoo's hand.

As long as the current install method is preserved, I don't mind, though I vehemently prefer the Gentoo Installation Tools type of idea discussed in What do you think about install ncurses-based program?.
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IWBCMAN
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanusplus,

I agree whole-heartedly....I prefer the gentoo installation routine to any other I have experienced..but many newbies simply bawk at such.... but if someone could fid a way of porting this thing to gentoo, it would only make sense as an addition to the already existing tools....
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pjp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IWBCMAN wrote:
many newbies simply bawk at such
That was my point.

Quote:
porting this thing to gentoo, it would only make sense as an addition to the already existing tools....
I'd be concerned with how the port was done. Maintaining two installation methods could be tricky. The tools idea in the link I posted would allow for any type of installer to be built (theoretically).

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from porting it, I'd just prefer to see a tools package first, that way the port could use them. Any installer would rely on the same basic methods.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we are to ame any changes i think the logical method would be to adapt the freebsd sysinstall method. However, this causes the problem of bad packages. we could do like freebsd and maintin binary packages, but that is deviateng from the gentoo source method. I personally think a noob centric installer is pointless. There are pleanty of mpore noob friendly distros. Stff like these moves us more in line w/ slack and debian which exist and fulfill thir role fine. (I don't liek them but thet's the advantage of linux - choice)

An installer is in orger, but primarily so everything can be set and then he system left instead of having to type a command every few hours.

Also, i think gentoo is already noob friendly in a way. Good support and an install that leaves you understanding the system. that's nocer than mandrake, imo. It just leaves you wondering why you did this and why half he stuff is broken.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsfgf wrote:
An installer is in orger, but primarily so everything can be set and then he system left instead of having to type a command every few hours.
*ding* *ding* *ding* *ding* We have a winna! [/carnival voice]

Don't know why I didn't think of mentioning that by now. That is all I'm looking for (in addition to it being scriptable). Once this is possible, GUIs can be made to waste all the CPU cycles somebody wants.

With Solaris, the GUI install takes significantly longer than the CLI install (duh!). I'm guessing that isn't unique to Solaris.
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squanto
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If someone decided to port the graphical installer to Gentoo, I would try it. Then not use it ever again.
I think the directions that are on the Gentoo site are great and if you can't understand how to install Gentoo, you probably should use Mdrake or RhAt. ;)

My room mate installed Gentoo with some help from me, I printed the directions, gave him the cd and told him to let me know if he needed help. He needed help in a few places, but mostly cause the directions told him to modify a file, yet he had skipped over the first time nano was introduced, and thus was wondering what text editor there was. Other than that, and a snag that he hit while trying to setup the time correctly (retarded daylight savings time and windows not understanding what GMT is) he didn't have too much trouble.

I think there should be a disclamer though, "if you have never built a kernel before, please learn first, then come back to Gentoo", cause I had to do that for my room mate, and I don't think a graphical installer will help much in this area, as building kernels is kind of spesific to the box and it's application. [/runonsentence]

Just my $0.02
ps, I never liked Deb / Slack either ;) although I am still fairly n00b :lol:
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LugnutsForBrains
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 8:08 pm    Post subject: Graphical Install sounds like a good idea to me... Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong, the way it is right now is an excellent learning tool (especially for a noob like me), but, I was under the impression that the idea of gentoo was to install a truly optimized linux installation tailored to the specific hardware in the pc and the applications that the user wants to use.

It seems to me that if a graphical installer were devised and implemented, listing options for architecture (e.g. Processor, Chipsets, Video, Sound, etc.) and applications that the user must choose, it would still require a user to know their hardware and set the choices properly. They would then have to decide exactly how optimized they want the system and what packages to install (I would base the USE flags from all of the hardware and software selections; asking the user to review them, add or subtract from them, and then decide whether to go for an optimized or generic installation).

I don't see anything at all wrong with this idea, because, if it is built in the spirit of keeping the user in tune with what is really happening, nothing is lost.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Graphical Install sounds like a good idea to me... Reply with quote

LugnutsForBrains wrote:
Don't get me wrong, the way it is right now is an excellent learning tool (especially for a noob like me), but, I was under the impression that the idea of gentoo was to install a truly optimized linux installation tailored to the specific hardware in the pc and the applications that the user wants to use.

