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Download Anaconda for Debian 208

Posted by michael
from the kick-the-tires dept.
hsoom writes "Debian Planet is reporting that unofficial sarge-based ISOs using the Anaconda installer can be downloaded from here. The features developed so far include '...changed the code that installs software to use APT instead of RPM, removed Red Hat-specific configuration hooks, and written a new tool called picax that builds Anaconda-based installation CDs from a Debian repository'. However there are features that are not yet working and it is not recommended for use in a production environment."
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Download Anaconda for Debian

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  • This is good news. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by byolinux (535260) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:27AM (#7658698) Journal
    One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment, and this will be a move in the right direction.

    Give it some time.

    Knoppix is right now probably the easiest way to install Debian, via knx-hdinstall.
    • by Trbmxfz (728040) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:48AM (#7658779)
      One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install'

      I think it can be argued that the Debian installer asks many questions that may not be easy to answer for a Linux newbie.

      But, as you say, there is hope: I remember someone saying, a few years ago, that a RedHat had formatted their drives without clearly mentioning that it would be destructive (oops!). Today, Mandrake can be installed after just a few minutes worth of clicking "OK". It generally makes the right choices for the user, clearly shows what partitions will be created, and warns if it's about to blank an existing windows partition. If it finds some unsupported hardware, it mentions what it knows about it, so that the user can simply ask their local guru for help.

      I think it's no exaggeration to say that someone who already installed Windows can safely install e.g. a Mandrake.
      • by gregmac (629064) on Monday December 08, 2003 @12:47PM (#7660244) Homepage
        I think it's no exaggeration to say that someone who already installed Windows can safely install e.g. a Mandrake.

        I think that the Mandrake and Redhat (8, 9) installs (to get up to a working system) are better than Windows at this point. As long as you have relatively common and supported hardware, it sets everything up for you. I used to think that it was dumb of all the distros to include so many other utilities and applications, but I've changed my views on that now.

        Once you install Windows itself, you have to run windowsupdate somewhere between 3 and 8 times (rebooting each time) to get it to the point it won't get infected with a virus in the next few minutes (and always do this behind a firewall). Then you have to go download all the things that you need for day-to-day tasks: winzip, pdf reader.. install usually an office suite, mozilla/firebird/thunderbird (well, at least I do.. but I won't go into a rant about how lacking in features IE/OE are). It takes at least two hours to install a Windows system, and most of the time is spent waiting. (And not just hands-off waiting time, either... Windowsupdate .. wait to download.. click install.. wait to install.. click to reboot .. wait to reboot.. repeat)

        Taking redhat as an example.. All the interaction is at the start, selecting paritions (formatted later), selecting what to install, etc. Then you wait for it to install, though you do have to change the CD's once or twice (unless you do a net-install, which is handy). Once it boots up, run up2date -u, probably reboot for the new kernel, and thats it. Everything is up to date and ready to go.

        • by tacocat (527354)

          Most Windows users never install Windows.

          They purchase their computer with the software pre-installed. If anything goes wrong with the system, they have to find someone else who can install it for them. That's only required if they forgot their ghost CD.

          If Linux came shipped on the computers from Dell, Compaq, et al, then I think a lot of people would start thinking that Linux was easier to install then Windows. I'm pretty sure that something like Libranet today might be considered a ghost CD equivelan

      • I think it's no exaggeration to say that someone who already installed Windows can safely install e.g. a Mandrake.

        Well...maybe a bit of an exaggeration. Last weekend I began my first foray out of Windows. First I reformatted and reinstalled WinXP ... easy peasy. Slow, especially when you factor in all the updates necessary (SP1, etc.) and the certain amount of tweaking necessary to get rid of the more annoying "features," and of course reloading the hardware drivers. Nevertheless, straightforward.

        • Hey Micheal. :)

          You should track down your local linux club and ask if any geeks there would like to help you thru that first setup.

