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View Full Version : Ubuntu Installer Is Crap



Johnsie
June 15th, 2006, 01:35 AM
Don't get me wrong, I love Ubuntu and think it's the best thing since slice bread but I think the installer could be made a lot more simple for new users.

Ununtu can be tricky for new users to install. It's especially strange when it comes to installing a dual boot for the first time.

Ubuntu just need to get the finger out and make the installer much, much simpler for new users. I'm a software engineer and found everything ok on my first go except for the partitioner. It took me a few goes to get the right settings for that and the whole time I was worried that I'd wipe the owners Windows partition.

The people at Ubuntu really need to understand that the average computer knows very little about how data storage actually works, especially partitioning.

There needs to be an option in the official Ubuntu installer that asks whether the user wants to do a beginners installation or an advanced installation.

Everything needs to be clear and simple (Keep it simple stupid) and then Ubuntu truly can be "Linux for Humans"


Ubuntu is great, fast, stable and simple once it's installed but the installer is one of Ubuntus biggest downfalls and needs to be a priority for the next release.


Maybe a good way of getting a decent installer made would be by getting a random group of people, asking them to install Ubuntu on a machine and taking notes on what problems they had. Kinda like a survey with people from all ages who may or may not be good with computers.

IYY
June 15th, 2006, 01:39 AM
Have you used the graphical installer that comes with Dapper, or are you talking about the text-based Breezy installer?

grsing
June 15th, 2006, 02:03 AM
Is there an easy way for an unexperienced user to install a dual boot system? I guess Ubuntu could try to figure out what partition Windows is on (assuming the whole system isn't just installed on one partition, like most OEM Windows machines are, which just makes things considerably more complex) and install on a different one. But I shudder to think what would happen if Ubuntu got it wrong. People would start blaming Ubuntu for destroying their computers. I think partitioning (which is really where your beef with the Ubuntu installer seems to lie) is one of those subjects where, particularly in the case of a dual-boot system, an unexperienced user should really seek help. That's just about the only way a newbie can really foul up their Windows install with Ubuntu, and I think it just has to have a level of complexity by it's nature.

IYY: I think the criticism (which is valid, I'm just not sure anything can or should be done about the problem) holds true for both installers; the new Dapper one just does it with a prettier face.

Harold P
June 15th, 2006, 02:59 AM
Ubuntu is easy to install, if you're partitioning.

jason.b.c
June 15th, 2006, 04:24 AM
Have you used the graphical installer that comes with Dapper, or are you talking about the text-based Breezy installer?


Dapper has a graphical one.?? Really.?? , Thats awesome..

BoyOfDestiny
June 15th, 2006, 05:59 AM
Dapper has a graphical one.?? Really.?? , Thats awesome..

Someone took some screencaps of it in action.

http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2006/06/six-steps-to-installing-ubuntu-dapper.html

It is simple. In fact, I've not seen an OS installer as easy as that... If anyone has an example, please bring it out.

tseliot
June 15th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Johnsie

Does the title of this thread look like constructive criticism to you?

I'm not objecting against the content of your thread (you're free to express your opinion) but don't you think that the title could be changed to something like "Ubuntu's installer definitely needs to be improved" or "Ubuntu's installer is way too simplistic (or limited)"?

bionnaki
June 15th, 2006, 07:03 AM
I had trouble changing the file system from ext to reiserfs.

linuxfanatic1024
June 15th, 2006, 07:12 AM
Is there an easy way for an unexperienced user to install a dual boot system? I guess Ubuntu could try to figure out what partition Windows is on (assuming the whole system isn't just installed on one partition, like most OEM Windows machines are, which just makes things considerably more complex) and install on a different one. But I shudder to think what would happen if Ubuntu got it wrong. People would start blaming Ubuntu for destroying their computers. I think partitioning (which is really where your beef with the Ubuntu installer seems to lie) is one of those subjects where, particularly in the case of a dual-boot system, an unexperienced user should really seek help. That's just about the only way a newbie can really foul up their Windows install with Ubuntu, and I think it just has to have a level of complexity by it's nature.

