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Caldera Graphic Installation Screenshots 176

ReadParse writes "From our Troll friends come some screenshots of the anticipated (by some) GUI Caldera Installation that Troll and Caldera collaborated on. " It looks so... modern.
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Caldera Graphic Installation Screenshots

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Caldera uses the new VESA framebuffer device for their OpenLinux installation and their boot screen. You dont need X11 for installation or boot.
    Only problem: They hacked some details in the video assembly routines of the kernel, so custom kernels will not boot that way and the virtual consoles will not work unless you patch the same routines as well. (and you have to have fb support compiled into your kernel)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The kernel IS in /boot (/boot/vmlinuz-2.2.5-modular)...

    Erik Ratcliffe
    Caldera Systems, Inc.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're preparing to open the source code to Lizard; we just don't want to do it without some kind of back-end infrastructure to support its development/improvement.

    Erik Ratcliffe
    Caldera Systems, Inc.
  • For all its horrible problems, windows really isn't that bad a UI.
    It's horrid compared to MacOS or OS/2.

    The only difference between the MacOS UI and the Windows UI in this case is whether the clicky-buttons have round corners or square ones.

  • One thing bothered me about those screenshots: the sloppy text descriptions. In particular, the "Select Root Partition" screen includes the sentence "It contains the core Linux system... Therefore it cannot really be big enough."

    I could easily imagine a non-English speaker misinterpreting that to mean "Your disk is not big enough to hold the core Linux system".


    But why oh why did they choose to omit libcrypt from the distribution? WHY?????!

    I'm using Caldera2.2 OpenLinux distro right now and it's got alot of nice features and installation is a breeze but... I can't compile or run BitchX and I've heard others have problems compiling Apache because of Caldera's omission of libcrypt. This being a needless complication. :((

  • Thank you Erik! Are you planning on submitting LIZARD for LSB? Enhancing it for additional flexibility?

    Oh, and does Caldera have a fix for the libcrypt problem? It can be a showstopper under certain circumstances.
  • Posted by Fleeno:

    It really looks nice, but the help text is a little clunky and wordy. It could be a lot more clear and concise.

    And about it looking like Windows...

    A button is a button, it's a rectangle with text in it. I don't know how you'd make it look very different.

    The interface is the same as a Windows wizard, but what is a wizard? It's just pages that you can go back and forth in. You could call almost anything a wizard. Web pages, a typical text-based install, most anything.

    That's not to say I like it looking like Windows, but I don't really know what they could do differently. Everyone knows how to use a Windows-style wizard. New users will find this easy.
  • Posted by Orblivion:

    It's kinda funny, all this to do over Caldera's distribution. easyIT ( has had a GUI based installation for months, with KDE as the windowing enviroment.
  • For all its horrible problems, windows really isnt that bad a UI.

    It's horrid compared to MacOS or OS/2.

    I understand why they do the Windows look, though. It's *familiar* to the most people.

    Still, I'd like to see more imitation of MacOS and OS/2 than of Windows.


  • Thanks for clarifying that. I wasn't up to typing all that much at the time.

    Your point is correct: direct manipulation is what really sets OS/2 and MacOS apart from Windows' UI.

    One of the really neat things about OS/2 from a programmer's point of view (I never did WPS programming; I say this based on what others have told me) was the ability to reuse components very readily. There were a number of free/shareware tools that did take advantage of WPS/SOM. And IBM employees (both officially and unofficially) developed some neat stuff like Excal and FTP folders.

    Direct manipulation is how I like to interact with a computer when I'm not at a command line. I don't really care for the application-centric view of Windows. For this reason, I'm excited about what the KDE guys are doing with CORBA/KOM/Open Parts.

    I don't really think a web browser is the be-all, end-all interface for all tasks. I keep hoping that people will tire of it, and get back to innovating user interaction.


  • Yeah...sure...what's the word I'm looking for here?

  • I've never had a Linux install be "useless." You boot, select packages, hit "go" and the disk grinds, the network lights blink, etc. Then you hit Alt-F2, log in again, go read mail, news, etc.
  • A windows-like GUI installation... that should appease some of the columnists who think that text-mode==arcane. But I bet that more than a few of them are going to be confused by the plethora of options. Some of this is just UNIX, but I bet they'd appreciate some autodetection of, say, sync frequencies once you know the monitor type. (I'd of course always want a button for more options)

    ...and of course the Tetris game is a nice touch. I personally prefer Nibbles, a la FastTracker (was that the one, that used XM's?)...
  • Heh. No, arcane was typing 'win' to crash your computer.

    (cheap shot, but who can resist? It's so easy. :)
  • An anecdote I heard from a fellow Computer Science student here at college... The computer had MS-DOS and Win 3.1 loaded on it. Someone typed "win". The computer answered "Bad command or file name". He then typed "lose". Windows started up.

    Someone with a sense of humor had renamed the WIN.COM file...

  • Caldera's GUI-based installation tool (called Lizard, for 'Linux Wizard', and part of Caldera OpenLinux 2.2) has a lot of potential. It is a lot easier to use than LISA, which was the standard installation tool for COL (and still an option). However, Lizard still leaves a lot to be desired. It only gives you three package installation options: Minimal, Recommended, and Everything, leaving out the option of manually selecting which packages are to be installed. If you want that, you have to whip out a boot disk (make your own, because the included one boots into Lizard) and use LISA instead. Also, the version of Lizard currently included in the retail version of COL 2.2 is buggy; among others, it craps out when you try to create additional users during installation.

    All this said, average Joe Lusers will enjoy this new installer. It boots into graphical mode immediately, even while the kernel is loading. The video config used for the installer has virtually no glitches (it worked flawlessly with my Millenium rev. 1). X server configuration is just as simple as in Windoze (maybe easier, mileage will vary). It skillfully demonstrates Linux's multitasking prowess by installing the package while you enter the site configuration information. And at the end, it lets you play Tetris while the programme finishes the installation. Truly impressing stuff.