          Debian woody really is the way to go if your prepared to learn, and after you've learned you really won't look back.

          Many linux clubs do 'installfests' where a bunch a newbies bring there 'putas in , and the old hands gently lead em thru the install process and show them how it all fits together.

          Despite the rumors about linux 'cliques' being pushy and all, most linux geeks ,
      • I like Mandrake but it's installer is not perfect by far. I can not get it to install on my old k6 box. For some reason X just will not work. Red Hat installed just fine.
        I wish I could get SUSE ISOs to try out but,,,
        Oh well.
      • I agree the Debian installer was difficult but it wasn't because of the questions it asked. I was anything but a newbie when I tried to install Debian. The interface isn't that intuitive and dselect is awful. At no point did I have trouble with answering questions. Now I just use Knoppix to install a minimal system and apt-get everything I need.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:48AM (#7658781)
      One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment, and this will be a move in the right direction.

      It's not that hard to install, but one of the major hurdles I found when using Woody's boot CDs, was the completely obsolete kernels you have a choice of using. Neither of them was from this year. I tried 2.4.18-bf24 but it didn't recognize any of the ethernet nics in my machine... an intel gigabit ethernet PCI card and two onboard interfaces (nforce2 nvidia network interface and a 3com interface). It was an Asus A7N8X-Deluxe board I was trying to install it on. I eventually gave up and put a realtek NIC in to do the network install. Pretty embarassing with the other guys just did a Mandrake install and their NIC was picked up without a problem.

      The other problem with the outdated kernel is the Nforce2 IDE chipset doesn't work in DMA mode at all. I needed to compile 2.4.21 with AMD Viper support before I could get anything better than 4-5MB/sec. Now it's great at 50MB/sec.

      Another problem I had seemed to be related to the APIC on this board. I would get constant lockups under heavy I/O. Unfortunately one of the heavy I/O periods was during the initial apt-get over the network, thus it would lock up every single time I tried to install. I eventually got it to just install the base image off the CD, replaced the kernel with the 2.4.21 I built on another machine, and after that it was fine (I compiled the kernel without any APIC support).

      Anyway, to make a long story short, it's outdated support like this that'll never get Debian to be accepted by my coworkers, and I can't say I blame them. I love the stability and easy of maintenance once it's installed, but putting it on a newer machine is sure a pain in the ass. I'll be stuck with Red Hat (Enterprise Linux) from now on I guess for our servers since Debian provided such a poor showing on a workstation setup.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Try Libranet. You can download 2.7 for free or buy 2.8.1. Either way, you get a cleaner installer. You also get a wonderful admin tool called adminmenu. Adminmenu or Xadminmenu allows you to do wonderful things easily. Like, install the proprietary Nvidia drivers, update the kernel, and my favorite, recover your Xwindows setup after you screw it up. Updating the kernel is *Important*. That is one thing that up2date (Redhat) did well and as near as I can tell apt-get -upgrade doesn't. So making that easier i
        • by Anonymous Coward
          And, Libranet 2.8 now has a straightforward upgrade from their 2.4.18 kernel to the 2.4.23 kernel. Instructions here [libranet.com] .
        • by derF024 (36585) * on Monday December 08, 2003 @04:02PM (#7661763) Homepage Journal
          Updating the kernel is *Important*. That is one thing that up2date (Redhat) did well and as near as I can tell apt-get -upgrade doesn't.
          • kernel-image-2.4-386 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on 386.
          • kernel-image-2.4-586tsc - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on Pentium-Classic.
          • kernel-image-2.4-686 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV.
          • kernel-image-2.4-686-smp - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV SMP.
          • kernel-image-2.4-k6 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on AMD K6/K6-II/K6-III.
          • kernel-image-2.4-k7 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on AMD K7.
          • kernel-image-2.4-k7-smp - Linux kernel image for version 2.4 on AMD K7 SMP.

