1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

FreeBSD 7.2 LiveCD, FreeBSD 7.2 embedded & GRUB2 for FreeBSD [logical partitions also

Discussion in 'General' started by Panarchy, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Greetings,

    Looks like your looking for suggestions.

    Here are mine;

    - Have a distribution of GRUB2 on the FreeBSD install disc, enabling installation onto logical partitions, as well as various other benefits.

    - Include a LiveCD containing the latest distribution, including a GUI Installer etc.

    - FreeBSD [latest] for Embedded devices?

    - Full ZFS support, complete with GUI Partitioner

    Just some suggestions!

    Regards,

    Panarchy
     
  2. CmdLnKid

    CmdLnKid New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Just a few curious question.

    What benefits do you feel that a GUI in any aspect would benefit the install of FreeBSD ?

    Please explain Full ZFS support ?. Currently as development goes on more and more of ZFS parts are being integrated to work. And again why a GUI, what benefit does it bring to the table besides looking pretty and I need it ?

    What benefits would it have being able to install to logical partitions ? besides the obvious of allowing you to manage your windows partitions and installing into them ?

    FreeBSD embedded good idea...
     
  3. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Thanks for replying

    GUI Installer would be of benefit, mainly for it's user friendliness. eg; if someone doesn't know anything about FreeBSD, they should still be able to install it without effort.

    The ZFS falls under that catergory. Also, if it could be integrated into GParted...

    For hobbyists like me, who like to install 8+ Operating Systems on 1 hard-drive, without virtualisation. Also, the GRUB2 module for this has already been written. I requested it's implementation on the GRUB2-Devel mailing-list.

    Thanks, I thought so to!

    :p

    Panarchy
     
  4. Beastie

    Beastie Active Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Thanks Received:
    339
    livefs?


    It already has a GUI installer: sysinstall. It's not perfect, but it does the job fairly well. IMO, it's even user friendly. At least that's what I though the first time I installed FreeBSD.
    Anything more "graphical" will slow things down, and will make a setup under emulators or on slower machines an unbearable PITA.
    If such a system (e.g. finstall) is ever included, users should at least have the ability to choose the old one too.


    And for those two things (so far...) running in "graphic modes", what do you propose? That FreeBSD's base installation include and require Xorg? What's next? Ding/Ploc/Vlam-type sound schemes, transition effects, etc. à la Windows? Come on, what wrong with the current fdisk/bsdlabel? If you need support for a new FS, just add it to the currently used utilities.
     
  5. Djn

    Djn New Member

    Messages:
    392
    Thanks Received:
    62
    What's wrong with the current fdisk/bsdlabel is that it doesn't support any other disk layouts than the basic "BSD partitions in a slice on an MBR disk". Given the number of things FreeBSD actually supports (gjournal, gmirror, graid3, GPT partitioning, geli encryption, ZFS raids, atacontrol raids, vinum raids, booting from several of the previous), that's rather limiting.

    As for extending sysinstall to support these things, that's definitely possible - but not by extending the current partitioning interface. (You can stack GEOM modules and RAID disks in ways that don't really fit into the "split free space into chunks"-spirit of it.)

    There's absolutely no correlation between what the installer uses and what has to be in the base or installed system. You could build a live CD with an installer, KDE4 with 3D acceleration, a large sound theme, and an automated pet walker - and then use that to install the same minimal installation you can get with sysinstall today.

    Heh, you could in theory install FreeBSD from a Linux environment, if gpart and their UFS2 tools are up to it. I'll have to try that some day.


    Having an optional X interface to the installer gives some benefits, like making it easier to present information (higher resolution, graphics), the convenience of mouse support, and better unicode handling. Not must-haves, but not useless, either. Running X from a live CD is a solved problem, so if FreeBSD creates an installer based on a live CD - image, using X to make life a touch easier when possible seems sensible.

    Oh, and there is a related project going on already. It was a bit lacking last time I tried it, but maybe it'll grow up into something nice. :)
     
  6. Beastie

    Beastie Active Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Thanks Received:
    339
    The point is you can include support for all these features in the old utilities (sysinstall/fdisk/bsdlabel), and it might be faster to implement than programming entirely new tools with a radically different user interface. No need for a graphical installer here at all.


    What he is proposing is having a more graphical sysinstall/fdisk/bsdlabel. All of these utilities are part of the base system since they can be used post-install. In other words, you are imposing the loading of a huge graphical lib (+ all the support libs) and its installation on disk even on systems that will never use X.
    The only way to avoid this is to make two separate versions of each of these utilities, one graphical for the initial setup and the other as a command-line utility for subsequent configuration. This is a waste of time for the developers (in the current situation there's a lot of code sharing) and a waste of space on the CD. A few years ago, they had to remove fixme (correct me if I'm wrong) from disc1 and make livefs. If you add such bloat, what will you remove next? Half of the packages? Or is it the source? Or maybe the docs?


