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 Improve the installation manual

Created 9 years ago, edited 9 years ago.
Status changed 6 years ago

Under dev. review
173 votes

The partition steps are the more critical and stressful for a newbie. Today, this is not explained in enough detail in the guide.

- ext3 vs ext4 (the present manual mentions ext3 and shows a capture with ext4). Implications of each choice.
- How to create a dedicated /home partition and make sure that the Windows partition won't be messed with.
- Logical vs Primary
- etc


4 years ago

sure, let's do that. I mean you can find a ton of information about it on the web but why not all necessary information in the manual?  
4 years ago

or maybe a setup option for if you are new or if you are experienced  
4 years ago

Promoting. Similar one here -  
4 years ago

absolutely !!
or Recommended Partitioning Schemes
5 years ago

This, including information on where GRUB should be installed and roughly how much memory you should allocate to each partition.  
6 years ago

I definitely agree. I still don't understand the advantage of logical or primary. Does it effect anyway dailyuse?  
7 years ago

I notice the Guides probably require a major re-write as the text is based upon the old Gnome 2 desktop and, as far as LMDE is concerned, the partitioning element of installation is not shown at all. I shall therefore change the status of this idea to Considered.  
7 years ago

Manual booting is an Advanced option. Best a warning to be given. Most Linux users, even end users after spending some time, would not be satisfied with one distro, sooner or later, they are going to try another one. Live CD funda makes temps one to try and later install OS.

People will be more comfortable if manual booting is more feature rich.
7 years ago

I also thought of same thing and posted a comment on mint guide in community, written by Clem, so that atleasst mint guide explains triple boot and manual partition in a better way with screenshots.

It would be great to assist a newbie in triple boot, during installation and offer suggestions. A more informative approach, more description or an e.g as a tool tip would be great. This will be of a great help to newbies.

Great idea, needless to say, I am promoting it.
7 years ago

Yes sir, well said.  
8 years ago

@remoulder I agree, but I think that it can be improved regardless. Everyone can generally understand simple plain English (assuming they know English...), it's a lot harder to write than to follow.

Simplifying and improving instructions is a critical step for all technologies designed for end users.
8 years ago

I agree there should be more options for dealing with partitions in the installation wizard, and the manual needs to be extended and improved.

When I did the set-up for this computer and installed mint gnome x64,
There were only two options for automatic partitioning,or choosing the installation location for the new O.S., and there were already two O.S's on the drive. The option I needed wasn't there, and I was a total newb and had no idea how to safely set partitions manually without losing the existing data that I wished to keep. I still cant even find my program folders or recognize an application's main/executable. Contrary to some comments here, most users of "Unspecified Non-Linux" operating systems do know what partitions are, and can easily manage them in their non-Linux OS with a host of GUI applications that make it very easy. Installation of those operating systems is an altogether different matter. :P Linux partitions, well, now there your going to lose us, because things don't seem to work the same way on linux,We don't recognize the unfamiliar file system formatting options, and Very little in an installed Linux OS is clearly labeled in way we can understand.
Installation instructions need to be very clear and easy to follow while
still presenting as many options as possible. Even just the option to install to existing partition __, __, or __ and reformat that partition only,(even when operating system files are not detected on all of the existing partitions) would be a good additional option. Also, sometimes you may want to keep another Linux OS that is already installed, and sometimes you may want to get rid of it,installing the new Linux OS in it's place. Both options should be available.
8 years ago

To punkrtekk: for (not only) those :) maybe some scenarios would be good. So not skilled could choose a scenario and set it then.
Scenario like:
1. one / partition the last swap
2. one / partition, another partition /home, third part. swap
3. other and yet another scenario... :)
Then a user would choose one of them and all would be happy :-))
8 years ago

It might be too difficult to understand for somebody who just wants to have system ready for watching porn and facebook;-) Maybe there could be something under button "advanced".  
8 years ago

I don't know if this is the right forum for this comment.

I recently downloaded Mint 9 in both 32 bit, and 64 bit.
I've successfully run each of those DVDs on my HP tower (Intel DuoCore).

But I have a newer Toshiba laptop. It's running 64 bit Win7.

Toshiba Satellite C655D
AMD V120 2.20 GHz
2 GB RAM (1.74 usable)
64 bit MS Win7 Home Prem.
Toshiba: 800-457-7777

I bought an external DVD burner.
But to boot the Mint 9, I used the Toshiba's internal DVD reader.
It seems to have read OK.
The initial color Mint 9 screen shows up.
And the countdown clock goes.

But neither the 32 bit Mint 9, nor the 64 bit Mint 9 boot on the notebook with the AMD microprocessor.

To get the HP to boot Mint 9, I just dropped the DVD in the DVD reader drawer, and booted the computer, no problem.

To try to boot it on the Toshiba notebook / AMD, I removed the MS Win7 HDD and replaced it with a blank HDD. I had hoped to install Mint 9 on that HDD.
It didn't work.
8 years ago

The installation wizard on Isadora Mint 9, including the manual installation section, may be scary to a nooby but can be understood and the task completed without mistake if care is taken but MintDebian installation is far too difficult.

I too was baffled by the manual suggesting using extension 3 for / (system installation in root) but then showing a picture of extension 4 being selected. I reread the manual and then tried to double check online without success, so i plumped for ext 3 for / and ext 4 for /home as suggested in the text.