          apt-get install the kernel image for your arch and it will stay up to date with the rest of your system automatically. Unfortunately, it doesn't do this out of the box.
      • by doodleboy (263186) on Monday December 08, 2003 @11:45AM (#7659786)
        Anyway, to make a long story short, it's outdated support like this that'll never get Debian to be accepted by my coworkers, and I can't say I blame them. I love the stability and easy of maintenance once it's installed, but putting it on a newer machine is sure a pain in the ass. I'll be stuck with Red Hat (Enterprise Linux) from now on I guess for our servers since Debian provided such a poor showing on a workstation setup.
        There's a lot of new interest in debian because there's no corporation that will try to monitize its relationship with its users if it becomes more popular. The installer is a problem, but there's a lot of work being done - there's progeny's anaconda port, there's the new installer in sarge, etc. If this happens in a reasonable timeframe I would not be surprised if it made huge inroads in the enterprise space. Easy easy updates and no money to pay, ever, is a powerful combination.

        But if you can't wait for debian to ship a modern installer and don't want to fork over $$$ for Redhat Enterprise Linux 3 you can always try White Box Linux (http://www.beau.org/~jmorris/linux/whitebox/), a free version of rhel3. It's at rc2 now and production release is probably only a month or two away. I notice the Dag apt repository (http://dag.wieers.com/home-made/apt/) has rhel3 rpms, so it should be possible to stay up to date with apt.
      • by lspd (566786)
        It's not that hard to install, but one of the major hurdles I found when using Woody's boot CDs, was the completely obsolete kernels you have a choice of using.

        There is some talk recently on debian-devel about letting newer kernel versions into the point releases, so in the future this may not be much of an issue. The idea has been shelved until after Sarge is released since Sarge will have a new kernel anyway. On the flip side though, the default 2.4 and 2.2 kernels can generally get Debian installed
        • I'm glad to hear they may start doing this, as I've had the same problem as the other user. We use HP Proliant servers and HP has a habit of putting in hardware that's only supported by the latest kernels.

          For example, their raid controller only works in the early 2.4 kernels and the ethernet card only works in the latest 2.4 kernels.
      • If you're using an Intel or AMD box, try LibraNet Linux. It's Debian, with a simple installer. It also has a proprietary admin utility, but if you want a vanilla debian, you can remove the commercial parts without hurting the basic install. (It's not just the admin utility. There are also some icons & images.)
      • What are you using to measure IDE performance?
        • The normal way to measure IDE speed on a linux system is hdparm:
          # /sbin/hdparm -t /dev/hda /dev/hda:
          Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 1.60 seconds = 39.96 MB/sec
          # /sbin/hdparm -T /dev/hda /dev/hda:
          Timing buffer-cache reads: 128 MB in 0.40 seconds =316.62 MB/sec


          Beyond just measurement, hdparm is also a way to tune settings (such as whether or not DMA is active). However, a non-expert should use control panels supplied by the Linux distrib to make any changes.
    • by Stir (446728)
      Don't forget about Libranet. Easy installer, pure Debian.
    • by martinde (137088) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:59AM (#7658824) Homepage
      > One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment,
      > and this will be a move in the right direction.

      And of course, the "standard answer" to this is "you only install Debian one time on any one machine". People who have not used it have a hard time believing this, but it's true barring hard disk failure or some other catastrophe like that. Even major updates happen via "apt-get upgrade", and 99.9% of the time it Just Works(TM) if you're running stable. (Take that down to about 97% for unstable/testing.)

      I have a machine that started out around Debian 1.1, as a 486 and has been hardware upgraded several times (to a Pentium Pro and now a 1GHz C3) and apt-get upgraded routinely since those days. I had to reboot due to the recent linux security issue, prior to that this machine had an uptime of 172 days. It's running Debian/stable plus I've done some backporting out of unstable for a few key bits.