    All this is not representative of how COL compares to other distributions. I have different opinions for that.
  • If you do, as you say, "know more than dirt", then you should be able to get to the expert mode installer.

    Why didn't you? ;-)
  • That's precisely what I meant by expert mode, sorry if I was not clear.

    And anyway: 95% of the people *do* install from a IDE CD on a x86 with IDE HD, don't they?

    Convenience for the majority is not precisely a problem.
  • I have never bought a PC, only parts.
    I have always installed the os on the boxes that I have built from DOS, w3.1x, os2, w9x, FreeBSD, and linux.
    The COS 2.2 installer "Lizard" crashes while loading packages, ALWAYS. It dies around 21-28%.
    LISA, sort-of worked and after a hand configured X setup was done, I tried to reboot. It died somewhere around fsck, every time.

    I have yet to get a working COL 2.2 install on a machine that in its current configuration can boot w95, os2 and RH 5.2, with a currently non-bootable COS 2.2 partition just sitting there...

    The COS 2.2 cd, manual, and registration card are about to fly into my junkbox...
  • Well, my computer is useless during the install of COL 2.2 since it crashes!

    Remember your roots! Linux used to be all about functionality, effeciency and stability. When and how did we get lost in the race for appearance. Especially so lost that someone would release a product that looked good, wouldn't work, call it Linux, and we'd buy it?!??!

    I've learned my lesson. Used to be, if it said "Linux" on the box, it worked; not any more.
  • That it doesn't work.

    These screen shots were my first look at the fancy schmancy tetris game. The installer blows big time on a system on which I have installed w95, os2, and RH 52. All of which work just fine, all day, all the time.

  • It would be nice if it worked.

    After installing and running DOS, w3.1x, w95, FreeBSD, os2, slackware, and redhat on raw, bare x86 machines for years(I've never bought a "PC", only parts), and redhat on an alpha box, COL 2.2 is the only one that I have not been able to bring up and/or piece together, yet.

    This flop of an install was attempted on a machine that had easily been loaded with w95, RH5.2 and 6.0 without a hitch. I got my first butterfly when the screen froze a moment after I had selected the mouse type and clicked 'NEXT'. After all the fiddling with cache settings, bus speeds, etc. I never got past the X config setup where you are supposed to select the server. The progress meter showed that it never got past something around 28% of the packages loaded. It crashed around 21-28% even if I left it alone after it had started loading packages.

    Trying LISA, I actually made it through the install until I tried to setup X. The util would not save a config file. Rather than rebuild the xf86config from scratch, I copied my old config file which works under RH. I got all sorts of
    permission errors upon startup. Gave up, shut down, went to bed. Next day I thought I'd try to pick up where I left off and it wouldn't boot. It always froze up somewhere around fsck. I gave up, threw the floppies, CDs, book, and COL 2.2
    registration card in a junk box where I suspect they will stay.

    I wish I had read some more in the newsgroups before I went and spent that money. Oh well, lesson learned: you can't assume it's gonna be good just because it says "Linux", at least not any more.

    Booted up redhat, re-formatted the partition that was assigned to COL, copied all my mp3s back off the tape...

    In case you were wondering, the box has K6-2/300, 128MB RAM, Matrox G200, IDE CDROM and HD, ISA ne2000 NIC, SB16. It's pretty plain and simple yet COL 2.2 barfs on it.
  • This is slightly off topic, but: one of the install screens mentions that the kernel goes in /. This is a terrible idea - LILO needs the kernel image to be in the first 1024 cylinders due to BIOS limitations. And if your / is bigger than that (which is very easy these days) things will may work fine after the install (which probably writes the kernel early on) but someday you're going to install a new kernel, and LILO won't work. Oops.

    So put your kernel images in /boot, and make that a small partition at the beginning of the drive.


  • A very small / forces you to make seperate partitions for /usr, /var, /home, etc. On a server, this is a good thing, and what you'd be doing anyway. On a client, it's often the wrong way -- there is no good reason to not just make a big /, and some solid advantages - you don't have to juggle disk space if one partition happens to fill faster than you expected.


  • That is an excellent way of installing linux. It takes barely any knowledge, except where it asks for information about video cards and frequencys. I might somehow rig a copy of it, and give it to people when they ask for linux. One person asked just for a RedHat cd with no documentation and I didn't want to, as it would probably screw over his system badly. But this installation looks really easy.
  • What I can't understand is how all these little
    Linux companies can create nice installers that
    are easy to use (from as spiffy as this Caldera
    installer to something as barebones as the
    Slackware installer), and *all* of them are much
    nicer than *ANYTHING* you can use to install a
    commercial Unix. I've installed Ultrix, Digital
    Unix, Solaris, NeXTStep, etc., and none of their
    installers (some of therm have multiple installers
    ) rate up to even Slackware's installer. With all
    the engineers and money they have, one would think
    that those vendors could put a little effort into
    making a nice installer for their Unix..
  • ... and the crazy Unix commands make sense when you read documentation or the man pages. I'm not against the GUI, but it's not any harder if you read up on what you're doing. The "stupid people"? You mean lazy. Oh, and maybe the less savvy (anti-nerds) will be left behind, but since they probably don't even install Windows from scratch, that's a different issue. It's getting easier, though -- I wonder how much more it can get without losing it's functionality.
  • You might try upgrading to 4.x. (It works in 4.6.)
  • The only negative thing to say is the fact that you don't have control of what packages are installed.

    Oh, that's all. So, you don't even have control of what packages goes into your system. I don't see how that couldn't of been implemented, and everything else ... Unless they were in a hurry, of course. But I'm sure it was thoroughly tested! (especially considering everyone complaining about it not working.)

  • In the interest of tooting our own horn, ;) LinuxPPC 1999 ships with three installers: an X-based installer, the traditional Redhat installer, and a text-only no-frills Perl script that is the back end of the X installer.

    The X installer isn't as fully fleshed out as Caldera's, but combined with the Mac OS side installer, it's very very easy to use. The newer versions have improved installation success rates, and future versions will have advanced features like language support.

