Re: Suggested edit

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Re: Suggested edit

Steve McIntyre
[ Note Reply-To: set ]

On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 06:50:47AM -0500, Adrian O'Dell wrote:

>Hello,
>
>I think your download page should clarify that the user should select YES to
>the Mirrors question or else no graphical desktop environment can be
>installed, thus leaving the user with a console-only system. The installer
>has a box to install a graphical environment and common system tools, so the
>user is confused why no graphical environment is installed despite the box
>being selected. However if one selects YES to the Mirrors question then of
>course the available desktop environments appear along with this setting.
>
>An alternate solution might be to put the notice in the Installer itself.
>
>Naturally this affects the CD builds.

Which CD did you use for your installation?

--
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                [hidden email]
< Aardvark> I dislike C++ to start with. C++11 just seems to be
            handing rope-creating factories for users to hang multiple
            instances of themselves.

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Re: Suggested edit

Adrian O'Dell
debian-8.7.1-amd64-CD-1.iso

The reason I bring this up is because people in support groups and
forums as about why they didn't get a desktop environment, even when
they use that specific CD.



On 03/16/2017 09:35 AM, Steve McIntyre wrote:

> [ Note Reply-To: set ]
>
> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 06:50:47AM -0500, Adrian O'Dell wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> I think your download page should clarify that the user should select YES to
>> the Mirrors question or else no graphical desktop environment can be
>> installed, thus leaving the user with a console-only system. The installer
>> has a box to install a graphical environment and common system tools, so the
>> user is confused why no graphical environment is installed despite the box
>> being selected. However if one selects YES to the Mirrors question then of
>> course the available desktop environments appear along with this setting.
>>
>> An alternate solution might be to put the notice in the Installer itself.
>>
>> Naturally this affects the CD builds.
> Which CD did you use for your installation?
>

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Re: Suggested edit

Catherine Gramze-2

> debian-8.7.1-amd64-CD-1.iso
>
> The reason I bring this up is because people in support groups and forums as about why they didn't get a desktop environment, even when they use that specific CD.

That "feature" is not limited to the cd version. It is also in the netinst version and the dvd versions. It would be nice if people intuitively understood that the "base system" was not going to meet their expectations of a minimal install, which includes a desktop environment, but noobs don't understand that. Equally nice would be an "advanced installation" option to only do a base system installation.  Making the selection of a mirror and desktop environment an unskippable part of the installation, unless you chose that advanced "base system" would be very user friendly, particularly for noobs.
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Re: Suggested edit

Jonathan Dowland
On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 11:43:05AM -0400, Catherine Gramze wrote:
> That "feature" is not limited to the cd version. It is also in the netinst
> version and the dvd versions. It would be nice if people intuitively
> understood that the "base system" was not going to meet their expectations of
> a minimal install, which includes a desktop environment, but noobs don't
> understand that. Equally nice would be an "advanced installation" option to
> only do a base system installation.  Making the selection of a mirror and
> desktop environment an unskippable part of the installation, unless you chose
> that advanced "base system" would be very user friendly, particularly for
> noobs.

That would presume that the majority of users of the installer wanted to
install a desktop environment. This is not necessarily true even for beginners,
on say, server machines.

--
Jonathan Dowland
Please do not CC me, I am subscribed to the list.

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Re: Suggested edit

Catherine Gramze-2


> On Mar 17, 2017, at 10:28 AM, Jonathan Dowland <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> That would presume that the majority of users of the installer wanted to
> install a desktop environment. This is not necessarily true even for beginners,
> on say, server machines.

Beginners are installing server systems as their first experience with Linux? I think not. Most people don't ever touch a server in their entire life. The closest they get to a server is a thin client. Any sane server administrator is going to set up a test system first, and probably on a desktop so they can easily mess around with it while they learn about the tools it offers.
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Re: Suggested edit

Lisi Reisz
On Friday 17 March 2017 15:18:57 Catherine Gramze wrote:

> > On Mar 17, 2017, at 10:28 AM, Jonathan Dowland <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > That would presume that the majority of users of the installer wanted to
> > install a desktop environment. This is not necessarily true even for
> > beginners, on say, server machines.
>
> Beginners are installing server systems as their first experience with
> Linux? I think not. Most people don't ever touch a server in their entire
> life. The closest they get to a server is a thin client. Any sane server
> administrator is going to set up a test system first, and probably on a
> desktop so they can easily mess around with it while they learn about the
> tools it offers.

In general, Debian is not recommended for total newbies who are unassisted for
precisely this sort of reason.

