Installation - Not what you expected ...
I was faced with a dilemma. There were two installation icons on the desktop, DL-Installer and Easy Install. Thinking simply, I clicked on the Easy Install, pretending to be a newbie.
Turns out I was wrong.
The Easy Install Update Verifier informed me there was an update to Easy Install. I had no idea what this was about, but decided to try it anyway.
It turns out that Easy Install is a very useful application, which allows you instant, one-click access to many popular programs, including Skype, Acrobat Reader, Nvidia drivers once again, various codecs, Azureus, Google Earth, and many others. The Easy Install is definitely something we will use, but only after we install the distro.
So I clicked on DL-Install (which, probably stands for DreamLinux-Install). The first thing I got was an error:
If I were a new user, this is probably the stage where I'd eject the CD and reboot. Patience is a virtue, but only when dealt in small doses.
The message is alarming and baffling. I had no idea - and me IS geek - what the installer was trying to tell me. I clicked the one available button (Close) thinking it was all over, when the installer window came up suddenly.
I must admit this is the most non-intuitive Linux installer I have ever seen in a modern distro, only paralleled by Gentoo.
There was a single screen before me - which is not a bad idea at all - but the layout and the sequence of required interaction was truly puzzling. The greatest problem was, not surprisingly, the partitioning business.
Since the hard disk was empty, there were no partitions listed, which is okay. But I did not immediately figure out what I had to do to get them created.
If I selected the button Use entire disk, the problem was solved and I could proceed with the installation. But I did not want to use the entire disk. I wanted to create my partitions manually.
Eventually, it hit me. In the left top corner, there was a tiny menu, almost lost from the view. It used the same font size and weight like the other installation menu titles, leaving you no impression that it was not just another sub-title.
I launched the Graphical Partition Tool, which turns out to be GParted. I created the partitions the same way I did it a million times before. If you're in doubt, please check out my other tutorials, most of which explain in rich detail the basics of hard disk and partition notation, the mount points, and the Linux file systems.
You may want to start with Installing (K)ubuntu Linux - Full tutorial.
After creating the partitions, my job was only half done. After clicking Reload under Partitions in the installer menu, my newly created partitions were there.
It was time to select the partitions for installation.
First, the installer did not pay any attention to the labels I have given my partitions. Second, the fact I have formatted them in desired file systems did not mean much either.
The next step was to select the partitions and Add them, which would move them from Detected usable partitions to Selected partitions. But this was something I did not notice immediately.
On my first attempt, I clicked Apply without actually adding the partitions. The installer closed without a single word of protest. After waiting a few minutes, I relaunched it, to discover that my previous settings were gone and had to write them down all over again.
On my second attempt, I added the Swap partition twice. There was no way to undo my move, so I had to Reload them again and begin anew, adding mount points and file systems ... again.
On the third attempt, I added the partitions correctly, but since I've clicked too close to the Format? checkbox, I undid the formatting option for Root and had to repeat the whole process one more time. Eventually, I managed. The installation was underway.
If you're wondering about the Partitioning process, here's a summary of what you'll have to do:
- Create the partitions using GParted.
- Select each partition and then specify Mount Point, File System and Format? option. The first two things are done by non-intuitive double-clicks in the rough area beneath the column headers. The third is a checkbox.
- Add each partition to the Selected partitions window; make sure you do not undo your Format? option or click twice - you'll have to repeat the whole process all over again.
I could not believe it, but there it was. The most unfriendly modern distro installer created. Fortunately, the installation went well, without any problems. It took about 10 minutes to complete.