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#1 2008-04-28 22:38:42

pseudomind
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2005-11-18
Posts: 19
Website

graphical arch installer

I have begun writing a generic graphical installer for which I plan to support arch. I realize this has been discussed in the past and it was deemed an unnecessary complication that is contrary to the arch philosophy. However I think the particular way I am intending to implement this will address many problems which are even experienced with the text based installer. Because I am fairly new to programming I would like some feedback on my ideas whether it be suggestions, possible complications, or general hate.

-The installation environment will likely be a modified slax livecd.
Slax is based on slackware which has fairly similar package structure and so it will be reasonably easy to create packages required for installation of various distributions using their native installers (i.e. apt-get, pacman). I plan to run a modified kernel to support nearly all file systems that the linux kernel is capable of writing to and make use of the fuse kernel module for future expandability. By using such a platform I can focus on solely developing the installation frontends, backends, their associated routines and general infrastructure.

-Installation scripts will not be located on the livecd.
Running the installer will connect to a server or multiple servers and get the most recent installation instructions. By doing this, the installer can support many different distributions even if they did not exist at the time of the cds creation. In arch's case this will be ideal, its rolling release structure sometimes produces a broken system after an initial install and full update from even the most recent snapshot cd. With this particular setup, a major migration to a different means of doing things will not render all installation cds useless as happens with old arch install cds. All that would need to happen is a modification of the remotely fetched script and instantly the installation routine of all the cds would be up to date.

-Software required to install will also not be on the cd.
For similar reasons  the various package managers, disk partition utilities, formatting utilities etc. will not be included on the cd. they will also be fetched depending on the particular type of install requested.

I feel bad that so many distributions have to reinvent the wheel to make live-cd installers and even more so they have to periodically re-release to keep it up to date. I think this is a horribly inefficient idea. I'm hoping that by its design this installer will be something which is reasonably easy to maintain for developers and easy for end users to use.

I did not go too much detail on how I plan to acheive all these goals however, I am working on the program when I have free time. Please give me some feedback guys!

Here are some preliminary screenshots.
convergence-1.png
convergence-2.png

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#2 2008-04-28 22:43:43

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

Wow, nicely done. I look forward to seeing the end result.

PS I laughed pretty hard at "I'm Scared, Nevermind"

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#3 2008-04-29 07:08:17

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: graphical arch installer

That's a nice idea. It should not be difficult to fit Arch into such a framework.

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#4 2008-04-29 10:49:14

pyther
Member
Registered: 2008-01-21
Posts: 1,395
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

Please stop, we have to many noobs as it is. The community is becoming crappier every month sad


Website - Blog - arch-home
Arch User since March 2005

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#5 2008-04-29 11:01:20

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,416
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

I looks very interesting to me.  I will definitely give it a go once it gets released...  Probably to try Dragonfly though! I've always been interested in it.

pyther wrote:

Please stop, we have to many noobs as it is. The community is becoming crappier every month sad

Bad pyther, bad!  That comment is very crappy itself.

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#6 2008-04-29 11:19:50

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,838

Re: graphical arch installer

pyther - if you can't be constructive, the best option is to say nothing. Please note that this board is called "Community Contributions". You are not required to use this installer, any more than you are required to use Arch itself.

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#7 2008-04-29 16:11:07

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

I, for one, think this is great. Everyone and their brother bitches about our installer. pseudomind is actually doing something about it. Hooray for him being proactive.

Now, truth be told, this will most likely NOT end up on an official install CD, but the ISO tools are hopefully in a state now where one could easily create their own CD that boots to a GUI and uses this installer. I think it'd be neat.

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#8 2008-04-29 16:27:33

3nd3r
Member
From: /dev/null
Registered: 2002-12-08
Posts: 301
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

hurray! I was wondering when something like this was going to be made. I cant wait to test it out smile

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#9 2008-04-29 17:11:53

Endperform
Member
From: Atlanta GA, USA
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 94
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

Looks like you have a great start to a cool piece of software.  Keep up the good work smile



pyther wrote:

Please stop, we have to many noobs as it is. The community is becoming crappier every month sad

It's people like you, pyther, that give Linux users in general a bad name.  You were a noob once too, and I for one would rather see more people interested in Arch.

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#10 2008-04-29 17:15:12

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: graphical arch installer

gradgrind wrote:

That's a nice idea. It should not be difficult to fit Arch into such a framework.

And it also shouldn't be difficult to fit that into larch... smile


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#11 2008-04-29 17:52:07

zodmaner
Member
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 653

Re: graphical arch installer

Impressive! This sounds really cool! I will keep my eye on this one. smile

PS. Looking forward to see more screenshots. wink

Last edited by zodmaner (2008-04-29 17:56:01)


Memento mori

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#12 2008-04-29 18:09:53

GGLucas
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2008-03-13
Posts: 113
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

Endperform wrote:

Looks like you have a great start to a cool piece of software.  Keep up the good work smile



pyther wrote:

Please stop, we have to many noobs as it is. The community is becoming crappier every month sad

It's people like you, pyther, that give Linux users in general a bad name.  You were a noob once too, and I for one would rather see more people interested in Arch.