There are plenty of dumbed down Debian derivatives for those that want them.  
Please don't let's dumb Debian down any further.  Base install means base
install.  The net install disk by default installs Gnome (I have on occasion
gone to sleep and failed to prevent it).  Some WANT a base install and should
be able to have it easily.  You are describing Ubuntu or Mint. Ubuntu and
Mint exist.

The mentioned problem in finding things definitely exists, especially when it
comes to check sums, especially for those of us who are partially sighted.  
The developers, bless them, are aware and are working on it.  That is great,
and good enough for me.

But if you want a dumbed down newbie distro, use a dumbed down newbie distro.  
If Debian is too Geekish, leave it to the Geeks.

Meanwhile, Brian, not all of us are blessed with 35 year old brains and 20/20
vision.

Lisi

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Re: Suggested edit

Catherine Gramze-2



Sent from my iPad
> On Mar 17, 2017, at 12:04 PM, Lisi Reisz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> There are plenty of dumbed down Debian derivatives for those that want them.  
> Please don't let's dumb Debian down any further.  Base install means base
> install.  The net install disk by default installs Gnome (I have on occasion
> gone to sleep and failed to prevent it).  Some WANT a base install and should
> be able to have it easily.  You are describing Ubuntu or Mint. Ubuntu and
> Mint exist.

No, Lisi, I don't mean like Mint or Ubuntu. My point was only that beginners can accidentally do a base install only, not knowing what a base install is, and that knowing what they did to cause it and fixing it is not something a beginner can easily do.

My very first Linux installation was in 1993, a Slackware disc that came free in Wired or PCMagazine. It installed successfully, and there I was looking at a blank screen. I knew 2 things instantly: that the installation was a success, and that I had no idea what command might invoke a graphic interface, if one existed. Or what any Linux command might be.

I gave up on Linux for a few years, until 1999 and my horrific Red Hat 6.0 experience. I moved on to Debian in mere months, switching to the derivatives when Debian did not support my hardware. (Which was regularly) But I clearly remember that first Linux experience and that disheartening blank screen.

I agree it is important to be able to get a base install if you want one, but you can do that manually simply by backing out of the installation script after the reboot. It is more important to not intimidate the beginner. We were all a beginner once.
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Re: Suggested edit

Lisi Reisz
On Friday 17 March 2017 16:45:31 Catherine Gramze wrote:
> It is more important to not intimidate the beginner.

Not, it isn't.  Debian is for experts, or would-be experts, or those who will
never be experts but like to pretend.

I am so sad that Debian is becoming more and more Ubuntu-ised.  For those who
want and like Ubuntu, Ubuntu exists.

> We were all a beginner
> once.

Yes, we were.  And we either managed, had help (I had a lot AND used Libranet
(an easier true derivative - used Debian sources, but pinned) or used a
derivative.  

We neither expect nor demand that Windows be installable by all and sundry,
from scratch, on an empty machine.

Lisi

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Re: Suggested edit

Catherine Gramze-2


Sent from my iPad

> On Mar 17, 2017, at 12:57 PM, Lisi Reisz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Not, it isn't.  Debian is for experts, or would-be experts, or those who will
> never be experts but like to pretend.
>

I strongly disagree. The point of a genuinely free and open operating system is accessibility at all levels. Debian is more difficult than some other systems not because it is meant for experts, but because of the dedication to the core concepts of FOSS. Or, why the non-free repository is not included in a standard installation source list.
>
> Yes, we were.  And we either managed, had help (I had a lot AND used Libranet
> (an easier true derivative - used Debian sources, but pinned) or used a
> derivative.  
>

You used Libranet, too? Are you still in touch with Tal? That was my favorite distro EVER. The only real help I ever got was in the Libranet beta testing group, for that last release that never made it because John was so ill.

> We neither expect nor demand that Windows be installable by all and sundry,
> from scratch, on an empty machine.

We don't? It's a lot more idiot proof than Debian.


Cathy
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Re: Suggested edit

Joe Rowan
In reply to this post by Lisi Reisz
On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:57:19 +0000
Lisi Reisz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Friday 17 March 2017 16:45:31 Catherine Gramze wrote:
> > It is more important to not intimidate the beginner.  
>
> Not, it isn't.  Debian is for experts, or would-be experts, or those
> who will never be experts but like to pretend.
>
> I am so sad that Debian is becoming more and more Ubuntu-ised.  For
> those who want and like Ubuntu, Ubuntu exists.
>
> > We were all a beginner
> > once.  
>
> Yes, we were.  And we either managed, had help (I had a lot AND used
> Libranet (an easier true derivative - used Debian sources, but
> pinned) or used a derivative.  
>
> We neither expect nor demand that Windows be installable by all and
> sundry, from scratch, on an empty machine.
>

Actually, these days, it's a pretty trivial job. You basically give it
a user name, a computer name and a timezone. I've done a few 7 Pro
installations in the last year or two.

