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Red Hat Software Businesses Operating Systems Software IT Linux

Fedora 9 a Bit Behind the Curve On Installation 110

Posted by timothy
from the click-here-but-only-once dept.
bsk_cw writes "Today, many Linux users are getting blasé about the ease with which they can install Linux. Possibly, they've been spoiled by distributions such as Ubuntu, which is actually easier to install than Windows. Unfortunately, Fedora 9, the latest version of this community edition of Red Hat, was a bit too much of a blast from the past for Computerworld's James Turner." (Except for bits about the installation, the review is actually quite positive.)
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Fedora 9 a Bit Behind the Curve On Installation

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  • by croddy (659025) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:08PM (#23411410)

    "actually easier to install than Windows" (!!)

    I'm not sure what rock he's been living under, but Linux has been a lot easier to install than windows for ages. Ubiquity, Anaconda, Debian-Installer... sure, the old Debian boot-floppies installer was kind of a pain, but when you want to get your OS installed quickly and easily you don't exactly reach for silvers from Microsoft.

    Lately I got a bit tired of Wine's partial support for Steam so I've been trying to get some kind of Windows installed on my system to run some games. It's been a comic horror show of 0000007B this, 80070241 that, swapping out different optical drives and dumbing down BIOS settings to try to get either the XP or Vista installer to not bluescreen or otherwise give up on life trying to copy data from the installation media.

    Thankfully, when I need a sane, easy OS to regroup and try to find out what the cryptic hex codes barfed out by Microsoft's fragile-as-glass, no-system-logs-provided installers, I only have to reach for one of my Linux discs to get things up straight away.

    And let's face it... if your goal is to quickly get a quality browser, IM client, office suite, and some basic development tools installed, you're going to have an easier time popping in an Ubuntu disc to get there even if Windows is preinstalled on the box!

  • by L0rdJedi (65690) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:30PM (#23412246)
    So your big complaint is that a 7 year old OS (SP2 was released in 2004) doesn't install on a device that was released 3 years after it was? And of course, that hardware wasn't widely available until probably a year or two later.

    Have you tried installing Red Hat 5 on anything modern recently with much success?

    Yes, it's so horrible that an OS from 2001, when floppies were still pretty common, needs a floppy to install a driver that didn't even exist at the time.

    Oops, I forgot, this is Slashdot. We're suppose to complain whether it makes sense or not.
  • by sc0ob5 (836562) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:59PM (#23412990)
    Linux is MUCH MUCH easier to install than windows, it has been for many years. No layman that I know can fully install windows XP or Vista. Let alone trying to install it on a RAID partition. Not only that but you don't need to load a drivers for your video/network/raid/sound, surely that counts as part of the install process. Also the installer installs applications as well not just the OS so you have to consider that as well. I mean if your count the number of applications that can be installed in the installation then compare it with Windows and what you would need to do to get those applications I think it's pretty clear that a Linux installation even if you have to read a small blurb about what you are doing is so much easier, quicker and superior.

    Simple fact is that if you think it's hard you are either a Windows user or an idiot or quite probably both.

    I guess "installing" Windows involves taking the newly bought HP/Dell out of the box and plugging it in.

  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:02PM (#23413018)
    I never had a problem installing Windows 2K or XP on my machine either.

    That being said, I *always* had a problem getting them into a usable state once they were installed.

    Problems include:
    1. Having to install multiple service packs and other packages, often with multiple reboots.

    2. Searching for the right version of drivers for my hardware on the internet. (Why can't they just use repositories like debian?)

    3. Installing all the applications I generally use. (Again, central repositories make it much easier. They can even be used by proprietary applications with a validation on first run.)
  • by croddy (659025) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:06PM (#23413046)

    My motherboard manufacturer gave me the drivers on a CD. Which was smart, because they didn't include a floppy controller on the motherboard. The Windows installer runs from a CD. The only thing wrong with this picture is "Insert disk into drive A:".

    Microsoft doesn't update their installers until they become absolutely untenable. And a bunch of nerds who aren't even being paid for the most part are running circles around them.

  • by doktorjayd (469473) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:45PM (#23413804) Homepage Journal
    $> yum install [package]

    $> yum remove [package]

    yeah, i can see how your dependedncy hell transpired.

    ( heres a hint though, after yum works out all the dependencies, enter 'y' or 'n' to accept/reject the dependency resolution yum works out for ya...)

    oh, and theres a graphical tool for command line averse.

    the much shorter ( and accurate ) response to this A/C would of course be 'bullshit' :)
  • by k33l0r (808028) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @03:47AM (#23415208) Homepage Journal

    That being said, I *always* had a problem getting them into a usable state once they were installed.

    True enough, Getting Windows installed isn't even half the work (though until Vista, it took at least 45 - 60 minutes).

    Once you had Windows running you'd have a tedious couple of hours installing drivers and updates, and of course every driver you install would require a reboot.

    I'm amazed that installing pretty much ANYTHING on Windows still requires a reboot.


  • And your experience is an anecdote. Here's mine.

    I am a Solaris/Linux user. Around two years ago, I decided to build a PVR (personal video recorder). I had heard good things about Windows XP, and the mainboard I had chosen had a note in it stating that "USB 2.0 function can only be obtained with Windows XP". And all the hardware (video input devices, video display) came with drivers for Windows XP. So I bought a copy of Windows XP (retail). Assembled the system, and attempted to load Windows XP.

    After loading from the DVD drive, XP booted. However, the DVD did not show up. I reinstalled. Same thing. I assumed that the DVD was defective, and replaced it. Same thing. Tried a CD. Same thing. Turns out I need a driver from the CD supplied with the mainboard in order to use the CD/DVD. How do I get it there? XP also doesn't recognize the network adapter (same deal, I need a driver). The drivers are too large to put on a floppy.

    I gave up on trying to use XP for this application, and installed Linux. At least it recognized the DVD and network "out of the box" (Fedora). I then put on MythTV (I had wanted to try a Windows PVR program, but, hey... Windows didn't work).

    I tried XP on another box. It also didn't work. Turns out to need a "hard disc driver". In fact, the only thing that XP works on (for me) is a VMware session. Hell, even Mac OS works there. And that's where that copy is running today (along with MS Office and some other Microsoft stuff -- development tools, and a laser printer driver).

    The only thing I conclude is that you must be a Windows XP expert. Or, that Windows XP came pre-installed. I understand that VISTA supports additional (modern) devices, but I am not going to pay hundreds more to find out it doesn't.

  • by Daimaou (97573) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @09:46AM (#23418006)
    No, the problem is that a 7 year old OS ONLY supports floppy disks to install drivers when 7 years ago, CD-ROM drives were ubiquitous.

    It was a stupid design decision by Microsoft and has nothing to do with Slashdot readers.
  • Because Microsoft do not write drivers, do not take any responsibility for them and only redistribute the ones they build onto the distribution CD

    That's something of a non sequitur. Ubuntu, Fedora, and all the rest also do not write the drivers. They do not take any responsibility for them. Yet the fact remains that their installations have much more complete driver support without all the hunting and fishing around. But still, their installation CDs aren't really different in nature from any Windows installation CD.

    the repositories contain everything because they have to - they are theoretically the only place you can install from ...
    That's not even remotely true. You can install software (including drivers) downloaded off the internet under Linux just like you can in any other OS. The repositories just make it easier and more centralized. If you want the very latest nVidia beta driver though (for example), you can get it right off their web site just like the Windows counterpart.

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