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Bug#251597: marked as done (Verbose installation report)

Your message dated Mon, 31 Jan 2005 17:31:37 +0100
with message-id <1107189097.10907.47.camel@thanatos>
and subject line Closing installation report
has caused the attached Bug report to be marked as done.

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Subject: Verbose installation report
From: Thomas Hood <jdthood@aglu.demon.nl>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
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Package: installation-reports

Here is a verbose installation report.  I wrote it while installing
sarge after having consulted no documentation.

Let me start by saying that the installation process made a good

However, there may be room for improvement at any point at which I
report that I am wondering something.  I was playing a bit dumb,
and I admit that I didn't read the installation manual, but I am
quite sure that many users will be wondering what I report to be

* I wget
  and burn it onto a CD
* I insert this CD into my computer
  My computer is:
  + ThinkPad 600
  + Pentium MMX
  + 64 MB RAM
* I switch on my computer
  The initial screen displays a prompt in English:

      Press F1 for help, or ENTER to boot

  Fortunately, I do speak English.
  At this point I don't know whether I need help.
  I might not have known what 'boot' means.  Although I do know what
  it means in general, I don't know whether it means here 'boot into
  an existing OS' or 'boot the installer'.  It might be better to say:

      Press ENTER to start the installation, or
      press F1 for help:

* I read all the help pages.  Interesting.
* I press ENTER
  I see lots of messages.
  I see "[!!] Choose language".  What do the exclamation points mean?
  I see "Your choice of language:" and a list of language choices.
  The line "en_US ..." is highlighted.  That happens to be what I want,
  but how do I select it?  It doesn't say.  Do I just press ENTER?
* I press ENTER
  I see "[!] Select a keyboard layout".  Now there is only one
  exclamation point.  What does it mean?  I see "Keymap to use:"
  Is a "keyboard layout" the same as a "keymap"?  I wonder:
  Why do I "Select" a keyboard layout but "Choose" a language?
  I see "American English" highlighted.  How do I change this?
  Probably using the arrow keys.
* I press UP and DOWN arrow keys
  OK, I have changed the selection.
  I'll assume that I "Select" this keyboard layout by pressing
  ENTER.  I am a bit apprehensive because "<Go Back>" is displayed
  at the bottom of the screen.  Is that the default action?  If I
  press ENTER will I go back?  How would I go back if I wanted to?
  Anyway ...
* I press ENTER
  I see "Detecting hardware to find CD-ROM drives" and a lot of
  messages that go by too fast to read properly.
  I see "Loading components of the Debian installer" and more
  messages that go by too fast to read properly.
  I see "[!] Detect network hardware".  That exclamation point
  again ... it seems to mean nothing at all.
  I see "No Ethernet card was detected" and an invitation to 
  select a driver.  I have a PCMCIA Wi-Fi card sitting on my
  desk here.
* I insert the PCMCIA network card.
  Nothing happens.
  I don't know what to do.  I could probably reboot and start again.
  Instead I'll try pressing Escape, even though nothing says that
  Escape will do anything.
* I press ESCAPE
  Yipes, it did something.  I now see "Configure the network"
  (I'll ignore the exclamation point from now on).  I have a
  choice between two:
      eth0: Wireless ethernet (802.11x)
      wifi0: Wireless ethernet (802.11x)
  I'll assume that "ethernet" is the same as "Ethernet" mentioned
  I happen to know that wifi0 is a useless duplicate interface
  created by the airo driver.
* I press ENTER
  I see "Wireless network configuration".
  I see "Configure the network" (two exclamation points) and
  "Wireless ESSID for eth0:".
* I type in my ESSID and press ENTER
  I see "Configure the network" and "WEP key for wireless device eth0:"
* I type in my WEP key and press ENTER
  I see "Configure the network" (now with one exclamation point)
  and "Hostname:" and "debian" in the entry field.
* I press BACKSPACE to remove "debian" and type in a hostname and
  press ENTER
  I see "Detecting ..."
  I see "Starting up the partitioner"
  I see "Partitioning disks" and "Partitioning method:"
* I use the arrow keys to select "Manually edit partition table"
  and press ENTER
* I see "Partition disks" and "This is an overview of your currently
  configured partitions and mount points."  Strange, I don't see any
  mount points listed.  It goes on: "Select a partition to modify
  its settings (file system, mount point, etc.), a free space to 
  create partitions, or a device to initialise its partition table."
  That's awkward English.  I find that I can use the arrow keys
  to highlight any of the following lines INCLUDING THE BLANK ONES!