I don't know how easy a Debian non-expert CD/DVD installation is, the
last time I tried that, I ended up without networking. Not just without
it configured, without an eth0 at all. I did report it as a bug, but
apparently it was a feature.

--
Joe

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Re: Suggested edit

Joe Rowan
In reply to this post by Catherine Gramze-2
On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:18:57 -0400
Catherine Gramze <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > On Mar 17, 2017, at 10:28 AM, Jonathan Dowland <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > That would presume that the majority of users of the installer
> > wanted to install a desktop environment. This is not necessarily
> > true even for beginners, on say, server machines.  
>
> Beginners are installing server systems as their first experience
> with Linux? I think not. Most people don't ever touch a server in
> their entire life.

You might be surprised. I was given a Red Hat 5.2 disc to play with,
and I bought a Linux magazine. It contained an article about compiling
kernels, so I tried it. It was much later that I found this was
considered an advanced task.

I tried a Debian, possibly Potato, I'm not sure. I certainly didn't get
it working, and I can remember an entire screenful of mouse
configuration options, none of which turned out to be correct.

I went to one of the early Mandrakes, did a couple of LFS builds, and
didn't go back to Debian until Sarge, which became my home server... my
current server is a direct descendent of this installation. My LFS was
pure command-line, I was bored enough by the compilation business that I
never did try a GUI, and in those days the Linux desktop was more a
curiosity than a tool.

--
Joe

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Re: Suggested edit

Lisi Reisz
In reply to this post by Catherine Gramze-2
On Friday 17 March 2017 17:24:53 Catherine Gramze wrote:
> You used Libranet, too? Are you still in touch with Tal? That was my
> favorite distro EVER. The only real help I ever got was in the Libranet
> beta testing group, for that last release that never made it because John
> was so ill.

I still mourn it and no, though I was in touch with Daniel for some time.

Oh it did make it, briefly - I bought it!!  John died almost immediately after
it was released, and Tal withdrew it while he decided what to do.  I always
felt that he chose to kill it, but could have given it to the community if he
didn't want it.

But, I have a PAID FOR copy of Libranet 3.  Somewhere.  I loved, loved, loved
it.  Nothing else can touch it - not even Debian itself!!  And it had a logo
to die for. ;-)

Lisi

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installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Jonathan Dowland
In reply to this post by Catherine Gramze-2
On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 11:18:57AM -0400, Catherine Gramze wrote:
> Cc: Jonathan Dowland <[hidden email]>

Please do not mail me directly, I am subscribed to the list. I put this
prominently in my email signature. I also set Mail-Followup-To (MFT[1])
accordingly.  Consider switching to a mailer that supports MFT (I personally
recomment mutt). Also, please read over the Debian Mailing Lists Code of
Conduct[2], specifically the bullet point "When replying to messages on the
mailing list, do not send a carbon copy (CC) to the original poster unless they
explicitly request to be copied."

[1] https://cr.yp.to/proto/replyto.html
[2] https://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

> > On Mar 17, 2017, at 10:28 AM, Jonathan Dowland <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Beginners are installing server systems as their first experience with Linux?
> I think not.

I didn't say 'first experience', but even so, perhaps. Although my first
experiences are possibly too old to be relevant nowadays, they were with Red
Hat, Debian etc. on PCs to use as personal web servers. With the excitement
around IoT, small embedded devices, things like the Arduino, Pi and mashups
of the two, I think it's very plausible that people who are new to Linux may
be using things that are not classical PCs with proper displays.

> Any sane server administrator is going to set up a test system first, and
> probably on a desktop so they can easily mess around with it while they learn
> about the tools it offers.

Sane sysadmins will set up test systems, true, but they will not deviate
dramatically from the configuration of the prod server in doing so, or the test
is less useful. Installing a large amount of software in a test system that
won't be present in a production environment is very likely to cause deployment
issues. A graphical desktop stack is a large amount of software.

If we get back to your initial suggestion for a moment:

> It would be nice if people intuitively understood that the "base system" was
> not going to meet their expectations of a minimal install, which includes a
> desktop environment, but noobs don't understand that.

I agree with this. There is a problem here to be solved. Perhaps we can consider
renaming or rewording 'base system'.

> Equally nice would be an "advanced installation" option to only do a base
> system installation.  Making the selection of a mirror and desktop
> environment an unskippable part of the installation, unless you chose that
> advanced "base system" would be very user friendly, particularly for noobs.

