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Posted: Feb 03, 2011 4:58:35 am


Installation is the most important part of any OS. Arch linux is extremely difficult to install due to the command line dependency (wallbash)  as well as hand-picking package selection (crazy)  and manual GRUB install. Will CTKArch automate such tasks (confused)  and provide easy-to-understand/manage Text-mode smooth installation (noteeth)  (C) ?

Posted: Feb 03, 2011 9:18:39 am

Installation is the most important part (it's more like critical), but that is only true when you don't have time for it! :)
When you don't want to know the bare minimals, if you have a problem later you won't be able to fix it.
And that can be very annoying… much more than spending a few more time on installation and handling.

Arch Linux isn't extremely difficult to install — I mean that almost everything is automated, and only the questions that only *you, the user* can answer are asked.
I you can't answer them, then no one can.
Notably the packages choice: just leave everything checked if you don't know!

Giving you the choice is the Arch Way.
And I like it and follow it. No-one can decide what you want!

Maybe you noticed that the installer in ctkarch makes suggestions if you "don't know", but you have to choose for yourself.
The installer can't decide for you the disks and partitions to use, don't you agree?

Note that the installation of GRUB is automated; you can close the menu.lst file when it is shown to you, for it should be OK.
A message tells you that just before entering the editor.
I won't remove this, because some users want to add entries for other OSes. Hey, just Ctrl+X if you don't want to know anything, the installer has generated menu.lst.

Then you are asked for the Boot sector where GRUB's starter (stage1) must be copied.
Again, this choice is up to the user: maybe you want to put grub's loader on another disk than the one where the / partition is.
Anyway, the dialog suggests the choice to do if you have only one disk.

Can you tell more precisely what you would like to see changed?
Apart from giving the choice with advice, which is what the installer does, I don't see what to do…
Tell me, I want to know! ;)
Posted: Feb 03, 2011 3:24:42 pm

I love the freedom, control, detail, efficiency, and care involved in CTKArch installation.
The text mode of installation is well-suited.
The suggestions approach is very helpful.
Of course, I agree that user should decide disk usage and partitioning by himself  :D 

Before further questions/suggestions, I must frankly confess that I'm a linux newbie convert who is comfortable with text mode and command line but not with configuration files. So, please do excuse my naivety. My intention is not to waste your precious time but to have a good idea of CTKArch installation beforehand.

1. Is there a 'back' button/option available during all phases of installation?
2. How about a text-mode dialogue for adding multiple OSes entries to GRUB instead of editing the generated menu.lst file?
3. Is network/internet configuration performed during installation?

Posted: Feb 03, 2011 4:24:43 pm

Nice! Let's speak about real stuff.

1/ You can do again any stage of the installer if it makes sense in the installation process.
Every step or sub-step is short enough to be just quicky done again if you made a mistake or changed your mind.
(don't misunderstand this ; it won't — can't — undo modifications, but you can do the partitionning again and again until you're satisfied, for instance)

2/ That looks like an idea!
But what options should it have? I can't include optional entries for every other distros and OSes, it's too much work! (to do and to maintain)
Besides, I can't imagine why it could be useful. I mean, if you have another GNU/Linux distro, just copy the contents of its menu, or chainload it. If it's another OS, chainload its bootloader.
A chainload entry is supplied by default (commented). It is set up to chainload sda1's boot sector.

Maybe you are suggesting a menu with fields to fill, that gives you a grub menu entry?
That looks very near to editing a (quite simple, isn't it?) menu.lst file with examples in it (for linux kernels and chainload).
I could comment menu.lst to explain a little more, what do you think?

3/ Wicd's settings from the live system are copied to the installation. Once installed, you can always change the configuration at any moment going in the menu, Network, Wicd.
I think this point is OK! :)
Posted: Feb 03, 2011 8:28:30 pm

Merci  :) 

1/ Seems okay.

2/ I was wishfully imagining grub automation e.g. installer detects other installed distros/OS during partitioning and then adds their entries to menu.lst by itself. Anyway, commenting menu.lst with brief explanation and an entry-adding example would also be fine and appreciable enough  :)

3/ That's a nice mechanism, in fact!

A possibly non-relevant question to the topic: How about adding wbar (vertically, left or right) and small-sized conky to the desktop?

By the way, omission of 'live' from the distro name sounds better.

Posted: Feb 03, 2011 8:50:45 pm

Okay, for point 2/ I will add more precise comments to the file.

There is a software auto-detecting other installations, it's os-prober.
Again, I don't see the need for such a thing: just uncomment the chainload entry and point it to the partition where your other OS is (or copy it as many times as you want).
Please note that, if the kernel entries for ubuntu are included in the menu for instance, they will get outdated as soon as you update it... making what you suggested a "nest of problems".

So, chainload or... make your own entries (copying the arch linux ones). And of course…
<troll>Do you really need something else than Arch linux ? :D </troll>

I won't add conky in the base system. Nor will I add wbar (nice app though :) ): add-ons are made for that!
Screenshot of ctkarch 0.5 with conky and compizfusion add-ons.
(the script to generate a conkyrc tailored to your machine is there. Install conky, run the script, enjoy.)

Now that you can add them very simply in the persistent data partition, or on the ISO itself... No problem, I think.

To explain that decision / way of thinking, I'll just say: "not everyone needs those applications".
The base ISO doesn't contain apps that some people may not like. That helps keeping it small, too!

I have received 0 add-ons contributed by people so far. I wonder if anyone has understood what they allow you to do… :(
Maybe people just keep their add-ons for themselves. After all, they're so easy to generate. Ten minutes, and you have your own custom Live! ;)
Posted: Feb 03, 2011 9:43:21 pm

Understood and agreed.

Thanks for the conky script  :) 

Custom Add-ons is enormously great thing. Sooner or later, people will love contributing them. 'All good things come to those who wait'  ;) 

Posted: Feb 19, 2011 2:28:47 am

Loving my CTKarch install.

I seem to recall something about GRUB during the instalation that was a little disconcerting.  I think I wasn't allowed to keep my current bootloader.  Is that the way the installation is configured, or do we get to choose between the existing bootloader or CTK's GRUB?  I seem to remember not having a big objection to it, because it was not using GRUB 2 (I have heard a lot of bad things about GRUB 2).

One sticking point that I definitely remember is not being allowed to use my existing /home partition without "wiping" it.  I had to install everything on the root partition, then go in and manually change /etc/fstab.  Of course, that borked the default CTK user configuration, but with chat help from Calimero, I was able to restore the nice defaults.  However, I ended up going with Icewm, anyway.

Thanks for the great distro!
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