Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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My Debian *installer* review
by zimbatm on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:21 UTC
zimbatm
Member since:
2005-08-22

I love Debian but I must agree that the installer is quite clunky :

* The progress bar has a tendency to from 100% to 0% back again and again. This is something we used to make windows fun of.
* The installer needs to be monitored trough all the installation because it might ask a question at any moment. Same, windows solved this ages ago.

That said, I understand the reasons for these issues and am not able to propose a better solution. What happens, is that each install step is represented by an independent .udeb package. This makes the whole process really modulable, as you can create CDs that contain or not raid-detection or whatnot, include proprietary package or not, ... But it also cuts all the steps in independent chunks and gives a combinatorial number of tests to verify that everything works well together.

The questions can be preseeded which might solve the second issue. Unfortunately, the docs are scarce and finding the right preseed options is often a matter of scanning the sources. The debugging of the installer is also a nightmare, the logs aren't including much useful informations and are filled with progress-bar percent update messages.

This is really a part of Debian that could be improved but I am afraid that by fixing these issues we will loose the flexibility that we have currently.

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