My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

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My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
Hi,

I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.

I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
decided to give it another try.

So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
actually the same notebook from two years ago.

I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
system later.

Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
on the screen, followed by the question:

  Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]

At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
nothing works, so I press Enter.

And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.
I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.

What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.

Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
idea.

I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.

Regards,

 - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Dmitrij D. Czarkoff-2
On Wed, 2012-03-07 at 13:26 +0100, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
> on the screen, followed by the question:
>
>   Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>
> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
> nothing works, so I press Enter.

<...>

> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it.

You were asked whether you want to edit MBR or use the whole disk, and
you chose using the whole disk. This resulted in your disk being
occupied by single A6 partition.

So, what went wrong? What kind of confirmation did you want?

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

fish.kungfu
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
You just cut yourself in the shark tank.  Good luck.


07.03.12, 07:31, "Leonardo Sabino dos Santos" <[hidden email]>:

>
> Hi,
>
> I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.
>
> I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
> I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
> That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
> couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
> on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
> back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
> decided to give it another try.
>
> So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
> created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
> and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
> plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
> actually the same notebook from two years ago.
>
> I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
> password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
> a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
> installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
> system later.
>
> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
> on the screen, followed by the question:
>
>   Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>
> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
> nothing works, so I press Enter.
>
> And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.
> I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
> a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
> overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.
>
> What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
> gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
> gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
> managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.
>
> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
> what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
> is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
> unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.
>
> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.
>
> Regards,
>
>  - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Rares Aioanei-3
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On 03/07/2012 02:26 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
> [rant...]

> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
> what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
> is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
> unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.
>
> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.
>
> Regards,
>
>   - Leonardo
You are free to do so, no one's stopping you.


--
Rares Aioanei

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Peter Nicolai Mathias Hansteen
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 07, 2012 at 01:26:41PM +0100, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
> on the screen, followed by the question:
>
>   Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>
> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
> nothing works, so I press Enter.

the OpenBSD installer looks somewhat simplistick, but it's quite consistent
in its chosen conventions, such as displaying the default action in square
brackets and pressing Enter to accept the entered or displayed value.

or the TL;DR version: you said you wanted to use the whole disk for OpenBSD,
so of course it took you seriously.

> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.

The best advice you'll ever get about this paricular situation is to read the FAQ
(http://www.openbsd.org/faq/), with particular attention to part 4 (the installation
part) and perhaps http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#Multibooting for the various
multiboot options.

- Peter
--
Peter N. M. Hansteen, member of the first RFC 1149 implementation team
http://bsdly.blogspot.com/ http://www.bsdly.net/ http://www.nuug.no/
"Remember to set the evil bit on all malicious network traffic"
delilah spamd[29949]: 85.152.224.147: disconnected after 42673 seconds.

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Zak Elep-2
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 8:26 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
> I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
> That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
> couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
> on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
> back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
> decided to give it another try.

Glad you gave it another shot,...

> I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
> password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
> a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
> installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
> system later.

...but by not paying attention to installation details,...

> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
> what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
> is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
> unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.

...yet saying you know exactly what you want to do: sorry, but you're
doing it wrong.

Those first few installation questions are there because you are
expected to be sure of what, where, and how to do the install, thus to
ignore on the assumption that you'll get back to them later is just
showing how unsure and unprepared you are.

> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.

Too bad, a thorough reading of FAQ Chapter 4[0] could have saved you a
LOT of trouble.

[0]:   http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html

--
Zak B. Elep || orangeandbronze.com
1486 7957 454D E529 E4F1  F75E 5787 B1FD FA53 851D

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Mihai Popescu-3
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
> Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:

> I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.

It seems that you need to get some experience and then talk about it.
You have none yet in the area you promote, so why should I be
interested about nothing ?

> [ put here the "experience" ]

To talk about what was happened, there are too many years and
generation of OSes' installers with Next> Next> Next> .... > Finish.
There are also too many boxes with OK and Cancel. There is nothing
wrong with them, but the user was not reading and thinking, just was
assuming.

> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.

Take a moment of your time and think about that. First, the members of
the list don't care about that. Serioussly, they don't care. Second,
you may get a job in the future, a good one, which implies using
OpenBSD on a computer or anything else. Are you saying you will drop
it? Realy?

I think you are not ready for OpenBSD, yet. You need to get more
failures on applications, more dissapointments from other "common"
Operating Systems. You need to spent more days looking on a "modern
operating system" computer and thinking about what else could be
possibly wrong, trying to figure out what you didn't try yet. And in
the end, but not the last, you need to feel how it is when your 3 or 4
days work resumes to a single message box with no title and no message
plus the shutdown of the application itself. Maybe you will get a
glimpse on that moment.

So, ask yourself "Do I need to run OpenBSD? If the answer is YES, then ask WHY?"

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Russell Garrison
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
I am absolutely intrigued by this story despite my better judgement.
You were able to cook your own full OpenBSD installer on a USB stick
with GRUB instead of downloading an ISO or using PXE, but you failed
disk setup in the installer? It really would be interesting to see if
you can read just http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html , particularly
4.5.3 and then come back to us with anything other than a mea culpa.

There are always going to be stumbling points in computing, but the
question is do we learn from them or just reject them and act like
they are not the great opportunities for growth that they are.