    I've used both the X installer and the RedHat installer on my machines, and they both work fine as long as you avoid Xconfigurator like the plague. Xautoconfig works fine (for me).

  • That game comes as one of the examples with Qt. It's called "tetrix".
  • I love your installations options. Minimal Recommended Full install What about about I pick what I want to put on not ALL, SOME, or What we think is good for you. ( WORKSTATION AND SERVER ) what if I only want server stuff? Lets not compete by becoming what microsoft is...lets not lose the point along the way. I'd rather use PKGTOOL and get my system the way I want it. Gary
  • No, nobody said I had to install it...nobody held a shotgun to my head. I don't use caldera...I use slackware. I like to be able to pick what I want to install. Even Winblows allows you to do THAT. As for people like you who just tout what others preach you make me sick. YES there are some that give Linux a bad name by defending it with flames etc. I am not one of them. Linux "got off the ground" by being an ALTERNATIVE ( look it up if its confusing to you ) not like everything else. Do I have a choice? Of course. Will I exercise it? Your damn skippy. Can I state my opinion? yep. Did I say I was FORCED to use this distro? nope. Nuff said
  • I wonder if we could change it to xgammon?

  • The disk partitioning utility is weird. It seems to randomly assign mount points that are selected. I end up having to create all of the partitions first, and then select the mount points. It also has pre-determined mount points, and has nothing available for /boot.

    But overall the Lizard utility is very useful. It really expedites the installation process. It should make life easier for people new to Linux who may be content with a single partition and pre-selected packages.

  • If you want a simple installation then this is a good one. By simple I mean single OS on the machine, not particular about partitioning, and willing to accept the default packages. You can literally install this package onto your system without ever seeing a command prompt. But if you don't like that, you can create a LISA boot disk and do a custom installation.

    I ended up creating a LISA boot disk (had to do it under win95) and installing from there. LISA allows you more control over partitioning and package selection.

    I've seen some posts here asking "where's the source?" The OpenLinux 2.2 I purchased had a source CD inside. I'm not sure what the fuss is regarding source availability.

  • don't worry. The difference is pretty obvious. Linux works. Linux doesn't crash. Linux is being worked on and improved as I'm typing it.
  • big oops. esp. if someone has > 8 gig HD.
  • Very nice GUI. Definitely much more easier for beginners. The best thing about it is definitely the background installation!!! An excelent way to cut down on time required for installation. Besides, isn't multi-tasking what Linux is great at? ;-)
    However, as others have pointed out, it requires X to work in order to install the system. This is not a big problem, since all video cards should work fine in VGA mode. But it does have a serious implication: it requires you to install X. Compare it to SuSE's YaST: it's a full-blown text mode install/admin tool, and thus it preserves the flexibility of not installing X. This is especially important since Caldera is targeting the server market. My server (a headless Debian box) doesn't have X installed. in fact the entire Linux installation fits in 90 Mb. I hope that in the future GUI admin tools will supplement, but not replace text-mode admin tools.
  • This is pure FUD, albeit pro Linux FUD, it is FUD nonetheless. A more accurate statement may have been Linux doesn't crash near as often.

    Well, I agree with you there, but consider this: my server (a Debian box) never crashed *at all*. And I mean *never*. My workstation did crash a couple of times -- but that was my own fault, I screwd up several things.

  • I got a copy of this (Caldera OpenLinux 2.2) at an Oracle conference and can say with no hesitation that the install is incredible and flawless. It even went from the install screen to the login screen without a reboot! That's a first in my experience.
  • Surely this means that X will have to be setup before you can actually install Linux. Yes, probably the standard VGA driver will do the job, but this is still another thing to go wrong before the installation even begins...
  • I had the oportunity to "try" to install Openlinux 2.2 using this interface this weekend.

    It was pretty friendly, but did not give me all the options I _needed_ (since I was installing onto a system with OS2... not mine, but one at the installfest). In particular, it did not ask to create a boot floppy and it did not ask where to place lilo. We ended installing Redhat because it did give us these choices.

    Secondly, is the source for this installation available. For all the heat Redhat gets, they release everything they put out under an open source license, and mostly the GPL... including their install program.

  • http://www.ecsl.cs.suny [] Do you remember this boring new operating system installation procedure? I do, while I install over 20 new OS's every year. Now things are getting better while Caldera lets you play while computer works. Look at the screenshot here. Yes, that's the old good Tetris ( invented by Pajitnov ). So Caldera gets the award as the best sysadm entertainer. But there is another thing to say.. do you remember that real sysadm's hate graphic user interface?
  • Windows is a *TERRIBLE* UI. Go visit MacKiDo [] (admittedly partisan) for the beginnings of an introduction to the collosal cockups in Windows. And then go do some web-crawling for actual expert insights.

    Windows is a dog, but the population is dyslexic.

  • Well, then, go here [] and get a clue.

    Windows is a *TERRIBLE* UI.

  • Yeah this really sucks. Does anyone know of a PNG plugin for Linux Netscape 3.0?
  • Basic graphic card support in the kernel.

    [asimov] [/usr/src/linux/Documentation/fb] tail +8 framebuffer.txt | head -13
    0. Introduction

    The frame buffer device provides an abstraction for the graphics hardware. It
    represents the frame buffer of some video hardware and allows application
    software to access the graphics hardware through a well-defined interface, so
    the software doesn't need to know anything about the low-level (hardware
    register) stuff.

    The device is accessed through special device nodes, usually located in the
    /dev directory, i.e. /dev/fb*.
  • Not really, it's much lower level than X... Look at this URL [] for an idea of how low-level. There's an X-server (and other userspace graphics libraries) that runs on top of the framebuffer though.

