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Should installation instructions be included?

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Joined: 2006-08-26

Do we need installation instructions for Ubuntu Linux or is this outside of the scope of Ubuntu. Some suggestions:

  1. getGNULinux.org touches on the fact that the live CD runs slowly, but I don't think that the message came across entirely to explain that once the user has installed Linux onto the computer, it will run faster. I think this message is important: I know someone that was about to walk away from Linux after finding that the LiveCD ran slowly, thinking that was what to expect once it was installed. The first time I learned of this while testing out Ubuntu was after I had finished installing the distribution in which it said something about removing the disk so that I could run Ubuntu at full speed (I knew this already of course, but we can't expect that new people to Linux have run LiveCDs before).
  2. Ubuntu is so incredibly easy to install, but sadly, I have yet to find any official Ubuntu documentation that demonstrates this fact. The Shipit CDs don't really say much to this effect either. Rather, shots.osdir.com has some nice pictures that work quite nicely for such a demonstration. The screenshots for Ubuntu 6.06 reveal the easy process that is involved. People automatically assume that installing an operating system is a daunting task. Once they realize that it is a simple matter of inserting a disk, clicking the Install icon on the desktop, and asking about 5 questions, they feel more up to the task. I spent three minutes simply showing someone these screenshots and they left and installed Linux without furthur help.

    Similar screenshots to those found at shots.odir.com could be made, sized at 800x600 or 640x400 resolution (not simply shrunken down from higher resolutions), so that they were more suited for display inside a Web browser. Next, they could be assembled in a fashion similar to the On-line demos that were once visible on the former MandrakeLinux Web page for the 8 and 9.0 series desktops. This involved one screenshot per page. Beneath each screenshot was a pair of navigation arrows and a simple description of what is pictured.

    Perhaps someone knows of a site that already has this or that has a Macromedia Flash-based demonstration of the Ubuntu installation that could be linked to, that are similar in format to these Xfce animations? There are some nice videos on Ubuntu Video, but the ones I watched had poor quality video so you couldn't really see anything on the screen, and I can imagine that they are painful to watch on dial-up.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
tuxmachines..

http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/ubu606r/install could be linked for the installation. the images are high-res though.

hmmm... I haven't welcomed you yet, and your second post is just as constructive as the first. Welcome to Nuxified.org, Duke ! Smiling

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Duke wrote: getGNULinux.org
Duke wrote:

getGNULinux.org touches on the fact that the live CD runs slowly, but I don't think that the message came across entirely to explain that once the user has installed Linux onto the computer, it will run faster. I think this message is important.

You are perfeclty right; this never crossed my mind. I will reword this very soon - just let me get organised and prioritise all the changes =)

Duke wrote:

Ubuntu is so incredibly easy to install, but sadly, I have yet to find any official Ubuntu documentation that demonstrates this fact.

So true! You take the words out of my mouth.

Duke wrote:

shots.osdir.com has some nice pictures that work quite nicely for such a demonstration. The screenshots for Ubuntu 6.06 reveal the easy process that is involved. People automatically assume that installing an operating system is a daunting task. Once they realize that it is a simple matter of inserting a disk, clicking the Install icon on the desktop, and asking about 5 questions, they feel more up to the task.

[..]
Similar screenshots to those found at shots.odir.com could be made, sized at 800x600 or 640x400 resolution (not simply shrunken down from higher resolutions), so that they were more suited for display inside a Web browser.
[..]
This involved one screenshot per page. Beneath each screenshot was a pair of navigation arrows and a simple description of what is pictured.

Perhaps someone knows of a site that already has this or that has a Macromedia Flash-based demonstration of the Ubuntu installation that could be linked to, that are similar in format to these Xfce animations?

You are absolutely right in that we need to show more screenshots, in particular to show how easy the installation is.
I would be extremely enthusiastic about having something like the Xfce animations you pointed to. However, I believe we shouldn't make/host them directly, for two reasons:
1) This is a difficult thing to do. Maybe people will volunteer to learn how to do it? I just can't afford to and would rather work on different areas of the site.
2) (especially) It is work that will directly relate to ubuntu (and what's more, to ubuntu 6.06). I like the website to be very general (even though it selects two distributions): it could be completely abandonned today and still work and be true next year. Doing such a screencast, however will require us to keep up to date with the evolution of ubuntu. I for one can absolutely not handle an install guide to ubuntu. It is quite outsite the original scope of the website.
.
So, could there maybe be a way to build such a thing together with the Ubuntu community? Maybe such a screencast already exists and they know about it.
Of course, if someone volunteers to start such a thing (either here or in the ubuntu forums), it would be wonderful.

Right away, I am re-designing the "get it" page, to have more space. I am sure that we will be able to fit at least one installation screenshot in there, as soon as it will be up.

Thanks very much for the constructive comments!

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
A screencast of the Ubuntu

A screencast of the Ubuntu installation can actually easily be made as a gif file, though to preserve reasonable quality it would be a bigger file so the page load would be higher, but that applies to any other format anyway.

If you'd like I can make a gif presentation like that and upload it to this site. The presentation should then be updated with every release of Ubuntu which shouldn't be a big deal since it's only every six months. Smiling

And by the way, this review has some nice shots of the installation process too: http://www.nuxified.org/the_ubuntu_dapper_experience

It doubles as simple installation instructions too. Smiling

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
re: screencast
libervisco wrote:

A screencast of the Ubuntu installation can actually easily be made as a gif file, though to preserve reasonable quality it would be a bigger file so the page load would be higher, but that applies to any other format anyway.

If you'd like I can make a gif presentation like that and upload it to this site. The presentation should then be updated with every release of Ubuntu which shouldn't be a big deal since it's only every six months. Smiling

This sounds excellent libervisco. If you are up to the work of doing such a thing, especially in a low resolution (to make it readable), it would find its way to the site very easily. Maybe I'm wrong and too worried regarding what I wrote up there.

livervisco wrote:

And by the way, this review has some nice shots of the installation process too: http://www.nuxified.org/the_ubuntu_dapper_experience

It doubles as simple installation instructions too. Smiling

That's true and it's a very good review. The only thing I am a little bit frightened by is the thoroughness of it and the detailing error messages, etc. If you believe it is still a good resource for beginners, maybe we should add it.
It's difficult finding a right compromise between arbitrary (which is much needed in the Gnu/Linux world) and a good mix and balance of opinions.

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
ariadacapo wrote: This
ariadacapo wrote:

This sounds excellent libervisco. If you are up to the work of doing such a thing, especially in a low resolution (to make it readable), it would find its way to the site very easily. Maybe I'm wrong and too worried regarding what I wrote up there.

Cool. If I don't start working on it tomorrow I probably will over this weekend. Smiling It shouldn't be a big deal as I already got most of the needed installation screenshots ready and just need to use gimp to put them together and add a short description below the shot.

ariadacapo wrote:

That's true and it's a very good review. The only thing I am a little bit frightened by is the thoroughness of it and the detailing error messages, etc. If you believe it is still a good resource for beginners, maybe we should add it.

Oh it probably is a bit too scary for some users, especially those errors. Rest assured I wont be including that shot in the gif screencast (it isn't part of the install process anyway). Eye It's probably better to include a shortened version of installation instructions. Maybe even this screencast alone will do..

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