The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD

This is a discussion on The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD ; on 2008-02-19 07:57 Michel Talon said the following: > installer gorgeous, and the example to follow (*). Very weak points of the > FreeBSD installer are all the stuff about fdisk and disklabel, which are > quite unusable, and worse ...

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Thread: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

  1. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    on 2008-02-19 07:57 Michel Talon said the following:
    > installer gorgeous, and the example to follow (*). Very weak points of the
    > FreeBSD installer are all the stuff about fdisk and disklabel, which are
    > quite unusable, and worse buggy. The most ancient and persistant bug is


    Yes, they're a giant pain, having gone through about 4 botched-up
    installations on FBSD7rc2 just a few days ago, I found myself cursing
    out the installer + fdisk.

    While I'm dreaming, I'd like the installer to be able to notice that
    I've got two disks in the system, and offer to help me set up RAID at
    install-time, rather than have to escape to the shell and run the
    gmirror commands by hand. Maybe I've just missed that entry in the
    installer...if so, could someone point me to it?

    > the mishandling of geometry settings which has caused tons of questions
    > in newsgroups and mailing lists. Similarly sysinstall forgets to
    > reserve 16 sectors for the label at the beginning of partitions, like
    > bsdlabel says:
    > "The first partition should start at offset 16,
    > because the first 16 sectors are reserved for metadata."
    > This causes trouble when trying mirror configurations etc. More
    > generally sysinstall is unable to cope with all the modern features of
    > FreeBSD, geom mirrors, ZFS, etc.


    Yes, yes, 1000 times yes!

    >> I note that I have moved to wanting to come up with a running system
    >> and only then worry about installing packages on other systems as well,

    > Same for me. We all end up doing network installation of ports because
    > it works really better.


    me too

    > (*) In particular there is nothing in the FreeBSD world coming close to
    > the wonderful ONE CDROM for Ubuntu (yes, one, not two or three stupid
    > cdroms) allowing both to try a live system, and to install it to the
    > point of having a completly functional system, including Desktop
    > manager, Office suite, etc.


    Although FBSD 7 with two disks is easier than CentOS 5.1 that requires
    3+ disks for a standard install (usually 4, and there appears to be just
    one file on #3 and #4 required...)

    //jbaltz
    --
    jerry b. altzman jbaltz@altzman.com www.jbaltz.com
    thank you for contributing to the heat death of the universe.

  2. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar wrote:
    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.
    >
    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?
    >
    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.
    >
    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.
    >
    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    Hey it has it's good points!
    Most Windows, Linux installers Scroll through a never ending list of
    countries and states within.
    - Love the way FreeBSD splits it in two and asks Country then state.

    Likely a DVD would be a quick way to solve the disk change issue given
    difficulties of knowing what people are likely to install.
    Here I imagine many install just base.base plus KDE or Gnome and vary
    from there on.

    While it's great to encourage people to contribute by fixing themselves
    not all of us have the inclination, ability, time etc. So to do.
    I suspect the observations at least are still of use...




    --

    Bill
    AMD64 - FreeBSD 6.3
    'The road less travelled'

  3. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Begin
    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 12:57:07 +0000 (UTC),
    Michel Talon wrote:
    > jpd wrote:
    >> The installer, in that respect, does what an installer is expected
    >> to do, even if inefficiently in extreme cases. It allows me choices
    >> even if some choices aren't good ideas and/or could stand improvement.
    >> Personally, I've had to use worse, much worse.

    >
    > The standard now seems to be a cdrom booting to a live system, and then
    > an installer benefiting from all the goodies coming with a full system.


    This is a relatively recent thing, if you can think of, say, half a
    decade as recent. I'd like to note that it was made possible by having
    sufficient memory to ``waste'' a large chunk on memory fses.

    To put that into perspective, compare the tricks involving moving root
    around (temporary root in swap, and so on) for severely memory limited
    systems.