The suggestion here is what I disagree with because it will frustrate people
who don't want a full desktop. However there might be some middle ground that
improves the situation.

I don't have an installation image locally to test this as I write, but your
messages indicate that the graphical desktop options are by default not selected
in the installer, regardless of which installation medium (netinst, CD, DVD) is
being used. If they simply defaulted to on, but could be disabled as normal,
would that not address the "noob" issue without frustrating those who know they
don't want a desktop environment?

Although your message suggests the behaviour is not different between
netinst/CD/DVD, I can understand if some believe that we should not default "on"
any selection which is not satisfied by the installation media in use. In which
case improving our documentation on the websites around where the images are
obtained is worth exploring.

--
Jonathan Dowland
Please do not CC me, I am subscribed to the list.

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Re: Suggested edit

Jonathan Dowland
In reply to this post by Lisi Reisz
On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 04:57:19PM +0000, Lisi Reisz wrote:
> On Friday 17 March 2017 16:45:31 Catherine Gramze wrote:
> > It is more important to not intimidate the beginner.
>
> Not, it isn't.  Debian is for experts, or would-be experts, or those who will
> never be experts but like to pretend.

That may be your view, but it's not necessarily a view shared by everyone who
contributes to the Debian project. For what it's worth, I disagree that Debian
is only for experts. I think it is perceived as only being for experts because
we've failed in some ways to make it accessible to non-experts. A popular tag
line for the project used to be "the universal operating system", after all.
It's worth looking at the platforms for the two prospective Debian Leader
candidates: this is a hot topic.

https://www.debian.org/vote/2017/platforms/mehdi
https://www.debian.org/vote/2017/platforms/lamby

(I piped those two lines through "sort -R"; there's no preference implied by
their order in this email).

I happen to agree with Catherine that we can do something to improve the
situation for beginners. I don't think this has to be at the expense of experts.

> I am so sad that Debian is becoming more and more Ubuntu-ised.  For those who
> want and like Ubuntu, Ubuntu exists.

Ubuntu is very popular on the desktop, that is true, but it's also incredibly
popular in the server space too, where you might be arguing Debian belongs, if
it's for "experts only". Ubuntu's ease of use has not meant it is relegated to
beginners only. It's also the most popular distribution of Linux in use on the
Cloud.

Why isn't Debian winning in that space? Ubuntu couldn't succeed without Debian,
to this day it is still built on the hard work of Debian developers. Although
these days there's quite a lot of stuff in Ubuntu that isn't or won't be in
Debian (Mir, Unity, LXD, etc.) so the difference is larger than it once was.

Having said that, when you use terms like "Ubuntu-ised" it's difficult to have
a proper debate. Please consider specifically spelling out the changes that you
think are being made to Debian (or have been made), that shouldn't, if you want
to discuss them.

> > We were all a beginner once.
>
> Yes, we were.  And we either managed, had help (I had a lot AND used Libranet
> (an easier true derivative - used Debian sources, but pinned) or used a
> derivative.  

WE did, yes. But many others have not. For Debian to continue to succeed we need
more people to contribute to its development: that means more users, and that means
more potential users not giving up. It's hard to be sure exactly how many Debian
users there are, but if you look at indicators like frequent contributors to this
mailing list, or frequent contributors to the wiki, etc., it's a pretty small pool
of people relative to some other communities.

> We neither expect nor demand that Windows be installable by all and sundry,
> from scratch, on an empty machine.

I don't understand what you mean here; is Windows a mistake, or are you making
a comparison of Windows to Debian, or to Ubuntu? Your intent is lost to me.

--
Jonathan Dowland
Please do not CC me, I am subscribed to the list.

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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Lisi Reisz
In reply to this post by Jonathan Dowland
On Monday 20 March 2017 09:46:45 Jonathan Dowland wrote:
> I don't have an installation image locally to test this as I write, but
> your messages indicate that the graphical desktop options are by default
> not selected in the installer, regardless of which installation medium
> (netinst, CD, DVD) is being used. If they simply defaulted to on, but could
> be disabled as normal, would that not address the "noob" issue without
> frustrating those who know they don't want a desktop environment?

Last time my attention wavered when I was doing a net-install I landed up with
Gnome.  I would expect that the net installation still defaults to a Gnome
desktop.  I will try to test this in the near future.

