Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:26 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu During my 8 years of Linux on and off usage I have tried more distros than I have chocolate bars. Each one of my previous encounters meant that I had to spend at least 2 days configuring before I have a desktop that I was somewhat comfortable with. With Ubuntu Feisty Fawn's latest test beta --for the first time ever-- this was not the case. I was up and running with all the niceties I wanted within 2 hours.
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re: lemur2
by ride01 on Sat 17th Mar 2007 10:57 UTC
ride01
Member since:
2005-09-23

Linux still has major "ease of use" issues.

I tried installing Mint Linux yesterday. Mint Linux is just Ubuntu with features that 99% of users will want, such as the simple ability to play MP3 files. (It is difficult to figure out how to install MP3 functionality on Ubuntu currently)

I was hoping that Mint Linux was the final proof that Linux was "ready for the desktop", but I was sorely disappointed.

If you want to install Mint Linux on a partition (or disk) other than your computer's "main" drive/partition, and you do not wish GRUB to overwrite your current boot manager (such as Windows XP, BeOS, or any other third party solution) the obstacles are great.

The Mint Linux installer (same one used by Ubuntu) assumes that the user only has Linux installed on his machine, and will try to install GRUB on the first partition/drive. If the user chooses not to do this, he is presented with a text field in which he is to enter the desired install location for GRUB.

He is NOT given a choice of existing drives/partitions, with helpful information, such as NAME or even partition size.

Instead, the user is forced to type in a location manually.

I made a partition on my hard drive for Linux. (Actually, I had to go back and make TWO partitions for Linux. This is another "ease of use" obstacle in my opinion)

The TWO new partitions I made were the fifth and second partitions on my drive.

The Mint-GRUB installer had "(hd0)" pre-typed into the path text field. Because I did not want GRUB to erase my existing boot manager, I had to cancel the 10-minute install procedure, boot back into Windows, and look this up on Google.

I have searched for a few hours on this subject. I still do not know the correct information to type into this stupid GRUB text field.

Some Google evidence suggests that I should type in "hda5" or "(hda5)". Other sources state that GRUB refuses the "a" character, and needs "0" instead.

(I would have never known what "hda" meant without searching Google, btw. Also, LINUX operating systems use this designation to mean "Hard Drive 0". HOWEVER... GRUB does NOT!!")

HEY! THIS IS EASY AND WONDERFUL!!!!!

Ok, so maybe I should type in "(hd05)". ???

BUT... Yet another Google source states that in LINUX!, EXTENDED partitions start at "4", and logical partitions start at a different number... (AWESOME!!!!)

I have tried several times to install this thing, and it is just too much trouble.

Reply Score: 3

RE: re: lemur2
by leibowitz on Sat 17th Mar 2007 10:59 in reply to "re: lemur2"
leibowitz Member since:
2006-10-17

Just use fdisk to see your partitions on a disk.

sudo fdisk -l /dev/hda

/dev/hda1 * 1 3092 24836458+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 3093 7673 36796882+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 7675 14946 58412340 5 Extended
/dev/hda5 7675 11901 33953346 83 Linux
/dev/hda6 11902 12059 1269103+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda7 12060 14946 23189796 83 Linux

Note: Grub start at 0 and not with 1. So the hda2 partition is hd0,1 for grub.

Hda = hd0
hdb = hd1
hdc = hd2
hdd = hd3

I don't know for Sata and scsi drives (sda, sdb, ...)


Anyway I really don't understand why you try to install grub if you don't want it.

You could install ubuntu (or anything else), skip the grub install (ubuntu ask if you want it or not) and just edit your existing boot manager to boot linux. What's so hard ?

Edited 2007-03-17 11:01

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: re: lemur2
by ride01 on Sat 17th Mar 2007 11:26 in reply to "RE: re: lemur2"
ride01 Member since:
2005-09-23

I just wanted to thank you for attempting to help me. That was a very nice thing to do.

I may or may not attempt to use the information you have given me.

(I would have to print it out to read while I attempt the 10 minute install for the fourth time, as well as assume it is 100% correct)

As for your question: "Why do you think you need GRUB at all?"

The answer: The Mint Linux installer demands it. I tried typing in "/". I also tried deleting all text from the text field in the second install attempt.

In both cases, the Mint installer showed a "fatal error" due to a bad GRUB path. This conveniently occurs at the end of the 10-minute installation procedure.

I hoped that GRUB was not needed at all, and that perhaps I could just boot to my new Linux partition(s) anyway.

