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Is an install wizard really to much to ask for ?

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February 28, 2011 12:11:30 PM

Are there any plans to make an edition of linux that people, and i mean joe average who dosent know what a root menu or a command line is can actually use?

Im not having a pop seriously i like Ubuntu as a stand by to get onto the net when something has crashed or a hard drive has failed its world class. I use it as a hardware diagnostic tool a lot when people phone up and say "help i didn't do anything but....." :sarcastic: 

My Daughter is a prime example she can kill a PC at a thousand paces, normally i wouldn't let someone like that within said miles but she needs to have one. I really would love to install Ubuntu and forgo all the MBR issues and Virus issues she keeps getting. "Honest i didn't go on anything iffy" [:lectrocrew:1]

Problem is she wouldn't have clue 1, and despite having what i consider a good knowledge around windows im pretty clueless as well spent 5-10 minutes a couple of nights ago trying to install Thunderbird onto Ubuntu.
Couldn't find any help, if its there its not well marked. End result. Linux experiment over for probably another year.
W7 re-installed.

Mactronix :) 

More about : install wizard

February 28, 2011 2:14:53 PM

Installing Thunderbird on Ubuntu is trivial using the package manager. You don't need to use a command line or a root menu (whatever that is). This is actually simpler than Windows, where you have to actually find the program to install first.

Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro) is not more dificult than Windows, it's just different. Like anything that you are not familiar with you need to practice a little before you become fluent. Once a year is not enough.
February 28, 2011 2:59:05 PM

Ok :??:  So does anyone have anything actually usefull to say ?

Mactronix :) 
Related resources
February 28, 2011 3:17:44 PM

Apparently not.

Linux distributions have been improving package management for decades, and frankly its come a long way. RPM was probably the first pre-packaged software available to be installed on a linux system, before that it was download the source code and compile it.

The package manager should almost be the discussion presented to new people when asking 'which distribution should I use?'

I find my package manager (distribution) easy to use, but most people will run away in terror if they watched me administer my system. I'm sure that there are nice pretty and polished GUI interfaces to the package manager in ubuntu.

The one hard lesson to learn when going to modern linux systems from windows is that you don't go to the website and download the linux software and install it. You go to the package manager to see if someone else has gone through the pain of figuring out just how to 'make it work.'

February 28, 2011 3:48:19 PM

I'd agree with that. The big advantage of Linux for people who don't know much about computers is the ease of finding and installing software. There are no wizards because there is no need; it just works. And the installation interface is consistent; you just use the same package manager every time.

The big disadvantage of Linux for those who know a little about computers is that it's not Windows.
February 28, 2011 4:00:09 PM

Ijack said:
Installing Thunderbird on Ubuntu is trivial using the package manager. You don't need to use a command line or a root menu (whatever that is). This is actually simpler than Windows, where you have to actually find the program to install first.

Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro) is not more dificult than Windows, it's just different. Like anything that you are not familiar with you need to practice a little before you become fluent. Once a year is not enough.


+1 to this


i actually find it easier and faster to install software using Ubuntu's new software center (or even synaptic for the older versions)

something pops up in my mind, type it into the software center search bar, it then gives me a couple of choices which i can install, try out, and remove in one click

can't get any easier than that



for non-computer experts (people who usually only use MS office and surf the net) I actually think Ubuntu would be pretty easy to pick up. Besides the advanced system tweaks, I couldn't think of any tasks that are more complex on Ubuntu than on windows. non-experts shouldn't be messing with these system tweaks anyways :D 
February 28, 2011 5:48:37 PM

I can't imagine an easier way to install software than the software center. I can locate and install a program in less time than it'd take to find a download online. Pretty painless if you ask me.

Everything in Ubuntu/Mint/PCLinuxOS has a GUI. There's no reason to drop to the command line unless you prefer it. I'm not seeing the issue to be honest, it seems to me like you're just not willing to learn something new.
February 28, 2011 8:42:20 PM

Ok so thats four of you who apparently know and understand how Linux/Ubuntu works and not one of you has even bothered to try and explain anything. :pfff: 
Not a single technically helpful response from any of you. That says a lot about the reasons why the OS isn't as popular as it could be.