      Configure software RAID
      Configure the Logical Volume Manager
      Guided partitioning
      Help on partitioning

      IDE1 master (hda) - 10.0 GB IBM-DCXA-210000
            #1 primary    2.1 GB z    fat16
            #2 primary    1.0 MB
            #3 primary   30.4 MB      ext2
            #5 logical  288.4 MB    h swap       swap
            #6 logical    7.4 GB      ext3
               logical   94.4 MB      FREE SPACE

      Undo changes to partitions
      Finish partitioning and write changes to disk

  It takes me a while to realize that the "IDE1" line is a "device"
  line, the numbered lines are "partition" lines and the last line
  is a "free space" line.  It is confusing that the description 
  names them in a different order from how they appear on the
  I don't know about RAID and LVM so I ignore those.  I wonder why
  "Help on partitioning" is provided via a menu selection instead
  of by pressing F1 as earlier.
* I use the arrow keys to highlight "Help on partitioning" and
  I press ENTER
  I read the help.  It explains the little happy face beside "swap"
  on line #5.  I guess that I can press PgDn to read more text,
  although nothing tells me this.
* I press PgDn
  I read about the little lightning bolt symbol beside "fat16"
  on line #1.
  "<Continue>" is highlighted.
* I press ENTER
* I use the arrow keys to highlight "Guided partitioning" and
  press ENTER
  I see "Disk to partition:" and

      Use free space
      Erase entire disk: IDE1 master (hda) - 10.0 GB IBM-DCXA-210000
      Manually edit partition table

   The last line is highlighted
* I press ENTER
  I am back at the "Partition disks" screen.  I guess I am not 
  going to get any guidance.
* I highlight line #6 and press ENTER
  I see "Partition disks" and "Partition settings:" and

      Usage method:              do not use
      Bootable flag:             off
      Size:                      7.4 GM

      Done setting up the partition
      Copy data from another partition
      Delete the partition

  Once again it puzzles me that I am able to highlight the blank
  line between the two sets of three choices.  I wonder why 
  "Done setting up the partition" isn't the last choice.  I wonder
  how "Delete the partition" can be regarded as changing the
  settings of the partition.
* I use the arrow keys to highlight "Usage method..." and press ENTER
* I use the arrow keys to highlight "Format the partition" and ENTER
  The display has changed.  I now see a "File system" line
* I set File system to ext3
* I set mount point to /
  I wonder if I should change "Mount options" from "defaults",
  "Bootable flag" from "off" or "Size" from "7.4 GB".  I guess not.
* I use arrow keys to highlight "Done ..." and press ENTER
  Partition #6 now has a little skull-and-crossbones symbol.  Not
  very reassuring.  Does that mean I haven't configured it correctly?
  The help reassures me.
* I go through similar steps to make partition #3 my /boot partition.
  I see "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk".  Does this
  mean that it will write the actual partition table?  I select it
  and press ENTER.
  I turns out that I have a second chance to change my mind after
  reading a "WARNING:".
* I use the arrow keys to select "<Yes>" and press ENTER.
  Messages about filesystem operations go by.
  There is a blue screen.
  More messages go by.
  The CD-ROM spins up and I see "Installing the Debian base system"
  More messages ... minutes pass
* I see "Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk" and
  "The following other operating systems have been detected on this
  computer: Windows 95/98/Me".  Presumably this means that the OS
  was detected on the hard disk.  "If all of your operating systems
  are listed above, then it should be safe to install the boot
  loader to the master boot record of your first hard drive.  When
  your computer boots, you will be able to choose to load one of
  these operating systems or your new Debian system."  I wonder what
  "all your operating systems" means.  Presumably it means "all OS's
  installed on all disks in this computer".  I guess that the
  meaning of this is that the installer has detected Windows 95 on
  one of my partitions and won't overwrite it, and if I install GRUB
  on the MBR then I'll still be able to boot Windows 95 from GRUB.
  Do I have any other OS's on this computer?  I'm not sure.
  Unfortunately, there is no way to check now.
* I press ENTER
  I see "Installing GRUB boot loader".
  My CD-ROM drive drawer pops out.
  I see "Finish the installation" and "<Continue>"
* I press ENTER
  I see "Finishing the installation" and some messages
  The computer reboots.
  After a few seconds the kernel starts.  Did I get a GRUB menu?
  I don't know because my head was turned.
  I see "Debian Configuration"

Beyond this point I'll just make some selected comments.

  I see "Archive access method for apt:".  I wonder whether to select
  http or ftp.  How do I decide?

  I might wonder what a "mirror" is.

  I might wonder what basis I have for choosing one mirror rather
  than another.  Can't the installer choose a suitable one for me?

  When I opt to configure the system using aptitude (which I have
  heard is the best way), I would very much appreciate a page of
  quick start tips.  Maybe I haven't used aptitude before and have
  no idea how to use it to install packages.  All I really need to
  know for now is that I can select some tasks using '+' and 'g'.

  After selecting several tasks with '+' and typing 'g' and again 'g',
  aptitude goes off and downloads 551MB of packages.

  All these packages get unpacked.  The "Setting up" sequence pauses
  for long periods while memory usage grows 8 KiB per 6 seconds and
  dpkg consumes 99% of CPU.  I take the liberty of logging into
  another console and killing update-menus a few times; I can run
  it once at the end.  Finally I give up and hit ^C.  The reply is
  "Ack" and something about trying to recover.  I see "Setting up"
  happening much faster now.  Did aptitude rerun dpkg?  I guess so.
  Next time I'll install only one task at a time.  At the end of
  the dpkg run I am told that I should rerun the same step.  I do so
  and some more packages are installed.

  Finally I am told that the installation is complete.


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Subject: Closing installation report
From: Thomas Hood <jdthood@aglu.demon.nl>
To: 251597-done@bugs.debian.org
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Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 17:31:37 +0100
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Closing installation report.
Thomas Hood <jdthood@aglu.demon.nl>

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