      Anyways, between Knoppix, anaconda, and the new debian-installer work going on within Debian, hopefully the "it's hard to install" issue is just about a moot point. Enough proselytizing for this morning ;-)
      • Yes but some of us install a lot of machines, and mostly new ones without support. Simply updating the kernels in the install images would help a lot.
        • by martinde (137088)
          > Yes but some of us install a lot of machines, and mostly new ones without support. Simply updating
          > the kernels in the install images would help a lot.

          This is definitely the area where I've had the most issues too. I've had to install PCI ethernet cards in cases where a new motherboard's onboard ethernet isn't supported, and occasionally I've built my own install disks with custom kernels.

          Next time I run into this, I think I'll try a Knoppix install and see how that works. It seems to be updated
        • If you are really installing a lot on modern machines you may find it much easier to install over the network and build a set of kernel packages with updated drivers. Works a treat.
      • One of the main 'comments' I get when I recommend Debian GNU/Linux to people, is 'Debian is difficult to install' - a fair comment, and this will be a move in the right direction.

        And of course, the "standard answer" to this is "you only install Debian one time on any one machine".

        I agree--I think that I spend less time on maintenance overall than I did when I used Redhat and reinstalled once or twice a year (but that was several years ago; maybe Redhat's updates have gotten better).

        But I still have

    • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1@@@twmi...rr...com> on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:49AM (#7659049)

      Debian is working on a new installation process for their sarge release. This new debian-installer is greatly improved over the previous methods. I have been playing with it as a net-install and found it to work extremely well.

      Installation time, not counting file downloads which don't require my intervention anyways, is on the order of 20 minutes or less

      I don't know that Anaconda can bring much of anything to the installation process. When installing debian-installer I found I was asked fewer questions and have a faster set up then I did with SuSE 8.2.

      One very important point to make abundantly clear about the debian-installer is that it is not responsible for the configuration of your X-Window environment. This is something that may confuse newbies who are not used to the concept of a non-GUI operating system. All the distro's offer it (non-GUI), but many are assuming a GUI interface is preferred.

      Keeping this in mind, the debian-installer does what it is intended to do very well. And it's cross platform too!

      Personally, I don't think it's a generally good thing to have more distribution models tied into to only one installation engine. There are advantages with this, but there are always disadvantages to a homogeneous environment.

      • by MSG (12810)
        Installation time, not counting file downloads which don't require my intervention anyways, is on the order of 20 minutes or less

        You won't be disappointed by anaconda. My install times are generally < 5 minutes when I do a network based install.

        but many are assuming a GUI interface is preferred.

        This "assumption" is only true if 1) you install X, which you don't have to 2) you're installing locally, using CD's. If you're setting up servers, you're probably going to use kickstart to do a network ba
        • A bug.

          A severe latent bug in a widely used configuration tool would cause problems installing that software.

          If Anaconda, for some reason, puked on some strange feature, then it would affect both RedHat and Debian installations. Now, if it was even more ubuiquitous it might put a halt to the installation process on SuSE and Gentoo as well

          Do you understand my point?

      • Have you ever used anaconda? The true advantage here isn't so much the easier install in terms of a gui, easier to answer, or less numberous questions. The advantage is in terms of hardware detection. On over 90% of systems I use it on anaconda detects EVERY piece of hardware out of the box AND has about the same success rates on xwindows configuration. If it doesn't detect the hardware, it means I'm looking at some true pain to install it because the existing system DOES NOT have what I need to run tha
    • Morphix or Mepis ( or even one of hte commercialized distros ) is even easier.. just push a button on your desktop and it launches a ( mostly ) GUI install ..