I asked a perfectly legitimate question and have gotten nothing but chapter and verse from the initiated followers about how great and easy it all is despite my telling you i don't find it so.

You see my Avitar ? can you read ? Im not some Noob i have been around this forum for years. What i do is help people who are like i once was, clueless, and thats what you lot are about assisting people. :non: 

If you were anywhere near as interested in assisting and helping people as the rest of the sub forums then Linux might get a foot hold but you all seem hell bent on blindly defending how great an OS linux etc is.

Anywhere else on these forums i would have posted what i did and some one would have posted back saying something like this.

Hi welcome to the forum,
What you need to do is this... (follows a concise and descriptive explanation of what the op needs to do to get what they are trying to do done)

Fine i get it i just slightly suggested your beloved OS [:lectrocrew:5] [:mousemonkey:5] , isn't all its cracked up to be and could use some user friendly tweaks and you all go on the attack instead of helping.
You know i was only trying to find out if there was a distro my daughter could learn to use easily but you know what never mind, if the rest of the Linux community are as warm as you guys i will take a few viruses and installs over that any day.

Mactronix
February 28, 2011 8:46:46 PM

someone19 said:
Apparently not.

Linux distributions have been improving package management for decades, and frankly its come a long way. RPM was probably the first pre-packaged software available to be installed on a linux system, before that it was download the source code and compile it.

The package manager should almost be the discussion presented to new people when asking 'which distribution should I use?'

I find my package manager (distribution) easy to use, but most people will run away in terror if they watched me administer my system. I'm sure that there are nice pretty and polished GUI interfaces to the package manager in ubuntu.

The one hard lesson to learn when going to modern linux systems from windows is that you don't go to the website and download the linux software and install it. You go to the package manager to see if someone else has gone through the pain of figuring out just how to 'make it work.'



Example 1. Ok so where is this package manager then ? You see you not explaining anything.

Mactronix :) 
February 28, 2011 8:48:13 PM

Ijack said:
I'd agree with that. The big advantage of Linux for people who don't know much about computers is the ease of finding and installing software. There are no wizards because there is no need; it just works. And the installation interface is consistent; you just use the same package manager every time.

The big disadvantage of Linux for those who know a little about computers is that it's not Windows.


Example 2 Ok gang up on the new guy but lets still not tell them ant thing useful

Mactronix :) 
February 28, 2011 8:57:56 PM

Well, I think that we have all tried to explain that on Ubuntu you simply use the Package Manager to install software. There's really nothing more to explain, no technicalities. It's all clearly explained in the documentation. Have you actually read the Ubuntu documentation?

I don't wish to appear rude, but I think your problem is that you are too used to Windows and try to do things the Windows way. This is not a problem that a newcomer would have. They would read the documentation or buy a Ubuntu for Dummies without having expectations of the way things should be done. I believe they would have far less trouble installing software in Ubuntu than in Windows.

You are mistaken to think that Ubuntu is my beloved OS. It's one of many that I use and I like them all fairly equally. It's really of no interest to me whether others choose any particular OS. Anyway, you wanted a technical explanation of how to do various things in Ubuntu. It's the same answer as I would give for any Linux, or for Solaris, Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, whatever:

RTFM
February 28, 2011 9:09:37 PM

On second thoughts, my previous post might involve a little too much self-help so I have used that wonderful resource Google to find a more detailed explanation:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installingsoftware

I hope that you don't think it too much of a cop-out on my part to refer you to another link, but I'm typing this on my iPad and it's not the easiest platform to write long articles on.
March 1, 2011 1:48:23 AM

You'll find the Ubuntu forums full of very nice (and very patient) people, and it has a special newbie forum.

