On Mon, Dec 07, 2020 at 02:18:43PM -0500, Máirín Duffy wrote:
I get that, but "dual-boot" is a solution, not a problem.
it's a problem when you accidentally wipe out your ability to boot
Windows or worse lol, but generally it's not the problem-to-solve
Ha! That's true. However, it's also the solution people are coming in with.
So there's a built-in extra "expense" in telling them "well, actually,
different thing". It doesn't mean we can't, it's just an additional
1. I only own one computer and I want to run more than one OS. Is
this really a problem? Does someone who owns one computer not have
access to flash drives, external HDDs, or (completely free and
functional) VM software? Especially considering the latter,
absolutely not, they do have access to VM software. So let's go
another step, why would a VM not solve the problem?
Flash drives aren't a great experience because they're slow (and cheap ones
not really robust for constant live use even if we make that work better).
External hard drives are a pain with a laptop. Plus installing on a second
device still requires _some_ dual-boot understanding.
So, VMs. There the problem is that AIUI, only Windows Pro has built-in
virtualization tools. As far as I know, VirtualBox is the only free and open
source option. (Maybe even the only free-as-in-cost option too. I don't
think VMWare is in this market anymore.) But, here's the hard part: if I had
to pick which is harder for a non-techny person to pick up, _other than_ "a
mistake can destroy all of your data", I would say VirtualBox is actually
But that's a pretty big "other than", of course.
2. I only own one computer, I want to run more than one OS, and both
OSes *must* be baremetal. OK. I need help with the latter half. I
could see, some kind of hand-wavy "I'm a gamer and my graphics
hardware / gamery stuff only works best baremetal" but I could not
see that for the Linux side, only the Windows side, meaning, put a
Linux VM on your Windows OS, there's no problem. So is there a
problem that demands a solution that must OSes be baremetal because
if it exists I don't know what it is nor how common it is?
Well, on the gamer side, someone might be testing to see if Linux is
adequade to ditch Windows for gaming entirely. Another GPU-related usecase
might be Cuda/GPGPU programming.
I've got a not-quite-fleshed out thought here too which I'll try to
articulate... a VM is perfectly fine for kicking the tires, and good for two
other big use cases: running some specific application that isn't
available natively (I used to run Quicken in a VM, for example), or to
provide a development environment. It's not typical to make your daily
environment (Qubes users aside!) be the "inside" machine. So it's my
unsubstantiated feeling that someone who has Fedora Workstation in a VM is
less likely to become a more heavy user than someone who has it on metal.
That's possibly something we could research, actually. Maybe I'm all wrong
— or maybe the increased ease / decreased risk would make it accessible to
so many more users that it's still a net win (assuming we could overcome
3. I own a few computers, but I am a tech journalist and I need to
install multiple distros in a multiboot situation so I can review
them. I also kind of don't understand how VM doesn't solve this
case. It's a case that was brought up the last time we had a grand
multi-boot discussion (in the context of installer UX.)
Journalists like to talk about performance, and for that, they want bare
metal. Honestly though, I'm not super concerned about this case. Those
journalists can either figure it out, or dedicate a machine, or just do
several full reinstalls.
I suspect the right / best solution is to evaluate where our
livemedia story is, upgrade the bits that need upgrading to make it
robust (as I think Neal mentioned elsewhere in the thread), and make
the try story as easy as, "stick a usb flash drive of (>= whatever
size) into your computer and run this app", and the baremetal
install story have an actual narrative / plan of sorts that can be
filled in with details as the user prefers. But just a sketch of an
If we want to go the USB flash drive route, in addition to software
improvements, we'll need to make it clear that the minimum for a good
experience is a higher-quality USB 3 drive (in a USB 3 port).
The best experience is always installing on a fresh, unencumbered
disk, isn't it? It's also the easiest for the end user in terms of
minimizing stress, mental load, risk. So if we could lay out a plan
for them based on their tolerance for the top 3 options above -
I would like to know where the idea for dual boot came from. It's
common thing right for someone to come in asking for help doing a
$solution and you have to get everyone to step back to define the
$problem first, then direct towards the right $solution. If that
Yeah, wherever it came from, it's an endemic meme at this point. :-/
Also sorry for the WALLSOFTEXT on all of this, it's just
I've thought a lot about in the past from all of the installer UX
work I've been involved with and I gathered a lot of info / data on
No apology needed! I appreciate the thoughts.
Fedora Project Leader