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Re: Newbie Idea

I just joined the list.  I tried to push the idea of a desktop version
of UNIX at DEC for years.  Built a stockpile of ideas but didn't get
any takers at the company.  In my official capacity I was a member of
the architecture team that did the installation and diskless
workstation support.

I don't think newbies have any business thinking about servers.

A newbie shouldn't even be thinking about doing installations, the
hardware vendor is supposed to take care of all of that.  Suggest to
any random PC user that the way to fix thier chronic Win95/Win98
problem is to back up their data and reinstall and you'll see a
shudder go up thier spine and their eyes will glaze over.

I can imagine that there are two things that have been under
consideration here: what the newbie experience is when they sit down
at the system for the first time and how do we take them there....

My personal bias moves towards a linux system that upon completion of
the newbie install is about as functional as Windows, read "minimal".

I favor getting the whole thing running in a single partition,
even if this means swapping to a file in the filesystem.  This make
the FIPS thing pretty straightforward:  "we need 140MB, we found
a Windows FS with 800MB, how much can we take?"

So a newbie install would always be an "install everything" install
but "everything" might be some 50 MB of real core goods: cat, ls,
bash, etc.  X11, KDE, etc.  run-time libaries.  No ftpd, telnetd,
httpd, etc. - these are not newbie toys.

One of the things that is mighty scary to UNIX newbies is the sense
that one gets that the system owns everything.  I would propose
putting everything we know and love today under /linux, leaving the
top of the filesystem to read: /linux /.lost+found, /disk, /apps,
/home.  /disk has the mount points for your removable media
(/disk/zip, /disk/floppy, etc. which automount on insertion, -o sync)
and you windows partitions (/disk/c, /disk/d, etc.).  /apps fills
the role of /opt in some terminologies.  /home gets user directories.

Perhaps we've already discussed the concept of the "default user"?
Who you are if you've not decided to create a user account yet?
Perhaps user tux, group tux, uid.gid = 1001.1001?  Whatever this user
is called, it should own the root directory, mode rwxrwxrwt.  That
way there's no question about who owns *this* disk.

I know a lot of this flies counter to the desire to stick close to
a Red Hat based system but I've been walking around with this stuff
in my head for months and had to get it out there somewhere.

Oh, yea: startup.  Init state 4: nobody's listening on the net because
we're a client box and ONLY a client box.  KDE session starts (as in
startkde) on the console under the default user id.  No login.  I turn
it on, it comes up, I go to work.


Charles C. Bennett, Jr.				Workgroup Technology Corp.
Principal Software Engineer,			91 Hartwell Ave.
Distributed Object Computing			Lexington, MA 02421

"Talking about music is like tap dancing about architecture" - Laurie Anderson