Word of advice... you came in here ranting. You probably would have gotten a better reception with "hey, I really don't understand installing software on Ubuntu. Help?"

Installing software on Ubuntu is actually very, very easy from the Software Center (click the Foot, "Ubuntu Software Center") Most everything an average user will be there. You pick what you want, click "install" and it's done.

Things to remember about Linux:

1) It's not Windows.

2) It's free. So occasionally you run into glitches and bugs. It's FREE. Consider how much crap your Windows install gives you, and what the retail price of THAT is. :lol: 

3) If you want to play video games don't use Linux. :sol: 


March 1, 2011 4:12:55 AM

mactronix said:
Example 2 Ok gang up on the new guy but lets still not tell them ant thing useful

Mactronix :) 


OP does not seem willing to listen, openminded enough to consider a new paradigm and not honest enough to see his own fault in the incident in question -- all of which points to what is discussed here

See http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/71800.html

and elsewhere

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

I'm sorry for you, OP, you seem otherwise a resonable and helpful fellow, judging by your posts.

Become teachable, first!
March 1, 2011 11:16:48 AM

mactronix said:
Example 1. Ok so where is this package manager then ? You see you not explaining anything.

Mactronix :) 

Well, I feel I must defend myself here as well, _MY_ package manager is named emerge, and is all completely command line based. There are several GUI front ends to this package manager, but not are very polished. Emerge is exclusively used by the distribution Gentoo linux, and several of its derivatives have used its power and configurability to their advantage.

I will now set a timer for 5 minutes and search for Ubuntu software install.

Step 1. www.google.com

Step 2. "ubuntu software installer" into the search box

Step 3. Ahh, I see the second link provided is from help.ubuntu.com - lets click that

Step 4. Hmm, about 1/4 the way down the page I see
Quote:
Package Managers
A package manager is an application which handles the downloading and installation of packages. Ubuntu includes a few package managers by default, and which one you use depends on how advanced the package management tasks are that you want to achieve. Most people will only need to use the most basic package manager, the Add/Remove tool, which is very easy to use.


Step 5. Further reading on that page leads us to - Dang, look at that - time's up.

Apparently you can't be bothered to take some due diligence yourself and research and learn about the situation - I can't even call it a problem. Your choice of linux distribution is more largely tied to the software available for that distribution and its method of installing and managing software. _IF_ your willing to learn about different ways of administering these sytems, then you can be helped.

The linux community is one of the more helpful and sympathetic out there, I'm sorry you feel we aren't giving you a helping hand, but frankly with all the choices and configuration options available to you its YOUR choice. I can tell you what I use and like, but I can already tell you that you'll hate it - SO DON'T TRY IT!!!!!!!!! and that's fine by me, you can use the same packages in ubuntu, fedora, debian, gentoo, slackware, mint, etc,etc,etc and they'll all work the same. You can have the GNOME desktop, KDE, XCFE, TWM desktops, each with their own feel and ability to be customized. The best part of linux IMHO is that the choice of what you use, and how to use it is up to you. You don't have GATES and JOBS dictating to you how to do things.

I see you give lots of posts to gain the veteran status, and I haven't taken the time to go read any of your posts. I can't think however that you give advice rather than dictate how a situation should be handled. My advice for your daughter? I hear the Macbook pro is user friendly and great for people who don't know anything about computers, should be great for both of you. (EDIT: which by the way - runs linux)
March 1, 2011 12:55:22 PM

mactronix said:
Ok so thats four of you who apparently know and understand how Linux/Ubuntu works and not one of you has even bothered to try and explain anything. :pfff: 
Not a single technically helpful response from any of you. That says a lot about the reasons why the OS isn't as popular as it could be.

I asked a perfectly legitimate question and have gotten nothing but chapter and verse from the initiated followers about how great and easy it all is despite my telling you i don't find it so.

You see my Avitar ? can you read ? Im not some Noob i have been around this forum for years. What i do is help people who are like i once was, clueless, and thats what you lot are about assisting people. :non: 

If you were anywhere near as interested in assisting and helping people as the rest of the sub forums then Linux might get a foot hold but you all seem hell bent on blindly defending how great an OS linux etc is.

