Bug#500206: [installation-guide] "4.4.1. Copying the files the easy way" needs greater care to avoid data loss
Section 4.4.1. Copying the files — the easy way contains:
You only have to extract it directly to your USB stick:
# zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sda
Sounds simple and easy, doesn't it? Granted, there's a bold Warning just
Using this method will destroy anything already on the device. Make sure that
you use the correct device name for your USB stick.
The fact that the device can be something else than /dev/sda is mentioned in
the introduction of 4.4:
try to find out which SCSI device the USB stick has been mapped to (in this
example /dev/sda is used)
This needs to be more clear. Users *need* to find out which device their USB
stick is mapped to, and the fact that /dev/sda is only an example shouldn't
be mentioned *in parentheses*. Also, the sentence introducing the command
should be more like
"If and only if your USB stick is mapped to /dev/sda, you can extract
boot.img.gz directly with the following command:"
I also suggest obscuring the command by replacing /dev/sda with a variable,
say $DEVICE, so that the reader has to take the time to stop and read a bit.
The device suggested could be /dev/sdb, so that a laptop user with 1 SATA
hard drive won't lose his primary disk with that command.
Furthermore, since the warning starts with "Using this method will destroy
anything already on the device.", one may think "Oh OK, that warning is just
going to tell me to save the data on my USB key elsewhere, but I have nothing
of value on the key, so let's skip the second sentence and run the command."
It should be clear from the first sentence, that running this may corrupt your
primary hard drive.