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Distro with the easiest installation?

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Which distro has been the easiest to install for you and which one would you consider to be a "hands down" the easiest to install and setup.

I am usually of belief that Mandriva takes that role, but I don't really have any problems with Ubuntu either.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Ubuntu was very "user-friendly."

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the yoper install was pretty simple. iirc it was just a couple quick questions, partition, and then 'wait 15 mins. for it to install'

I laughed at the last part.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Once up and running ubuntu is rather nice, and it generaly works out of the box, but it's ncurses based installer isn't very nice, I find it hard to know which keys to press etc, and iirc it's default option is to wipe the drive and install - this isn't the nicest way to introduce people to foss.

I like the SuSE install, it uses Yast, and looks very clean, and it's easy and simple to follow, the only problem I've had with it is that it will not let you choose a keyboard layout for the install process, so, if you have a dvorak keyboard layout, but the computer thinks it's qwerty, it get's difficult, though I doubt newbies to linux would be using dvorak.

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Joined: 2005-12-18

I find PCLinuxOS to be very easy distro to install. You get it as a live CD and simply boot it. Then you spot an icon on desktop saying "Hard Disk Install" or something like that.

When you run it you go through an easy installation process that also allows you to partition your hard disk(s) and choose where to install bootloader. I find these two options very important and every OS installer should have them implemented properly.

When the installation finishes you simply reboot, take out liveCD and boot into PCLinuxOS from hard disk.

This probably sounds like just another easy to use installation process, but the difference between it and some other easy installations is that you have internet access while running live CD, so you can fire up browser or IRC chat and get some help during installation.

If I recall correctly, there is also a "PCLinuxOS IRC Chat" icon on desktop (or similarly named), which takes you straight to #pclinuxos IRC channel. Very convenient for inexperienced users.

All of above applies to PCLinuxOS .91, I am not sure about the newer versions as I didn't install them, but was gradually upgraded to them.

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Joined: 2005-12-21

I think it all comes down to what one thinks is user-friendly. The experienced user will not care whether they see a text-based install or something more flashier with the mouse already working. However, user-friendly to me means something that caters for the common user to allow them to do their task, in this case an install, in a timely, manageable manner, but still in a logical way (if the majority of people are stupid for example).

Therefore, I'd have to say Suse. Suse has had a complete graphical installer, with KDE's plastik theme running along with full mouse and keyboard support. Considering Suse does this nicely on most common architectures, I'd give them a thumbs up for this. Definitely hits userfriendly.

libervisco's picture
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I agree that while being pretty straightforward Ubuntu installation interface doesn't *look* very friendly and that is definitely one thing where it lacks. But then again since even windows xp doesn't have a graphical install this didn't stop many windows users to flock to Ubuntu (in addition to all the GNU/Linux users that flocked to it from other distros).

So graphical installs as in Mandriva, SuSE and PCLinuxOS are actually a feature of GNU/Linux.

Stojic, I really like what you say about PCLinuxOS. It seems like a novel idea and very useful one. Now I am beginning to see why some people (like Helios on his blog for example) say PCLinuxOS is the best distro around (which is zealotry, but yeah) Eye

I haven't yet tried either of these. When I have time I'll have to resume my journey through GNU/Linux distros. I feel like I'm missing a nice deal. I haven't yet tried Fedora, PCLinuxOS, SuSE and some others at all.

Thanks
Daniel

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Joined: 2005-12-21

Slightly off topic... but nevertheless: the big ones you might want to try, in my humble, yet probably biased opinion are:

* Suse because of the installer, YaST2 - the best configuration tool I have seen to date.
* Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu because of what it stands for and package management
* Gentoo because of package management.
* LFS because of the experience you'll acquire whilst the process of installing.

There are probably more one could add to that list for similar educational/experience purposes.

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Joined: 2005-12-20

I would say the easiest would probably be Mepis, I mean, it asks like 5 questions, and has synaptic if you need to add anything.

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
"a thing" wrote:

Ubuntu was very "user-friendly."

yeah only cause it installs what it wants, not what you want
i didnt even want X, but noooo options atall Crying or Very sad Laughing

I would suggest maybe suse or fc
also maybe only vanila debian, cause you will get t know what is goin into the system, and is easy enough, apt-get foo etc

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"onlinebacon" wrote:

I would say the easiest would probably be Mepis, I mean, it asks like 5 questions, and has synaptic if you need to add anything.