      Great for a 'new user'.. they dont even have to drop ot a shell ( whats that they will ask ) to start the install ..
    • The argument that Debian is difficult to install is invalid. My first ever Linux install was Debian Potato. Sure it had no graphical auto-magical installer. However, it still was reasonably easy to install for a total n00b. Mind you, my distributor had given me a text file with some basic install info, gotchas and a list of info to find out about ym pc before commencing. This is not unreasonble. MS even has a manual for it's Windows installation. A little homework allowed the install of a functional Linux O
  • by kbsingh (138659) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:28AM (#7658701) Homepage
    Would be nice to see this expand into a single installer / package manager and (importantly!) a Dependency manager.

    Maybe a hybrid of Anaconda + dselect would be nice, if rolled into 1. Add 'kickstart' kind of capablity to that and it would be a kickass app to have around.

    Specially since most people dont tend to install Linux from installable mode very often( i havent in the last 3 years)
    • I personally find dselect pretty quirky and awkward to use.

      What we need is a tool with the power of dselect, but with an interface akin to something like yast on SuSE.
      • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:33AM (#7658729) Homepage Journal
        use aptitude (console) or synaptic (gtk)

        I'm amazed that more people don't know this. I used dselect for about a day, then quickly discovered apt+tasksel, then aptitude. Dselect is awful.
        • aptitude for me, doesn't seem simple enough... too much going on, but I will try it :)

          yast is almost too nice to use, both in X and CLI.
    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:35AM (#7658734) Homepage
      But maybe what Debian should really be doing is copying from Knoppix. That has the easiest installation, i.e., no installation at all, and it's Debian-based. The conventional 'install it first and then run it' routine isn't nearly as easy or as much fun as 'run from CD and optionally install to your fixed disk later'. I'm surprised distros aren't making bigger moves towards a Knoppix-like installer, now it has been demonstrated that it can be done.

      (Now Knoppix itself is i386-specific I think, but that's mostly hardware detection. On other architectures detection might be a bit less complex, I don't know.)
      • by The_DOD_player (640135) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:41AM (#7658751)
        Amen to that!!.

        Knoppix is becoming Debians default installer on x86 hardware. Its not just more fun than the conventional approach, but it feels safer, since you can SEE it working on your computer before installing for real.
      • by byolinux (535260) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:46AM (#7658773) Journal
        I agree entirely.

        Knoppix is pretty simple to install onto the Hard Disk too:-
        1. Boot Knoppix
        2. Alt-F2 (maybe Ctrl+Alt-F2)
        3. Type knx-hdinstall
        Knoppix for older Macintosh computers would seem like the next logical step - ones that can't run OS X, or run OS X poorly... good time for it, especially as Apple just had to pay out [rosenthalco.com] for misrepresenting OS X as functional on older hardware.
        • by sirReal.83. (671912) on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:20AM (#7658916) Homepage
          You forgot a step.

          4. Reinstall entire OS just to remove Knoppix-specific packages

          Don't get me wrong, I love Knoppix, but for use as an installer it's far from perfect. The last Debian install I did, I used Mepis [mepis.org], which takes the hardware detection from Knoppix and makes it pure Debian, plus a couple of Mepis system admin tools (USB key /home syncing, APT-source config, spamassassin blacklist/whitelist... list goes on) and the install is super easy. It's all done graphically, after booting the CD.

          • by byolinux (535260) on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:28AM (#7658957) Journal
            "I stand corrected" said the man in the orthopedic shoes.

            I'll give Mepis a go.
          • by santos_douglas (633335) on Monday December 08, 2003 @11:21AM (#7659621) Journal
            I understand how difficult it is for experienced linux users to see from the viewpoint of new users, so I thought I'd share my experience as just such a novice. I was totally new to linux, but as a capable Windows 2000 user I figured I could make it work. I downloaded the Debian ISOs to try out on my machine. I chose Debian since it seemed like THE distro out there. I was fairly surprised, it wasn't that bad (who's afraid of text based installs?) and I quickly had it installed and running with a KDE desktop. However it failed to configure some key hardware (sound, NIC, modem) which made moving further difficult. So I was extremely happy to learn about the official Debian w/Anaconda installer. Unfortunately it also coincided with the compromise of Debians machines so I never got a chance to try it out.

