I like Jonathan's idea.  Pointing to the unofficial Fedora FAQ would be one good start. When setting up a new machine most people are going to want MP3 support, plugin support for the browser and many of the other topics covered by the unofficial FAQ.  How to automount windoze shares, SMB configurations and how to mount NTFS partitions will be very important to people using mixed environments and dual boots.

Even more important to windoze users first trying out LInux is going to be equivalents. Send them to VI and they'll run screaming into the night back to windoze. So Kedit/Gedit = notepad  Openoffice = Word  GIMP= photoshop kinds of tutorials would be a big help. So too would how file permissions and such work. How to set up cups is pretty essential. Scanners, digital cameras and such as well.  Another crucial aspect is pointing folks toward K3b. It will make CD burning easy for even the most novice windoze user. Nothing comes close in the Linux world to K3b. Though this implies auto installing at least the KDE libs, technically you want to just install KDE. Folks that have space issues that would preclude KDE's installation are not going to use such a wizard anyway. That is one thing I wish Fedora would correct, the default install will put only Gnome on. That leaves half of the important apps uninstalled.  A default Fedora install is not a very friendly install to a new Linux user. Vets can easily remove things they don't want, so I feel the install should default more toward the kitchen sink rather than the lean install that is currently used.

The feedback I get from lots of first time Linux users is that they get lost. They have no idea what to do with their brand spanking new Linux installation. Some things like how to configure networking has to be local on the HD. Without it they cannot reach the FAQs on the net.

Other things like pointers to the better Linux games while not important for business users would help generate more interest in Linux. A tutorial on window managers with snap shots of what the major ones look like, how to install them and such would also be a big help. What is especially important is how to configure repositories. They will be unable to use the Unofficial FAQ to get anything through Yum without first adding a repository. I know Redhat does not add this repository to avoid getting sued over copywrites and such but don't see where there'd be any harm in using a certain repository as an example of how to add a repository :)

Going a step farther and automating that process is actually a good idea. While Redhat couldn't support it because of various potential litigation it could point users to the scripts that would auto configure the system to play DVDs, MP3s, add a repository, grab the latest Firefox browser instead of the 1.5 branch that officially comes with Fedora but is nearly obsolete now. Plugins could then be auto installed. Even for Linux vets that would be a huge time saver. Creating a functional machine takes a good hour or two of downloading and installations. I usually wind up forgetting at least a couple plugins then when I need them I wind up having to restart my browser or putting it off. Novice users often get lost in the process. Get frustrated and it gives Linux a bad name. Fedora is also falling behind some distros in facilitating multi-media which is key to many home users.

There is a learning curve no matter what we do but it can be made a whole lot less steep with Jonathan's idea and the script I am proposing.

On 5/16/07, Jonathan Roberts <jonathan.roberts.uk@googlemail.com> wrote:
> You're thinking of a local/fat application?  Something that is kicked
> off by the completion of firstboot?

Is more or less what I had in mind.
> What about putting that into the welcome page for the browser, and
> auto-starting Firefox?  Whatever that page looks or acts like, it could
> have a nicely visible "New Users Start Here" widget that kicks off what
> you are describing.

That would be a simple way to achieve the launching of it I would
assume, or possibly an option at the end of the firstboot, like you
said before.
> It sounds like a confluence of tool and content/media creation, so it is
> like an interactive tour.

I think that might be the most useful way for it to go, but it could
even be made simpler and just point to the essentials that new users
might miss.


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