    It's not even for special situations; you'd use it if you want the Linux logo at boot time or find it useful to boot up in 1024x768.
  • Actually, having just installed a copy of Win2k, I don't think it was that easy to install. Win2k still lacks some major driver support that Win9x has, and for somethings, I have better support in Linux. My soundcard for instance an AudioPCI 1370 is not 100% supported under Win2k, and that is a popular card. Win2k has support for the AudioPCI 1371, but then some features didn't work, there was much noise from the speakers, and I couldn't use my microphone because the +5v switch isn't supported by the 1371 driver. Using ALSA under linux, I have all of those things. Even Voodoo support under Win2k is largely absent. There wont even be support for the Banshee cards until after Win2k is on the shelf. Overall, Linux has more of what I wan't, and if something doesn't work the way I want it to, I can just modify the code to accomodate my needs, not what someone else thinks I need.

    Time flies like an arrow;
  • 4 years ago, coming from a new Window 95 installation to Slackware was a real adventure... :)

    I've since adjusted nicely, but I've had to ween myself by swithing back and forth between OS's until I've felt comfortable with Linux. Your fortunate to have installed a comercial RH5.3 with a manual too, my first was a multi-distribution collection that had some old RH (version 2 something I think), Debian, SuSE, and Slackware. Slackware was the first disk, so that is what I installed... :) No manual, just luck, and several fdisk /mbr's later, I had a dual booting Linux distibution...

    Compaired to my first installation, RH6 is a blessing.

    Time flies like an arrow;
  • What is definately true is that RedHat text-mode==sucks.

    You can say that again. I recently had the pleasure of installing RedHat 5.2 on an old 486/66 with a rather peculiar graphics adapter (a P9000(?) based thing I think).

    The problem with RedHat 5.2's installation program was the fact that they have removed the "Monochrome" option for the installer. The P9000 adapter apparently do not comply to VGA standard textmodes, and the result was text-mode buttons where the text was invisible. The same goes to many other texts in the "windows" of the installer as well. I did get it installed tho', since this wasn't the first time installing, but I had to use the "back" butten several times because I hit the wrong button. :(

    BTW: Congratulations to Caldera and Troll for their new installartion interface, although I believe I would have just as much trouble with that...

  • Am I the only one who is bothered by the fact that it echoes your password, abeit with '*'. I do not think that it should be echoed for very very obvious reasons. I certainly hope that the normal login (perhaps with some alteration of xdm?) doesn't echo. This is definately a bad thing to have. I hope it gets fixed quick, or at least thought of as a bug.
  • One of the other screen shots made it look like you can use the tab key to move between selections anywhere in the install. I think this is what windows does, and I know that it is what Red Hat's install does.
  • It works fine on my custom kernels. As long as you have 4bpp fb compiled into the kernel (not a module), and vga=274 appears in lilo.conf, it should work. It did for me.


  • Hmm.. I remember that a little differently. The first leading WordProcessor for microcomputers was WordStar. It's distingishing feature was that about the top 1/3 of the screen was covered with a list of control key commands. You could scroll through different, more obscure commands or hide them.

    WordPerfect (and Lotus 1-2-3) supposedly had a better interface because it was a "clean screen". Launched it and you got nothing but a blank screen with a line number indicator on the bottom. The "User Interface" was nothing more than a little piece of cardboard that sat on your keyboard and told what the F-keys did.

    In my opinion, this approach really sucked excrement. Having to know that the only way to save a file was Shift-F7 (unless you were using a different version, where it was F9 or something) made no sense whatsoever. The keybindings seemed like they were assigned pretty much randomly (as opposed to the logical control key layout in WordStar.) Anyways, corporate training costs and the market rate for "Word Processors" pretty much backed my opinion up, and folks were all too happy to jump to Windows and MS Word.

    What does this have to do with Linux? Just that you can have 90% of the market and still be all wrong.

  • As for text-mode==arcane, it looks like the first part of the Win2000 install is still text mode.

    What is definately true is that RedHat text-mode==sucks. I often find it difficult to determine what is selected, and it's inconsistant about when you need to Tab to "OK" and when you can just press Space.

    Anyways, when I hear "Linux is hard to install", I know people are not saying "the installer is hard to run". Rather, they mean "Getting the system configured the way I want and getting all my hardware working is hard(er than Windows).", which is still true because the GUI System config tools aren't really there yet.
  • Okay, on one hand, this is good for the Joe users coming from Windows. I suppose.

    But people should keep in mind GUIs are just an alternative to CLI. I would rather be given a shell with the standard programs (ls, pwd, mount, fdisk...) to install GNU/Linux than any GUI.
    I can't think of any real reasons why this GUI would make the installation process any easier than a menu-driven, text-based interface, such as Debian's.
    I'm afraid of world domination. Many developers seem willing to give up the best things of GNU/Linux just so it can be used by Joes. More efforts spent helping Joe-Computer-Illiterate use GNU/Linux are less efforts spent making GNU/Linux better for the experts. There's nothing wrong with being user friendly, but I'm afraid it may turn GNU/Linux a little expert hostile... There's nothing wrong with this GUI, but GNU/Linux companies are beginning to worry about the kind of persons who think having the GUI is an improvement over a text-based menu-drive interface... Who cares about such computer illiterate persons? Screw world domination!

    I'm afraid of massification. Perhaps we will see every distribution turn to a stable, bugless MacOS/Windows... There's no essay as good as Neal Stephenson's to explain the difference between GNU/Linux and the other two.

    Oh, and by the way, that's not a modern GUI, it looks exactly like Windows.
  • by jbell ( 12681 )
    This does look good. If they use the standard VGA modes that all VGA cards support, then this should work great! It almost makes me want to go out and get a copy of Caldera when it comes out......
    Then again, maybe not. ;)
    This could be the extra push we need to get Linux on the desktop for the average Joe User. Pretty installation, lots of help text during the Install... Great job Caldera & Trolltech.

    --Jason Bell
  • I just helped my friend install caldera in his machine, and I must say, it isn't bad at all! If you don't like the GUI install, get another distribution, it's as simple as that, quit bitching about it. It let you configure things while it was installing, which saved time, and had a nice tetris game at the end of configuring. I have only seen redhat and caldera (switching to debian soon) so my comparison is limited to those 2 installs. I must say, I still prefer redhat 5.2's install over the new caldera, first, its more informative, and more configurable (at least what I remember). Gotta love the tetris game though!
  • That looks about as difficult as NT / 95 install, and it looks like it ahs a little tetris game to boot (no pun intended). The only drawback I saw was that there is no custom install, for experts.

