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making use of the DesktopBSD installer for FreeBSD

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mtod1

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Messages: 5

#1
Hi all.

I'd like to put forth the suggestion that the DesktopBSD installer be added to FreeBSD.

Currently FreeBSD is seriously lacking in the ease of installation department and adding the DesktopBSD graphic installation would be a significant boon for FreeBSD.

I wonder whether any FreeBSD developers out there would like to take this idea up or whether it is generally a viable idea.

Cheers
mtod1
 

CmdLnKid

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#2
"lacking in the ease of installation department" @mtod1

mtod1 said:
Hi all.

I'd like to put forth the suggestion that the DesktopBSD installer be added to FreeBSD.

Currently FreeBSD is seriously lacking in the ease of installation department and adding the DesktopBSD graphic installation would be a significant boon for FreeBSD.

I wonder whether any FreeBSD developers out there would like to take this idea up or whether it is generally a viable idea.

Cheers
mtod1
Personally IMHO what need is there really for a visual installer on a system that drops you back to the command line right after boot. Visual/GUI installers are major overhead with a lot of drawbacks on systems that are installed headless. Second and farthermost not having a installer gets a user more involved in reading the actual documentation that is available in the handbook or on the optical disc.

So do you believe in not enforcing knowledge that is learned ?

Lots of time has been put into the handbook and various other documentation side by side coupled with the community help that one can get shortly after reading and understanding the basics can provide a wealth of good practice and patience.

:stud
 

mtod1

New Member


Messages: 5

#3
Hi

Why then not have an option for a text or graphical based installation based upon the type of user who is installing the system.

A new user for eg. would no doubt much prefer to have most installation processes taken care of automatically. Whereas a more experienced user might enjoy a text based installation with the ability to customise the OS.

In regards to being dropped back to bash. Well once again this could be an option made available during installation. Some might prefer to have BSD boot straight into Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment etc.

I agree with you that knowledge os any OS is of course neccesary and very useful. But users must have the choice as to how deeply they would wan't to delve.

Anyhoo, I have made a valid suggestion which would have numerous benefits not the least of which would presumably be an increase in the number and type of users of FreeBSD.
 

jb_fvwm2

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#4
I've always wondered whether an installer which is much
more verbose (something like a 300k .rc file, divided even,
or a ncurses version of a bios config) would be easier.
(brings to mind "this choice may destroy your other-os data" warnings)
Could even include GPT vs MBR advisements...
...........
But a more immediate solution may be to find a guide that has
actual screenshots of the sysinstall (there are several) and
have it on hand while sysintalling...
 

DutchDaemon

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#5
FreeBSD does have a version with a full graphical installer: it's called DekstopBSD (and/or PC-BSD). FreeBSD doesn't need to be crammed with gooey goodness when there are parallel projects aimed at the other userbase who appreciate that kind of thing.
 

roddierod

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#6
Personally, I think FreeBSD should move to an installer more like OpenBSD.

I don't think people that are turned off by the installer are ready for FreeBSD, because their first question is going to be I installed FreeBSD and there is no GUI!
 

dennylin93

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#8
mtod1 said:
Currently FreeBSD is seriously lacking in the ease of installation department and adding the DesktopBSD graphic installation would be a significant boon for FreeBSD.
In my opinion, sysinstall is much more friendly than the ones that come with Linux or Windows. It's simple, it's fast, and it's easy to use. Besides, the mouse isn't needed for the installation process.
 

Beastie

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#9
CmdLnKid said:
Personally IMHO what need is there really for a visual installer on a system that drops you back to the command line right after boot.
Just what I was about to say... It's like
Code:
Please wait while sysinstall loads Xorg and the GTK/QT libs and a hundred others too...

<... 25 graphical mouse-enabled screens with all the bling-bling, and 1/2 hour later...>

Thanks you for choosing FreeBSD. Have a nice day.
$
<sysinstall just dropped you to the shell>
IMHO, sysinstall is too "graphical" as it is. And like roddierod, I'd prefer an OpenBSD-like setup (especially the latest one), but I'll live with it, as I've done so far.


mtod1 said:
Why then not have an option for a text or graphical based installation
You already have that: DesktopBSD, PC-BSD and FreeSBIE (in the past), which are/were all based on FreeBSD.
Please check this thread. No need to repeat the whole thing again and again.


mtod1 said:
In regards to being dropped back to bash
Oh dear...


mtod1 said:
an increase in the number and type of users of FreeBSD
There are already a lot of desktop users and they're happy with FreeBSD exactly as it is now. Other types of desktop users simply need other types of OSes.
As for FreeBSD's "core business", I'm sure it's well served already. Should I even give examples?
 

fonz

Son of Beastie

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#10
dennylin93 said:
Besides, the mouse isn't needed for the installation process.
GELI support on the other hand... ;)

Alphons (that would actually be an improvement imho)
 

aragon

Daemon

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#11
Yes, it would be nice if the installer could setup some of the GEOM based storage systems from the getgo. ZFS too...

Pretty GUI? Please no.
 

phoenix

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#12
There are several projects underway already to create a more modern installation system. There's the bsdinstaller (which DragonFlyBSD uses), there's finstall (which can be used to install FreeBSD already), and people are working on bringing in more advanced partitioning/setups for sysinstall.

It's just a matter of time, testing, and perseverance. Complaining on here without having a plan is pointless. :)

(Wouldn't it be awesome, though, if sysinstall was stripped of all non-installation-oriented bits, and had support for gpt, zfs, geom_*, etc added?)
 

mtod1

New Member


Messages: 5

#13
Thanks for the input all. The idea only came to mind as DesktopBSD has released its final version and appears to be unlikely to be continued.

