Jon Dowland <email@example.com> writes:
> On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 07:58:36PM +0200, lee wrote:
>> Jon Dowland <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> > The installer (in expert mode) supports an ssh client on an alternative
>> > VT, afaik. One can connect to another machine with stuff already
>> > installed via this if necessary. Surely this is sufficient to address
>> > the request.
>> It requires you to have a computer you can connect to, and it is exactly
>> the need to have another working computer before installing Debian on
>> one which I would like to see eliminated.
> I see. Is this a genuine need, or a hypothetical one?
It is a genuine need. Every time I installed Debian, I wished I had
another, working computer at hand, and every time I've had that, it was a
great relief. You know that when you install an OS nowadays, you really
should have another, working computer at hand (i. e. you're basically
required to have one). If something (unforeseen) goes wrong, you do
need it. This requirement is ridiculous. It has come up only about 12
years ago --- and aren't things nowadays supposed to be easier than they
were instead of being more difficult?
> In my experience, the kind of people who might desire a working
> environment during an install are the types of "power" users likely to
> have a few machines lying around.
It can be useful for this kind of people, especially when they don't
have the other computers lying around. It can also be useful for
The discussion we have had was going in part about clueless users trying
to install Debian who get stuck when they need to make decisions about
partitioning due to insufficient knowledge. So it was proposed to put
information into the D/i that allows them to make educated decisions
about partitioning. It was objected that this would have to be quite a
lot of information, that the users won't read it, that the D/i isn't the
right place for this kind of user education and that users who don't
know what to do at that point are in the wrong place ... So it was
proposed to let users have a working system /before/ they install. That
takes away the need to install so that they can take their time to learn
what they need to learn /before/ they start the installation. On top of
that, it allows them to get more information at any time during the
installation process. It eliminates the need to have another, working
computer at hand when installing Debian.
> Personally, I think you should just finish the install and use the
> machine you're installing to. A perfect excuse to go and read a book
> for 10 minutes or so.
In most cases, it might be possible to do some kind of emergency
installation to get a system running to the point where it's sufficient
to acquire the information or software needed. Once you got that, you
will have to start over again and try to get it right this time, and if
it doesn't work, you can start the next round. That doesn't make
The most failures of the installer I have seen was the inability to
install grub. It just won't do it, no matter what. At that point, you
have spent quite some time with making all the settings, with carefully
setting up the partitioning, and you have downloaded the packages you
need. The installation is almost finished, but the installer says it
cannot install grub.
Now you're telling me I need to start over again and do an emergency
installation. Then I need to set up the system so I can get what I
need. That involves downloading a minimal graphical environment because
I want at least a decent web browser. Depending on how fast my internet
connection is, that can take many hours. Then I need to start over from
scratch again and go through the whole installation process again to
find out if grub can be installed or not. If it can't, start the next
How many days do you expect me to spend with trying to install Debian?
Last time, I spent a whole day on it because grub couldn't be installed
until I finally gave up and installed it in a way in which I didn't want
to. (If you're curious, I wanted everything on a RAID-1. It was
impossible. I knew it should be possible because I managed to do that
after lots of trouble on another computer before.)
>> Or can I connect to yours any time I might need to? Can I put software on
>> some storage media like a CD or DVD with that without having to come around
>> to pick it up?
> Of course you couldn't.
So how much does that actually help me?
>> In case I do have another working computer, I don't need ssh to connect to
>> it. It's easier for me to use it directly.
> That rules out access to a remote server such as a VPS.
Yes it does. Can I put software onto some storage media with that? I
would be able to use lynx (if it's available on the remote server or if
I can make it available), and I might be able to look at configuration
files and installed documentation. It's better than nothing *if* you
have it. I don't have it. Maybe I could get it by taking a trial
rental of a remote server which I might be able to get for free without
having to wait too long.
To what lengths are we expected to go to be able to install Debian? How
many days are we expected to spend with planning ahead for it, and how
many days are we expected to invest to successfully perform the task?
I know it can be an easy and straightforward task and you're done after
a short time. I know it likely won't be like that before I start when I
want to install on software raid.
Debian testing amd64
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