Initial Reactions; Potential Bugs; Nvidia?
billg at f-m.fm
Thu Sep 16 11:16:54 UTC 2004
I've just installed "Warty" from the CD. So far, I like what I see.
Where're some comments:
1) The installer is a slightly tweaked version of the new Debian
Installer. I've successfully used that installer several times. It is
a big improvement over the traditional Debian install, but is, I
think, not quite there for users who aren't familiar with Linux
installs. I'd like to see more explanation about the actions the
installer is about to take, before it takes it. I prefer installers
that allow you to move back and forth, adjusting options as
necessary, and only performing the install after the user commits to
the choices (ala Redhat and Fedora).
2) The installer would benefit a lot from being converted to a graphical
app, which allows more information on screen. This is especially
true if the user needs to do his own partioning, rather than
defaulting to "use entire disk". Presenting all the "Format", "File
System", "Mount Point", etc., options on one screen is a lot easier
to handle and get right than flipping back and forth through a series
3) I noticed that the installer didn't pester me with questions about
things it already knew, like whether or nor my clock is set to
local or UTC.
4) Possible install bug: After the first reboot, at the conclusion of
the initial configuration screens, an option asks, and recommends,
that the user perform an Internet update. I accepted the option.
Aptitude, presumably, started running, but immediately stalled while
waiting for the headers. I opened another console window. (Tried to
login as root until I remembered how Ubuntu handles root. It'd be
nice to intercept these attempts and respond with an appropriate
message. Ubuntu's treatment of root wasn't explained during the
install.) Back to the bug: I checked sources.list to see what servers
aptitude was trying to use. However, that file showed no servers as
repositories, only the CD. So, if this initial update was, in fact,
trying to pull files down from servers listed in sources.list,
something was amiss. Following the install, sources.list was
populated with the right servers. (It still takes up to several
minutes to get the headers, which I suspect is attributable to
5) I used an Nvidia card (GeForceFX 5900XT) and a flat panel LCD monitor
(Xerox XG-70D). The install didn't ask me to select a driver for my
card. It would have been nice if the installer, however, told me what
driver is had selected and asked for confirmation. It did, in fact,
select the "nv" driver. The refresh rates it selected were safe, but
incorrect, and, again, I didn't have the chance to confirm or change
those settings during the install. If it guesses wrong and X can't
run, a lot of users are going to be flummoxed. The install did show
me the screen dimensions it had selected and allowed me to change
them. (My monitor wants to run at 1280x1024, and the install did not
(**Anyone installed the "nvidia" driver yet? I noticed that no kernel
source is installed, which means Nvidia's installer won't work.)
6) I'd emulate SuSE and display a window of info on the desktop the
first time the machine boots up. On SuSE, this window contains links
to the release notes, important last minute info, and general info
about updating and what to do next. The window doesn't appear after
subsequents boots, but it is accessible from a menu.
7. Printing: Adding a printer worked OK. Afterwards, setting up the
printer via "Properties", it defaulted to a CUPS network connection
when it should have picked the "local" option. Since the
"Properties" config does not launch automatically after a printer is
added, this kind of error can be missed and result in the appearance
of broken printing.
8. I like the Ubuntu theme and color. Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika.
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