The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD

This is a discussion on The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD ; In article , jpd wrote: % On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 05:58:08 -0000, % Patrick TJ McPhee wrote: % > I'm not sure you have a point here. Presumably the -f option doesn't % > cause problems with the package ...

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Thread: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

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

    In article ,
    jpd wrote:
    % On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 05:58:08 -0000,
    % Patrick TJ McPhee wrote:
    % > I'm not sure you have a point here. Presumably the -f option doesn't
    % > cause problems with the package database, or at least it doesn't increase
    % > the likelihood of problems vs a normal call to pkg_add if the install fails
    % > part way through.
    %
    % Why do you presume that, when several messages in the threat express
    % opinions presuming the opposite?

    I don't follow. If I yank the plug out halfway through a package installation,
    the package database is either corrupted or not. What does the -f option
    have to do with it? It doesn't affect the way the package database is
    updated, it affects the way dependency checks are handled before installing.

    % > For packages with pre- and post-install scripts, an installer which
    % > followed Ross's approach would have to make sure all dependencies were
    % > in place before running those scripts.

    % Which means that once you're done installing the package... you're not
    % done:

    It means that Ross's approach is to first install the files, then run
    the install scripts. Some analysis would have to go into determining
    whether this is an issue or not. I don't know how many packages have
    pre-install scripts, but I should think they're a bit more delicate
    since they must be preparing the way for the files to be installed,
    or something. My point was that it's not quite as trivial as he'd
    suggested.

    % all. So what is the gain here, then, except make the installer and/or
    % the scripts more complex and more brittle? I don't see it.

    The gain would be to make the install less of a miserable experience.
    I'm not saying that the OP is anything but a prat, but having just
    performed an upgrade taking a moderate number of packages from the
    CD, I have to agree that the CD switching is a problem.

    % > % Worse, before you succeed at that, you'll
    % > % have applications installed that plain don't work because of missing
    % > % dependencies, generating lots of cryptic[2] references to missing shared
    % >
    % > My experience is that you can get this when attempting to upgrade a
    % > system using the current installer.
    %
    % But we're talking new installs here, and presumably[1] people who don't
    % know yet what they're doing, and who'll necessairily have to trust the
    % installer to at least produce a correct result.

    I was talking about the package installer in a CD-based installation. The
    thing about upgrades is that they can cause packages to not be installed
    because they conflict with existing packages. Faced with this, the installer
    can leave you with newly installed packages that don't work, or with requested
    packages that don't get installed & no recourse but to start over. It's
    not like it's a paragon of robustness that has to be treated with kid gloves.

    % Does your experience include that, when combined with, say, taking
    % a list of 50 packages forcibly installed in random order? Then, for
    % stress testing, yank the plug after package 24, and have the installer
    % automatically sort out the mess? Successfully?

    I believe that a new user, given the choice between swapping disks 40 or 50
    times during the install process but having it pick up where it left off
    after a power outage or having to swap no more than 2 times but having to
    start over after a power outage, would choose the latter. The fact is that
    if you performed this experiment with the present installer, it's not going
    to sort out anything. It's not going to leave the system in a known state,
    either. The packaging system is not ACID compliant. I'm not advocating
    for Ross's idea, but it wouldn't make the installer more brittle, at least
    in the face of power outage.
    --

    Patrick TJ McPhee
    North York Canada
    ptjm@interlog.com

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

    Patrick TJ McPhee wrote:
    > I don't follow. If I yank the plug out halfway through a package installation,
    > the package database is either corrupted or not. What does the -f option
    > have to do with it? It doesn't affect the way the package database is
    > updated, it affects the way dependency checks are handled before installing.


    Yes it does. When you install a package, the install procedure fills the
    +REQUIRED_BY file for all dependencies of this package. Of course this
    requires that dependencies have been installed previously. If you use
    pkg_add -f you can very well install a port before its dependencies, and
    so the +REQUIRED_BY will be corrupt.

    > start over after a power outage, would choose the latter. The fact is that
    > if you performed this experiment with the present installer, it's not going
    > to sort out anything. It's not going to leave the system in a known state,
    > either. The packaging system is not ACID compliant. I'm not advocating
    > for Ross's idea, but it wouldn't make the installer more brittle, at least
    > in the face of power outage.


    This is perfectly true, the installer does absolutely nothing to solve
    any potential problem. What it does is:
    - read the INDEX file, sitting on the cdrom. This allows to add
    dependencies required by any port that you explicitly require.
    Note that the installer is the only standard program which makes any use
    of the INDEX. The over non standard program using it is portupgrade.
    Standard programs constantly recompute or discover dependencies, which
    is one reason of their slowness.
    - invoque pkg_add on all packages thus marked. Since pkg_add installs
    dependencies before dependants, things go smoothly in principle.
    However the order is otherwise perfectly random, which leads to
    cdrom swapping when you install from cdrom.

    In other words, sysinstall is a *very primitive* program, which does
    very little, and what it does it does poorly. What you gain from that
    is that it is a small program that you can use to install on machines
    with limited memory, with limited display hardware, etc. Modern
    isntallers that you can find on Fedora, Mandriva, Suse or Ubuntu
    distributions are ways larger programs, more powerful, more user
    friendly, but which require machines with lots of memory, and a lot of
    people to develop and take care of them. There is simply not enough
    workforce in any BSD to develop a similar beast, and probably almost
    zero interest among developers to justify such a work. As other people
    claimed, this is a case of "take it as it is or leave it".


    --

    Michel TALON


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

    I have searched and searched and have heard alot of arguments about this switching cd's issue. And I agree that you should not have to switch between cds to install. Yes, freebsd is FREE. Yes if people really want to use it they will go through the trouble of switching cd's. But it goes to show their lack of motivation to make their operating system user friendly. And yes it does prevent people from continuing to use it.

    Number One Reason
    People who make a mistake because they are just beginning to learn freebsd have to re-install from scratch.

    Are they gonna really waste all the time switching cd's out just so they can learn a new operating system?

    NO.

    So they word spreads and everybody posts on their blog. Dont bother with freebsd its too hard. Just install ubuntu or something.

    With the internet getting bigger and bigger, and more and more people setting home web servers with their highspeed for remote access and other utilities, it would be nice to see more freebsd servers out there.

    But I will null my rant if the main theme of freebsd is.
    It's a complicated operating system. It won't have a easy install.
    If you don't like it, don't use it.

    And if thats is the case I can finnaly toss those FreeBSD cd's in the trash and never have to worry about it ever again.

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