    Now, there is a point in having the memory and so why not use it, but
    such is mighty inconvenient if the memory is not available and it is
    needed. Such gives rise to the same sort of problems as the OP was
    ranting about, except coming from an entirely different angle.

    If the livecd thing is to be added, then doing it in such a way as to
    not do away with the previous solution that works even under severe
    constraints would be desirable. Even mandatory, perhaps, to placate
    the old gard. If that paints me as old guard, so be it.


    [snip!]
    > Very weak points of the FreeBSD installer are all the stuff about
    > fdisk and disklabel, which are quite unusable, and worse buggy.


    For some reason I've never run into that, so I can't relate much. That
    while I started in the middle of the emergence of lba and what have you.
    There was a time I could convert various chs formats to suit the present
    situation. Now, I've thankfully forgotten all that, except that I had
    learned the trick from reading the installation notes of the various
    *BSDs.

    The main thing I remember is that you have to be careful just what you
    ask for, as the prompts can be finnicky and somewhat opaque. Other than
    that, ie I usually know what I'm doing, it doesn't give me trouble.


    [more snip]
    > More generally sysinstall is unable to cope with all the modern
    > features of FreeBSD, geom mirrors, ZFS, etc.


    This is definately a point, yes.


    > However modifications are certainly needed since at present port
    > developers need to add notes in UPDATING as a band aid to solve some
    > complex cases which cannot be solved automatically.


    I'd like to note that I vastly prefer a system that usually works and
    comes with band-aids that explain how to fix the oversights, over
    supposedly all-encompassing systems that fail in corner cases and can't
    be fixed without recompiling, or even major rewrites. Did I mention that
    makefiles are really easy to edit in comparison?

    You're right that it might look a bit shoddy and the hoops to be jumped
    through might verge on the ridiculous and the jumps could be ungraceful.
    But, the important point is that a couple notes in UPDATING is a quick
    and easy quick fix that more often does work than the general usage, or
    rather, normal failure mode, of some of the other packaging systems I
    could mention.

    I would say that for its intended audience (ports builders (Hi Kris! if
    you're still reading) and anyone else wanting to use the same mechanism)
    it works reasonably well given the number of odd cases it has to deal
    with. At least IME; maybe Kris has other things to say about it.


    > Another consideration is the general slowness of this system which is
    > incompatible with the present situations where you may have currently
    > 1000 ports installed (notably with the new Xorg modularisation).


    The new XOrg packages setup arguably strains the system a lot, yes. I
    don't know whether the ports framework itself could be meaningfully sped
    up, as the bulk of the resources are spent on compiling, not on running
    make for the framework.


    >> > good upgrade mechanism for the ports system, correctly dealing with
    >> > dependencies, gives a building block for a ports installing system in
    >> > the installer.

    >>
    >> You're confusing correctly with efficiently here. Besides, if you
    >> are installing a new system, there is no point in worrying about
    >> dependencies of already installed packages.

    >
    > Yes, there is if you want to correctly dispatch the packages on cdroms
    > and to correctly use the cdroms without constantly exchanging them.


    That will be packages you just installed, so you already know the
    dependencies on them. What portupgrade has to deal with is with
    already installed packages with old dependencies to be replaced by new
    dependencies needed for new versions of what was already installed.

    If you can't make package distributions (for use on freshly installed
    machines) without stale dependencies you might as well give up now.


    >> I note that I have moved to wanting to come up with a running system
    >> and only then worry about installing packages on other systems as well,

    >
    > Same for me. We all end up doing network installation of ports because
    > it works really better.


    Didn't say I only use network installations. Just that I didn't use
    sysinstall for installing packages on a system that I don't know will
    boot yet. First I roll out base (and man and a kernel, usually), then I
    boot, and only once that succeeds I go wonder what else I might want.


    > If you cater to the needs of *present* users you may very well deter a
    > lot of potential *future* users of trying your system.


