Announcement: One Click Installer

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Tue Aug 7 11:13:45 UTC 2007

On Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 07:01:35PM +0200, Krzysztof Lichota wrote:
> I would like to share with you the project I have been working for some
> time now which I think could help solving bug #1.
> The problem:
> - Users coming from Windows (and in general beginners) want installation
> of applications to be as easy as possible. Download, Next, Next, Done
> kind of experience.
> - If you start talking about command line and adding keys, repositories,
> etc. you have lost them. They will not understand and they will not
> _want_ to dig into technical details.
> - There is plenty of packaging formats used on Linux and average users
> do not want to know the differences between them, they just want to
> install application.
> Package installation applications (Synaptic, Adept) and apt repositories
> do not solve the problem for the following reasons:
> 1. Repositories must be added manually and this exceeds skills of
> average Windows user. Keys must be added also and repositories updated.
> Too many steps, too difficult.
> 2. Users are not used to going to package management application to
> install application. They want to click link on application web page,
> download, run, Next, Next, etc.
> 3. Package management applications are too bloated with features and
> contain thousands of applications. Even with categories it is hard to
> find application that the user needs (think "I want a movie player"),
> especially if they do not know name and are presented with 10
> applications which they do not know and all do the same or differ in
> technical details (e.g. uses Xine or uses GStreamer). Users want to have
> some context - other users comments, grades, etc.
> 4. Application descriptions are in English (I know about DDTP, but AFAIK
> it does not work). Many users do not know English and they want
> information about applications in their language, on native portals with
> applications (like localized Tucows).
> 5. User must know that he is using APT with DEB packages. As there are
> separate APT repositories for each distribution version and user must
> also know what distribution he is using which version, choose
> appropriate repository, etc.
> 6. If user is using some other distribution than Debian-based he is even
>  more in pain, he has to know what package format to use (DEB, RPM, TGZ,
> Ebuild, ...), what channel (APT, yum, Yast, ZMD, etc.), what distro,
> which version.
> Now compare it to installation on Windows - user goes to Google, types
> "movie player download" or browses some application catalog like Tucows,
> selects one with best reviews, downloads installer (in most cases he has
> to choose between installer for Windows 98/ME and installer for Windows
> 2000/XP), 3 clicks and he is done.
> So, here is my shot at solving this problem - One Click Installer
> (
> The idea is similar to this implemented in
>, but with broader scope
> (supporting all distributions, not only Debian-based) and more features.

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us in detail.  This is an idea which has
been on many of our minds for some time, but no one had gotten around to
prototyping it yet.

One concern that I have is that I feel it is important to ensure that
applications and their dependencies are installed from the Ubuntu
repositories wherever possible: if the application is available from Ubuntu,
it should be installed from there, even if the user found it via a
third-party website.  This ensures that it will receive official updates,
and upgrade properly to the next release of Ubuntu, which is one of the
great strengths of package management.

Of course, there will be applications which cannot be added to Ubuntu, and
so third-party repositories are necessary, but they should be avoided where
they are redundant, as they complicate maintenance and upgrades.

Does your design address this?

 - mdz

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