Anywhere else on these forums i would have posted what i did and some one would have posted back saying something like this.

Hi welcome to the forum,
What you need to do is this... (follows a concise and descriptive explanation of what the op needs to do to get what they are trying to do done)

Fine i get it i just slightly suggested your beloved OS [:lectrocrew:5] [:mousemonkey:5] , isn't all its cracked up to be and could use some user friendly tweaks and you all go on the attack instead of helping.
You know i was only trying to find out if there was a distro my daughter could learn to use easily but you know what never mind, if the rest of the Linux community are as warm as you guys i will take a few viruses and installs over that any day.

Mactronix



As far as I can tell, you didn't ask any questions in your original post that required a technical answer :pt1cable: 

you weren't explaining an issue and requesting for an answer. you were not asking for directions or tips.

from what I can gather from your post, you were expressing your opinions on how hard it is to install stuff on linux. we reponded by expressing our opinions on how easy it would be.

next time, if you want a technical answer, maybe try asking a technical question?


I personally wouldn't just spit out a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo at someone expressing a non-technical opinion. I bet no one else would too.
March 2, 2011 2:20:51 AM

Applications menu -> Ubuntu Software Center (from memory)

Everything from there should be fairly self-explanatory. Most common software will be there, as long as it's not restricted by legal issues. If it is, you'll need to activate the restricted repository, but I won't explain how to do that unless you need to (Google will also show you how anyway).
March 2, 2011 7:56:03 AM

randomizer said:
Applications menu -> Ubuntu Software Center (from memory)

Everything from there should be fairly self-explanatory. Most common software will be there, as long as it's not restricted by legal issues. If it is, you'll need to activate the restricted repository, but I won't explain how to do that unless you need to (Google will also show you how anyway).


Thank you,

Just to clarify for people all i wanted to know was if there was an edition planned that would make use of a wizard.
I stated that i wasn't having a pop and that i found it useful so being told i was "coming in ranting" was way off.
I stated my reasons for thinking such an edition would be a good idea (daughter)

Also for clarification. When i said i couldn't find any help i was referring to on the actual desktop i was looking at, not on the web inside a search engine or in a book.

Thanks again randomizer,

I think that covers the usefulness of the thread.

Mactronix :) 
March 2, 2011 8:28:56 AM

Fair point. But what help would you find on the Windows desktop about installing Thunderbird? It's really no different.

I really believe, and I do not intend to be rude when I say this, that it is a matter of "a little learning is a dangerous thing". Because of your experience with Windows you feel that you should be able to use Ubuntu without reference to documentation. I use several different OSs and the one thing that I have learnt is not to make assumptions about how things work. If it is not immediately apparent then the first course of action is to consult the handbook. This exists, in some form or other, for almost all OSs, but it does often mean recourse to the web.

I apologize if you felt that my initial, and suceeding, posts were not helpful, but I saw no request for help in your OP. The only question that I saw there was "Are there any plans to make an edition of linux that people, and i mean joe average who dosen't know what a root menu or a command line is can actually use?". My answer to that, and the answer that other posters gave, was "No, because that edition already exists, and it is the one that you are trying to use.".

Please accept my sincere apologies if you felt that my posts were less than useful. I can only offer the excuse that I can be a little impatient when people ask questions that can easily be answered with reference to Google or to documentation supplied with software.
March 2, 2011 9:54:12 AM

As with yourself fair point well made.

Thing is though i don't need help on the windows desktop i go to the web, search for the app, download it, click on it and then a wizard guides me through what i need to do to install it.

When i did the same using Ubuntu all seemed well i was routed to the correct edition and it was downloaded. then it all went pair shaped from my point of view because there was then no install icon or similar like i am used to so i opened the folder to look for something that looked like it would be an installation.

Maybe third parties should include a installation read me or some such ?