            Finally some /.er recommended Mepis as a good Debian based distro, which I promtly installed and am quite happy with. The install went perfectly, and the default desktop may not be ideal to linux veterans out there, but its just fine for a linux newbie to start off on.

            A few tips/things I've noticed:

            -Right off the bat, where the heck is the volume control? Should be on the default desktop, not deep in the application menu as 'kmix'.
            -With all due respect to Konqueror, Mozilla should be the default browser on the desktop.
            -I don't know what's up with Kpackage, but I love apt-get.
            -IM is pretty important to the masses, why not make a good multiprotocol client like Gaim the default?
            -Mepis does a good job putting a GUI face on many of the system config stuff, but they are still spread over a number of menus. It would help if they were consolidated under one heading, similar to Windows control panel, although come to think of it everythings not under that either.

            Overall though I'd say Anaconda is a big step forward for Linux on the average users desktop. With a few minor tweaks this could easily be recommended for the clueless windows user.

            • -Right off the bat, where the heck is the volume control? Should be on the default desktop, not deep in the application menu as 'kmix'.
              I agree.

              -With all due respect to Konqueror, Mozilla should be the default browser on the desktop.
              Nah, I disagree. First off, Mozilla takes a long time to load. Firebird is great, but I think that keeping the consistent look of all KDE apps is a Good Thing (TM). Also, what specifically do you like about Mozilla that Konqueror doesn't have?

              -I don't know what's up with
              • -With all due respect to Konqueror, Mozilla should be the default browser on the desktop. Nah, I disagree. First off, Mozilla takes a long time to load. Firebird is great, but I think that keeping the consistent look of all KDE apps is a Good Thing (TM). Also, what specifically do you like about Mozilla that Konqueror doesn't have?

                Though not the OP, my answer to that question is: Mozilla's cross-platform. It's what I use under WinXP, along with Moz Mail&News (though I don't use it as a newsreader in

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Knoppix seems like a house of cards to me, it works great as is, but when I did apt-get update I started running into some issues/errors. Then in my ignorance I changed my sources.list to all unstable and did apt-get update again, big mistake. By the end of that day the system wouldn't boot. I've also tried (and I am still running) morphix, which is based on knoppix but is deb unstable. But I've had a few issues with that as well although I'm still on an older version of morhpix (but as parent mentioned
        • Re-read your instructions from the perspective of an ordinary user.

          1. Why do I have to hit Alt-F2? Why not a Menu option?
          2. The fact that you don't know if it's Ctrl-Alt-F2 or Alt-F2 or if it changes shows a big usability problem right there.
          3. Again, typing knx-hdinstall seems completely non-obvious. I'm sure I'd quickly figure it out by reading some docs or something, but why do I need to read some docs or google to figure that out?

          Note: I've never used Knoppix, so maybe there are menu options, but thos
          • 1. Agreed. There should be a 'Install' icon, with a little computer icon, a la InstallShield on Windows.
            2. I've not used it for a while, which is why I forget which it was.
            3. See Point 1.

            Like I said though, Knoppix is pretty simple. A readme file on the desktop could handle this for now, at least.
        • by frozenray (308282) on Monday December 08, 2003 @11:53AM (#7659845)
          > 3. Type knx-hdinstall

          As far as I know, knx-hdinstall is deprecated with current Knoppix versions (starting June this year as far as I remember); the preferred method to perform a hard disk installation is now knoppix-installer [knoppix.net]. Gives you the choice to do a Knoppix installation or a Debian installation, too.
      • I agree entirely.

        This would have all sorts of benefits:

        • The installer can be written using the full GNOME / KDE / OpenGL / whatever-rings-your-bell libraries.
        • You know your hardware is supported before installing.

        Also, imagine reading everything from the network instead of from a CD. Then you could make a Windows program based on loadlin [google.com] or whatever. Put a link to it on a web-page that says "Wanna try Linux? Click here!".