    Has anyone tested this system? How is Caldera, compared to other distros? ie bug fixes and such?

  • The caldera installer is proprietary! Its seems to be that this is how Caldera plans to make their money. You won't be able to buy Joe Smoe's linux distro with Caldera installer becuase it would be a piracy.

    -- Stallman kicks ass!
  • I'm by far a linux newbie so my experience is quite limited. I've played with Redhat 5.2 and Caldera 2.1 in the past few months and came to the conclusion that it just doesn't get any easier to install than Caldera 2.1. If you've got a bootable CD, drop the disc in, answer a few questions, and in 30 minutes or so your done. It was so easy, I was sure something was wrong. But it worked perfectly on the first try.

    Byron Ray
  • I have four considerations: I did not like that you were unable (at least from what I figured out from the screenshots) select packages to install. You were only able to select minimal, normal or full installation. It looked like it was impossible to have the installation wizard to mount /usr, /home or /var as separate partitions... Or, at least, it did not mention that in the helptext showing up in the wizard. I think the best config. is to have a small root-partition, and have /usr, /home and /var to be their own separate partitions. It is easier to recover if somethings get wrong with some of the fs's. The look-n-feel is quite Windowsy, but that may be a feature ("Linux is as easy to install as Windows!") The litle game of Tetris during the installation is a cool idea. Instaed of showing advertisenments, as the Windows installation does, it lets you play a game. Much more fun! "Not only is it easier to install, but its funnier!". Finnaly, I think I stick to an installation that provides some more freedom!
  • Am I the only one the link is not working for? I get a bunch of broken images? Mirror anyone?
  • I installed two Open Linux systems last week. One on a P90 and one on a PIII 500. The instalation program is not for experts. Beyond that, it's SLOW!!! On the P90, the instalation went 2-3 times faster when I switched away from the GUI. (Same on the PIII, but that hardly made a difference.) The worst part is how it boots the kernel in the first place. It has a GUI overlay for all of it's init, and it trys to modprobe EVERY available kernel module. This WILL lock most systems! Good luck to those who try it, and remember, --F3 if you ever want to finish!
  • Just be quick with the left shift key and use
    "linux single" at the lilo prompt...
  • I'm a very new Linux user, and here's something to think about:

    If Windows users cross the floor to this "OpenLinux", they'll get something that looks exactly like where they've just come from. If it looks no different, it'll create the impression that it acts no different. And those new users will wonder what all the fuss is about, since much Linux functionality will be "hidden" behind the Windows-like UI.

    I may be wrong; I haven't used OpenLinux. And if my struggles with RedHat are any indication, a familiar GUI may make the learning curve less steep. But the next great idea won't come from copying kludged old GUIs; there's an opportunity here for UI designers to do something really different. Linux is different, and should be trumpeted as such, not apologised for.

    What about a UI based on the web metaphor instead of the desktop metaphor, for example? Where your disk is just a faster, closer bit of the Internet? I'd want one. And for all I know, stuff like this has already been created by someone. (I'm NOT talking about MS's "active desktop" here. I think only about six people in the world actually use it.)

    I want people to use (and contribute back to) Linux because it offers a fresh, powerful way to do stuff. Not because it looks just like what's gone before.
  • I'm in a bad mood today, so perhaps I shouldn't be responding to this, but I couldn't ignore this (from the link that was posted):

    Rating the mac for "power":

    Mac - The Mac is easy, the Mac is cool -- but there are many things that you are going to want to do (occasionally), that the Mac might not do. You may want to add your own keyboard shortcut -- well, you can do it, but you have to add third party extensions. You may want to script menu commands? The Mac can do that. You may want to add your own menu items (or menus) -- well the Mac does that as well (in the Apple Menu, normally, and add other menus with some extensions). You want to have tear-off menus -- again, with third party extensions. You want pop-up menubar (anywhere) -- an extension. You want contextual menus? Well, they are part of the System, but they are new enough that they are not used nearly often enough (but it has a nice extensible architecture). Overall, you will notice a theme here -- Apple has set a pretty good foundation, it is wildly extensible (often too much so) -- but Apple has not done all they could do to make menus better and more powerful. -- SCORE: 4

    Sooo, if you wanted to do something "powerful", you, don't worry, it's only 23 3rd party programs and 38 unimplemented UI extensions away! And *what* is this guy's fixation with menus? All I have to say for the Mac UI's "power" is - unplug the mouse. I'm sorry, can't you do *anything*? And why does a UI that's so mouse-centric put the menubar the farthest area from where you work? Oh, it's easy, but "powerful"?

    Yeah, yeah, Mac's easy to use, Mac's endorsed by every Ph.D. that ever designed a UI, but when it comes down to actually getting anything useful done, I'll take my Windows UI or KDE any day. I work with a guy who worked at Apple, and he's shown me lots of cool things about the Mac, but drivel like this makes me want to dismiss it as a waste of time. This is definitely *not* good Mac advocacy.

    And for the record, I use a Powerbook, for my portable (for Java testing), and run dual-boot on my main machine. I don't think there is a best OS, though with nonsense such as this, I think I'm fairly sure I know my least favorite.

