Quick poll

David A. Bandel david.bandel at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 04:52:31 PDT 2008

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 1:17 AM, Roger Oberholtzer <roger at opq.se> wrote:


> Not to start a distro war, but I just installed the latest Fedora. I
> really disliked their graphical install. Too much was already decided.

Not sure why impressions of an installer would start a distro war.
Certainly there are good and bad to every installer.  If the target
for a distro is Windoze idiot converts, then this installer might just
be great.

Besides, Linux is Linux is Linux (and we all have our "druthers").
Seems to me if you wanted to start a war it would be Linux vs. *BSD.
Now that would be a tough one for me to pick sides on.  Better, vi vs.
EMACS.  But let's not go there right now.

> It is ok if the way to make changes from these defaults is made obvious.
> I do not feel this was the case with their graphical install. OTOH, I
> think openSUSE are striking the right balance. Like giving you the
> option of letting the installer figure out everything, or having the
> installer take you through things. You have the level of control you
> want. I also thought the FC package selection was mysterious. Seemed to
> me that I could only install very coarse grained sets of packages. I
> must have missed the obvious place where one could be more specific.
> Does the FC installer have a package search option to let you find
> specific packages during install. The whole point of a graphical
> event-driven interface is that the paradigm makes it easier to make the
> most relevant options accessible to the user without having to resort to
> searching menus. Clicking on obscure icons to find basic things, like
> the level of control you can have over the install - which is perhaps
> one of the most relevant install options, obviates the whole reason for
> a gui application. In any event, it installed over 3000 packages and
> took a very long time.

I still prefer a non-graphical install.  I just think that if it is
done right (and that's a hard thing to do) that you get exactly what
you talked about above.  I personally prefer installing the most
minimalist system then installing only those packages I need once the
system is up and running on its own.  Debian lets me do exactly that.
I imagine others could as well, but most want you to set up something
before the install is finished.  Even with Debian I have to uncheck a
couple of boxes to not install what I consider installation "extras".

> I remain an openSUSE fan. I think Fedora really dumbed down their
> installer. Makes me suspicious of the rest of the system control
> utilities. I will explore those next. They are, after all, more
> important than the once-used install system.

Will have to relook openSuSE, been a while since I played with it.


David A. Bandel
Focus on the dream, not the competition.
            - Nemesis Air Racing Team motto

More information about the Linux-users mailing list