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Re: Draft proposal for using full anaconda as the default Fedora download



>> Currently (and since ~Fedora 12) the default media promoted for
>> installation of Fedora both via our website at fedoraproject.org and at
>> conferences and other events is the Desktop Live Media ISO, delivered
>> via pressed optical media at events, and typically delivered via
>> home-burned optical media or live usb media created via dd,
>> livecd-creator on the command line, or the Live USB Creator GUI (the
>> latter the most popular for non-Linux systems.)
> 
> I don't think this is quite a fair representation of the situation
> when it comes to pressed media distributed at events. We don't promote
> either as a "default" method. We have always produced far more
> non-live media for events, usually it outnumbers all the live media by
> 2 to 1 in North America. While some people do install from the live
> media we really promote it as an easy way to try Fedora out, not as a
> preferred way to install it.

While that may all be quite true, for live events, the fact remains when
I go to:

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora

The big obvious Download button here is for the live media, not for the
installer.  I would wager that since Fedora 12 the number of installs /
upgrades done via the live image has gone up significantly because of this.

Now I am a *HUGE* supporter of the Single button serves most uses
approach (heck I'm probably the reason there's a big blue button on the
get-fedora page), but to find the normal install media on the site I
specifically have to jump through two additional clicks:

More download options... -> Formats

The formats section of the page is hidden via javascript, which I'll add
is annoying.

This tells me that the Fedora Project is pushing for people to do more
via the live cd than via the traditional install media, particularly
since it's as buried as it is and the only way to find it is to dig and
know it's there.

>> Live Media affords some clear advantages over traditional installers,
>> primarily in its ability to be used via USB sticks as optical drives are
>> less ubiquitous in laptops and its singularity as one image you can
>> try-before-you-buy to test out drivers, rescue machines, and use as a
>> full installer. It also affords a gee-whiz factor.
>>
>> However, there are some serious concerns about the stability and overall
>> user experience in promoting live media as the primary installation
>> method of Fedora. There is also a larger concern about the future
>> direction and maintenance of the spins project. Creating and maintaining
>> usable live media is not a trivial task and many of our spins
>> maintainers have understandably burnt out. Reconsidering how we deliver
>> installation of Fedora to our end users may offer an opportunity to help
>> this situation.
> 
> Again, we do not promote it now as the primary installation method.
>>From the perspective of someone who has handed out such media at
> events, if the install to hard drive option on the live media is
> causing issues my suggestion is to remove it. The live media has great
> value without it - it seems to be almost an afterthought anyway.

If the project is not intending to push the download of the live image
over the traditional install media, than I must ask the obvious
question: why does the website seem to promote otherwise?

I don't entirely agree with removing the installation option from the
live media, I think it actually would be a bad idea.

The issue at hand seems to be one where there are, effectively, two
different installers being supported (one from the live image, and the
more normal anaconda route).  Why not simplify this some?

On the live image have the "install" option do nothing more than execute
a kexec (with an appropriate we will be leaving the live realm and
entering the installer, you can't switch back and forth, etc preamble)
to a safe install medium, likely the anaconda network installer to save
space.

This would, I think, keep both sides of this situation happy.  It still
uses the proper anaconda installer, while preserving the ability to
opportunistically let people install from the live image should they want.

And if the live images had boot from iscsi support you could run the
whole thing, end to end, from the internet - but I'll admit I can't
figure out who's in charge of the live images to get that support added
in (which I'd happily do the patches for).

- John 'Warthog9' Hawley


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