I realize that it is the "like i am used to" that is the main issue here but MS copped an awful lot of flack for changing things in Vista. I'm sure you have seen all the analogies before, a lot of it does hold true though. people wont change unless its fairly easy. the whole Linux movement is a great thing in my book, Free is a great price but easy is better it seems.

If this was myself planning on using Ubuntu for any length of time then of course i would have been reading up etc but it was an experiment with a view to installing it for my Daughter to use, this is why i feel there needs to be, and why i asked about an edition with some sort of Wizard or maybe as has just occurred to me a hints panel that would assist first time users.

Anyway no harm done

Cheers

Mactronix :) 
March 2, 2011 1:06:09 PM

mactronix said:

Just to clarify for people all i wanted to know was if there was an edition planned that would make use of a wizard.



to answer your question, I'm no expert but I doubt there would be an edition or a distro specifically built to use install wizards

As with windows, install wizards depend on the application being installed and not the OS or its edition or distro.

You've probably seen this before, different applications have different installation wizards. And it usually doesn't matter if you're running XP, Vista, or Win7. A Thunderbird install wizard would most likely look the same for all three windows editions

The same applies to linux. It won't matter if you're running Ubuntu or Arch or Mint or maybe even a newly released distro. Install wizards would come from the application developer, not from the distro.


With this in mind, I've actually installed a few linux applications that have "windows style" install wizards. Like I said before, it depends on how the application developer chooses to package their application for client installation.



But seeing as to how Ubuntu have evolved in the past couple of years, I also doubt that there would be more application developers packaging their software with installation wizards.

Linux distros used to requre users to manually build/compile the applications during installation. Software developers now are more focused on using either .deb or .rpm packages and the distros are focusing on package extraction with minimal user input (eg Ubuntu's "one-click" Software Center).

This same trend can actually also be seen in other OS like the iOS and it's AppStore.



My 2 cents on the install wizard idea, I personally don't see a need for them. Even on windows, people rarely pay attention to them.

These wizard would usually show the EULA, which users don't read. It allows the user to select between standard or custom installation, which the user would most likely leave on the default standard mode. If the user did choose custom, the user would have a choice to remove or disable some utilities, which the user probably wouldn't do. After this, the wizard would ask the user for the installation directory, which the user would most likely leave on the default Program Files folder. Wizard would then have the ocasional option to install a browser toolbar or some other crapware which the user doesn't care about. And finally the "Installing..." progress bar which the user minimizes.

I personally don't see a point to these installation wizards anymore
March 2, 2011 3:21:20 PM

Mactronix: It seems you are still not familiar with how most linux distributions distribute software, of which there are two ways:


1.) What you are trying to do: download source or precompiled binarys distributed by developer (ie mozilla.com) (this is only for advanced users and btw most third partys DO have a readme incluced)

or the preferred/easier/safer method:

2.) Grab the package from the ubuntu software repository. Basically ubuntu (and other distro's) have a HUGE collection of precompiled software on their servers that you can install with the package manager (aptitude) or 'ubuntu software center'.

Its a one click install, the package manager downloads the package and handles the installation. All you have to do is search for the package you want and click install.
THIS IS HOW ALL DISTRIBUTIONS WORK which is why you initially received a somewhat hostile response ;) 
March 2, 2011 3:32:25 PM

Thank you for that skittle.

Mactronix :) 
March 2, 2011 10:14:43 PM

mactronix said:
easy is better it seems.

Isn't a consistent, one-click installation easier than searching for the program online, hoping you pick the right version and then running a wizard that may or may not look like other wizards you've seen before?

In the end, it nearly always comes down to what you are used to. If you plan to use something that is completely different, you have to expect a learning curve. Windows XP -> Windows Vista is not really that much of a change. When you think about it, the average user is only really seeing aesthetic changes. Windows -> Linux requires more relearning because the two OSs follow different design philosophies.
March 4, 2011 1:07:05 PM

Glad to see someone finally understood what you wanted to know. I would suggest installing Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu, as it will appear more familiar to a windows user and has stability and other usability enhancements over Ubuntu.

