• Improve Cnchi partitioning


    Cnchi is the Antergos installer and by “improve” I mean make it easier to use, specially for begginers. Here is a suggestion and some feedback:

    I was remembering the installation process and I think the hardest part for me was the partitioning. It was a bit confusing, I imagine that begginers would have a hard time there too. I don’t know exactly how to suggest what to change in terms of code or design because I don’t have the skills, but I can suggest focusing on improving the partition step of Cnchi installer. Make it more begginer and end-user friendly.

    I ended up tired of understanding it, gave up and just formatted the whole HDD and made a clean install of Antergos.

  • The windowsize is a problem i have too, and the partition toll used inside cnchi is a bit complex for casual users, but to serve all possible ways of partitioning it is a good one!

    May it will be possible to have an option to choose between easy and complex partitioner…

    As far as i remember it is possible to use gparted too…

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  • @ssspacez
    Hi!
    Cnchi had some improvement some time ago when a buttom was added to redirect the user to a guide on how to create partitions etc, maybe the buttom is still hard to find?

    I don’t know exactly how to suggest what to change…

    Well, if you could at least elaborate what was hardest, or what you couldn’t find in the installer that would help developers to improve cnchi.

    Portergos site
    https://github.com/Portergos/portergos-iso

    Still in love with Antergos (default OS)
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  • @fernandomaroto

    I’m watching some videos of people installing to remember the steps, some suggestions thinking with begginers in mind:

    Window:
    The “<” and “>buttons that are on the top panel, I think they should be at the bottom of the window, it makes more sense and people are more used to it because of Windows installers always have a [Next] at the bottom of the installer window. The top right corner of the window is often used to minimize, maximize or close the window.

    Partitioning:
    That first step that asks “How would you like to proceed?” is hard to understand. Those options that you can check [ ] should have a better description. What is LVM and ZFS? Set your /home directory in a different partition or volume? What is “/home”? a begginer would be confused. Also, if one wish to make a dual-boot with Windows or another OS there are no easy options here.

    Then there’s “Choose exactly where Antergos should be installed”. The description says Edit partition table and choose mount points. “What are those 2 things”? a begginer would ask.

    The Advanced Installation Mode shows a non visual partition table, I imagina some people have a hard time with this, a better design choice would be a visual partition like gparted and Calamares have.

    And then there’s the [Root /] and [Swap] buttons that are maked as red and turn green after you made the right choices. But what are the correct choices, what is “root /” and what is “swap” a begginer would ask.

    You click the partition and the Edit button and the first menu gives you 12 options, I always pick ext4, but a begginer would have no idea what to choose, there are no informations. And then Mount point, there are 6 options here, what should I choose? There’s a [ ] format checkbox, should I format or not? The [+New] button, should I choose Primary or Extended? And things like that.

    After a while using Linux you get used to all of these options, but a begginer would probably have a hard time figuring out those things.

    The rest of the installion is fine, I have no suggestions to make, it’s just the partitioning that I think that needs some improvement.

    The installation steps above were based on this video and this video .

  • @ssspacez
    I understand what you mean, maybe your thinking in terms of how the Ubuntu installer does it: There you have the option to do it manually or automatic.

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  • Also, I think adding a button somewhere like

    [? Help me with this step]

    in every window step, that you can click and a pop-up shows up with a detailed and easy to understand description of every single option on that step.

    This could help begginers.

  • @ssspacez
    I agree with you. If the user is super new to linux all those thing are IMPOSSIBLE to understand at first, and consequently the user may give up.

    About zfs and lvm i by myself never tried anything with them, so i’m newbie about those things :)

    The partition table is a buttom located at a very alien place (at least for me), i think it should be moved somewhere else.

    Also, i think there should be an automatic install option, that would detect if the user have other systems, and then create at least /root and swap, maybe even /home (Are you sure the only automatic option is to erase everything? I don’t remember it really).

    Portergos site
    https://github.com/Portergos/portergos-iso

    Still in love with Antergos (default OS)
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    Linux newbie since 06/2016

  • @fernandomaroto
    The automatic option erases everything and is only for single installation. Like a wrote earleir, the Ubuntu installer asks if it should install the system next to the existing one and installs it automatically.

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  • @Bryanpwo said in Improve Cnchi partitioning:

    install the system next to the existing one and installs it automatically

    So that’s a great addon, while the user is new to linux he could choose that option…
    @karasu, if you think thats important and you have some time would be nice to add this option.

    Portergos site
    https://github.com/Portergos/portergos-iso

    Still in love with Antergos (default OS)
    I3wm

    Linux newbie since 06/2016

  • I don t know if anything has changed, but I remember, in my early days here, the devs philosophy was that they didn t have the ambition that Antergos should be the Ubuntu of Arch. That users should have some basic knowledge in Linux so that they could deal comfortably enough with an Arch system.
    I agree with this, as long as it s lack of experience and NOT just laziness to create a partition table manually. :)

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  • Hi all,

    Well… I’m sure you’ll be surprised with my answer, because at the same time I agree and disagree. Let me explain.

    I agree there should be an option like “install alongside the other OS…” being Windows or whatever else the other os. This should be automatic. I started coding this… and never finished it. One must take into account many different scenarios… efi or legacy bios… how many partitions the user has already created, give the user the option of resizing existing partitions… and so on. In the end we thought that using GParted in these cases was enough. Why reinvent the wheel?