    I can't really bring up the will to care about possible future
    uncertainties at the cost of a reasonable status quo. So, if you want to
    come up with an improvement, it will have to do everything the current
    users like in the current system before trying to attract new ones.

    Otherwise, you might as well pack in, or, well, fork a new project and
    see if you can't attract those new users. DragonflyBSD, DesktopBSD and
    PC-BSD did. I have no insight in how successful they are, but I would
    like to note that efforts are probably better spent there than to try
    and turn people's heads around here. Unless and until those systems do
    come up with a better system that can be adapted and do everything the
    users here want in the system, at which time it'll get stolen^Wadapted
    for this system.


    > I think that if someone comes with an obviously better system (not an
    > easy task), this will convince the first circle of FreeBSD developers
    > (who are quite critical about the status quo) and the sheep will
    > follow.


    Sure, but those developers also know that if they fsck up it will cost
    them lots of sheep. You for one already moved away, if for reasons with
    a slightly different background.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  4. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:30:04 GMT,
    Bill Laird wrote:
    > Likely a DVD would be a quick way to solve the disk change issue given
    > difficulties of knowing what people are likely to install.


    Some systems already come in a choice of CD-set or single DVD. Some
    even only sell as DVD and getting CDs requires jumping though hoops.
    Pretty soon, others will need multiple DVDs, if not already... *sigh*


    > Here I imagine many install just base.base plus KDE or Gnome and vary
    > from there on.


    Plenty people here don't use xDEs at all.


    > While it's great to encourage people to contribute by fixing themselves
    > not all of us have the inclination, ability, time etc. So to do.
    > I suspect the observations at least are still of use...


    Observations, yes. Suggestions on how to improve, yes. Venting of
    pent-up rage, less so. Petty insults, assessments of worth clearly made
    on irrational basis and claiming you're right because you're angry...


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  5. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:30:04 GMT,
    > Bill Laird wrote:
    >> Likely a DVD would be a quick way to solve the disk change issue given
    >> difficulties of knowing what people are likely to install.

    >
    > Some systems already come in a choice of CD-set or single DVD. Some
    > even only sell as DVD and getting CDs requires jumping though hoops.
    > Pretty soon, others will need multiple DVDs, if not already... *sigh*
    >
    >
    >> Here I imagine many install just base.base plus KDE or Gnome and vary
    >> from there on.


    >
    > Plenty people here don't use xDEs at all.


    OK so READ what I wrote above: just base, base plus K...
    I WAS allowing for non X users...

    This system still starts at command line but yes I do use X for quite a
    few day to day things like web browsing, Word docs that people insist on
    sending me.
    - Enough to keep me away from the (work supplied) Vista that also lurks
    on this system.

    See your point re multi DVD sets becoming a possible norm.Given desktop
    excesses (a la Vista) but then one would hope FreeBSD won't go that way
    (a default desktop system).


    >
    >
    >> While it's great to encourage people to contribute by fixing themselves
    >> not all of us have the inclination, ability, time etc. So to do.
    >> I suspect the observations at least are still of use...

    >
    > Observations, yes. Suggestions on how to improve, yes. Venting of
    > pent-up rage, less so. Petty insults, assessments of worth clearly made
    > on irrational basis and claiming you're right because you're angry...
    >
    >

    Me, Angry about what?
    My Error: I was responding to a whole lot of responses not just the
    original to which I replied.

    Otherwise just pointed out BSD install has some GOOD points.(Given some
    of the -ve responses to the original).
    Have been using since V4.x and have never complained or asked about disk
    install: geometry etc.Simply got on with it.

    Cheers

    --

    Bill
    AMD64 - FreeBSD 6.3
    'The road less travelled'

  6. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:30:04 GMT,
    > Bill Laird wrote:
    >> Likely a DVD would be a quick way to solve the disk change issue given
    >> difficulties of knowing what people are likely to install.

