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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You where talking about installers so it seemed relevant though still directed as more a generic comment.

Debian could imposed a full set of defaults on the user. There is a liveCD debian version which probably does just this. Pretty much ever liveCD does this. That's how they work; a bootable image which can also be written to hard drive.

The difference is "full installer" versus "live installer" still though. One can't compare the two. It's like comparing a Windows install with a Windows drive image; one has an install process with several required questions while the other has a pre-fab OS image that's simply being stamped onto the hard drive.

Look at Mandriva:
Mandriva One - a liveCD version with set defaults and a live installer which stamps the pre-fab image onto hard drive if desired.

Mandriva Free - a "libre" full install version. This provides the traditional bare metal cold install giving the user the most choice in system setup. One can accept the full install defaults provided where possible or change them in addition to answering various required questions.

One can't compare the two isntalls because they are completely different by design and necesity. One is essentially a drive image stamped to the system while the other is an install process dependent on user's choices.

In the case of Mandriva and Debian, one has the option of using a liveCD installer or a full disk installer. If what one wants is a default install with all but the absolute minimum decided for them; use the liveCD.. that's what it's meant to do. If one wants more choice in how the system is installed, use the full install.. that's what it's meant to do.

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