I re-ran my BeOS bootloader, which found all partitions by size AND name.... (Why is this SO hard for linux?)

After rebooting, I selected the Linux boot partition (named "Linux" by the friendly BeOS GUI), yet Linux would not boot.

I searched Google. All sources I have found regarding Ubuntu state that GRUB, in fact, MUST be installed on some partition, in order for Ubuntu to boot.

So basically, GRUB needs to be there. There is no good GUI provided to accommodate this. Searching Google, the Mint forums, and the Ubuntu forums, turns up too many complications, that occur too many hours into the install attempts.

It just shouldn't be this hard.

Some day soon, it will NOT be this hard. We are just not there yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: re: lemur2
by lemur2 on Sat 17th Mar 2007 11:23 in reply to "re: lemur2"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{ If you want to install Mint Linux on a partition (or disk) other than your computer's "main" drive/partition, and you do not wish GRUB to overwrite your current boot manager (such as Windows XP, BeOS, or any other third party solution) the obstacles are great. }

... whereas, if you want to install Windows Vista on a partition (or disk) other than your computer's "main" drive/partition, and you do not wish the Vista bootloader to overwrite your current boot manager (such as Linux Mint, BeOS, or any other third party solution) then you are utterly out of luck.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: re: lemur2
by ride01 on Sat 17th Mar 2007 12:09 in reply to "RE: re: lemur2"
ride01 Member since:
2005-09-23

touché ;)

You are 100% correct.

I have no idea if any version of Windows will install and/or boot if unable to write to the MBR.

In fact, my understanding is that if Windows XP is installed AFTER Windows 98, it may be impossible to get Windows 98 to boot. This is a very crappy thing, and Microsoft deserves great criticism for it.

(Any other boot/partition/other-OS/installation issues that Windows may have also deserve criticism)

This does not free Linux from the same criticism.

Perhaps I am spoiled from using BeOS.

BeOS is incredibly easy to install. One can even install it to a "virtual drive"(file), on any existing drive/partition, then easily transfer it to a partition/drive of his choice.

The GUI that allows this (as well as the normal installer), lists drives and partitions by: volume name/overall size/size used/size available.

(Windows/MacOS can do this as well. I look forward to the day when Linux can)

The user is also given the option to make a boot floppy which will leave his existing boot manager alone, yet allow him to boot to BeOS when he places the floppy in the drive.

ALSO, any BeOS boot floppy or bootmanager will "search" existing partitions and drives for BeOS installations, listing them by volume name, allowing the user to boot to them. This process takes milliseconds on even the slowest of machines.

I am used to installing three operating systems:

1. Windows:

a. Make a new partition (if needed) before or during installation. All drives/partitions are listed IN THE INSTALLER GUI by volume-name/overall-size/used-size/free-space.


2. MacOS 8x-9x:

a. Make a new partition (if needed) before or during installation. All drives/partitions are listed IN THE INSTALLER GUI by volume-name/overall-size/used-size/free-space.

b. MacOS was far SUPERIOR to Windows, in that every OS CD was a liveCD, and that one could have twenty MacOS installations on the same machine. The OS had an easy GUI for choosing which installation to boot to.

3. BeOS:

a. a. Make a new partition (if needed) before or during installation. All drives/partitions are listed IN THE INSTALLER GUI by volume-name/overall-size/used-size/free-space.

In contrast, here is what Linux does:

Linux(Ubuntu):

a. Make a new partition (WILL BE needed*) before or during installation. Now make a second* partition. Now make sure the second partition is a different format than the first. Now make sure the second partition is twice the size of your system RAM (The GUI will NOT tell you this. You will have to spend a while in Google to figure this out. Also, the Mint installer will try to make a THIRD partition. The only information you are given as to why this is happening are words such as "/dev/", "/dev/home/root", and "'swap'".

(What is "dev"? Why not use human-talking-language, such as English?)

Then, the installer will attempt a GRUB install. (How am I supposed to know what "GRUB" even is?)

It will then present a dialog window with the pre-filled entry "(hd0)". This information would mean nothing to me, had I not been loosely following Linux for the last several years.

What if I want GRUB on another partition or drive? I have to manually type something in with NO CHECKS whatsoever. The installer will simply run for ten minutes, and then crash at the very end with "fatal error" if I make a mistake.

My only point is that Linux-Desktop is not "easy" yet. It will be, and it will be soon. It is not "easy" now.

Reply Parent Score: 2