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Re: ISO download difficult

Paul Wise <pabs@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> Of course not, that would be a ridiculous suggestion.

> I would wager that most devices have another OS installed before
> installing Debian. I propose that the process of installing Debian could
> be made easier if the Debian install process started with an app on that
> OS instead of manually choosing which d-i to download. These apps could
> also do all the setup that users currently have to do manually to get
> d-i to start. For example on Turris Omnia routers, you have to update
> the shipped u-boot before you can boot d-i off USB. On BIOS systems you
> have to press a magic key or navigate BIOS menus to figure out how to
> boot d-i.

> For devices that don't ship with an OS or Debian doesn't yet have an
> install bootstrap app, obviously d-i ISOs would still be available and
> users could manually download and run them, with or without the needed
> firmware.

I'm certainly fine to put work into this for those who want to use it, but
I never boot any existing OS before installing Debian, and I'm sure I'm
not alone.  It's extremely useful to be able to install Debian on bare
metal (or a newly-replaced factory hard drive) or on a system whose
existing OS install is hopelessly broken.

We should also help people find easier-to-use non-free install images with
the required firmware to be able to bootstrap networking.  The firmware
sideloading mechanism is inherently arcane and complex, even for
experienced Debian developers.  I don't think asking people to use an
existing OS install is a sufficient alternative.

I'm of course 100% in favor of clearly labeling those images as
undesirable and pointing out the problems with them, but the current state
of the market (even apart from the acknowledgement that a lot of our users
do not regularly buy new computers at full price) makes non-free firmware
the only available choice for a lot of people.

Russ Allbery (rra@xxxxxxxxxx)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>