Therein lies the secret "follow the directions"
They are very cohesive and simple to navigate, and make installing Arch a breeze.
However if you try to install with no directions, it is the nightmare everyone says it is.
Gentoo is a little tricky, but if you install a stage 3 from inside another OS it isn't too bad.
LFS has some woefully outdated/incomplete literature which makes
installing it extremely complicated and tiresome.
Just my 2 cents
That is my take exactly. LFS is really not worth the effort in any applicable sense, it is more the challenge of the thing. But yeah...Complicated and tiresome. I do not have the patience.
vtired wrote:I am following the advice above, to read the instructions. I am now reading debian's 'Installation Howto'. I will read it several times and then try. Still I don't understand why they cannot have a simpler option. If I succeed in this I will try others. The problem is that in trying live cd it turns out that I installing and I lose all data, without a warning, or at least a warning that I could understand.
Someone should also mention; with these bigger distros such as debian and Fedora there is quite often several ways to do the same thing. This can make things extremely confusing! Be careful which how-to you use and stick with one method until it works. If you come to the conclusion that the instructions you are following are stupid then it is usually best to start completely over with a clean install!
The reason most of Linux is this way (why they are not simpler) goes back once again to what Lexon implies in his post. It is just the nature of what Linux is. This is where Mint really cornered the market. The way to simplify things is to take away the choice that most Linux users insist on. You do not give the person dozens of options during install, instead the developer comes up with what HE feels is the perfect system. This is why my two favorite Linux systems are diametrically opposed. Mint is dirt simple with no choices and Arch is about the user choosing every single component every step of the way. You can build the same exact system out of either distro, Linux is Linux, but distros are geared towards distinct applications. Debian does have a simpler option; it is called Linux Mint!
debian is about choice, choice that many advanced Linux users insist on. It is not hard, but it does require a measure of immersion on the part of the user. You cannot just blindly do it, you need to have some understanding of the distro. This turns many off, they yell that they should not have to know anything. Linux should be brainless, it should just all be automatic. It is not. If you want that then just stay with Mint! Linux is Linux, there is no advantage to using any other distro, other than choice.
If you want to explore different distros then I suggest a partitioning scheme that will make this easy. You can use the live CDs and you can use virtualization, but really, there is nothing like a real install on real hardware to show you what a distro is all about. Once you have a basic understanding of partitioning and how the bootloader works then this is as simple as could be. Just create a separate data partition, /data, that you can mount between any distros. Then your data will always be safe. Always treat the OS itself as expendable. There is nothing there worth saving, use xmarks for your firefox bookmarks and back up anything important in /data. The rest of your settings can be recreated in minutes. The more you do this the easier it becomes and the more proficient you become with all the options Linux presents you.
Probably the best advice though is patience. Just relax, have fun. Look at it like a challenge. Like those stupid so-dooky (sudoku
) puzzles. You either love them or hate them. You will have to think, you will encounter problems, and you will feel like giving up quite often. But the reward of working through it and solving it is stronger than the frustration of picking through it. Again, the installs on most distros is dirt simple now, as has been mentioned it is the tweaking afterwards. Getting hardware to work, working around distro specific bugs, figuring out the different package systems, and learning different desktop environments or window managers. That is where the fun is at.