Confusing installation on multiple partitioned drive

Forum Forums Official Releases antiX-21/22 “Grup Yorum” Confusing installation on multiple partitioned drive

  • This topic has 21 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated Nov 15-11:52 pm by BobC.
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  • #70927
    Member
    punranger

      punranger, Normal beginners are just going to use the complete drive. If you want to make fancier setups, you will need to learn more about it.

      To learn, I’d suggest focusing on a drive setup similar to what you have, and practice with a spare drive so you don’t risk your information. I setup my partitions with Gparted first, and then run the install. Using a spare drive, this poses minimal risk and you can experiment until you are comfortable with the entire process.

      BTW: One rule is to ONLY change things on the volume you are loading as root and leave the rest alone unless you have a specific reason which has been completely thought out, investigated, and tested. I have lost drives before, so I’m saying that from learning the hard way. Working from a spare drive is the right way to learn safely.

      Thanks to everyone who replied here, at least I know that I’m not alone. Regarding this particular reply, I would like to add that I have installed several types of distros in several (old) computers, and I’ve found antiX to be the one that works the best, expect for this one issue. I am not a beginner, but I’m not an expert either. The thing that I mentioned is that other types of distros I have tried, such as Linux Mint, make the issue of partitioned installation crystal clear even for the beginner user. (LM does not run as smoothly on older hardware, though.) LM even offers to set it up for you. For the record, I did run Gparted first and prepared the partition I wanted to use for antiX. It would be logical that the installer informed me that sda1 was formatted and contained no data, and was suggested as the partition to install to.

      There are several possible cases where a first time user might want to install antiX on a separate partition. Like someone mentioned, you might not have a second disk available for whatever reason. If you’re doing the install on a laptop, replacing the existing drive is not always very practical.

      My point remains: Other distros have made this process easy and very intuitive, with all the information you need contained in the installation window. I see no reason why antiX shouldn’t be able to offer the same level of user friendliness.

      I’ll leave it at that.

      antiX linux: The best way to revive an old computer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCTaUAP6sSg

      #70949
      Moderator
      BobC

        I loaded a machine for a friend this weekend, and set it up with root, swap, and extended partition /home leaving space for a second distro. It was an older Core 2 laptop. It went fine. I used gparted to setup the partitions, then did the install and selected each.

        I’ve tried and failed with many “automatic” installs because I have a lot of drives, volumes and distros on many of my machines. Some have MS Windows (98, XP, Vista, 7, and 10), some are Linux only. Some are UEFI, some are setup for MBR. Many have Data volumes with NTFS or EXFMT partitions which are shared between Windows and Linux distros. Each makes sense for what is loaded on that machine, but many are tight on space, or at system limits of volumes, drives, etc., and might not have the free space contiguous or enough to make many distros happy when installing.

        Each piece of each turns into another permutation that your automatic partitioner needs to handle, keeping all the distros on that machine happy.

        Hibernation and Hybrid suspend/hibernation is an almost total Linux failure. Suspend usually works, but some machines are trouble it seems, anf its easy to spend a lot of hours just trying to get one working reliably.

        Swap is a mess in my environment. Each distro thinks it owns the swap, but in reality it should be that each distro should own the swap while it is active, or suspended, or hibernating, and then the swap partition should be available for the next distro booted. Because of that I really should be using swap files, but that is so hard to get to work. Many times I don’t use any swap at all because it creates more problems than it solves.

        So, you say LM is the best? Its been a couple years since I tried it.

        Daily driver distro https://www.antixforum.com

        #70950
        Member
        seaken64

          I’ve said this many times before (and I have not changed my mind on this topic) – Partitioning and installing operating systems is an advanced skill. I’m all for making things easier for non-techies. But there is always a limit to what can be done to make it “easy”. What is easy and intuitive to one person is not for the next. Even if we could talk to our computers and tell them in our normal language what we want the computer to do we will not be able to we will be misunderstood and get results we did not expect.

          When people buy computers they accept the system as provided by the manufacturer, or by the IT department we have assigned to provide our equipment, or we learn how to do it ourselves. If we don’t like the results we learn how to adjust it to our own preferences. After we have learned how to prepare our equipment we now know how to do it. It may be “easy” or difficult according to our own opinion and our own personality. But now that we know what did not know before it is easier.

          I have installed CP/M, DOS, Windows, MAC OS, Android, Unix, BSD, and Linux. I have done thousands of installations. And I sometimes complained that I had to do research before I understood what needed to be done. I have failed many times before I finally was successful. And yes, some installations were easier than some others. But only after I learned what to expect and understood the general paradigm being used. And even after doing all these installations I had to slow down and learn how to use the current MX/antiX installer. It was initially confusing because I was not used to it. But now I know what I did not know before. No interface, no amount of clever programming of an “easy” GUI, can replace the short amount of time it takes to learn by doing.

          Unless you do not want to know how to partition and make the appropriate choices to install an operating system you will need to learn by doing. Or, take what others have provided for you. That is what most people do. They will use the computer as provided by someone else. But if you want to partition your drive(s) and customize your computer by installing more than one OS you will need to learn. Learning takes a little time and is not always “easy”.