It also comes with Thunderbird installed.

-Sonic
March 4, 2011 2:00:48 PM

Sonic4Spuds said:
Glad to see someone finally understood what you wanted to know. I would suggest installing Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu, as it will appear more familiar to a windows user and has stability and other usability enhancements over Ubuntu.

It also comes with Thunderbird installed.

-Sonic



Thanks for that Sonic.
I have ubuntu dual booting with W7 at the minute but will certainly give mint a go.

Mactronix :) 
March 10, 2011 7:48:08 PM

Mactronix said,

"Problem is she wouldn't have clue 1, and despite having what i consider a good knowledge around windows im pretty clueless as well spent 5-10 minutes a couple of nights ago trying to install Thunderbird onto Ubuntu.
Couldn't find any help, if its there its not well marked. End result. Linux experiment over for probably another year.
W7 re-installed."

And who was it that said Zorin OS is not what people, such as this gentleman, want? It does not matter -- the point has been made that there exists a segment of would-be Linux users who would be best served by the likes of Zorin (after all, it is a logical following to what Canonical began with ubuntu)







March 10, 2011 7:52:41 PM

Great. Yet another variant of Ubuntu. Just what the world needs. ;) 
March 10, 2011 7:57:59 PM

Ijack said:
Great. Yet another variant of Ubuntu. Just what the world needs. ;) 

Agreed -- I cannot figure it out, myself, but NEEDS and WANTS are two different things :pt1cable: 
March 11, 2011 5:50:50 AM

Thanks chamaecyparis,

Thats very useful to know about. I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 and have been live booting Mint to try that as well. I decided to use the KDE interface version of mint to see what the differance is and its quite good i find.


Can i please ask how many differant versions i can actually install ? That is can i install W7/ Ubuntu/Mint and Zorin all on the one PC at the same time. If so would that all be controlled by the Grub menu ?
Does anyone have experiance of doing this and if so are there any complications i should look out for ? Or do people think i should just install each in turn for a couple of months and see which one i like best ?

Thanks

Mactronix :) 
March 11, 2011 1:28:04 PM

You can install as many linux distributions onto one PC as you wish, and Grub can boot just as many. The problem you'll run into is each distribution will want to live on its own partition. Two linux distributions installed into the same partition will overwrite critical files and cause mass confusion when you boot the other distro.

That being said, if your shopping for distros, a descent idea would be virtualbox, with the VB extensions installed you can make the window fullscreen and use, or leave it windowed. The downside is it won't run at native speed, and it won't be installed to a hard drive to be able to simply boot, you'd have to install it again outside the virtual host to the hard drives to be able to boot at startup. This way however you can boot and 'feel' several distributions without having to re-partition and format your drives each time you want to switch. You can even have several machines setup on your virtual host software and boot them one at a time or simultaneously, comparing and contrasting the features and ease you desire.
March 11, 2011 1:51:08 PM

mactronix said:
Thanks chamaecyparis,

Thats very useful to know about. I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 and have been live booting Mint to try that as well. I decided to use the KDE interface version of mint to see what the differance is and its quite good i find.


Can i please ask how many differant versions i can actually install ? That is can i install W7/ Ubuntu/Mint and Zorin all on the one PC at the same time. If so would that all be controlled by the Grub menu ?
Does anyone have experiance of doing this and if so are there any complications i should look out for ? Or do people think i should just install each in turn for a couple of months and see which one i like best ?

Thanks

Mactronix :) 

I may not be the best one to ask such a question of -- I don't dual-boot, do not use WUBI, have an aversion to both Windows and HP hardware, and am not a gamer -- but what I would do in your case is to use separate hard drives for (at the least) Windows and Linux. Further, for your daughter, I would dedicate one hard drive for her, load Zorin on it, give her carte blanche with it and only it, and put whatever else I wanted on another drive for myself only, for a total of three hard drives.

