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

On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 8:33 PM, J.H. <warthog19 eaglescrag net> wrote:
>>> 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.

I don't disagree with that, I just didn't want both distribution
channels lumped together because at live events I think the impression
we give is live media is for trying stuff out non-destructively and
installation media is for installing Fedora with both available to

>>> 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 can't speak to the reasons the website is how it is. Probably just a
case of the best intentions not leading to the best results. There is
no reason to not revisit those decisions now and make appropriate
changes. I'm all for that.

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

Yeah, I am ambivalent about the install option on live media
personally. I never use, I know others who always use it. It just
isn't really the selling point of the live media to me.

> 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?

No objection from me.

> 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).

No objection to any of those suggestions either.


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