    I disagree that the user doesn’t have to know what zfs/lvm/ext4/(put whatever here) is. If the user doesn’t know what LVM is, he/she shouldn’t select it. Selecting it will create a system that he/she won’t know how to manage.

    Also, I think adding a button somewhere like
    [? Help me with this step]

    That’s really a good idea. Maybe someday… If somebody manages to create the text and tell me where to add it, I would be more than glad to add it to Cnchi.

    The “<” and “>” buttons that are on the top panel, I think they should be at the bottom of the window, it makes more sense and people are more used to it because of Windows installers always have a [Next] at the bottom of the installer window. The top right corner of the window is often used to minimize, maximize or close the window.

    That was how it was done in the past. We moved them to the top because:

    • That is Gnome’s new way of doing things (not that I like it)
    • This way you have more space for other widgets in the window (this is really helpful).

    I’m sorry but we won’t revert this change anytime soon.

    The Advanced Installation Mode shows a non visual partition table, I imagina some people have a hard time with this, a better design choice would be a visual partition like gparted and Calamares have.

    It’s been ages that I wanted to change this. To be honest, I also wanted to change all the partitioning system, so it would be easier to show a GUI for the user.

    I hope this does not disappoint you guys…

    Cheers!

  • @anarch
    I understand, but “our” slogan is “For everyone” hehehe :P

    @karasu
    No disappointments here, on the contrary, you took time to answer, which is good already, i know time is precious.

    I know how tricky and complex the creation of new code can be, and that changing something in the code may break another part of that.

    Portergos site
    https://github.com/Portergos/portergos-iso

    Still in love with Antergos (default OS)
    I3wm

    Linux newbie since 06/2016

  • @karasu

    When devs have some free time or will to change anything on Cnchi, check other installers out there and compare them, they can be forked or inspire some minor improvements.
    I’ve tested a few installers because of distrohopping, some of them are bad, for example Debian installer, don’t go that way, it’s not user friendly and it’s weird. I don’t remember Ubuntu’s installer, it’s been like 5 years I don’t use Ubuntu anymore. There are others like Sabayon’s installer, they use Calamares, also used by a bunch of other distros, Anaconda installer, used by Fedora and other distros too. All installers have some good ideas and some bad ideas, I didn’t find the “perfect installer” yet.

  • @karasu
    Thank you for your view and explanation on this.

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  • OFF TOPIC
    @fernandomaroto said

    I understand, but “our” slogan is “For everyone” hehehe

    I…most strongly disagree. Portergos is for everyone. Antergos does not allow for an offline installation.:smiley:

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  • @ssspacez said in Improve Cnchi partitioning:

    check other installers out there and compare them

    Last time I checked Calamares was a mess… of course I’m sure it must have improved a lot since then. I’ll have to check it out.

    Anaconda… have you guys tried a “custom” setup with the Anaconda installer? I took me a few minutes to start to understand how their partitioning screenworks… imho, as they want to cover all scenarios (partitions,raid, lvm, btrfs…) is really hard to use (this I checked two months ago, so I’m sure it has not improved since then).

    Debian… well, it’s Debian. It’s ugly but it just works. You must also go forwards and backwards many times if you want to setup RAID or LVM… it’s not intuitive at all, but yes, it gets the job done.

    I’ve never tried Sabayon’s but it looks similar to ours (apart from the partition graphics, which I must admit that are nice).

    I wish I had the time to work on this…

    Cheers!

  • @anarch said in Improve Cnchi partitioning:

    Portergos is for everyone

    OFFTOPIC
    Portergos installer is not user friendly, so is not for everyone neither. :p But thanks for reminding it.

    Calamares has 2 things i like:

    1. Partition screen. Easier than cnchi

    2. The user and hostname screen autocomplete according to the first username you type (it’s faster), while on antergos you’ll need to reytpe field by field (or copy/paste). Maybe that’s easy to add to cnchi.

    have you guys tried a “custom” setup with the Anaconda installer?

    No, which distribution comes with it? OBS: just forget it, i installed CentOS these days and didn’t like it.

    One good thing about anaconda is that download of packages start before you finish setting username and hostname configs, which gain some time.

    I wish I had the time to work on this

    At least you care about it, i know you’ll do your best when you get more time!

    Portergos site
    https://github.com/Portergos/portergos-iso

    Still in love with Antergos (default OS)
    I3wm

    Linux newbie since 06/2016

  • @karasu thanks for the view behind the scenes :)

    I like the idea to have buttons for hints, like what a partition should look like in different scenarios, and also for choosable options on partition part.
    Like we have for dualboot, may it should be linked to somewhere else then the wiki itself or we could create wiki-entries especial for that (and make them read only in the wiki).

    The only thing i find was not that perfect is the partition view as tree, gparted view with bars for each device, is much better to understand and visible easier.

    Annoying is only that the partitionmanager is not visible at full, and you need to scroll to view all devices…

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  • @karasu said in Improve Cnchi partitioning:

    Also, I think adding a button somewhere like
    [? Help me with this step]

    That’s really a good idea. Maybe someday… If somebody manages to create the text and tell me where to add it, I would be more than glad to add it to Cnchi.

    Writing everything down and explaining every step would take some time to write. A quick temporary solution to help people installing would be putting some links in the window, after clicking the button a window with something like this could appear:

    For more information about the installation process, check the links below:

    If you still have questions and is not sure what to do, ask a question in our forums:

    Something simple like that could be helpful.

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