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#26 2018-12-08 23:32:59

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,339  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

esr wrote:

I tried a Devuan install from scratch on the NUC, failed due to the NIC problem, then did a Mint install from scratch.

Indeed you did and I found it:

The problem turned out to be that the Devuan ASCII kernel is too old. The list of vendor-ID/subtype pairs for the e1000 didn't include the subtype the NIC on the NUC has.

Apologies for not remembering to connect those two pieces that were so many paras apart.  I'll try to do better next time.  smile

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#27 Today 21:51:12

Centurion Dan
Member
Registered: 2016-12-06
Posts: 8  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

To be honest, I largely agree with ESR with respect to his defining the problems that make Devuan a frustrating installer experience...

I think he's a bit too idealistic in thinking it's possible to have one installer that covers every type of installation situation, However we could certainly make selecting the installer a much smoother process simply by setting up an installation helper web page where a user can answer a couple of simple questions to select the right installer for their particular scenario:

1) What hardware are you trying to install on?
    - identifying the target hardware first gives the first big clues to narrow down the options.
    - start from class of hardware (server, desktop, laptop, all-in-one, tablet, small systems (raspberry pi, beaglebone black, intel nuc etc)
    and then get into specifics that will identify thing like architecture.. might be good to have a fuzzy search for this.

2) Identify the intended use case (Desktop, server, router, minimal etc) - this list should be ordered based on most likely use case for a the hardware selection.

3) Would you like to see how it runs before committing to an installation:
- only presented where live installer options are a reasonable option ie; desktop or office productivity use cases

4) Installation type
- this question may be pre-determined by previous questions
- where there is a selection ie non-live desktop/server ie - installs on pc/server hardware then we need to explain the pro's or con's of the installater options most likely net-install vs's full DVD/BD images.

All the images must include all the available firmware likely required to complete the install.

This could be extended to include questions like Language, and installation task selection (informed by the above), root and user accounts setup and installation of ssh public keys - all of which can be provided as a preseed to minimize the install time questions.

With respect to old kernels... well we need to perhaps provide better advice on how to use the unstable/testing installers to install a stable system with backported kernels.

This isn't an intractable problem, but it will take time and, whilst I'd love to help with doing this I also need to earn a living.  I'd be glad to consider various funding options to that end that would allow me or others to be able to dedicate more time to solving these problems.

Last edited by Centurion Dan (Today 21:53:15)

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#28 Today 22:44:33

ChuangTzu
Member
Registered: 2018-06-13
Posts: 61  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

Know your niche/audience and cater to them. Devuan/Debian is not the same audience as *buntu/Mageia etc...

The expectation should remain to research and learn, ask questions, get guidance etc...  this will create and encourage empowered users, not simple automatons clicking yes, yes, yes, all the way through an installer.   Also, keep in mind the more something does, the more intrinsic risk that it will screw up.

Last edited by ChuangTzu (Today 22:45:02)

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