It seems to me that if a graphical installer were devised and implemented, listing options for architecture (e.g. Processor, Chipsets, Video, Sound, etc.) and applications that the user must choose, it would still require a user to know their hardware and set the choices properly. They would then have to decide exactly how optimized they want the system and what packages to install (I would base the USE flags from all of the hardware and software selections; asking the user to review them, add or subtract from them, and then decide whether to go for an optimized or generic installation).

I don't see anything at all wrong with this idea, because, if it is built in the spirit of keeping the user in tune with what is really happening, nothing is lost.


Yes, but the user still has to know that the configs for use vars goes into make.conf, cause if you emerge -u world at some point, and a new version of gcc comes out, and you then have to decide which make.conf to keep, without prior knowledge, one may overwrite their make.conf.
Also, configing a kernel is very spesific, and although there is xconfig for making a kernel, it is still not the most intuitive interface for new users to linux.

Also, with your idea, it is almost if not just as complicated as the current setup if you break it all down.

Although I agree that a GUI installer would be cool, I think you will find many linux users will not use it, as the command prompt provides much more power. as in most things in a *nix environment, the command prompt is the most powerful tool and most gui's are just front ends for the command line.

Just my $0.02
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LugnutsForBrains
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Graphical Install sounds like a good idea to me... Reply with quote

Here's your change... :)

Quote:
the user still has to know that the configs for use vars goes into make.conf, cause if you emerge -u world at some point, and a new version of gcc comes out, and you then have to decide which make.conf to keep, without prior knowledge, one may overwrite their make.conf.


I agree, I am suggesting that they should know this in order to do a graphical installation, just like the way it is now. I am just thinking that the presentation of the salient facts can be emphasized in a GUI much more productively (I'm thinking that the GUI would be split in two or three different sections - all visible - that would create use flags and display them in an HTML box that could be linked to definitions of the use flag).

Quote:
Also, configing a kernel is very spesific, and although there is xconfig for making a kernel, it is still not the most intuitive interface for new users to linux.


I agree again. I was thinking of the process leading up to the kernel building and, since it is already in a reasonably useable form, leaving that intact. And then, picking up again.

Quote:
Also, with your idea, it is almost if not just as complicated as the current setup if you break it all down.


Entirely right, it adds to the complexity of the project, but, the benefit is that less people will be intimidated by Gentoo installation. And, as long as the GUI makes a point to keep the users educated, and require them to learn what they are doing, the Gentoo user base will grow while retaining users that either have a clue, or are building one.

Quote:
Although I agree that a GUI installer would be cool, I think you will find many linux users will not use it, as the command prompt provides much more power. as in most things in a *nix environment, the command prompt is the most powerful tool and most gui's are just front ends for the command line.


Perhaps a GUI Installer should be referred to as a Newbie GUI, to be used by those of us who are way behind the power curve in Linux, but want to get there, like me. 8O

I just had another thought... Boy, did it hurt. Rather than a GUI installer, how about a GUI to-do list? I think that it would be cool to have a GUI that interrogated the user about what hardware they have, what the purpose of the machine is, and based on the answers makes a to-do list (suggested installation instructions). This could be an HTML page right on the web site... I think that this might even be a better idea? What do you think?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I just had another thought... Boy, did it hurt. Rather than a GUI installer, how about a GUI to-do list? I think that it would be cool to have a GUI that interrogated the user about what hardware they have, what the purpose of the machine is, and based on the answers makes a to-do list (suggested installation instructions). This could be an HTML page right on the web site... I think that this might even be a better idea? What do you think?


Now thats a really good idea. though id refine this idea, for practicalness.

A second console screen with an already opened up (for newbies) local text copy of the install docs would surely be the best idea.

Sure it would mean flipping between 2 consoles, but its much more feasable since a live html brings in other problems, for dialup users & not to mention viewing it as an HTML doc, in a limited console env. although if there worries about not getting the latest copy of the install procedure, couldnt we just have emerge grab some newer ones ;) [somehow]

The above also eases newbies into gentoo, aiding them, but still forcing them to learn about USE & portage/emerge etc.
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IWBCMAN
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

by the way.....