    Sure, but why would you do that? It's like using Windows setup.exe to install MS-DOS. An entirely graphical experience based on FreeBSD already exists. People who use vanilla FreeBSD generally have needs that don't include and require having a graphical point-and-click setup.


    The setup process using sysinstall is almost as fast and easy as Windows', THE user-friendly OS. And mouse support could be added (quite easily) to sysinstall.


    Perfect. That's exactly what I had in mind in my last post ("users should at least have the ability to choose").
     
  7. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    I like the idea of having a choice.

    Perhaps another ISO should be in the FTP queue for FreeBSD.

    One with a neat user interface (Djn: The one you suggested is more than halfway there) that you wouldn't need skill or knowledge to install.

    Make BSD easier [​IMG], at least to install!


    In the meantime, would really like to see a GParted type tool for FreeBSD & ZFS.

    Thanks,

    Panarchy
     
  8. Beastie

    Beastie Active Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Thanks Received:
    339
    Yes, a completely separate image would be the best in this case.

    But I still don't get it.

    A user who wants a point-and-click FreeBSD experience uses PC-BSD or FreeSBIE. Easy to install and use, minimal configuration. Period.

    A user - whether a sysadmin or a desktop user - who wants a "power" FreeBSD experience (highly-customizable, fast to load and install, etc.) uses vanilla FreeBSD, doesn't care much about any point-and-click (outside X and WMs for desktop users), will read the manual (where the whole installation process is explained in 7 pages!!!!) and will manually install and customize every single part of the system they want to use.
    Really, I fail to see how a point-and-click initial setup will significantly change the life of a user who will compile a custom kernel, setup jails, a bunch of services, a firewall, etc. In other words, how will this user be able to do these things, if they are unable to install their system without someone (or something) holding their hands, or to even read the proper pages in the official manual?
     
  9. Petz

    Petz New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Thanks Received:
    11
    I think this comes down to a question of what are you going to use the system for and you own tastes. Should/Does FreeBSD target a particular user group? Do they leave other flavors/distros to cater the user groups and just make the base system? It would be nice to have FreeBSD cater for everyone either from a single(big) release then selecting from it what you want to install. Or by have multiple releases each with varying levels of inclusions(small for embedded, medium for servers, large for desktops).

    Embedded - Probably doesn't want a great deal included. No X windows, no graphical installer. Heck they probably don't even use finstall.

    Servers - Just the essentials. Fairly minimal. But again this depends on your admin. I myself think GUIs are the bomb!!! If there is a GUI equivilant tool to do a job then I'm all for it. Why waste time learning commands calulating space requirments etc in your head or on paper when a nice GUI disk partioning tool will do the same job and show a nice graph??? Of course grep, find, awk and pipes on the command line seem to serve where no GUI can.

    Desktop - We want graphical installs. For everything. Disk partitioning. Package/port management. 3D drivers. ala PC-BSD. Should users need to edit loader.conf to get sound setup on boot? Should they need to edit sysctl.conf to set the default sound device? These things sound trivial but the end result is lost time. This causes people just to go to something easier, and lost users for FreeBSD in affect means a loss to the FreeBSD community. I'm not saying FreeBSD is bad far from it. But for this groups of users I think PC-BSD is going in the right direction. Its not a case of 'Desktop users don't care they just want it to work'. They do care, they want it to work but more importantly they want it to be easy/intuitive to get things working the way they expect. If sound does not get enabled by default so what! Just make it easy to select/setup during or post install. FreeBSD has command line partitioning tools and sysinstall which is great, what about the option to use graphical versions?
     
  10. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Yes!

    That's it, Petz has the idea!

    Perhaps a little more? But if Petz idea got approved, I would be extremely happy! [as would others!]

    Embedded

    Server

    Server 64-bit

    Desktop

    Desktop 64-bit

    Desktop Minimal [original]

    Desktop Minimal 64-bit [original]
     
  11. SirDice

    SirDice Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,523
    Thanks Received:
    2,351
    Most admins run servers headless, no X, so no GUI. Learn the tools and use ssh. You can even admin a box like that remotely over a slow dialup connection anywhere in the world. Try and do that with a GUI.
     
  12. Petz

    Petz New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Thanks Received:
    11
    I do that. Perhaps not on Dialup but hey who does use dialup now? I work for a large Australian based retail chain which has so many systems I can't count them all. My team manages the majority of them which comprises mostly Windows, AIX, Solaris, NCR MP-RAS(I hate these things, mainly because of how old the hardware is) and a few Linux boxes. Of all the systems only the Linux and Windows ones really have a windowing system installed. Some of the AIX systems have X windows but it is used only by the Oracle Application servers we run.