Lisi

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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Richard Owlett-3
On 03/20/2017 03:06 PM, Lisi Reisz wrote:

> On Monday 20 March 2017 09:46:45 Jonathan Dowland wrote:
>> I don't have an installation image locally to test this as I write, but
>> your messages indicate that the graphical desktop options are by default
>> not selected in the installer, regardless of which installation medium
>> (netinst, CD, DVD) is being used. If they simply defaulted to on, but could
>> be disabled as normal, would that not address the "noob" issue without
>> frustrating those who know they don't want a desktop environment?
>
> Last time my attention wavered when I was doing a net-install I landed up with
> Gnome.  I would expect that the net installation still defaults to a Gnome
> desktop.  I will try to test this in the near future.
>
> Lisi
>
>

If run from Jessie's DVD 1 of 13, if Desktop is selected but without a
specific D.E. selected, you get Gnome.

HTH



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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Catherine Gramze-2

> On Mar 20, 2017, at 4:29 PM, Richard Owlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 03/20/2017 03:06 PM, Lisi Reisz wrote:
>>> On Monday 20 March 2017 09:46:45 Jonathan Dowland wrote:
>>> I don't have an installation image locally to test this as I write, but
>>> your messages indicate that the graphical desktop options are by default
>>> not selected in the installer, regardless of which installation medium
>>> (netinst, CD, DVD) is being used. If they simply defaulted to on, but could
>>> be disabled as normal, would that not address the "noob" issue without
>>> frustrating those who know they don't want a desktop environment?
>>
>> Last time my attention wavered when I was doing a net-install I landed up with
>> Gnome.  I would expect that the net installation still defaults to a Gnome
>> desktop.  I will try to test this in the near future.
>>
>
> If run from Jessie's DVD 1 of 13, if Desktop is selected but without a specific D.E. selected, you get Gnome.
>
You only get Gnome if you have first selected a mirror. But the mirror selection comes after the misleading message that your base installation is complete and the system will now reboot to Linux. You can't blame some beginners for believing the installation is complete! If you don't know what a mirror is for, and that the base installation is not what you want, it is entirely too easy to back out of the installer at that point thinking you are not missing anything.

If your network card is not recognized and configured, you can't even choose a mirror and therefore get stuck at this point, not knowing you only need a firmware package, and lacking a means to download that firmware package if you know. Mint and Ubuntu solve that issue by including the firmware. I understand and agree with the decision to not include it, but there ought to be a way to let people know at the very start of an installation that a firmware package is going to be needed, so they can stop the installation before they have rendered their previous system, and the ability to acquire that firmware package, inoperative.

The hard part is determining whether the firmware is needed to function, or to allow enhanced function. I get a firmware notice for my network card, but it works without it, albeit more slowly than with it.


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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Lisi Reisz
In reply to this post by Richard Owlett-3
On Monday 20 March 2017 20:29:31 Richard Owlett wrote:

> On 03/20/2017 03:06 PM, Lisi Reisz wrote:
> > On Monday 20 March 2017 09:46:45 Jonathan Dowland wrote:
> >> I don't have an installation image locally to test this as I write, but
> >> your messages indicate that the graphical desktop options are by default
> >> not selected in the installer, regardless of which installation medium
> >> (netinst, CD, DVD) is being used. If they simply defaulted to on, but
> >> could be disabled as normal, would that not address the "noob" issue
> >> without frustrating those who know they don't want a desktop
> >> environment?
> >
> > Last time my attention wavered when I was doing a net-install I landed up
> > with Gnome.  I would expect that the net installation still defaults to a
> > Gnome desktop.  I will try to test this in the near future.
> >
> > Lisi
>
> If run from Jessie's DVD 1 of 13, if Desktop is selected but without a
> specific D.E. selected, you get Gnome.

The question is what you get by default if you don't actually select
anything - desktop or no desktop.  I got Gnome, so got a desktop.

Lisi

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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Lisi Reisz
In reply to this post by Catherine Gramze-2
On Monday 20 March 2017 20:54:29 Catherine Gramze wrote:
> the misleading message that your base installation is complete and the
> system will now reboot to Linux. You can't blame some beginners for
> believing the installation is complete!

That sounds as though it is the message that is at fault, not the installer or
installation method.  It should perhaps mention that you have to carry on to
get a desktop.  Is this in the set of DVDs?

Lisi

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Re: installer defaults for desktops (was Re: Suggested edit)

Catherine Gramze-2

> On Mar 20, 2017, at 7:51 PM, Lisi Reisz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> That sounds as though it is the message that is at fault, not the installer or
> installation method.  It should perhaps mention that you have to carry on to
> get a desktop.  Is this in the set of DVDs?
>
> Lisi
>
I have not done a dvd installation in many years, but IIRC it is true for the dvds and absolutely true for the netinst. The message about the base system being installed is the same.
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