Test results for: debian-live-lenny-i386-xfce-desktop.iso beta1
Test results for: debian-live-lenny-i386-xfce-desktop.iso beta1
Good day all,
I downloaded and burned the debian-live-lenny-i386-xfce-desktop.iso for
lenny live beta1, and tested it on two computers. One was a laptop, an
HP Pavilion ze4500. The other was a desktop, an HP Pavilion 533w. I can
provide details on the hardware configurations should they be required
by anybody on the Debian-Live team.
Preliminary general comments:
Way to go! I love an official Debian Live CD. Great idea! Debian can
really use this, and what a great base for others to build Live CDs upon
- the stability, power, freedom, and flexibility of Debian. Great work
The upcoming DVD .iso with all three major desktop environments
available for choosing at boot time is a fabulous idea. This can be very
useful in showing folks new to Linux what their choices are in a GUI, so
they can pick something ideally suited for them. I assume the live
installer, when made available, will automatically install the DE which
folks choose to boot into, while not autoinstalling the other two?
In addition to Gnome, KDE, and XFCE, please consider adding the LXDE GUI
for those computers with especially lean specifications. This is a
relatively new DE, and so it might not be entirely ready for current
use. Perhaps Lenny+1 would be the better choice. But LXDE is a great
choice for those folks trying to run a computer with minimal hardware.
It is very lightweight and freedesktop.org standards compliant. More
about LXDE here:
Overall, my compliments - lenny live runs very fast. It is up there with
sidux for fast running Live CDs. This is important for giving Linux
newbies a positive first impression. Explanations about why optical
drives are slower than hard drives don't help. A fast Live CD helps.
Buggy boot prompt not just a Qemu issue:
A problem was noted with the initial boot screen by other testers. When
using Qemu, some computers only displayed "Press F1 for help, or Enter",
instead of the full message on the boot screen, which is, "Press F1 for
help, or ENTER to boot:_", with a boot prompt. On my Pavilion 533w
desktop computer, this was not a problem, and the full message displayed
On the Pavilion ze4500 laptop however, there was a very slight and
curious hiccup. At first, the partial message listed above was
displayed. About two seconds later, the words " to boot:_", appeared at
the end of the line, completing the boot message. The laptop then would
boot normally. So this odd behavior with the boot prompt message might
be effecting not just users of Qemu, but other folks as well, albeit
without the severe time lag Qemu users have experienced. Real computers,
not just virtualized computers, seem to be suffering a problem here.
Udev eth0 --> eth1:
As others have noted, eth0 is switched over to eth1, failing to
configure and activate the ethernet port. This was true for me on the
laptop HP ze4500, but I did not test this for the desktop Pavilion 533w.
No autodetection and automount of NTFS/ext3 partitions or USB drives:
As others have mentioned, lenny live beta1 failed to detect and
automount NTFS or ext3 partitions on both the desktop and laptop
computers' hard drives. Additionally, neither one would automount a USB
thumbdrive. This is fairly essential stuff these days. My understanding
is that this will be fixed in beta2, yes? If so, I'll test for these
issues again on both computers when beta 2 rolls out.
Where is lsusb? lsusb is a very useful command for those folks trying to
get a USB WiFi connection hooked up and running. But this command does
not come with the packages found in lenny live beta1. Would it be
possible to add this package to lenny live? Doing so would help laptop
Default theme and wallpaper look good:
Once launched into XFCE proper, everything looks pretty good. I like the
default theme and the default desktop background. I understand that this
is not the intended wallpaper for the final release, but it is a good
looking choice, and will hopefully be kept as an option.
Please consider removing some wallpapers:
If I may make a suggestion though, consider removing the files
gnome-debian-sid-splash.png and gnome-splash-curves.png from the
/usr/share/images/desktop-base directory. These are Gnome oriented
artwork files, and don't really belong on an XFCE desktop.
Also, with all due respect to the artist, but still, the
Splash-Debian.png in the same directory looks very clunky. Furthermore,
Splash-Debian_red.png is too small in scale - it looks grainy when blown
up to a large screen size. The same is true of Splash-debblue.png,
gnome-debian-sid-splash.png, gnome-splash-curves.png, and again,
Splash-Debian.png. All of them are grainy.