Please please show a selection of basic installation procedures, including dual booting with another Linux system - there are enough Linux users around who haven't been connected to Microsoft for years ... and in the coming years there will be many teenagers on buying their first computer who will move straight to Linux, and never buy an American Microsoft product in their lives. Mint Debian will lead to that.
8 years ago

The big problem for a newcomer to Linux is how to partition his disc. The fact is that most windows users does not understand (or ever heard) this thing. So, their best shot is to choose to install Mint in the maximum continuous free space. In my opinion, there must be somewhere (in the tutorials? a link from downloads page guiding there?) a set of diagrams explaining this staff. Some basic things i mean. Diagram one, dual boot with home inside root. Diagram two, dual boot with home separated from /. Diagram three and four, only mint with the the two options for home respectively. And a couple of diagrams with an extra partition for storage. In the worst scenario, a sum of 7 to 9 diagrams will do the job and the new user will going to copy one scheme of those.  
8 years ago

Also, it should be stated more clearly what the "import user account from Windows" does. I had to realize by trial and error that it copies the entire home-folder from windows. This might be a serious issue if you start with a quite small Linux partition only. I wouldn't mind, if that option is completely removed, either. Instead, there could be a link in the home-folder to the windows home.  
8 years ago

i agree, more detail = good.  
8 years ago

With respect to a dual boot install I would have liked to have seen some discussion on the default boot, which in this case is Mint. A new person just trying it out may want Windows as the default boot option since they will probably still be doing all their work in that OS. AND, a big one here, if the computer is used by other family members it should default to what they are used to (Windows) and not confuse them if they turn on the computer and boot to Linux.  
8 years ago

Yes, the installation process is the first hurdle doe anyone\
During installation of LM9, also Ubuntu 10.04, on a hard drive with W7 on it the partition manager only offers two options: the entire disk or manual. When installing on a hard drive with LM on it there is another option, side by side that helps with partitioning. If this is to be a distro for all then that item should be enabled for W7 side by side installation too, so n00bs can keep their previous OS without the headache of deciding how big or what kind the swap partition etc. has to be.
8 years ago

Also a "regenerate grub" item is needed. At least, as a newbie, I had really bad situations about this simple thing.  
8 years ago

I would like to help with this if it gets approved.  
8 years ago

A way to read a PDF-version of the manual while running on livecd would be neat.  
9 years ago

For first time users the concept of partitioning should be to use the whole drive or dual boot,the installer should take care of the rest, and as they become comfortable with the system they can learn the details if they want. Guiding new users to seek help from the community is far better and more rewarding than "read the manual newb.  
9 years ago

I was quite confused and still am to a degree. I like the idea.  
9 years ago

I'm still learning lots about Linux, including installing. Trust me, it's scary losing booting abilities because of GRUB. LM-8 made a huge improvement with GRUB2 and other changes. Having a few ready-made install profiles (separate /home, /Data partitions?) may help. You may be able to handle this by asking the installer straightforward questions: "Do you want a separate /home partition that won't be overwritten by later installations, to store your data?" Of course, then you have to be able to install LM-# and let the installer make use of that separate partition.  
9 years ago

confused people usually get more confused when people try to explain things over their heads.  
9 years ago

I don't know which tool is being used for partitioning LinuxMint, but I think while trying to make it more simple it actually messed up. The graphics make it much harder to recognize the various options. That way I always found fedora's design (not really any graphics) much easier. The problem I think is each row is having different height, making it difficult to view all the options *clearly*.  
9 years ago

absolutely agree with you guys. It's especially difficult for users moving from a M$ OS to Linux grasping the idea of a home partition. This step usually takes the most time to explain to new users therefore it'd be great to have a detailed manual explaining exactly those steps. An idea would be to make an optional reference where users can choose to read into more details while it is explained briefly during the main part. It's kind of difficult to find the right mix here.  
9 years ago

I agree - the partitioning part of the install sequence is the most off putting for a newbie. It is difficult to trust a new OS with your existing data (Yes I know we ask users to back up first, but how many of them do?). Consistency of the colour coding amongst the various options would be a start. Always showing the new LinuxMint partition in the same colour would be nice. -- BTW how about a separate data partition option in the install?  
9 years ago

Two version - the current one & maybe revamped.
2nd one - a getting started manual, covering the install & setting up of Mint.
9 years ago

A more thorough discussion of partitioning in the User Guide would help as many as it would confuse. It might also reduce the run on forum space after every release due to new users not understanding the concept of partitioning a hard drive.  
9 years ago

Two versions of the manual maybe. New user install guide and advanced user guide. And maybe an option during the beginning of the install, one for new users and one for more advanced users. A Linux install from a LiveCD can be quite an ordeal for a new user, my first was. It's gotten much better, but some things (especially partitioning) are still confusing.  
9 years ago

I think you need to be very careful not to make things sound too technical and geeky or you drive away the very users you want to attract.  
9 years ago

The way installation is made by now is not failsafe at all. Make it more Dumb N00b friendly please!! ;o)  
9 years ago

Should we not make a /home partition a default installation option anyway?  

Other ideas from egabrum

No other ideas.