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[rono@sentuny.com.au: Making Linux disaster recovery user friendly]

----- Forwarded message from Ron O'Hara <rono@sentuny.com.au> -----

Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 21:39:38 +1000 (EST)
From: "Ron O'Hara" <rono@sentuny.com.au>
To: volkerdi@slackware.com
cc: esr@thyrsus.com, torvalds@transmeta.com, suggest@yellowdoglinux.com,
        info@varesearch.com, leader@debian.org, webmaster@developer.redhat.com,
Subject: Making Linux disaster recovery user friendly

Hi Patrick,

As a longtime Slackware user, I look forward to the next rev... BUT I have
a suggested change for the install - mostly to help advance the use of
Linux and OpenSource on the desktop.

The change I want:

In the default lilo setup, copy the initial boot kernel to the disk with
some name like 'vmlinuz.Safe' and put an extra label in lilo.conf that
uses this preditable kernel. A label like 'Safe'.  Then add some text to
the lilo boot message like:

--- boot message -- cut here -----
Linux system start in progess. Press the 'Ctrl' key to interrupt

{if the system wont start, you can try pressing the 'Ctrl' key, then
typing 'Safe single' after the LILO prompt, followed by pressing the
Return key}
-------   end of boot message -----

WHY  !!:

The point of this is to protect the Linux newbies. Doing so, improves the
chance of a happy experience for them . Lets make system recovery BETTER
than Windows - normal operation already is.

Ideally, Slackware, RedHat, Debian .... etc should cooperate and agree on
a consistent 'magic label' [I'm proposing 'Safe'] for this sort of
recovery process. Details of each implementation would obviously vary, but
at least that way EVERY new Linux user can be trained on how to restart
their system in the event of a system stuffup - rare though they are.

The same thing will improve the confidence level of the assorted dealers
and small startup support organisations that Linux will need if it is to
explode into the desktop arena.

So ... please help me start a trend.

Lets get consistent support for 'Safe' mode reboot accepted by all the
distributions and burned into the mindscape of all the users.

We (members of the Linux community) just need to select a SINGLE word to
use to initiate recovery  (case insensitive 'Safe' please) - the process
after that can vary per distribution, with nice menus etc.

It will help to make the user support task just a little bit easier.

Ron O'Hara

PS: Thinking ahead:

We should probably also identify and reserve another boot time label like
'Upgrade' to initiate a predictable starting point for whatever upgrade
method each distribution uses. That way, as far as end users are concered,
there is only one way to do a full system upgrade for Linux - no matter
which distribution is used.

email:  rono@sentuny.com.au
BH: (GMT)    +353 21 281469
Mobile: +61 419 873 801

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