          I am not trying to minimize the “desire” for things to be “easy”. We all want that. But life is not that way. It takes time to learn new things. Sometimes it not easy. This is why a lot of people like Mac or iOS. They accept the paradigm and the walled garden as provided by Apple. They are happy with that. Not many of those people have even considered partitioning their drive. But once they discover Linux they may consider it. But they cannot avoid that it will not be as “easy” as just accepting the Apple way.

          As a side note, I wished it were easier to become an accomplished trumpet player. But I had to go thru the same process as everyone else (private lessons and practicing, practicing, practicing, anger, disappointment, practicing, practicing). And in the end I never did become good enough for me to pursue it as my vocation. Instead I ended up a fireplace and chimney technician. And guess what, it isn’t that easy either. I still have to study and do research, even after 30 years of experience.

          One of my tricks for success is to accept confusion as part of the process to becoming an expert. Ever try to teach someone to use a remote control or a thermostat? And there are literally hundreds of ways to do the same thing. Some manufacturers reinvent the wheel. The general idea of a thermostat remains underneath but the skins change.

          Seaken64

          #70951
          Moderator
          BobC

            Yeah, I agree.

            The only thing I can think of that would help would be to see if there is some other very common desired setup besides “complete drive” that many people would want, and offer that, complete drive, or manual. I would bet that would end up “easy to say and hard to do”, but it might be worth looking at if the logic already existed and the code was easy enough to modify.

            Unless a working system can be adapted, changing things like that is risky. I lost 2 whole drives to “Frugalware” and its unusual install program. I’d hate to see that happen to antiX.

            Daily driver distro https://www.antixforum.com

            #70964
            Moderator
            BobC

              So I tried LM 20.2 and yes, its default install defaults to “Install alongside” other OS’s. Their installer allows you to create volumes as well. When using the antiX one, you need to use gparted to do that. I always setup the volumes before running the installer. Its just an old habit of preformatting and numbering the labels and names, like 01-antiX21F64S so i can always easily tell what is what.

              I also tried LM 20.2 on a laptop with Windows and it decided it was going to downsize the windows partitions since there was only a 8 gb block of space empty. I didn’t tell it to do that! It might work, but what if it didn’t work right and there was valuable data in there?

              PS: So I went over to distrowatch where haters of many distros lurk, and found this recent one for LM 20.2. Evidently the person posting didn’t read the instructions well. I’ve also lost drives by trying to follow the instructions myself, too, but not with LM or antiX. I always tell people at work that I’ll bet money my code will work the same on the live system as it does on the test system, and I’ve never lost the bet. It pays to test.

              Version: 20.2
              Rating: 5
              Date: 2021-11-13
              Votes: 0
              	By following the install instructions exactly, it wiped out my whole drive. Neither Wine nor Opera will install. Shiny and new is impressive until you look under the hood. Typical.
              • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by BobC.
              • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by BobC.
              • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by BobC.

              Daily driver distro https://www.antixforum.com

              #71021
              Member
              punranger

                Hi again. Some very good responses made me decide to reply, even though I intended to leave the discussion alone.

                I basically agree with the last few responses, insomuch as that multi OS installs are in themselves advanced operations. They always carry risks, and you need to accept that. Fortunately, most installers warn you about the risks. But that was not what my issue was. My issue was that this particular procedure was an anomaly after installing “standard” antiX on at least five old computers. This particular install window basically contained no instructions on the appropriate course of action, and it did not show you where to find instructions either. I’ve done multi OS installs in Mint a couple times, and I’m not saying LM is the best or anything like that. (What LM in my view mainly has going for it is pretty easy conversion from Windows.) But the interface at least gave me SOME instructions, enough in fact that I could carry on, and not abort the install. Which I why was quite surprised to see the multi-partition install window on antiX. Basically, you need to be an expert to use it. OK, fair enough, it may be the case that there’s no way around that. I just found it strange that there were basically NO instructions.

                There’s a bit of a context here, for those who bother: I think antiX is a GREAT operating system. I’ve tried several “lightweight” distros, and gave up on them pretty quickly. The ONLY contender in my case was Puppy, but I always had problems getting the persistence to work properly. (Basically, I felt that it wasn’t intended for a HD install. Which is fair enough.) I think it’s fantastic that I can get online with a 15 year old computer that boots quickly, and even allows me to do things like banking. I’m thinking that antiX really is a powerful tool, in that it allows people with limited access to data hardware to stay online. How great would it not be to see old computers bringing power to the people of the third world, for example. No need to buy into the incessant need for hardware upgrades that manufacturers and commercial OS developers force upon you. So I feel like there’s a bit of a rebel stance to using antiX. And I think antiX needs more rebels (and rebels need antiX) as much as antiX needs more experts.

                Best regards from an “antiX punk”!

                antiX linux: The best way to revive an old computer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCTaUAP6sSg

                #71026
                Moderator
                BobC

                  Maybe have a look at the Help window to the left of the drive details screen and suggest how to better explain the configuration process so it that could be understood by more normal users. Maybe less text and a link to a How to document that covered the most common situations would be better. It would probably need to be concise to fit in the base distro, especially. I wonder if people would actually read it. I know I am guilty many times of not reading the docs.

                  Daily driver distro https://www.antixforum.com

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