IYY: I think the criticism (which is valid, I'm just not sure anything can or should be done about the problem) holds true for both installers; the new Dapper one just does it with a prettier face.
Totally agreed. When I introduced my girlfriend to Linux, we needed to do it together so that we wouldn't mess up her computer totally. We're both autistic and tend to get wound up rather easily if we don't know what we're doing.

Now she knows how to do it on her own, and I am happy she does. The thing is, no matter what operating systems you're dealing with, you need to do your homework and/or get someone to help you.

(I'm currently trying to get her to drop Windows, and she wants to, but she needs her own place before she can do that, because her parents expect her to have Windows on her computer and are Microserfs...)

angkor
June 15th, 2006, 07:44 AM
Everything needs to be clear and simple (Keep it simple stupid) and then Ubuntu truly can be "Linux for Humans"

There are as far as I can remember 6(!) questions asked in total when installing Ubuntu with the new graphical installer. It doesn't get any simpler than that. Let's face it, installing an OS is difficult for a lot of people.

I think the new installer does a great job of keeping it as simple as possible.

If you install ubuntu without wanting to dual boot windows it's drop dead easy. Just wipe the entire disk and let the installer decide the partitions. If you want to dual boot, pick the resize options. You don't need to know anything about partitioning.

jason.b.c
June 15th, 2006, 07:48 AM
Well thats awesome stuff..

But i think there's something funny about this screenshot..

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2836/3052/1600/step1.png

Live CD...???? :confused: Don't they mean Install CD..???

BoyOfDestiny
June 15th, 2006, 08:48 AM
Well thats awesome stuff..

But i think there's something funny about this screenshot..

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2836/3052/1600/step1.png

Live CD...???? :confused: Don't they mean Install CD..???

Well the "Desktop CD" is a live cd. You can run ubuntu without installing... Or do things while you install...

The old install, is referred to as the "alternate cd"

There is also a server install...
http://mirror.cs.umn.edu/ubuntu-releases/6.06/

Brynster
June 15th, 2006, 08:51 AM
Someone took some screencaps of it in action.

http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2006/06/six-steps-to-installing-ubuntu-dapper.html

It is simple. In fact, I've not seen an OS installer as easy as that... If anyone has an example, please bring it out.

Linspires 5.0 installer is even easier. Put disc in, boot pc select install, select drive, away you go. And on an average install time of sub 10 minutes on most reasonably modern equipment.

Thats one of Linspires greatest features its a delight to install.

jason.b.c
June 15th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Well the "Desktop CD" is a live cd. You can run ubuntu without installing... Or do things while you install...

The old install, is referred to as the "alternate cd"

There is also a server install...
http://mirror.cs.umn.edu/ubuntu-releases/6.06/

Yea i know about the differances between the live CD and the install CD, But now does dapper only come on CD or something..??

Please explain a little further.. I'm just wondering why it say's live CD on the screenshot and not install..

Jucato
June 15th, 2006, 11:24 AM
Yea i know about the differances between the live CD and the install CD, But now does dapper only come on CD or something..??

Please explain a little further.. I'm just wondering why it say's live CD on the screenshot and not install..

Because there's another installer CD: the Alternate Install CD, which is the text-based (old-style) installer, which also contains more advanced installation features like putting GRUB somewhere other than MBR.

imagine
June 15th, 2006, 11:39 AM
The installer on the Live CD has already very few options. It cannot or shouldn't become any easier than that. If you need more control over the installation then the Install CD is still there.
This is a good concept IMHO.

jason.b.c
June 15th, 2006, 11:59 AM
Because there's another installer CD: the Alternate Install CD, which is the text-based (old-style) installer, which also contains more advanced installation features like putting GRUB somewhere other than MBR.


So i'm getting the newer ( more advanced ) one from ship-it..?? My ship-it order rather..:D

Jucato
June 15th, 2006, 12:55 PM
AFAIK, the Shipit CDs will be the Desktop CDs. I might be wrong, though.

