How can we improve our installation experience?

Hi, Everyone,

If we can’t get ClearLinux installed easily for our users, then we are already going to be struggling to get broader usage and adoption. So, we want to make installation as simple as possible - how do we do this?

What kind of technology do we need to build, and what kind of documentation and other support should we provide?

Your feedback is super-helpful!

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I couldn’t find a way in the normal installer to join a wifi network and install, had to use a network cable.

And then afterwards I remembered that there’s a liveCD that had a full desktop and I was able to install that way.

@mhorn, @pmccarty any ideas?

There are a multitude of suggestions that have been raised at https://github.com/clearlinux/distribution/. It might be worth someone consolidating these into this thread.

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to use WiFi you need to use install-desktop-beta image, there you will
have a desktop with WiFi settings menu.

Also CL is updating its images, CL will introduce

install-desktop for GUI/desktop installation
install-server for TUI (text based) installation

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Calamares - just use Calamares. It works, it’s simple, it does what has to be done and enough Linux distros use it that chances are someone’s run into it before.

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Did you run

https://cdn.download.clearlinux.org/current/clear-linux-check-config.sh ?

run it any linux you can run in your platform, it will tell you if you
have all the features needed to run Clear Linux.

Clear Linux should run on Westmere or newer platforms.

I did that today and everything was successful but I downloaded the latest ISO and it booted. The one I used one week or two ago did not boot on any of these systems. The new one works great and the new installer looks wonderful :+1:

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I’m not sure how recent the 2.0 installer is for Clear Linux Desktop, but that’s the reason I just kicked it, and the reason I’m here. What a difference from ver 1.0 (which scared me away)!

I didn’t notice a step for network / Wifi connection, which should be required before a user chooses additional packages. Fortunately it’s as easy as just connecting the standard way using the live Gnome environment, but still.

Speaking of WiFi connections, I love when distros retain that connection info from installer to first boot. With Clear, I had to enter my WiFi password again once I booted into my installation.

Little things, but they go a long way.

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LVM support would be great, but I believe this is already in the works.

LVM support would be great, but I believe this is already in the works.

This should already work. Mind you, booting off LVM is always tricky and we continue to see issues with it. However, if you use it to e.g. put /home or some other volume on LVM you should have no issues.

sudo swupd bundle-add boot-encrypted should pull in all the required bits.

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See my post from today.
If you have two identical SSDs installed, the installer lists them by name, not device. It is impossible to tell which one is which. It should list device name, not as intelXYZ.

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Thanks! I guess I was looking for a tick box in the installer :blush:

I had multiple issues with the new installer.

  1. I’m from Germany and was not able to enter my name (Jürgen) when creating a user because the keyboard layout was not set correctly. The language selection at the beginning only showed English/Chinese and a third language I do not remember.
  2. There is no proper display of progress. I restarted the computer twice because it looked like nothing is happening. On the third try, I opened the task manager and was able to see swupd was causing network traffic and using CPU. I concluded it was downloading packages and waited.
  3. I had to configure the WLAN in the live system first. Otherwise, the install would fail because no network connection is available.
  4. Partitioning. I have a specific partition on my disk for testing. The installer gives me no way to select the partition I want to install to. It forced the install into my reserved space on my SSD. Additionally, no EFI boot entry was created on my Lenovo T530. I could only boot because rEFInd detected the new installation by itself.
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Thanks for the comments. We are collecting all feedback and checking how to address them.

I am definitely behind points 2 and 4. Some indication of what the setup process is doing would be very welcome - I also restarted the setup several times as it was not visible that the download is going on in the background.

I also had no EFI setup created on my Dell XPS 9570 15". The control/alt/F2 didn;t work for me, I had to boot into the installer and mount it that way and then issue the commands and all was light and bright.

Also, and this happens with most other distros, performance on my system was horrible w/ the noveau drivers and reboot/shutdown would lock up the system. The ability to blacklist them during the install would be nice so that I wouldn’t have to physically power down the box, wait several minutes to get to a prompt to simply blacklist them myself. Once you blacklist that driver, again all is light and bright.

You should be able to do this by adding module_blacklist=nouveau in the Kernel Command Line section of the installer (scroll down to Kernel Command Line)

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How did you solve the WiFi issue? I am lost trying to connect to the internet my laptop doesn’t have a LAN port and the installer needs internet to continue.

Have you tried this?