  • It is important to show the user what has been done before and what will be done next. I.e., a few of the preceding and forthcoming steps should constantly be displayed. Also show how far you have proceded from the start of the installation and still how long (how many steps, how much time) to go till the installation is complete. The Troll/Caldera display as it is provides no Situational Awareness with respect to the installation process.
  • While I applaud the more graphical install process as a boon to new, non-technical users (who no doubt will have to try Linux at home where IS can't install it for them), I still think the process needs a little fixing up. I'm a professional programmer with a keen interest in such things and I found that while the initial install of Linux was rather 'simple' (RH 5.2 with 2.036 kernel), finally configuring it to do something useful was very difficult. I own perhaps one of the most popular modems around (USR 56k internal 3060), yet it could not be autodetected or set up (I ended up using pnpdump and isapnp in rc.d). Same problem with my monitor (Relisys 786). I was only able to get X configured properly and my modem working after reading dozens of articles and how-to's (none of which had the exact right answer) and taking a few educated guesses (the modem still needs a little tweaking since it still works much better and faster under Win98 than RH 5.2). Now as a programmer and IT professional I don't mind, nay, I love poking about in text config files and experimenting with the set up - its my job. But my wife is in advertising and she needs to do presentations, Word processing and search the web for information not play around with configuration for two weeks (which is what it took me to finally get everything working right). If she is to become a Linux convert, its going to need a cool gui and have the ability to be configured and running useful (for her) programs right away - otherwise she will stick with 98 or NT. If you don't want to use a gui or graphical install fine, don't. Just remember that most of the people in the world - read potential Linux users - do want to use one.

    98 and NT may be poor OSes, but my wife can install and be up and running programs in a familiar graphical environment in about 3 hours, and with out my help
  • Uhmm Sorry, I thought that's what I said. I'm trying to make the point that most ordinary people, when they use a computer, use a GUI rather than a CLI. Many of the less technical are actually intimidated by the CLI. Given that, Caldera's new GUI install is a Good thing because it makes Linux less scary for people to install and use. But until configuring new hardware and software is much easier, they will still stay away because ordinary folks (your sister, my aunt and the guy who servers coffee at Tim Horton's) won't be able to surf the net or print a resume (read : its too hard for them to get the modem and or printer set up properly and working). I don't think I'm over generalizing when I state that most people in the world (who can or do use a computer) would rather know how to type letters or do what ever work they need to do on their box rather than have to spend a week investigating IRQs, DMAs and UARTs just to read e-mail from their cousin in Scotland. A sweet gui means jack if you still need to be a propeller -head technical wiz to do anything useful.

  • I don't believe a graphical install must necessarily install X. The installer itself doesn't need to dictate what is installed.

    As an example, doesn't RedHat use cpio during install? I know that you can choose not to install cpio, at least on older versions of RH.

    Worst case scenario: remove X when you are done installing. Simple.

    BTW, it doesn't look like Caldera gives you the option, however.. not terribly configurable as far as which packages end up getting installed.

  • Surely this means that X will have to be setup before you can actually install Linux. Yes, probably the standard VGA driver will do the job, but this is still another thing to go wrong before the installation even begins...

    And surely you've seen windows 95 install? It's graphical as well. Openlinux is trying to make it easy on users. Apparently graphics makes things easy on users.

    It's nice to be able to pick from a 640x480x16 screen. Most systems you'd install Caldera OpenLinux would have no problem with this. And there's always the text method.
  • My / is > 100 megs, but that's a matter of preference. my /usr is not a partition like most systems, neither is /home. Just didn't feel the need. Oh, that and I'm not a sane sysadmin :)

    But seriously, I have my system set up:

    /dev/hda1 (fat) /dos_c
    /dev/hdb1 (e2fs) /
    /dev/hdb2 (swap) swap
    /dev/hdb3 (e2fs) /usr/data (6 gb)

    I'm going to be moving my dos_c drive to another box (and formatting it for linux only) soon, so this will change. While the fhs [] suggests you should run / at about 16-64 megs and /usr or /usr/home should be your largest partition, I just decided since this is a single user system, I could break the suggestions.

    That, And I was fast running out of primary partitions.
  • by javac ( 21689 )
    It uses the new frame buffer in the 2.2 kernel, no X is needed.
  • Now I'll agree that MacOS isn't all that different (although there certainly are some differences), however I have to disagree with your comments about OS/2. First of all, I have to ask what version did you use? The interface for 4.0 is completely different from the previous versions. And I have to say that I really like it. Face it, the windoze GUI is terrible. Basically, M$ argued with itself for months over how to do the win95 GUI until they only had a couple of weeks left to work on it so they slapped together some piece of crap. Of course, that's how they do everything. The problem is it seems to have become the standard. Of course, that also seems to happen with everything they do. Oh well.

    All you seem to have focussed on in your description is the process of moving and resizing windows. Now, I'll admit that this process is basically the same, but what about opening up those windows in the first place? What about browsing your hard drive and getting information about your computer. What about those horrible and belittling names like "My Computer"?! How can you say that windoze has a good GUI? I can't stand the start menu! It's possibly the most awkward way to start programs ever invented. The only good parts of the windoze GUI (like the menu you get when you right click) were copied from OS/2, not the other way around. M$ can't do anything right.

    Honestly, why do we have to copy the windoze GUI anyway? Even if for some strange reason you do like it, it's not Linux. It just ends up making Linux look like a cheap windoze knock-off. And that is something that it certainly isn't. Can't somebody be a little more creative when designing a GUI? At the very least, keep making nextstep clones. It's a better GUI.
  • Even Windows installs give you an 'advanced' or 'custom' option to select which packages you want (limited or no). This is the first Linux install I've seen without one - Caldera, give us the custom option!
  • If you look more closely at the screenshots, you will see that you always have the option of navigating with the keyboard (with tab keys, etc.), even if your mouse doesn't work at all (or if you don't have one).

    Micro$oft(R) Windoze NT(TM)
    (C) Copyright 1985-1996 Micro$oft Corp.

  • If it looks no different, it'll create the impression that it acts no different. And those new users will wonder what all the fuss is about, since much Linux functionality will be "hidden" behind the Windows-like UI.

    But if it gives them a familiar look during the install and then a choice of WM's at the X-login screen, they get the best of both worlds -- familiarity and the ability to use the different UI's like Enlightenment. Just because you install the system with a KDE-like interface doesn't mean that KDE will be the only UI on the machine.

