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Re: I did it!

On Sat, 2006-04-22 at 00:11 -0400, Debbie Deutsch wrote:
> Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > We've thrown around the idea of a System Planning Guide, which would go
> > hand-in-hand with the Installation Guide, and talk about some of these
> > very basic UNIXish issues in a way that beginners could understand.  It
> > helps, when going through the Installation Guide, to know how to make
> > the right choices when the installer gives you options.
> > 
> > I hope that you will be able to stay on track with the account setup
> > documentation, but it also makes great sense for someone with fresh eyes
> > to help us tackle this System Planning Guide as ewll. 
> On the other hand, I still wish I had access to a nice document to
> confirm, one way or another, my theories about how much space to devote
> to various partitions.  I ran across a nice discussion of how much you
> need in swap, and /boot takes care of itself.  However, how much to give
> to /root or /home (given various scenarios for how you intend to use the
> system) still seems a bit of a black art to me.  There are probably a
> bunch of other configuration choices that are like that.  Without
> experience administering a system, it is hard for a novice to Linux or
> Fedora to know what choices to make, or even how important they are to
> get right (or not).

If you want to see it, make it so! :-)  The Wiki is a perfect place to
start drafting this -- it requires no DocBook or CVS knowledge, just an
account & CLA signup.  Until Edward has a draft of his work available,
you can still use this page for guidance on how to do that:


The sections on GPG and SSH are... a little light on info.  If you need
help at those sections, try instead:

Light help:
More help (GPG only)

> The other thing my experience tells me is that a system planning guide
> might attempt to advise the novice on some other basic topics:
> - which release to use.  Someone who wants the most stable system with
> fewest updates today should probably use FC4, not FC5.

Hmm, that depends on what you mean by "fewest updates today."  If you
install FC4 today and then perform a system update, you'll be waiting
for (IIRC) many hundreds of megabytes of updates to download before
you're patched through the present.  On top of that issue, FC4 is at
least 6 months closer to being handed off to Fedora Legacy, and after
that, EOL.

Since Fedora's purpose is not just to hand out free software, but to
also advance its cause, in most cases, it's a good idea for new people
to install the latest and greatest.  That's the distribution getting the
most attention for bug fixes, it will last the longest from the day they
install it, and their using it (and getting involved in reporting
problems) is probably more helpful from the developers' standpoint.

Of course, very specific usage scenarios might demand the *absence* of
some feature in the latest release, but those edge cases are so numerous
and marginal that there's almost no sense in trying to tackle them in a
beginner's level guide.  The folks for whom these cases occur wouldn't
fit the target audience anyway.

> - what configurations are the easiest for a beginner.  We all would like
> to say that FC is easy to install right out of the box.  It certainly is
> for some configurations.  However some features and drivers are more or
> less baked than others.  For a novice I would recommend no RAID, 32-bit,
> no nVidia drivers.  There's probably a lot more that can be said on this
> subject.

As a side note, we wouldn't include anything about nVidia or ATI
closed-source 3D drivers anyway.

> - troubleshooting basics.  How to get into linux rescue mode using your
> boot disk, and what you can do there.  Some more common problems, their
> symptoms, and how to confirm if that's what has happened to you.  Where
> to look for more help if you need it.

I would say this is better kept in either the Installation Guide or
elsewhere.  Keeping a tight focus for a doc like this is vital; the
organizing principle of the System Planning Guide is not as a procedural
for installations (that's what the Installation Guide does), but rather
a concepts primer for newcomers.  It introduces terms and gets people
thinking about what their requirements are for their Fedora system.  The
minute they lay hands on the keyboard/mouse, that's where the
Installation Guide and other materials step in.

Paul W. Frields, RHCE                          http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
 Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/

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