        After it has booted into Linux and started GNOME / KDE / XFCE / Whatever, th

        • For people with high-speed internet connections, certainly. I'd like to see someone mass-mail some sort of LiveCD distribution to homes and small businesses.

          It'd also be neat if someone would come up with a LiveCD set that demonstrated the client/server abilities of Linux, or some other OSS packages.
      • You hit the nail on the head with your last line. The problem is that Debian supports many architectures (I think it's even more architectures than XFree supports!), so there is a lot of work to be done to build an installer.

        There's a new installer in the works right now (it's in Beta). Don't know much about it though.

      • Hell No!

        I like Knoppix and all, and it's kind of cool.

        But it does not allow for configuration options at time of installation.

        You can't use knoppix to install:

        • RAID
        • LVM
        • Any partitions beyond swap and everything-else
        • I don't like KDE!!! Don't force it on me.

        Leave Knoppix where it is, it does a very nice job. But don't make Debian == Knoppix. That will make Debian == Stupid for those who have more advanced requirements for their system.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:29AM (#7658705) Homepage
    Here's the link to building anaconda-based debian ISO images. [progeny.com]

    Finally a quick, easy way to remaster debian to hand out to friends.
  • Not to excited (Score:4, Informative)

    by killmuji (465179) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:42AM (#7658754)
    Before getting too enthusiatic about this, please do remember to read the errata [progeny.com] before downloading the iso images. Lots of work still needs to be done, but this is a step in the right direction.
  • by armando_wall3 (728889) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:45AM (#7658768)

    I still prefer text based installations, so it will be great if Anaconda will be optional, so Debian will have the best of both worlds.

    Does anybody know anything about it?
  • by chrestomanci (558400) * <david@chres t o m a n c i .org> on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:52AM (#7658791)
    Serously, the anaconda site will be in for a very heavy slahsdoting. They have links to two isos on the page that slashdot links to. How many will click on those links? how many will be disapointed? The filesisze are BTW: sarge-2003-11-25-bin1.iso 688,074,752 bytes sarge-2003-11-25-bin2.iso 42,174,464 bytes ie, about 720 Megabytes in total. I would consider putting up a torrent link myself, but I don't have a large enough pipe to download those files before the site (inevetably) goes down.
  • Good thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think this is cool. I have been thinking of ditching Windows and was leaning towards a Debian "based" distro. Easier to install (for me) is a good thing.
  • by _Pinky_ (75643) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:55AM (#7658804)
    I can understand some people saying Debian, in it's current state is difficult to install.

    But I cringe when I hear that from a fellow computer person. I mean honestly, just because it's not using framebuffer and a mouse on install?

    True, deslect/apt can be intimidating, but much easier the trying to manually find rpms down the road...

    Do you spend more time supporting systems or installing systems??? Me, it's supporting them, so I love apt...

    And if I hear one more RH person say "Well, just select 'everything' on install, then Up2date doesn't have dependicy problems" I'm gonna kick them in the kneecap...

    • by byolinux (535260) on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:07AM (#7658855) Journal
      And if I hear one more RH person say "Well, just select 'everything' on install, then Up2date doesn't have dependicy problems" I'm gonna kick them in the kneecap...

      never heard that one before, but I did once know a guy who'd built up a few CD-Rs full of Windows DLL files he'd copy onto every Windows using friends PC.
    • by slim (1652) <john.hartnup@net> on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:16AM (#7658894) Homepage
      I can understand some people saying Debian, in it's current state is difficult to install.

      But I cringe when I hear that from a fellow computer person. I mean honestly, just because it's not using framebuffer and a mouse on install?


      Well, dselect could be friendlier: it's not so much that it's text based, but that the interface itself is alien to most people. It's a good interface, like vi is a good interface: but it's not quick and easy to pick up, and if you skip past the instructions, you're in trouble.

