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once crap, allways crap // techie ranting - Lograh — LiveJournal

Tuesday, 22.Jun.2004

8:52 - once crap, allways crap // techie ranting

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Debian sucks ass. I just finished burning the CDs and trying to install it, and I never managed to make it through the installer.

Here are my complaints with the Debian installer, I don't think I'm being unreasonable:

1) it is 100% text-based with keyboard-only controlls. This normally wouldn't be a problem, but it doesn't tell you which keys do what! It presented me with a list of options of what to install, and I eventually figured out which arrow keys move to the selection I want, then I hit space to (I thought) select the option I was on, but 'space' actually meant "I'm finished selecting options" and it went on to the next screen without selecting any options and there was no "back" button. WTF!?

2) it claims to offer support for network-based installation sources, but when I try to point it at some servers it returns errors of "something happened trying to resolve server.domain.whatever (-3)". Yeah, tell me *what* happened and I might be able to fix it, just saying "something happened" doesn't help one bit! also, what's this "(-3)" shit? An install program should never return internal error codes to the user, it only serves to confuse them. (so you know, I have that machine plugged in to the same router that I'm actively running 3 other machines through, they are not having any trouble at all -- yes, the cable is good).

3) the disk setup is teh suck. It only supports EXT2 (sorry, I'm a reiserfs fan), it doesn't support configuring any more than one swap partition and one data partition (talk about a step backwards, even MSDOS supported multiple data partitions!), and it doesn't support having a seperate boot partition.

4) it only supports LILO, saying that this can be changed later. In fact, it goes so far as to say LILO is very insecure against console-based attacks and it would be best to swap out LILO later on. then why install it in the first place!??! GAH!


[User Picture]
Date:9:50 22.Jun.2004 (UTC)

I can only talk to item #3 right now

... and can't talk loud or my boss will catch me at it.

I've done ext3 installs in Debian a number of times. The problem is Debian's idea of "stable" is more like "Been sitting in one place so long it's become fossilized."

The Debian stable-track default install is the 2.2x kernel - which has ext3 turned off. To install a 2.4 kernel, and get the ext3 option:
  • When you boot to the install CD, at the linux: prompt (I think that's the prompt) enter "bf24".

  • or
  • boot off of installer disk #5. That has 2.4 as the default install...I think 2.4.20 (though when I did it last it was 2.4.18)

  • In case you were curious -- even in the opinion of debian fanatics, the installer program sucks squishy mouldy potatoes out of the ground. The distro team is at 4th beta-test on a new installer that should release when the current Testing branch is turned to Stable some time this year. I haven't played with it yet ... but it's supposed to have a much better interface, better hardware detection (instead of "almost none whatsoever"), and options to install different kernels.

    I think.
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]
    Date:10:06 22.Jun.2004 (UTC)

    Re: I can only talk to item #3 right now

    while EXT3 is better than EXT2, I'm still a reiserfs fan. :)

    Though I would be willing to try ext3 if the other problems were taken care of (mainly #1 is the killer).
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]
    Date:11:37 22.Jun.2004 (UTC)

    Re: I can only talk to item #3 right now

    Reiser's doable under the 2.4 installer too, I think.

    Re: the intuitive layer that the Deb-installer DOESN'T have (was that item #1)... supposedly that's being fixed with the new installer.

    Maybe I should pull the beta-installer, give it a shot, and let you know.

    Someday in my mythical spare time.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)