    >
    > Some systems already come in a choice of CD-set or single DVD. Some
    > even only sell as DVD and getting CDs requires jumping though hoops.
    > Pretty soon, others will need multiple DVDs, if not already... *sigh*
    >
    >
    >> Here I imagine many install just base.base plus KDE or Gnome and vary
    >> from there on.


    >
    > Plenty people here don't use xDEs at all.


    OK so READ what I wrote above: just base, base plus K...
    I WAS allowing for non X users...

    This system still starts at command line but yes I do use X for quite a
    few day to day things like web browsing, Word docs that people insist on
    sending me.
    - Enough to keep me away from the (work supplied) Vista that also lurks
    on this system.

    See your point re multi DVD sets becoming a possible norm.Given desktop
    excesses (a la Vista) but then one would hope FreeBSD won't go that way
    (a default desktop system).


    >
    >
    >> While it's great to encourage people to contribute by fixing themselves
    >> not all of us have the inclination, ability, time etc. So to do.
    >> I suspect the observations at least are still of use...

    >
    > Observations, yes. Suggestions on how to improve, yes. Venting of
    > pent-up rage, less so. Petty insults, assessments of worth clearly made
    > on irrational basis and claiming you're right because you're angry...
    >
    >

    Me, Angry about what?
    My Error: I was responding to a whole lot of responses not just the
    original to which I replied.

    Otherwise just pointed out BSD install has some GOOD points.(Given some
    of the -ve responses to the original).
    Have been using since V4.x and have never complained or asked about disk
    install: geometry etc.Simply got on with it.

    Cheers

    --

    Bill
    AMD64 - FreeBSD 6.3
    'The road less travelled'

  7. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    TerryP writes:

    > This thread reminds me why all of my music is on my hard drives and the
    > Audio CD's gather dust xD


    I thought it was because the original CDs never wear out if you
    just copy them to your hard drive and otherwise leave them alone.

    -- Patrick

  8. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Begin
    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 16:26:30 GMT, Bill Laird wrote:
    >> Plenty people here don't use xDEs at all.

    >
    > OK so READ what I wrote above: just base, base plus K...
    > I WAS allowing for non X users...


    If you would like to avoid that sort of confusion, don't forget to add
    at least one space (two for some styles) after a sentence ending period.
    :-)


    >> Observations, yes. Suggestions on how to improve, yes. Venting of
    >> pent-up rage, less so. Petty insults, assessments of worth clearly made
    >> on irrational basis and claiming you're right because you're angry...

    > Me, Angry about what?


    The ``you'' was ment *cough* generally, not directed personally at you.
    I could perhaps have used ``one'' or ``they'', but well, I didn't.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  9. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:

    >>> Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?


    >> It must be nearly trivial, since SLED 10 does it. ;-)

    >
    > I don't know what they do.


    It's amazing what you might learn from someone else's quasi-elegant
    to a solution that you seem to think is hard, or subtle, or even
    intractable.

    > It's easy to stand besides the lines and mutter that it's really stupid
    > what is going on. But let's do something radical and look at the
    > complexity of the problem.


    It's not such a complex problem. First, build a list of packages and
    dependencies, and note which distribution CD they're on -- stage
    these on the HD -- ask for the CDs that are needed, in the appropriate
    order -- install the packages and dependencies, removing each package
    after a successful install in order to make space available on the
    disk. This doesn't require any extra HD space, really, above what
    would be required for a working system.


    --
    Do not send me email replies -- this is a honeypot
    address for spam.

  10. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > Begin
    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 16:26:30 GMT, Bill Laird wrote:
    >>> Plenty people here don't use xDEs at all.

    >> OK so READ what I wrote above: just base, base plus K...
    >> I WAS allowing for non X users...

    >
    > If you would like to avoid that sort of confusion, don't forget to add
    > at least one space (two for some styles) after a sentence ending period.
    > :-)
    >
    >
    >>> Observations, yes. Suggestions on how to improve, yes. Venting of
    >>> pent-up rage, less so. Petty insults, assessments of worth clearly made
    >>> on irrational basis and claiming you're right because you're angry...