    The problem most of the people I know have had with the install is hassles with partitions, if Caldera could integrate this UI with a data-saving partition program (partition magic, etc) I think it would greatly increase the number of Linux users out there.
  • 1) Can you install base system from floppies?
    2) Can it do ftp install?
    3) Can it do ftp install OVER modem?
    4) Can it do network install over NFS?
    5) Does it let me select individual packages or groups of packages during install ? (Looks like not)
    6) Can you donwload Caldera OpenLinux Light WITHOUT registering on their site? (Again, I could not figure how to download it without registering, there were no simple links on website)
    7) What will your average user do if he/she has unsupported hardware (c'mon folks, hardware support lags at least 6 months behind Win***s if there is any), and he she needs to find and install some alpha/experimental driver? (Unsupported sound, video, etc)
    8) Can you update the system with the one on the main ftp mirror with a couple simple commands?
    9) Are you sure all those "RedHat 5.2/6.0" RPMS will install cleanly?

    wew, I am sticking to Debian.. not just because of technical merits but also because of its freeness, excellent support, and their development model.
  • This is neither great nor news.

    Caldera 2.2 used this installer, and it sucks. I am currently running a basterdized version of 1.2, but when 2.2 came out I tried to install it. I have since tried to install it on 5 other machines, from homebuilt x86 boxen to Dells and Microns, it has yet to install anywhere.

    This lame happy window bootup interface does not allow the installer to select "i know more than dirt" mode. as a result selecting modules to use, or where you are going to get the install files from are nearly impossible.

    This poorly designed install program is leading the company I work for to support only redhat and not caldera simply because they cannot test their product on any calera machines, since they cannot get Linux to install "out of the box" and if they do not want to get into the buisness of distributing lists of how to tweak the Caldera installer to get it to install on your machine.

    Yes easy (read gui) installs are needed if you want more and less experienced users to run linux, but if the installer is so simple as to make such advanced options as ftp install impossible it does not bring new users to linux, it only makes them more afraid of it.

    I am a Caldera user, I like the distro, but I will probably never install a version of Caldera OpenLinux again simply because 1.x is to outdated, and 2.x's installer sucks, its a shame. I feel bad when people ask me what distro I use and I have to tell them "I use Caldera, but dont try to use it since now the installer sucks, you should use XXX"
  • The problems with the installer can not be fixed with expert mode. That is why Caldera also distributes a second set of disks for "old style" install via Lisa. If you search through their indices, the second most common way to solve your install problem is to drop the GUI, create new install/modules disks use the text based installer.

    This shows that it is not a matter of using the lilo args er=XXX those will not be able to solve all your problems, and if you cannot get past the boot sequence with a correct list of your hardware then you cannot install.

    The GUI install is great for one thing, installing via a local atapi cdrom on an IDE x86 box, anything other than that and you are going to have a lot of tweaking ahead of you. That is why I feel the GUI is not only lame, but will end up causing more experienced users to turn away from COL.

    Caldera will still gain new home users, and new business users since those are the customers that buy the cd and pretty manuals, but experienced linux users who want to do an ftp install are not going to use Caldera if they keep distributing such a poor installer.

  • The installation was really smooth. It took about 25 minutes from boot to KDE desktop (and I never touched a console). The installation is clean, easy, and autodetected all of my hardware. I have to say it made Linux look very professional. The only thing I thought odd was the small amount of installation options (minimal, full, or full + source), but I realize this makes it easier to make sure that the first boot works fine, and there are no shortcuts pointing to programs that dont' exist, etc. Besides, all of the software can be added/removed after installation is complete. Overall, I'm very impressed (and BootMagic is a big improvement over lilo...)
  • > so custom kernels will not boot that way and the
    > virtual consoles will not work unless you patch
    > the same routines as well. (and you have to have
    > fb support compiled into your kernel)

    I think this installation is targeted at people who don't have a kernel yet, so that shouldn't be a problem.

  • Is TrollTech so fond of Windows UI which is notoriously known to be the state-of-the-art in user-hostile behaviour?

    I think trying to make a GNU/Linux system look like Windows is a futile attempt at popularity and a bold signature of lack of creativity. The terminology (see 'Wizard') and the graphical language is best described as a second hand imitation of windoze.

    I don't buy it.
  • I did it on the Amiga, Solaris, enuff?
  • That's the phrase I was looking for: "cheap windoze knock-off". The supposition that the duplication of form is indeed healthy is wrong. To the contrary, when you imitate something you are bound to be "second-grade". A Linux system, forget the dreadful benchmarks, is far superior than Windows system "under the hood", using the term as some technical(?) people do. That's why a similar user interface is not correct. For your suggestion on imitating NextStep rather than Windoze, I agree 100%.
  • >columnists who think that text-mode==arcane

    Columnists who say that are on a Microsoft pay roll...

    C'mon didn't most (alot) of these guys also praise MS-DOS? Thats just as "text mode" as Linux. Just because you use a keyboard and not a mouse doesn't mean that it is arcane. If I want to read my mail, i can type... gee... guess what? mail! Most of this is trivial shit...

    BTW, if you want to start x you would type startx if that is arcane then i'm Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • Well, because Windows is the "state-of-the-art in user-hostile behaviour" it is on 90% of the desktops, right?

    Face it, it IS the state of the art. Not because it' s good, but because anything else is worse.

    Most people can operate Windows. And most people get massively frustrated as soon as they try Linux.

    Caldera might better this. And you complain.
    Oh dear.
  • Honestly, when I got my 2.2 CD 3 weeks ago at the OpenLinux Tour I thought this was already out to the general public. Yes, the GUI made things easy to install. I have it running on a P-166 with 32M RAM and it is perfectly happy. I liked the GUI better than RedHat. However, at certain points it asks about what services you want to run as default. IP services were lumped into one catagory and you couldn't turn off telnet but leave FTP running, etc. This would be a good replacement for Windoze machines on desktops for the average M$ users. However, do you really want everyone in your org running httpd, ftpd, telnetd, etc. with no clue? I don't.

    OTOH, when you are done choosing all the stuff you can play Tetris while you wait for the files to load. I think the install time is more directly related to copying off CD (and the slowness of CD) than bloatware or excessive files.