    Back to the point though. I know SSH and I know most of the command line tools. But when doing certain work (even on servers) GUI tools win out. For example if I'm writing a big KSH script I would never consider vi up to the job, its just to tedius. I'd rather use Textpad on my Windows PC and upload the results. File explorers are a good example to. While I don't mind cd'ing around and command line, auto-completes are good and other command tools have no GUI equivalent. Sometimes you just want to navigate the filesystem and a GUI can't be beaten for that job in my opinion.

    My point being.
    1. Not everyone is running headless servers over dialup.
    2. Some people may be command line warriors, however not everyone is. Why not provide the choice?
     
  13. SirDice

    SirDice Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,523
    Thanks Received:
    2,351
    I do, via UMTS/3G :e Got a cheap dataplan, no download limit but it is capped on speed. It means I can be oncall and not be stuck at home.

    I mainly use VIM, heck I even use gvim on Windows as I kept doing ESC :wq :stud

    Never heard of mc (midnight commander)? misc/mc-light

    I can live with choice. ;)
     
  14. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Excellent!

    We've finally agreed, that it would be better if we had more choices to choose from!

    :stud

    Petz: I didn't know you were Auzzie! :beer
     
  15. Petz

    Petz New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Thanks Received:
    11
    Hi Panarchy, thanks for the reminder to update my forum details :)
     
  16. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
  17. Beastie

    Beastie Active Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Thanks Received:
    339
    But we already have so many choices! How do you call vanilla FreeBSD, NanoBSD, m0n0wall, pfSense, PC-BSD, FreeSBIE, TrueBSD?

    They're all based on FreeBSD, and they are already customized for the needs of their own user base: small vs. normal, live vs. non-live, GUI vs. CLI setup, general vs. special purpose, server vs. desktop, etc.

    So why not choose each "model" depending on your needs, instead of incorporating the entire basket into vanilla FreeBSD?
    What happened to the KISS principle, when we wanted simple but powerful tools, when we wanted the right tools for the right job?
     
  18. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Hmm...

    Wait, what does KISS stand for?
     
  19. DutchDaemon

    DutchDaemon Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Messages:
    10,724
    Thanks Received:
    2,137
  20. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Ah!!!

    LOL.

    Would still be interested in some more non-forked distributions... of FreeBSD...
     
  21. Petz

    Petz New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Thanks Received:
    11
    Nice one. I'm sure most people know it as "Keep It Simple Stupid" though. Small is not a measure or scale of simplicity. I beleive the acronym is mean't to remind you(Stupid!!) that you shouldn't be overcomplicating things. Refer to Urban Dictionary definition 4 ---> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=kiss

    Anyway as I stated eariler. I feel it would be good to have FreeBSD with the option of a GUI install system and Desktop environment. Having the PC-BSDs and others is good but I think the FreeBSD team might do it better in terms of inline(on time ) releases intead of waiting for the flavors to catch up. As well as better integration to give end users a smoother experience.

    The notion that servers don't have or need a GUI is more a relic of the past to save on resources. Sure some system you will still run without a GUI if you want maximum stability and speed but when you look at other major Server OS. Most come with a GUI these days. Wndows Server, Red Hat or SUSE Enterprise Linux, Solaris 10 etc etc.

    What Desktop Environment would you bundle? I have no idea, probably something to complement the GUI install system. Others would know better than me the characteristics of each Windowing System. Some are lighter on resources than others, some provide a more complete system with extra features and tools.

    What end users (and me) think matters little though. Its the project as a whole that needs to decide if this is something that should happen. I would imagine its something that has come up before and would appreciate it if anyone has links to that/those discussions. I will end my post with this though, taken from the FreeBSD faq page.


    http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/introduction.html
     
  22. DutchDaemon

    DutchDaemon Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Messages:
    10,724
    Thanks Received:
    2,137
  23. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    191
    Thanks Received:
    14
  24. Panarchy

    Panarchy New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Linux!
     
  25. hedwards

    hedwards New Member

    Messages:
    189
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Except we already have more choices than that. You do have a point on some of the things, and for the most part they're already being worked on. ZFS being the main one and apart from it being excluded from sysinstall it should work on the latest 8.0 beta.

    Getting a good UI for the install program tends to be something that people argue about, but it isn't something that anybody's really taken seriously. I know there's finstall, but realistically I'm not sure how much time is being spent on it.

    Sort of bottom line is that most of the things that you're wanting are already available it's just more DIY than with Linux. And it's that way because it gives an incredible amount of flexibility with a minimal amount of effort on the part of the developers. I'm just not sure that adding the extra work necessary to make that stuff happen the way that you'd like is really good for the project.

    Probably the biggest resistance to things like a GUI set up utility is that it still needs to work over dial up, or at least a serial port and that it's very difficult to work in the amount of stuff that you can do via sysinstall or the livecd into a coherent GUI. I've used several of the installers for various Linux distros, and they tend to suck, don't do what they should and arbitrarily prevent you from doing things that sysinstall handles without issue.