    >> Me, Angry about what?

    >
    > The ``you'' was ment *cough* generally, not directed personally at you.
    > I could perhaps have used ``one'' or ``they'', but well, I didn't.
    >
    >

    OK I was not sure about the anger thing but know what you mean.
    I guess I was just saying note what they say.
    Reality has it that much of this 'Gaf' is driven by OS religion and the
    'the GUI desktop user' attitude that seems now to prevail.

    Yes the comma got turned into a full stop. I won't blame the glasses!

    Off Topic: Today I visited a once good bookshop in a nearby town.
    Computer section has been reduced to one shelf. Entirely Windows various
    for dummies, how to create a web page (using anything but a text editor)
    etc.

    At least we still have some choice...


    --

    Bill
    AMD64 - FreeBSD 6.3
    'The road less travelled'

  11. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 17:02:06 GMT,
    Bill Laird wrote:
    > Off Topic: Today I visited a once good bookshop in a nearby town.
    > Computer section has been reduced to one shelf. Entirely Windows various
    > for dummies, how to create a web page (using anything but a text editor)
    > etc.
    >
    > At least we still have some choice...


    Plenty of bookshops here, some of them even well-selected. There's
    something for living in a city with at least one university; it attracts
    bookshops with interesting books. And universities tend to come with a
    library.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  12. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 08:56:26 -0800,
    Michael Sierchio wrote:
    > It's amazing what you might learn from someone else's quasi-elegant
    > to a solution that you seem to think is hard, or subtle, or even
    > intractable.


    Oh stop trying to attack me on the expose I gave. It alone is more than
    you and the OP together could manage in terms of coherent discourse.
    And that while dog tired at oh-dark-thirty.


    > It's not such a complex problem. First, build a list of packages and
    > dependencies, and note which distribution CD they're on


    Which traverses reading all three discs unless you do it beforehand.
    Yes, it can be done, but so far nobody did. If you feel it important
    it be added, come up with a solution that can be easily integrated and
    offer it.

    Making an index is probably doable in a page or so of awk script, or of
    course a perl one-liner, but perl isn't in the base system any longer. I
    had something which was fairly close but looked at build dependencies.

    Figuring a minimum number of swaps is probably a bit more work, and
    integrating optimum re-ordering into sysinstall might not be trivial.
    Either way, I'm leaving all three as an excercise.


    > -- stage these on the HD -- ask for the CDs that are needed, in
    > the appropriate order --


    If you stage them, order mostly ceases to matter. If you don't, you can
    try and figure out the order of minimum CD changes needed. But depending
    on the selection of applications, that may have dependencies spread out
    over the discs in mutually contradictory order, you might not end up
    with the absolute minimum of each CD being read only once. Likely not,
    in fact, for any selection which includes more than one reasonably large
    application.


    > install the packages and dependencies, removing each package after
    > a successful install in order to make space available on the disk.
    > This doesn't require any extra HD space, really, above what would be
    > required for a working system.


    Which the OP could've done by hand almost as easily, after installing
    and booting a base system.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  13. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 17:02:06 GMT,
    > Bill Laird wrote:
    > > Off Topic: Today I visited a once good bookshop in a nearby town.
    > > Computer section has been reduced to one shelf. Entirely Windows various
    > > for dummies, how to create a web page (using anything but a text editor)
    > > etc.
    > >
    > > At least we still have some choice...

    >
    > Plenty of bookshops here, some of them even well-selected. There's
    > something for living in a city with at least one university; it attracts
    > bookshops with interesting books. And universities tend to come with a
    > library.
    >
    >


    And moreover Delft is a splendid city, and the subject of one of the most
    famous paintings in the history ...