Suggest boning up on GRUB 2 and/or learning to use LILO with separate /boot partitions (I think it's termed "chainloading," but could be wrong) should loading different Linux distros on the same hard drive be a desire of yours, since you said you do not like to use MBR. LILO may prove to be your bootloader of choice, but probably won't work with 10.10.* GRUB 2 seems to be what most developers want to use, in any case.

Best wishes and thanks for asking!
_____________________________
*Other considerations: if insistent on using ubuntu, why go beyond the 10.04 LTS version? I would suggest SuperOS 10.04 over stock ubuntu, to save yourself some hassles, as well.
March 11, 2011 2:08:53 PM

Oh, yeah -- once a distro is installed and tweaked as initially desired, back it up on an external device with Clonezilla. This will "ghost" the hard drive and enable an easy reload after someone really trashes it, or a malicious entity corrupts it!
(-- from hard experience!)
March 11, 2011 3:20:08 PM

chamaecyparis said:
...someone really trashes it, or a malicious entity corrupts it!
...



This is hard to do if you set proper folder and group permissions and do not give the user root
March 11, 2011 9:54:01 PM

Filesystem permissions really don't protect a system that much. While Linux malware is rare, there is a lot that a malicious script can do without elevated privileges. Besides, I would think that destroying personal documents (which doesn't need root) would be more of an issue to most people than trashing an OS installation that is recoverable in an hour or two.
March 11, 2011 10:40:39 PM

@skittle & @ randomizer

I agree such is of relatively little concern compared to the dominant OS, but it happens.
Good habits include periodic (short period) backup of created/modded files on, say, DVD
and more extensive (i.e. system) backup via Clonezilla at longer intervals.

My tweaks, once done initially, may include what some would term extensive alterations and I like to back it all up before putting the system online for anything other than accessing repositories. Call it personal preference, but Clonezilla has saved me literally days recovering systems and getting them back where I want them. Again, it's also handy for installing GNU/Linux systems for newbies, who quite often due to MTBS screw things up for themselves.

Cheers, Salud, and Best wishes!
March 12, 2011 6:25:14 PM

Thanks again guys lots of interesting ideas and usefull info. I will try clonezilla, i do periodically ghost my windows disc so why not do the same.

Just to clarify the daughter will be using a system i gifted her. It ran fine for years and she has messed it up 3 times now this forth time needed a complete re install and im going to put XP back on it with a distro yet undecided. If you think im letting her near my main PC you must be mad.

I think what i will do is get a couple of cheap smallish drives to add to my system and partition them up for distros. I will use boot load options in the bios to select the drives then the grub loader will let me pick which distro to load. I beleive that is how it would work.

I guess i could even do the same to hers, put a second drive on for a couple of differant distros to see what she gets on with best.

Anyway thanks again for the input

Mactronix :) 

March 12, 2011 6:33:30 PM

"I will use boot load options in the bios to select the drives then the grub loader will let me pick which distro to load. I beleive that is how it would work. " - mactronix

No need to mess with the bios - install grub onto the MBR of the main drive (basically everything you've done up to this point already) and if you add a new drive to the system, all you need to boot it is make a new entry to your existing grub with the proper commands to boot that system. That takes a slight ammount of research to find the proper commands and options, but much easier than changing your boot device in the bios every time you want to change the boot OS.

Grub even lets you boot windows from a second or third disk and fake it out so it thinks its on a primary disk (not an example for you to consider favorable in any way, just an example of how powerful grub is)

March 13, 2011 6:59:38 AM

Ok thanks for that i will look into it and try it on the daughters PC while im setting it up with 2 discs to see how it works. Much better to try it on a clean system i recon.

Mactronix :) 
March 13, 2011 4:35:34 PM

also on ubuntu grub has a script that automagically finds other OS's on other drives/partitions and adds them to the bootloader.
of course if you wish you can manually add them or change the order.
Quote:
#sudo update-grub
!