In pyther's defense, he did use the word "noobs", which in the past has had a subtle but obscure difference in meaning from the word "newbs" you're all thinking of tongue
Of course, people use them both for the same thing nowadays, and they have become interchangeable, but once upon a time, "newb" meant "new person", and "noob" meant "new person who is arrogant, selfish and refuses to learn", interpret it in that way and what pyther said is perfectly fine tongue

OnTopic: The installer looks awesome, I'm comfortable with the current installation route, so I won't be using it, but I know of people who know enough about linux to maintain an arch install easily, and would benefit from it as opposed to staying with ubuntu, but who are just not confident enough to go through the whole manual install themselves (I recently helped one of them install it, and he loves it, but they're not all within in-person helping distance tongue), as long as you don't dumb down the process too much, I'm all for it tongue

Last edited by GGLucas (2008-04-29 18:12:14)

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#13 2008-04-29 18:31:40

Mikko777
Member
From: Suomi, Finland
Registered: 2006-10-30
Posts: 837

Re: graphical arch installer

nice, lets see how it compares to kdemod4live cool

mockup:

http://www.kdemod.ath.cx/wiki/doku.php? … ller_style

kdemod4live = arch+larch+kdemod4+tribe+shaman+arxin = awesomeness!

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#14 2008-04-29 18:38:42

Slammer64
Member
From: Ozark Mountains of Missouri
Registered: 2007-07-28
Posts: 113

Re: graphical arch installer

Best of luck on that psuedomind, I'll be keeping an eye peeled for further developments, after all, anything that improves Arch is good, right? :-)


Somewhere, just out of sight, the Penguins are gathering!

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#15 2008-04-29 18:41:43

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: graphical arch installer

Mikko777 wrote:

nice, lets see how it compares to kdemod4live cool

mockup:

http://www.kdemod.ath.cx/wiki/doku.php? … ller_style

kdemod4live = arch+larch+kdemod4+tribe+shaman+arxin = awesomeness!

Nice! Another awesome project to keep an eye on. The mockups look pretty smooth...


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#16 2008-04-29 18:49:08

zodmaner
Member
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 653

Re: graphical arch installer

Mikko777 wrote:

nice, lets see how it compares to kdemod4live cool

mockup:

http://www.kdemod.ath.cx/wiki/doku.php? … ller_style

kdemod4live = arch+larch+kdemod4+tribe+shaman+arxin = awesomeness!

Holy smoke! That looks good indeed! yikes

Glad to see your project with KDEmod guys took off, Mikko777. Can't wait to see it in action! smile

Last edited by zodmaner (2008-04-29 18:50:10)


Memento mori

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#17 2008-04-29 18:49:47

drf
Member
From: Milano, Italy
Registered: 2008-01-13
Posts: 113

Re: graphical arch installer

Sigi wrote:
Mikko777 wrote:

nice, lets see how it compares to kdemod4live cool

mockup:

http://www.kdemod.ath.cx/wiki/doku.php? … ller_style

kdemod4live = arch+larch+kdemod4+tribe+shaman+arxin = awesomeness!

Nice! Another awesome project to keep an eye on. The mockups look pretty smooth...

Mockups? What? That thing is real guys, and it's taking shape quickly big_smile :

2008-04-23-013941_1280x800_scrot.png

This is not a mockup, you can already compile it wink

Last edited by drf (2008-04-29 18:50:19)

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#18 2008-04-29 18:57:34

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: graphical arch installer

Even better, but please keep posting thumbnails instead of big images. Thanks


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#19 2008-04-29 19:11:15

Maki
Member
From: Skopje, Macedonia
Registered: 2007-10-16
Posts: 345
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

This stuff is cool ( although lt's unconventional to run a livecd to install various os's ). This could be an all new & fun way to install some free os to you system. Glad to see so much cool stuff from the community KDEMod, shaman, larch, yaourt, tupac, wocka, all the stuff in AUR, the unofficial repo's, etc, etc


If it ain't broke, broke it then fix it.

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#20 2008-04-29 19:19:44

Sjoden
Member
From: WA
Registered: 2007-08-16
Posts: 380
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

Pseudomind, your screenshots look great, and I think you have a great idea with making it work for more than one distrobution! I'm going to keep my eye on this also.

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#21 2008-04-29 20:01:31

_Marco_
Member
Registered: 2008-04-21
Posts: 242

Re: graphical arch installer

this is really a good idea!
I hope to hear news soon wink
bye

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#22 2008-05-02 11:12:52

ora
Member
Registered: 2007-06-20
Posts: 26

Re: graphical arch installer

Great work.
But I think kdialog is enough. No need to re-invent the wheel.
And it's easier to change /arch/setup to use kdialog, it also has a RAD tool kommander.

Last edited by ora (2008-05-02 11:15:16)

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#23 2008-05-02 15:19:19

b9anders
Member
Registered: 2007-11-07
Posts: 681

Re: graphical arch installer

drf wrote:
Sigi wrote:
Mikko777 wrote:

nice, lets see how it compares to kdemod4live cool

mockup:
kdemod4live = arch+larch+kdemod4+tribe+shaman+arxin = awesomeness!

Nice! Another awesome project to keep an eye on. The mockups look pretty smooth...

Mockups? What? That thing is real guys, and it's taking shape quickly big_smile :

http://drfav.files.wordpress.com/2008/0 … _scrot.png

This is not a mockup, you can already compile it wink

that looks mightily impressive. Did you borrow the layout from opensuse 11? looks very similar.

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#24 2008-05-02 15:55:03

drf
Member
From: Milano, Italy
Registered: 2008-01-13
Posts: 113

Re: graphical arch installer

Yes, got inspiration, but code, layout and images are 100% from scratch wink

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#25 2008-05-02 16:13:01

peets
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2007-01-11
Posts: 936
Website

Re: graphical arch installer

pseudomind, I'm trying to understand what you're going to write. Basically you're creating a lean liveCD that will launch a graphical environment and connect to the internet, and then hand over control to whatever scripts the distros wrote? You're designing a general framework that every distro can conform to in order to quickly get a nice installer?

If you manage to make the interface between what you're making and the distro-specific scripts clear and simple, this could be really cool and a big time-saver!

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