    --

    Michel TALON


  14. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot (or maybe, not so much)

    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008, Michael Sierchio wrote:

    > It's not such a complex problem. First, build a list of packages and
    > dependencies, and note which distribution CD they're on -- stage
    > these on the HD -- ask for the CDs that are needed, in the appropriate
    > order -- install the packages and dependencies, removing each package
    > after a successful install in order to make space available on the
    > disk. This doesn't require any extra HD space, really, above what
    > would be required for a working system.


    I believe that package dependencies are what drove Mr. Kientzle to develop
    libarchive, in an attempt to fix the pkg "problem". Having said that,
    Sysinstall has done *EXCELLENT* service over the years, and I've seldom
    botched an install ... and this goes back to the 2.x days. Still some
    comments to the OP:

    1.) he ran sysinstall in a motel without internet access, and was
    therefore consigned to loading everything from the discs ... in general,
    one need only boot from disc 1, and then load from the Internet, INDEED,
    the OP hit upon the very worst scenario for doing an install followed by a
    customizatino ... but felt the need to proceed, so his mileage "varied".

    2.) As I understand from the recent progress report, work is proceeding
    apace on a "new" and improved sysinstall, so I *HOPE* the OP is in contact
    with those working on that project with some *POSITIVE* input.

    3.) True, the sysinstall *COULD* be improved by staging the dep's and
    proceeding in order ... and something like SQLite might be your friend in
    this regard, but in light of 2 above, this should be put forward to the
    new project, as Sysinstall doesn't seem to have the legs for major
    improvements.
    ---- Posted via Pronews.com - Premium Corporate Usenet News Provider ----
    http://www.pronews.com offers corporate packages that have access to 100,000+ newsgroups

  15. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 08:56:26 -0800,
    > Michael Sierchio wrote:
    >> It's amazing what you might learn from someone else's quasi-elegant
    >> to a solution that you seem to think is hard, or subtle, or even
    >> intractable.

    >
    > Oh stop trying to attack me on the expose I gave. It alone is more than
    > you and the OP together could manage in terms of coherent discourse.
    > And that while dog tired at oh-dark-thirty.


    I was just pointing out an example solution that exists in reality.
    You seem to be dedicated to defending things as they are, which
    is looking more lame with each passing day. Just because it's
    a volunteer project with a core cabal doesn't mean that criticism
    isn't warranted. Is it a hobbyist's toolkit or is it a product?

    I've been using FreeBSD since 2.2.2, and my first computer -- well,
    you had to toggle the boot loader into the front panel, okay? I'm
    willing to put up with some inconvenience occasionally. But I still
    have a long list of complaints re: FreeBSD, many of them centering
    around the install.

    I'm looking for tools to help me get my work done. FreeBSD has long
    lagged as a desktop solution, but it's now not nearly as well
    supported for things like virtualization (either as a native host
    w/Xen, for example, or as a guest OS). It did happen to get
    favorable mention in Markoff's NYT article today, and of course
    Google uses it extensively, but that could change. It's
    inevitable that there isn't a strategic product focus since
    it's not a commercial enterprise, but do you think it could
    support one, and vice versa? Something along the lines of what
    the commercial Linux vendors have done?

    - Michael

    --
    Do not send me email replies -- this is a honeypot
    address for spam.

  16. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 18:55:02 -0800,
    Michael Sierchio wrote:
    > I was just pointing out an example solution that exists in reality.


    So? I haven't seen it, and therefore have no knowledge of its internals,
    its tradeofs, and so on and so forth. Which is what I said.


    > You seem to be dedicated to defending things as they are, which
    > is looking more lame with each passing day.


    I think silly jabs claiming things are ``easy'' on no particular
    grounds, and adding petty insults to the tune that absence of some
    feature you want so bad is inexcusably lame itself fails a standard
    or two. In fact, the industry, or at least the part of it that knows
    somewhat what it is doing, has a word for it. ``lusers''.

    If you'd pay attention to what I actually said, you might see that I
    have been trying to discuss the current situation on merits, not on
    petty insults. Which, amazingly, led to a reasonably good discussion
    with Michel Talon.