Good point, I forgot that. It's nice how you can do the install from the booted livecd. There's even an install icon on the desktop once it's booted, so yea, that is definitely nice.

Mhh. Maybe something Ubuntu might want to investigate. Just imagine being able to iniate a GUI install from the booted livecd and then just switch to the install discs. Smiling

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Joined: 2006-01-31

The easiest for me is FreeBSD's sysinstall. It's straightforward and will work on any video hardware because it doesn't require a GUI.

Among the distributions with graphical installers, I'd have to say Mandrake was quite easy for me when I was new to GNU/Linux.

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Joined: 2006-01-29

FWIW, if you think Ubuntu's installer was good then Debian's Sarge installer should be just as simple for you. While they differ slightly in the questions asked, they are both basically the exact same installer.

As for easiest, I've heard Linspire asks only one or two questions. I would think any less and you could install it while being brain dead. I'm not going to vouch for the quality of the OS after install though Laughing

libervisco's picture
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"dotmil" wrote:

FWIW, if you think Ubuntu's installer was good then Debian's Sarge installer should be just as simple for you. While they differ slightly in the questions asked, they are both basically the exact same installer.

I completely agree on that one. The first time I tried Debian I thought what were the people saying when saying debian is hard to install while everyone says Ubuntu is easy, this was easy too. Smiling

So, definitely, debian is not a hard to install distro. Smiling Arch or slackware may be harder (although they're easy enough for me, especially slackware). Smiling

Oh and that linspire installer, it probably asks only two questions if you are installing it on the whole disk, but if you need to partition it I imagine it would be different. Smiling

Cheers
Daniel

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"libervisco" wrote:

Oh and that linspire installer, it probably asks only two questions if you are installing it on the whole disk, but if you need to partition it I imagine it would be different. Smiling

Cheers
Daniel

I think that is one of the 2 questions actually. Never tried it myself though.

libervisco's picture
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"dotmil" wrote:

I think that is one of the 2 questions actually. Never tried it myself though.

Yeah, probably the "do you want to erase whole disk or partition the drive yourself" question. Smiling

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Oh and if you want to see the old, painful Debian install try downloading the Woody installer and give it a go. Thats enough to make even me cry Laughing out loud

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"dotmil" wrote:

Oh and if you want to see the old, painful Debian install try downloading the Woody installer and give it a go. Thats enough to make even me cry.

If I remember right, Woody installer is very similar to Debian 2.2 "Potato" installer. Potato was the first distro that I tried to install on my computer (with no previous GNU/Linux experience) - it was a painful trial and error process that lasted several days Smiling. And when I finally got it running, I crashed the system by trying to recompile the kernel in order to get some of my hardware working :smt013. I guess I'm still scared of recompiling the kernel because of that experience.

GNU/Linux installations today are extremely easy, compared to old Debian installations.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I think I remember the woody installer and how unsuccesful I was at grasping it. I'm not sure if I ever properly completed an installation, but I know I went away from it with a bit of dissapointment at debian.

However, the sarge installer is a whole different story. If you can install ubuntu you can install Debian Sarge or better.

The first distro I ever wanted to install was RedHat 5 (got it from a frient at school I think), but I never even got to get X working. Years later I had Mandrake 8.1 which I could install and even have X working, but it was very slow and I couldn't connect to the net, so I haven't really used it much besides messing around.

Mandrake 10 was my entry to becoming a GNU/Linux user in full sense of the word as it has an excellent easy installer and I could eventually get network and graphics and everything to work nicely. Smiling

Despite what many think of Mandriva these days, I think they do have the best desktop installer so far and their free edition is no harm to try and use.

Thanks

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Joined: 2006-11-20
Distro with the easiest installation?

Has anyone tried "PARDUS".

Give it a try and you will not regret.

http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/index.html

libervisco's picture
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I haven't tried PARDUS.

I haven't tried PARDUS. I'll have to look at it, but isn't it primarily for turkish population?