Stealth
June 15th, 2006, 02:15 PM
I fail to see what is so hard about:
Selecting language
Selecting your timezone
Selecting your keyboard language
Entering your name, and your username+password

The only thing that MIGHT be complicated, is partitioning (which has always been like that). If you want to get rid of Windows completely, then there is no problem. Either way, as mentioned before, installing an OS isn't gonna be the simplest thing in the world, and I believe that if Ubuntu "dumbs" this down any more, we are gonna have some issues in terms of your freedom with preferences.

jason.b.c
June 15th, 2006, 03:00 PM
we are gonna have some issues in terms of your freedom with preferences.

And how is that..??? :confused:

Jucato
June 15th, 2006, 03:11 PM
it would mean that if you dumbed-down the Destkop CD installer any more than it already is, there might be no more option to setup your partitions, or maybe to setup the timezone, or maybe to setup the keyboard, or maybe to setup a username and password?

Then, there will be only two options: Install and Cancel. :D

(just kidding :p)

NewDisciple
June 15th, 2006, 03:48 PM
I don't see any point in negative criticism. If your'e not part of the solution you are part of the problem. First off, I'm not sure how much easier it can be made. Before installing a new OS one should gain as much knowledge as possible beforehand. If the problem you faced was with partitioning why not buy a program such as Partion Commander or download one of the free open source partition applications to do it for you. A derogatory title such as this is totally inappropriate considering that you have contributed nothing to it and have paid nothing for it.

Stealth
June 15th, 2006, 04:13 PM
And how is that..??? :confused:


it would mean that if you dumbed-down the Destkop CD installer any more than it already is, there might be no more option to setup your partitions, or maybe to setup the timezone, or maybe to setup the keyboard, or maybe to setup a username and password?

Then, there will be only two options: Install and Cancel.

Yea, something like that. People already complain that Gnome is to simplified and junk, while KDE goes overboard with giving the user the option to configure too many details in a program. I think Gnome is fine, and so is the installer (I actually like the older one better, but I know for newer people this would be better) so dumbing it down anymore wouldn't be any better. :razz:

WildTangent
June 15th, 2006, 07:14 PM
Linspires 5.0 installer is even easier. Put disc in, boot pc select install, select drive, away you go. And on an average install time of sub 10 minutes on most reasonably modern equipment.

Thats one of Linspires greatest features its a delight to install.
That's the same problem the Windows installer has, it doesn't care what's on the disk already...it'll just wipe it. That in my opinion is even worse than a confusing partitioner because you get no options. With some time spent researching, a new user can easily dual-boot, and not wipe out their Windows partition with the Ubuntu installer.

-Wild

bruce89
June 15th, 2006, 07:17 PM
But remember that the Windows installer asks the questions in the middle of the process, and I remember one reviewer saying the Vista installer is "The worst operating system experience I have had".

percontej
June 13th, 2007, 09:24 PM
I agree 100%, coming from the Windows world, it's still a bit forgein. The partition issue, I was unsuccesful at the installation. However, since I'm not newbe to the computer world, I just ghosted the drive to the network and started from stratch. If Ubuntu proofs to be crap, I can just re-ghost my drive and I'm back in business. At this pint, I'm still trying to understand how to install Wine, so I can run windows application.

starcraft.man
June 13th, 2007, 09:36 PM
I agree 100%, coming from the Windows world, it's still a bit forgein. The partition issue, I was unsuccesful at the installation. However, since I'm not newbe to the computer world, I just ghosted the drive to the network and started from stratch. If Ubuntu proofs to be crap, I can just re-ghost my drive and I'm back in business. At this pint, I'm still trying to understand how to install Wine, so I can run windows application.

Man, whats with all the thread resurrection lately?