    Yes, I do regularly defend the status quo, because there is a lot of
    good in FreeBSD, and throwing it away in anger and frustration doesn't
    help anyone. I want improvements to be well-tested before they're rolled
    out; I don't want them at the cost of losing things that already worked
    pretty well if not perfectly. If that paints me a flaming conservative,
    so be it.

    If you choose to offer insult over discussion, well, I can't stop you
    from calling me all the things you want to call me, but I can choose to
    not be listening to you any longer. Usenet is at least as much about
    going ``I can't hear you!'' as it is about trolling for responses.


    [snip]
    > It's inevitable that there isn't a strategic product focus since it's
    > not a commercial enterprise,


    There has been for years a strategic focus on a stable platform that
    works well on i386. It has been expanded a bit over platforms, and I
    think shifted a bit too, not necessairily all to the better. But for
    in-depth comments I would have to dig in a lot deeper than I have so
    far. http://www.freebsd.org/about.html is a good start, however.

    But, for example: While it has often (but not always) lagged behind
    linux in terms of number of devices supported, the support that was
    available has often been of higher quality. Compare the wifi stack
    with the bunch of alternative stacks linux comes with. linux has had
    several firewall offerings in succession, requiring people to retool
    on each change. FreeBSD has kept all its offerings, improved on them,
    even allowing to mix them together to some degree. Compare a revamped
    ifconfig with linux failing to provide one that works well and then
    ditching it in frustration for something ``better'' as in with many more
    bells and whistles, but incompatible with all the rest of the world.

    And then there is the documentation. Man pages vs. ``man pages are
    outdated!!1! use info!!1! it's teh bettah!!1!'' which it then is not.
    I FWIW, O'Reilly uses docbook as an intermediate format, but typesets
    their books in troff. FreeBSD has kept manpages around in addition to
    using docbook to write books and articles in. Maybe a unified format
    would've been nicer to have. If so, texinfo didn't turn out to be nicer
    for either. Technicalities aside, the bulk of the work is still in
    writing the acutal documentation. I think FreeBSD does pretty well
    there.

    It isn't bad to look at your own successes as well as your failings
    in comparison with other's failures and successes. A bit of balance
    may actually help the discussion.


    > but do you think it could support one, and vice versa? Something along
    > the lines of what the commercial Linux vendors have done?


    In a way those companies exist to add a feature to linux that FreeBSD
    already has: stability. Google rolls their own linux distribution
    because then they have close control over just what features get added
    and removed. You don't want to find that suddenly something important
    (the VM, yet an entirely different firewall, hardware support that
    happens to be critical to your setup, etc. etc.) changed mid-flight
    causing all the thousands of boxes to up and die as a result of
    re-imaging, possibly needing on-site visits to fix it.

    Commercial enterprises sort-of provide the same thing. Redhat existed to
    do that and more, altough frankly, I think the way they went about it
    was a bit cracked. But corporate madness isn't all that uncommon.

    FreeBSD already provides a lot of stability, and hasn't needed a company
    to take it and mold it that way. One could compare it vaguely with mysql
    vs. postgresql. IMO (based on limited knowledge) postgresql is clearly
    the better offering. Mysql does pretty well because both popularity with
    the php crowd and a company to give promotion and development structure.

    FreeBSD does have a foundation to do financial management. I don't know
    if a FreeBSD corp. could help the cause, as right now I don't have the
    insight in the market. Ask me again in a couple of months, perhaps. :-)


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  17. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:

    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 17:02:06 GMT,
    > Bill Laird wrote:
    >> Off Topic: Today I visited a once good bookshop in a nearby town.
    >> Computer section has been reduced to one shelf. Entirely Windows various
    >> for dummies, how to create a web page (using anything but a text editor)
    >> etc.
    >>
    >> At least we still have some choice...