    Remember Caldera's market place. They want to be Linux for businesses. How many business majors learn anything more complex than M$Office? Let other releases be better, no reason Caldera can't be best for business.

  • Hmmm... how come the Caldera installation "requires" that you move the mouse to detect its presence?

    Why can't it just detect the presence of the mouse by strobing the DTS/RTS line (or equivalent on the PS/2 port)? Come on, guys, it's EASY!!!

    For more info, check out the Zilog Mouse & Keyboard Controller docs, available from
  • Just want I needed! I've done many installs and just hate the fact that my computer is useless during the install process.. more eye candy is good...drool...
  • While designing linux, or parts of linux, to be user friendly (in a way targeted at ignorant users) is dangerous. The last thing is someone in a high position who can't get AOL to work to try linux and tell the world how terrable it is, but we should also remember that we need to make this as easy for ouselves as we can.

    By the way, the instillation program does seem to be 65% for idiots, 35% for real linux users.
  • segfault
    . Linux doesn't crash

    This is pure FUD, albeit pro Linux FUD, it is FUD nonetheless. A more accurate statement may have been Linux doesn't crash near as often.

    Linux is being worked on and improved as I'm typing it

    So is Windows, tthat is if you are an MS fan. Win 2000 will be an improvement to the user as far as most of them are concerned. I don't believe this, but try to convince my secretary.

  • No one said you ever had to install this distro, did they. Or have they sent a shotgun squad to your house to make you install MS Windows 2000 and Caldera. I guess they are going to hold a gun to your head.

    This is great for new users, and as usual the purists are scraming that it is horrible and MS like. With advocates like this it's a wonder Linux got off the ground in the first place.
  • that was my own fault, I screwd up several things

    I screw up things on my Linux box quite frequently, rarely bad enough for a complete re-install, but I spend a lot of time fixing my mistakes. I do this because I like to run bleeding ede stuff. Now consider the average user, they like to tinker with things we all know this, how reliable will Linux seem to them ? Users would have to be treated like children: "don't edit that file" "You logged into IRC as root ???!!!!!" nauseum. Its easier to treat them as childrren without making them feel like it if they use windows: delete regedit (or at least hide it), hide/remove sysedit, and kill some of the control panel options. I have Windows boxes all over my office, I hate it becuase I personally prefer Linux, but I have seen users that turn their machines off when they go home and on when they get here in the morning and never have any problems. I just looked for helpdesk tickets with two peoples names, and found none. They haven't called the helpdesk in six months, these are not even remotely power users. I hate FUD, be it pro-Linux or pro-MS, FUD is wrong, and when a user that has been running MS Windows as their OS for 3 years get on /. and sees all of the FUD flinging it will scare them off. The Linux community can't even agree to disagree on which distro we want to use, bring it up and the FUD flies. If we want to bring Linux to the unwashed masses we must stop throwing FUD around and just be honest.
  • Topic-Creep Warning: The following is more about GUIs in general, and the "comparative-theology" points raised in this thread than about GUIs just for installation.

    what were the differences again?

    I was a Windows advocate in a Mac world (just to be contrarian) for many years, so I could argue both ways on this, but you're missing the point by looking at resizeable windows, buttons, icons, etc., as those are pretty basic parts of a GUI. What's far more important are the interpretations of these graphics, as well as what the user does with them in terms of direct manipulation.

    The Mac and OS/2 have both been significantly ahead of Windows in certain UI areas, but MS has persistently incorporated features of its competitors in the Windows GUI. Unfortunately, these implementations are typically more flash than substance, but at least Windows users get some of the innovations, as well as some uniquely MS innovations. (e.g., the "Start" button and task bar)

    Consider that direct manipulation of the directory/file structure will always be easier for casual users on a Mac. It's not that you can't drag and drop icons on Windows, but that the underlying Windows/DOS directory heirarchy are just too complicated. Applications consist of tens or hundreds of files that have to be moved together, for instance, rather than a single icon. Unix will face the same stumbling block. Once again, I'm talking about casual users, not sysadmins.

    OS/2 is a weird case. I was an advocate in the OS wars on the OS/2 side, but my ardor has long since cooled and I'll just cite the facts as I recall them. Versions 2.0 (circa 1992) and later attempted to implement a GUI known as CUA '91 (aka, "The Workplace Shell"), which was developed in IBM's Cary, NC human factors lab. Among other innovations, CUA '91 was very visually "object oriented", and pushed the use of right-mouse-click "context" menus, "container controls", and the notion that any given object may have multiple possible "views". It encouraged widespread use of direct-manipulation, not only of files and directories, but also of all sorts of "objects" within applications. And it pioneered (as far as I'm aware) the use of "Notebook" controls for application and OS settings.

    CUA '91 was really cool. The implemented WPS was close, and I still prefer it over Windows, but to really shine it needed applications which conceptually share the same interface. Those never got developed.

    Windows 95 incorporated the notebook controls and right-mouse-click menus, and copied the look and feel of the container controls (though I don't think the functionality was exposed to applications developers). There are also some interfaces that one could argue would permit applications developers to implement the same sorts of direct manipulation. Could implement that is, if those application developers already knew what they were doing and could agree on the protocols for using the messages in question.

    Oh well. Nobody seems to be flogging the direct manipulation horse now anyway. The Internet and an obsession with browser-interface and functionality have eclipsed everything else.
  • I applauded Caldera for doing this. I've never tried Linux, though I want to. My dad is really resisting though, so maybe I will, and maybe I won't. But from everything I've ever read on Linux, everyone has said it was harder to install and do stuff with Linux. Windows in incredibly easy. That's why it's #1. And until Linux gets as easy to use as Windows 2000, it will never overtake Microsoft. There are way too many stupid people in the world. I see this as a good thing. I viewed the screen shots, and said, "Hey, I think I could do this, it looks simple enough". Now if I saw a bunch of crazy Unix commands, then I would have given up all hope of ever using Linux. Linux needs a graphical interface if it wants to compete with Windows, it's as simple as that.

The absent ones are always at fault.