There is nothing wrong with the Ubuntu installer. It has an option labelled "Use largest free disk space". That will install it to any free space if there is one. Unfortunately, usually the Windows partition has already used the whole drive(s) and thus it becomes a dual boot issue and requires active user input/manual work. That just means the user needs to read up a bit on how partitions work... like this site. (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/) (sections on left dealing with partitions). The reason users don't know more about this is that OEMs have been doing this for them for ages and making it appear far easier than partitions are in reality, thus they've been perpetuating ignorance about this important feature of how computers work to the masses.

some_random_noob
June 13th, 2007, 10:00 PM
You should also be able to see your progress (how many questions you still have to answer) and maybe everything should be on one page - instead of having the user answer questions one at a time. That way, people will be able to see how they're doing.

And yes, partitioning needs to be explained! But then again, why not have someone else install Ubuntu and avoid all of the installation BS?

starcraft.man
June 13th, 2007, 10:19 PM
You should also be able to see your progress (how many questions you still have to answer) and maybe everything should be on one page - instead of having the user answer questions one at a time. That way, people will be able to see how they're doing.

And yes, partitioning needs to be explained!
The live install clearly says step 1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc...
As for it all on one page, I'd like to see you make a page that has all the options and questions you need to do/answer in the Ubuntu install and see how messy it gets.


But then again, why not have someone else install Ubuntu and avoid all of the installation BS?

System76 and Dell (recently) have already solved this "problem".

In the end though, I think Linux is a hands on System. If the person can't be bothered to understand basic principles of partitions then Ubuntu really isn't for them. It's not trying to be Windows, thats Windows job.

some_random_noob
June 13th, 2007, 10:41 PM
starcraft.man: Maybe you're right. I'm sure that they could fit most of the fields onto one page though, if it was in a small font. And no Dell hasn't solved the preinstalled Linux problem, that's only in the US (if I'm correct).

FuturePilot
June 13th, 2007, 10:48 PM
Mmmm. Thread resurrection:p
Anyways, I thought the installer for Dapper and Edgy were done very well. Especially when it came to the partitioning part. However the installer for Feisty fails at easy partitioning. I don't know why they took Gparted out of the installer. I'm not talking about off the CD, I'm talking about the installer. There is no graphical representation of the HD which makes it very intimidating especially for new users. I even accidentally installed the whole installation on an extended partition because it's so confusing. I wish they would re-integrate Gparted back into the installer.

starcraft.man
June 13th, 2007, 10:49 PM
And no Dell hasn't solved the preinstalled Linux problem, that's only in the US (if I'm correct).

Well, its up to some daring Computer company in Europe to take up that mantle I suppose and not to wait for American companies to do it. IMO, after reading a few pages of text anyone can be taught to install Ubuntu.

kamaboko
June 13th, 2007, 11:06 PM
I found the dual-boot install to be pretty intuitive: read the text and look at the nice little images.

Shazaam
June 14th, 2007, 12:01 AM
I think the installer that Dapper uses is great. The best part is when it is "Detecting other Operating Systems". Every other distro that I have installed doesn't do that making you manually edit (simple to do) fstab and Menu.lst That extra step sold Ubuntu for me.

init1
June 14th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Personally, I thought the Feisty installer was more difficult that the Edgy installer. I hope the next release will have an installer more like Edgy's.

Gremlinzzz
June 14th, 2007, 06:26 PM
The installer is simple.What newbee would be doing a dual boot without looking up the info of how to partiton a hard drive
people are dual booting vista and xp but if you dont know that vista comes with its own partitioner good luck cause most partiton programs wont work with vista.just 4 the info the vista partitoning is done with Disk manager.Think the crap line was done for shock value.ubuntu rules and its free.:D

kelvin spratt
June 14th, 2007, 06:40 PM
This is another wind-up surely if a dyslexic person like myself can work it out so should anyone its simple, makes the XP set-up look difficult

eentonig
June 14th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Dualbooting will never be a default user thing. And neither will partitioning be (or installing for that matter).

The default option to let Ubuntu decide on the space allocation is a very good 'default user' option. Allthough not functional in case of dual-booting.

For me, it's fine as it is.

Al Fairclough
June 14th, 2007, 06:55 PM
I agree with eentonig. I found the Feisty installer to be quite simple and if you need to manually partition, gParted is on the LiveCD while running live.