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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-03
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Re: Daemon's Advocate article

From: "Joshua Coombs" <jcoombs@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 13:18:28 -0500

"Michel Talon" <talon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
<snip snip>
>In the same vein the
> installer is the entrance port to an Operating System for newbies.
If the
> installer is the sort of crap that are presently the *BSD
installers, you
> cannot expect to attract a lot of people outside of the
professionals or
> the enthusiasts. The Linux people have understood this point: it
is the
> distributions with easy to use installers (RedHat, Mandrake, Suse)
> have grabbed the largest part of the market, not the distributions
> pretend to deliver a high quality product, like Debian, and begin
> offering an installer worse than the BSD ones. Remarkably a lot of
> are taking renewed interest in Debian now that you can easily test
it and
> install it from an excellent live cdrom: Knoppix.
> -- 
> Michel Talon

I just got to travel down this road last week after giving up on
porting Opie to NetBSD.  It's tied very heavily to the linux kernel
itself, as is qt-embedded.  So, remembering that I started on linux
based distros way back when, I ran out, snagged a set of
boot/install floppies for Debian, and watched the installer tank
with no real error output.  Turns out on a bare 30gb IDE drive, lilo
was getting pissy and wouldn't install.  Ohtay, hell with release
quality, lets try the testing branch and it's new installer...
hrmmm... slowerer than crap, no real status indicators (It touches
off a 61mb download and doesn't show progress or activity while
running, you get to guess if it's stalled or not.) and whaddya know,
lilo porked.  Fine, RedHat it is.  No list of mirrors and they
REALLY want you to install off an ISO... bah.  Gentoo?  I don't have
that kind of time.

In comparison, the brutally crude OpenBSD installer seems simple,
and efficient.  It reliably gets the job done, as do the installers
for Net and Free.  Free even spruces things up with intelligent
defaults and prompting/guides.  Personally, the other camps can have
the gee-whiz flashy installers, untill they get as reliable and fast
as what we've got, I wouldn't use them as a guidepost.

Joshua Coombs
Still beating on Debian on an SE/30 now...

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