      But that's not the worst thing about the Debian install. It's been proved that auto-detecting hardware can be done in Linux, yet to install Woody I needed to manually specify an Ethernet driver and select an appropriate X server. That's really not good enough, and would scupper a lot of people, computer professionals or not.

      This may be fixed in Sarge: someone reply and tell me.
  • Knoppix anyday... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dylancable (718004)
    Common guy's just because Debian has a nice GUI installer doe's that really make it any better distro then it currently was?, For people who think debian stable is outdated, Give Knoppix a try , uses unstable branch and comes with nice hardware detection. I had problems with Redhat 9.0 detecting inbuilt hardware on a compaq armarda m300 and knoppix had no problem...
  • by danny (2658) on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:14AM (#7658889) Homepage
    First they ported apt to Redhat, now they're using anaconda for Debian installs! This is a great illustration of the flexibility of free software.

    (Review of The Art of UNIX Programming [dannyreviews.com])

    Danny.

  • Kickstart... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Crossfire (15197) on Monday December 08, 2003 @09:25AM (#7658951) Homepage
    Hopefully this means we have Kickstart too.

    Debian has been needing kickstart-like functionality for a while. (No, FAI is not the answer, it works in a somewhat different manner, and its a royal pain to set up to bootstrap unstable systems from a host running stable).
    • I actually use autoinstall for the most part. Its way better and more flexible than kickstart, but it has a hell of a learning curve.

      Hopefully this winter I'll find some time to release my patches and either fork autoinstall or get it merged into the official debian package.
  • Glossary (Score:5, Informative)

    by nsushkin (222407) on Monday December 08, 2003 @10:26AM (#7659277)
    It took me a while to figure out the meaning of this article. It needs a quick glossary.
    • sarge [debian.org] - The code name for the next major Debian release after woody is "sarge". It is likely that this release will be numbered "3.1".
    • Anaconda [redhat.com] - the Red Hat Linux installation program.
  • On my wish list (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ONU CS Geek (323473) <ian.m.wilson@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday December 08, 2003 @11:55AM (#7659849) Homepage
    If I really had to say I think we could do one thing better, it would be having a 'headless' install option for some of these devices.

    There are times where I go and install software, and have to be in a different room or different area, that me physically being at the console for the entire installation is pratically impossible. It would be wonderful if there was an option to do a network install over https, or a network install over ssh, to get it up and working.

    Just think how nice it would be to pop in a CD, sit back at your desk, go to an IP address, and volia, install your server without actually being there :)

    Oh, well, just wishful thinking, unless anyone knows a good installer, wants to help write one, or knows of a free as in beer system to get something like that accomplished.

    Ian

    • My server is headless and sits on the closet. When I installed Debian on it, I had to unplug the monitor from my workstation long enough to get a basic system installed because I don't have a spare one lying around.

      Just think how nice it would be to pop in a CD, sit back at your desk, go to an IP address, and volia, install your server without actually being there.

      But what IP address? When I plug a new system into the router, it's going to get a semi-random IP address from the router's DHCP server.

    • redhat has that option, btw.
  • It seems to me that the differences between debian and redhat are startig to merge. Redhat's new fedora project has the ability to use apt-get for rpm, which is basically the rpm version adaptation to apt-get for debian, and now debian is possibly going to start using anaconda for installs and cd.

    So how long before the redhat-config-** are ported to debian is the next question.

    The differences between these two may soon lie in just deb or rpm. Which is really better may be just a matter of preference, bu

  • Now you have the best of both worlds in one package. Both graphical and command line with redhat's hardware detection (the detection is a much bigger deal than the gui install to me, but I know alot of people who feel otherwise). On 99% of all setups redhat manages to detect every piece of hardware in the system and have everything configured correctly when all is said and done, no other system including some redhat knockoff's like mandrake manages this.

    Debian has the best package management and reposito

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