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Re: Article: Debian's Daunting Installation

Olaf Meeuwissen wrote:

> I wrote directly to the author and told him:

<!-- Snip -->

> To which I got the following reply:
> | Hi, Olaf
> |
> | Thanks for your note.  See my column next week when I share
> | my experiences with the latest "official" version of potato.
> |
> | See ya,
> | Joe Barr

My Debian 2.2 ('potato') CD's arrived yesterday, and as Joe's new article hasn't
appeared yet, I thought I'd give it a quick go, so I know what to expect when I really
try to install it, in 4 weeks from now.

I found an empty machine at work, with lots of standard hardware, and ran through the
install by booting from the 1st CD. I knew the answers to all the questions I knew I
would be asked, having been through this a number of times before.

I noticed the first huge improvement when I chose the 'simple' install, and selected
just 'X Windowing System (complete)', 'Newbie documentation', and 'gnome desktop'
tasks. Then - (drum roll) - NO DSELECT! Great! The install then ran to completion with
just two minor hiccups:

1) When asked (by apt) if I wanted to scan in my other CD's I answered 'yes',
whereupon the install went into an endless loop and refused to continue. Next time
around I answered 'no' instead, and it ran OK. I guess I could just run 'apt-cdrom
add' at a later stage, to get the other CD's scanned in.

2) When configuring xterm, I was asked for a keyboard, but my Swedish keyboard was not
listed. The prompt assured me I could just choose 'none' and configure it later, so I
did that. This seemed a bit strange, considering that the very first list of options
after booting the CD _did_ list my keyboard.

The next great piece of news: everything configured OK! I tried 'dpkg -C' just to see
how many errors I had this time, and it was completely silent. I've never seen this
before in _any_ Debian install, so that was a big step forward.

So my only gripe (from a newbie standpoint) is this: Even though I selected 'gnome
desktop' and 'X Windowing System', they installed OK, and there were no outstanding
configuration issues... 'startx' still doesn't give me a desktop, as there are still
some things left to configure by hand. I now need to dig out my O'Reilly books again,
find out where that XSession file is and edit it. No biggie, but why couldn't the
install have done this for me?

The 'potato' install is worlds better than any previous version, but you still need to
be somewhat knowledgeable in Linux before you can get to a world of GUI. There are
only a few percent missing now before a true newbie, coming from a world of Windoze,
could actually use install and use Debian out of the box.

So the big question is this: is the Debian team interested in this potentially huge
user sector or not? With the demise of Win NT, there will soon be no decent OS
available from Murky$oft! Where will people go then? Red Hat? Or should we get them
using Debian?

Best regards,

Peter Hugosson-Miller
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice,
there is."

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