Cheers
mtod1
 

bouloubsd

New Member


Messages: 6

#14
It's realy time for that !

I think it would be great for FreeBSD have a graphical installer. The console is beyond me! Sorry for the purists :\ ... But you just have to make a test with 5 people with knowledge before a normal PC and watch tried to install the system. Probably nobody is going to come. Take example on Debian, which has developed an installer resume step by step mode console. What is unfortunate is that FreeBSD is not available. Put as much effort on a system and not make it accessible to the average user. This must be frustrating nonetheless to see who else is using FreeBSD known success simply because they realized that the standard user does not spend two day or more reading the doc to install a system, because once installed learning is relatively shorter than Windows.

�e
 

jb_fvwm2

Daemon

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#15
one other setup just came to mind as I read
the post above:
The screen in sysinstall where one chooses "other options"
"view/set various installation options"
THAT page could *maybe* be the entire sysinstall. Each:
Code:
Item [something] Choice?_________    a... ChoiceA means Foo
    .................................b... ChoiceB means Bar
Item B [something] Choice? _____     a...
I imagine if setup that way it could be 20 pages long, but with
enough verbosity on the right, a more newbie-friendly install
might occur... (some keypress to confirm a background "df" or
something before writes to disk though for safety...)
.............
 

DutchDaemon

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#16
bouloubsd, what makes you think FreeBSD is for the 'average' or 'standard' user (whatever that may be)? I don't think that is a stated objective. If someone doesn't want to spend time reading docs and manuals, FreeBSD is out of their league, basically. Dumbing things down has never solved a problem, just created new ones.
 

kpedersen

Aspiring Daemon

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#17
Is this not what the Finstall project aims to achieve?

Also, whilst I agree with DutchDaemon that dumbing the installer down is not going to really be a benefit, it might be quite good as a way to get these 'average' or 'standard' users interested in the FreeBSD project and get it more publicity.

More publicity means more users... More users means more funding (not proportionate unfortunately :p). More funding in turn means that the project can progress faster. Project progressing faster means that we get more great stuff to play with :D
 

DutchDaemon

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#18
However straightforward your development model may seem, certain types of users do not contribute anything, monetarily or otherwise ;) Disproportionate amounts of time and effort are needed to placate them, and that time and effort gets taken away from actual progress. Growing your 'average userbase' tends to hold you back, not push you forward.

(just another way of looking at it)
 

kpedersen

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#19
Haha, perhaps.

I should invest some time at some point to revise my development model.
Until then... I will just live in make-believe-land :)
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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#20
I would suggest other sollution, using DragonflyBSD installer as a base for FreeBSD installer, its mature and works.

I like finstall idea with C backend and curses and or GTK2 frontend, but its developmens has stopped some time ago.
 

Bunyan

Active Member

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#21
FreeBSD definitely doesn't need a graphical installer. PC/DesktopBSD have.
I'd like that sysinstall, FreeBSD installer be a little more functional,
i.e. more consoles, a real live FS with more posibilities, like that of the Dragonfly's.
 

bouloubsd

New Member


Messages: 6

#22
graphic installing

I think kpedersen has a good point!

More users, more contribution, more enthusiasm and it always has a ripple effect ... I find it unfortunate that the other uses the work of professionals FreeBSD developers to build systems to side with a more flexible approach at the facility. I'm not against it! But FreeBSD gets no credit should return to him and not the fallen. The other problem is to integrate a good boot manager such as Grub for F1 - F2 - F3 is what is most sexy in 2009.

Even the main developers of NetBSD has acknowledged that they will work to make the system more accessible.

My exemple of Debian is perfect. The manager of development was noted that although several linux distributions is based on Debian but it should primarily developped a system for regular users and have a benefit from positive to have fallen back a large number of users in the world. It does not always just for developer whether others who harvest the fruit of our work. It's not sense !


Sorry for my bad english :stud
 

DutchDaemon

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#23
NetBSD and Debian are not FreeBSD. They serve different goals. The ripple effect of 'more users more enthusiasm' has led to Windows Vista and the Linux kernel -> severe bloat with crippling effects on progress (a.k.a. "quantity over quality").

EuroBSDCon, Basel, 2005
Poul-Henning Kamp closed the opening session with a brief
and humorous history of BSD and concluded with why other
operating systems are more widespread than BSD. To quote him:
"We BSD people are an elite bunch of snobs!"
[...]
The conference ended with the closing session, where Benedikt Stockebrand,
Poul-Henning Kamp, Daniel Seuffert and Wim Vandeputte started an open discussion
about whether the BSD community should grow or not. The conclusion was,
all people are very happy with the existing situation.

http://www.freebsdfoundation.org/press/2005Dec-newsletter.shtml#EuroBSD
 

bouloubsd

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Messages: 6

#24
To conclude my contribution to this post, I know very well as NetBSD and Debian are not FreeBSD. I bring examples. I think that being hyper conservative will have to know the excellent FreeBSD with PC users! I just hope that developers will demonstrate originality.

The question asked is this one!

Why put so much effort on a system that ultimately is so inaccessible about some expert ou maniac user ?

Regard and long life to FreeBSD ;)
 

DutchDaemon

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#25
PHK (also @EuroBSDCon, Basel, 2005) said something along the lines of "I don't care if we have only one percent of the users, as long as they're the best one percent'. I don't think that's hyper conservative. It's a clear choice for quality over quantity, and originality over following the herd. I like that.
 
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