New user as of today. Only major gripe is: The Installer UI is awful

Basically what the title says.
I replaced another distro in a pre-partitioned system with dual boot for W10 so I already had all partitions set up. And in that situation the Fedora installer is extremely un-intuitive. I am sure that as long as you can basically just click “Next” it is easy, but I actually found the Extra-super-advanced option EASIER to understand than the “normal advanced option” (the middle one).

Other than that I am happy so far. It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to install NVIDIA drivers and codecs and 10 minutes after that to figure out why Firefox was lagging (it had hardware rendering disabled, for some reason). After that was fixed I installed Timeshift to get the backups rolling.

Also, some props here: 750+ updates after initial install and worked flawlessly.

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Indeed, the installer is an acquired taste.

It works fine once you know how to use it but it is in no way intuitive.

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Perhaps this is just me, but I’ve never had a problem understanding the logic of the Fedora installer.
It’s really puzzling why there are so many people who have issues with it… :roll_eyes:

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I also have had no issue with using the installer. I have always known what layout I wished for the partitioning and it has easily worked for me. I have not yet done a clean install of 33, so the changes in that installer are still to be seen but as I understand there are minimal changes from 32 so I am not concerned about it. :relaxed:

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Netinstall is the way to go. It‘s a smaller image an its installer downloads the latest packages during install. No single update required after install.

I find it to be much more efficient.

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Well I wasn’t aware that was an option, so… :slight_smile:

Well it IS better than the Suse installer…

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I have been running Fedora since release 25, and every time I have to do an install, the disk setup and selection process is a mystery to be solved. The rest of it is straightforward.

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I have been using anaconda since it’s earliest days so I also know how to use it. When it first came out, I thought it was pretty decent but that was a very long time ago.

I think there are a few reasons people find it confusing/frustrating in 2020

  • From a UI flow perspective, it hasn’t really evolved much over all these years
  • Most installers are now wizard-based and that is what people are accustomed to
  • The installer requires you do some things before others but it doesn’t clearly identify which things need to go first
  • There are 3 completely different ways to partition your disks in the installer and very little guidance on how to choose
  • In some sections, the on screen prompting is insufficient to let you know things work
  • Many parts of the installer are wildly unintuitive
    • Having to click on things twice to confirm
    • The fact that you go into a submenu and the way you get to the next step is to select done in the upper left hand corner
    • Almost all elements of disk partitioning

All that being said, I don’t think it is a bad installer. The options you have from a partitioning perspective are actually pretty cool. The UI works fine once you learn how to use it. There are just a lot of design decisions that are pretty questionable from a modern UI design perspective.

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This is actually my only major gripe about it - there is little to differentiate ‘Custom’ from ‘Blivet’ other than two different ways of essentially achieving the same thing. I think that part could be much improved by just having ‘Automatic’ and ‘Custom’, and having ‘Custom’ just call Blivet.

I think simply moving the ‘Done’ button to the bottom right would already help a lot.

One thing that I like about it that all the user creation etc. stuff is offloaded to the first run after reboot. That really cuts down on the steps needed - keyboard, timezone, where to install & you’re done.

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I actually like the current “custom” mode. I think it is a really useful way to have some control of your filesystem without needing a detailed understanding of partitioning. It should probably not be called “custom” though. For one thing, it isn’t very custom, it is more like “assisted”.

Giving them better names along with some text describing them would go a long way.

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Automatic, Guided and Manual would make sense.

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That would be both simpler and much more intuitive than what is currently there.

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Ditto. Worst UI I have ever experienced.
Fedora should look at the Ubuntu installer for a lesson.

There is a plan to change this in Fedora 34 to Automatic and Custom and Custom will let you choose between the two “advanced” methods.


https://github.com/rhinstaller/anaconda/pull/2242 (has some screenshots/mockups)
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I see a lot of people saying Anaconda UI is the worst, I’m not going to argue with you (as a former installer team member (backend, not UI) I’m a little biased), but you should know this is not because of lack of trying – I often hear the UI is bad because it was designed by programmers, not designers. That’s not true – the “new” UI was acutally designed by designer/UX expert, if you are interested in details, check Máirín Duffy’s blog, there is a lot of posts with mockups and explanations under the Anaconda tag, I especially recommend Making Fedora easier to use & the Installer UX redesign.

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