Finally, while I love the Debian.jpg wallpaper, the Debian version of
XFCE features a large taskbar on the upper edge of the screen, which
obscures the top of the Debian swirl. The dock at the bottom partially
covers up the text, “debian”. This looks clunky and unpolished, and so
reluctantly, I must advise removing this wallpaper as well.
I know that these are aesthetic concerns, and not technical issues, but
ensuring that the look and feel of the GUI is well polished and
professional is important to conveying the impression of quality, as
well as the reality of quality which is the hallmark of Debian. We can
learn from Apple Computer, which no longer makes high quality hardware
and software as in the days of yore, but can still overcharge for their
products because Steve Jobs insists upon excellence in aesthetics.
Debian achieves excellence in technical quality while being free in
every sense of the word, and it should also strive for excellence in
aesthetic quality for the complete experience.
To summarize, please consider removing from the directory
/usr/share/images/desktop-base the following files:
If it would help for me to file this recommendation as a bug report,
please let me know and I will do so. But I am guessing that it might be
too late to deal with such issues in the lenny development cycle. If I
am wrong, please let me know.
Would it be possible to set up splashy to run automatically with Debian
Live? Again, this is an aesthetic issue, but an important one. Almost
all Live Linux CDs use a bootsplash these days. Why should Debian be
behind the times? I do not recommend completely suppressing the dmesg
output though - this is Debian after all. But how about having the fancy
graphic on top, with the scrolling dmesg just below? This way, both the
aesthetes and the geeks will be happy :-)
More software required to round out the desktop:
There is more software needed to round out the desktop for the default
Live CD. How about appropriate choices from the following categories? CD
Burner, Calculator, Email, Photo Collection, Video player, Games,
Partition Editor, Chat client, and Torrent client. For specific
recommendations suitable to XFCE, I would suggest Brasero, gcalctool,
icedove, F-spot (maybe), Totem-xine or Totem-gstreamer, gParted, Pigdin,
and Deluge or some other appropriate torrent client. These are all
pretty basic and essential programs for a complete desktop experience,
and should be available by default on the lenny live XFCE CD.
As much network DFSG software as possible:
It should be easy to configure an internet connection and bring a lenny
live CD, and most especially, a lenny live installed system, up and
online. Lenny live needs a lot more default networking configuration
software on the CD, and not on some distant Debian repository where it
might very well be impossible to install from. How is one supposed to
download software to set up the network, when the computer is lacking
the appropriate network setup software packages in the default install
in the first place? You can't download network software if the network
is inactive folks.
I would recommend ndiswrapper, wifi-radar, and wpasuppliant for
starters. Additionally, CLI software to configure and activiate dial-up
connections, isdn, direct asdl, and 3G WLAN connections should be
included too. Also, if I may further suggest, please consider some very
useful CLI scripts from sidux, fw-detect and ceni. These are excellent
command line tools for getting networks to just work.
And yes, there should be some good complementary GUI tools to handle
these various kinds of network connections as well. I don't know what to
recommend especially. Linux Mint has some good tools, but I don't know
if they are in the Debian repositories. Ubuntu's tools are lacking in my
view. (Did I say lacking? I meant to say they suck.) I hear Fedora has
put together some good network configuration GUI software, but I haven't
Anyway, networking should be easy to set up. This requires having a full
slate of DFSG software, both CLI and GUI, available on the Live CD, and
maybe setting up an option for people to easily configure
/etc/sources.list to include the contrib and non-free repositories.
(Yes, I hate to admit, but sometimes we have no choice but to install
those binary blobs.) Additionally, there should be some good GUI
software for those unfamiliar with the command line.
The notion that somebody should have to use a USB drive to carry various
network .deb packages from their networked computer to their freshly
installed Debian computer is ridiculous. I have had to do this far too
many times, and there is no good reason for it. All possible DFSG
network configuration and activation software should be installed by
default. It would help tremendously in getting networks set up quickly
And yes, I will get off my soapbox and stop ranting now ;-) Sorry, but
this is a sore issue with me, and I would hate to see Debian Live
replicate this utterly unnecessary and ridiculous problem found with so
many Live CDs.
In conclusion, as I stated above, I really like the Debian Live CD. It
is fast, elegant, and it works. A few tweaks here and there and some
more beta testing, and it will be a real winner that Debian can be
immensely proud of. Congratulation Debian Live team!