Daily Install 3-5-05 Report

Pete Shinners pete at shinners.org
Sun Mar 6 12:50:25 CST 2005

I just rolled a daily snapshot of Ubuntu on my system.
My plan is to get this running as my primary system, I'm
coming over as a long time Debian Unstable user. I'm just
passing along a report so you guys can get as much feedback
as possible.

First of all, everything went great. I really love my
Ubuntu system and can't wait to see what's next from
you guys. First, a couple quick stats about my system.

I'd consider this a high end system. Pentium4 3.0e,
1GB ram, Nvidia 6800, on an Intel motherboard. A pair of
drives, primary is a 40GB for windows, secondary is a
100GB for linux and a shared w/ windows partition.

The installer is awesome, my only complaints would be
with the partitioner. I was able to get it done, but
it was still far from simple, and it took several tries
and retries to get everything set up. 

Outside the partitioning I can only make some trivial
suggestions. I would reorder some of the questioning
so it happens in a more logical order. Move the timezone
and GMT questions together, they are currently separated
by an install phase. I'd also move the grub MBR questions
to happen near the time partitioning is happening. If
other OS partitions are detected, especially non-linux,
I would recommend not using GMT clocks. The dialog about
GMT could be worded much better, GMT should not be used
if the machine will be dual booting to windows.

Also, while partitioning, I noticed all the drives were
being used as SCSI devices. Odd, this had me adjusting
"on-the-fly" my prewritten notes about how I wanted my
partitions. The drives remain SCSI through the install
and usage. Nothing bad but I'm wondering if this normal?

As for the partitioning, the custom partitioner does what
it needs, but is very complex as far as figuring out what
you need to get started. Before getting to the custom
partitioner screen, the installer should ask the following
  Where to install Ubuntu: New partition, existing partition
    If new partition: Display list of suitable empty locations
    If existing partition: Display list of suitable
existing partitions At this point the format should be already
selected to be formatted as a ext3 (or anything really?).
Then the program could jump to the existing partition tool,
with these basic settings already applied.

First boot went smoothly, but I have a few thoughts. One of
the first lines I saw was a big red [FAIL]. It was for
"adm: no arrays found in Config file". Can this case just
be a silent failure? I had not setup the networking during
install, but I still had NTP installed and failing out after
timeout. Can NTP not be installed if no networking? 

Next was the initial package installation. 400 screens of
useless text. Would it be wise to use the --quiet flag with
apt-get for this initial install? It makes no sense and
only gives the impression that a lot of complex crap is

Then the system was up and things were pretty good. I have
a few extra notes from the initial setup and usage of my desktop.

I don't like the behavior of the default window list. There
is a lot of room at the bottom of the screen and all the
window buttons expand to be the size of the largest window
title. It's a bit strange with a terminal open. As I change
directories the window title changes and all the window
list buttons flop around.

SSH not installed by default, ugh.

I noticed there are two version of TCL on the system, one is
installed by default, but is the other even neede at all? Why
use space on the single CD for dual tcl installs? I don't
really care, if someone needs it then its good, but it seemed
like an intuitive thing to shave.

Synaptic added repositories for warty universe? I have the
hardest time knowing if I am on a "hoary" or "warty" distro.
I think the about screen in About Ubuntu is wrong? This is
very confusing to me, even the version numbers don't make a lot
of sense.

The "Device Manager" under System->Administration comes up
for a second, but it crashing or closing before anything
can be displayed in the window. Unsure if this is specific
to my system or a bug in the software?

Feel free to ask more questions, and I can provide more details.

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