I started this post because I thought someone might have had an interest in seeing such a project realized. I myself have no need for a GUI installer, in fact I found the Gentoo installation far simpler than the distro linux GUI's which I had used before. But this simplicity was due to the fact that I knew what I wanted to do and had a rough idea of what was entailed in doing so-exactly that which most newbies don't have.

With this post I was simply passing on some info, which I found while surfing around(slashdot if I remember correctly)-my goal was not to provide a forum for knee-jerk style reactions of *real* linux gurus to the sacreligious(sp?) notion of GUI-based installs in general and notions of ease-of -use. I make the tacit assumption that the more people who use gentoo the better gentoo will become-partly due to increased feedback, partly due to the attraction of real talent, and partly due to the newbies who later become the source of future talent.

GUI-based installers are a non-issue as regards seasoned linux users-they would simply circumvent such and implement the functionality that they want in short order- it is however an issue for newbies. Some newbies will find the existing install method of gentoo challenging- and they will like this, being enticed by the feelings of power and control which gentoo indeed offers. Other newbies will simply bawk at such overwhelmed by how utterly alien the current install process is to anything they have ever used before.

I see no fundamental contradiction between allowing for newbie-friendly install and at the same time allowing for seasoned pros to ignore such and do things the way they are accustomed. I used various linux distros for a period of 8 years prior to comming to gentoo-I knew where most config files are stored and I knew that one had to deal with config files, when configuring linux. Even though I still have a hell of a lot to learn, and I learn new things eeryday, I came to gentoo with a rich backgorund of previous experience-and part of my experirence base is the recollection of times when I did not yet have this experience.

The current gentoo install method is trully amazing-so much work has gone into making things easy, even though it remains at some points very cryptic. Gentoo is not linux from scratch-although I would venture that many who use gentoo would, on the basis of this experice, be able to do the whole linux install thing from scratch-after they had gathered this unique gentoo experience.

My suggestion reguarding a GUI-based installer was simply to compliment the excellent work which has already been done, lending a non-minimalisitic aesthetic to the install process, one which befits the greatness of gentoo itself.

Gentoo is on one level the wet-dream of all computer geeks who love to configure and control everything on their computer-it enables people to understand how things work, and to understand why certain things work in certain ways, and why other ways simply don't work. A GUI-based install procedure could not change this aspect of gentoo, because most gentoo users love to play with their install, frequently reinstalling and recompiling everything on their system- few simply install gentoo and then simply use it-If one merely wants a functional linux which recedes into the background of everyday usage there are may other distros which do this job better(gentoo is not Debian woody).

Even if there was a GUI installer newbies would still be beckoned back to the command line time and time again to engage in the adventure which gentoo is-the power which gentoo gives brings along with it many perils, and the thrill of mastering such perils is, IMHO, a big part of what makes one stick with gentoo, through repeated installs and mucked up configs. But, and this is very important, without these forums gentoo would simply not be that which it has become- the frustration and difficulties which all newbies encounter with gentoo would be overwhelming without the constant "me too!" feedback of like-affected other gentoo users. I for one would have simply given up without the help of so many talented gentoo users.

so does anybody like the idea of GUI-based install enough to offer suggestions on how to implement such........
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

corrs_fan wrote:
live html brings in other problems, for dialup users & not to mention viewing it as an HTML doc, in a limited console env.

answer: lynx with the docs on the cd :mrgreen:
lynx is already on the 1.4_rc1 live cd, so it would just be the porting of the online html to the cd in a format that is frienldy to lynx.

Seeing as the docs for installing only seem to get updated every time there is a new "official" release of Gentoo, this wouldn't be that hard. thus no need to "grab" the most recent docs if you have a recent iso cd
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
lynx is already on the 1.4_rc1 live cd, so it would just be the porting of the online html to the cd in a format that is frienldy to lynx.


cool, perhaps thats the general idea then...[runs to find new idea submission thingy]
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