    >
    > Plenty of bookshops here, some of them even well-selected. There's
    > something for living in a city with at least one university; it attracts
    > bookshops with interesting books. And universities tend to come with a
    > library.
    >
    >

    Well Armidale is (technically) a city with a long established university.
    Must admit I didn't get to UNE bookshop/ library but when I visited a few
    years back the commercial bookshops had more useful stuff!

    Maybe it's related to students who come into shop and have me load RH Linux
    so they can do (so-called) computer course, then phone me a year later in a
    panic because the system has crashed and they can't read email from Windows
    Let (Let alone re-load an O/S).
    UNE once taught comp. Sci. the traditional way. I gather the need for RH
    linux has now also gone (GNU under Win?).

    I've no degree myself. Just an old electronics tech. with some background in
    assembler etc. (From the days before magic replaced logic).

    Off topic once more.

    --

    Bill
    AMD64 - FreeBSD 6.3
    'The road less travelled'

  18. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On 20 Feb 2008 10:55:37 GMT
    jpd wrote:

    > On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 18:55:02 -0800,
    > Michael Sierchio wrote:
    > > I was just pointing out an example solution that exists in reality.

    >
    > So? I haven't seen it, and therefore have no knowledge of its internals,
    > its tradeofs, and so on and so forth. Which is what I said.


    I think Michael outlined it pretty clearly - however I may have
    read between the lines and assumed too much. This sounds like the solution
    he was describing:

    1: Prepare a dependency tree in some convenient fashion and place it
    on CD1 as part of the CD build. This tree to include an indication of which
    CD each package is on,

    2: When the user decides on which packages are wanted use the tree to
    determine which packages including dependencies are needed from each CD.

    3: Copy the required packages from the current CD to a staging area on the
    disc.

    4: Request other CDs one by one and copy required packages from them to
    staging area.

    5: Install packages from staging area in a sensible order removing each one
    from the staging area as it is installed.

    It looks easy enough if anyone cares to write it and integrate it
    into sysinstall. That won't be me for several reasons not least of which
    being that I never install packages from the CDs so it's not something I
    would ever use.

    This method has a disk overhead of the size of the largest single
    package plus the size of the dependency tree, which doesn't seem too bad but
    is greater than the current method which will in principle install
    sufficient packages to fill the disc exactly.

    --
    C:>WIN | Directable Mirror Arrays
    The computer obeys and wins. | A better way to focus the sun
    You lose and Bill collects. | licences available see
    | http://www.sohara.org/

  19. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 11:39:20 -0800 (PST), llothar wrote:
    >On 19 Feb., 02:24, Steve P wrote:
    >>llothar wrote:
    >>> I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    >>> ROM images no access to Internet.

    >>
    >>> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >>> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >>
    >> Did you not think to do a minimal installation and then copy the CDs to
    >> the HD and install the ones you want after?

    >
    > Wrong answer. If they offer this from the installer they should do it
    > right or not offer the installation from the ports in any way. This
    > sucks. I'm tired of people defending mistakes and bad software just
    > with the argument: It's free.


    I don't think it's worth `defending mistakes', so if you can do
    something to help us improve the install experience, you are more than
    welcome.

    The source of the installer is part of the base-system, and you can see
    all of it at:

    http://cvsweb.freebsd.org/src/usr.sbin/sysinstall/

    The process which creates the ISO images for the official releases is
    described in the release(7) manpage, and the release building stuff
    lives at:

    http://cvsweb.freebsd.org/src/release/

    Do you think you can *help* by making changes to these places so that
    the installation runs in a more smooth manner? If you patch the source
    and submit the changes to the FreeBSD team, the patches are *very*
    likely to be incorporated to sysinstall and the official release
    process.

    - Giorgos


  20. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Michel Talon wrote:

    > And moreover Delft is a splendid city,


    The most splendid thing about Delft is its proximity to Leiden...

    Alphons

    --
    All right, that does it Bill [Donahue]. I'm pretty sure that killing Jesus
    is not very Christian.
    -- pope Benedict XVI, South Park episode #158

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