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
In reply to this post by Dmitrij D. Czarkoff-2
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Dmitrij D. Czarkoff <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Wed, 2012-03-07 at 13:26 +0100, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
>> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
>> on the screen, followed by the question:
>>
>>   Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>>
>> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
>> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
>> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
>> nothing works, so I press Enter.
>
> <...>
>
> You were asked whether you want to edit MBR or use the whole disk, and
> you chose using the whole disk. This resulted in your disk being
> occupied by single A6 partition.
>
> So, what went wrong? What kind of confirmation did you want?

I pressed Enter by mistake there (and realized my mistake a couple of
seconds too late). The kind of confirmation I expected is something
like: "This will erase all partitions, are you sure (y/n)?", or an
opportunity to review the settings before committing to the install.

Sorry about the tone earlier, but I'm still incredulous that the
install program would do something as serious as overwriting the
partition table by default without confirmation.

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Zak Elep <[hidden email]>
wrote:
>
> Too bad, a thorough reading of FAQ Chapter 4[0] could have saved you a
> LOT of trouble.
>
> [0]:   http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html

I had actually read chapter 4 of the FAQ before. That's part of the
point: reading won't save you from a wrong keystroke.

 - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Warriner, Benjamin
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
And you didn't read the FAQ because?
The OpenBSD Installation Guide is easily found at
http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html
People wrote this documentation so other people would actually read it and
not have your unfortunate experience.
Your inability or unwillingness to do your homework before starting on
this task ultimately means you are solely responsible for what happened.

-Ben Warriner

On 3/7/12 6:31 AM, "Leonardo Sabino dos Santos"
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.
>
>I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
>I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
>That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
>couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
>on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
>back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
>decided to give it another try.
>
>So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
>created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
>and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
>plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
>actually the same notebook from two years ago.
>
>I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
>password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
>a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
>installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
>system later.
>
>Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
>on the screen, followed by the question:
>
>  Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>
>At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
>scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
>screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
>nothing works, so I press Enter.
>
>And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.
>I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
>a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
>overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.
>
>What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
>gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
>gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
>managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.
>
>Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
>disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
>confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
>barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
>what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
>is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
>unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
>idea.
>
>I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
>like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.
>
>Regards,
>
> - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Peter Hessler
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On 2012 Mar 07 (Wed) at 13:26:41 +0100 (+0100), Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
...
:I'm not actually paying
:a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
:installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
:system later.
:

You should always pay attention to an *installation* program.
Especially one that installs an *OS*, which is likely to erase your
drive.


:Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
:on the screen, followed by the question:
:
:  Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
:
:At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
:scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
:screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
:nothing works, so I press Enter.
:
:And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.


The confirmation was the part that you quoted.  Sorry, but you *do* need
to read what the installation program tells you.  That is the entire
point of having instructions on the screen.


--
I really hate this damned machine
I wish that they would sell it.
It never does quite what I want
But only what I tell it.

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Christer Solskogen-3
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I pressed Enter by mistake there (and realized my mistake a couple of
> seconds too late). The kind of confirmation I expected is something
> like: "This will erase all partitions, are you sure (y/n)?",

What if you mistyped there as well? Do you want a "Are you REALLY
REALLY sure?"?
It reminds me of the installer of WindowMaker (I belive, I might be
mistaken) who did that. Asked you multiple times if you where sure
that you have done everything correctly. And the last question was
"Are you lying?" :-)


--
chs,

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Zak Elep-2
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 9:49 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Zak Elep <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>> Too bad, a thorough reading of FAQ Chapter 4[0] could have saved you a
>> LOT of trouble.
>>
>> [0]:   http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html
>
> I had actually read chapter 4 of the FAQ before. That's part of the
> point: reading won't save you from a wrong keystroke.

Nope, _paying attention where due_ is.

If you were unsure, you could have just Ctrl-C and it will drop you
back to a root shell, then you could either invoke reboot to get out,
or run the "install" script to try again, once you are sure and
prepared.

--
Zak B. Elep || orangeandbronze.com
1486 7957 454D E529 E4F1  F75E 5787 B1FD FA53 851D

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Raimo Niskanen-7
In reply to this post by Christer Solskogen-3
On Wed, Mar 07, 2012 at 03:04:33PM +0100, Christer Solskogen wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I pressed Enter by mistake there (and realized my mistake a couple of
> > seconds too late). The kind of confirmation I expected is something
> > like: "This will erase all partitions, are you sure (y/n)?",
>
> What if you mistyped there as well? Do you want a "Are you REALLY
> REALLY sure?"?
> It reminds me of the installer of WindowMaker (I belive, I might be
> mistaken) who did that. Asked you multiple times if you where sure
> that you have done everything correctly. And the last question was
> "Are you lying?" :-)

That's a nice one. But there is a point in that, it forces the user to
alternate from pressing "y" to pressing "n", which increases the
possibility for the reply being thought through.

I just want to defend the OP a wee bit.

Most installers I have encountered; Linux, FreeBSD, ... have a
very pronounced confirmation question just before making irreversible
changes to the target disk. Especially the ones that start by
collecting configuration information and then do the installation
in one pass without user interaction (SuSE comes to mind),
which the OpenBSD installer nowdays does more than in the past...

So I think a pronounced confirmation question before touching the disk
is not a bad thing. It is what many would expect.

>
>
> --
> chs,

--

/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
In reply to this post by Russell Garrison
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM, Russell Garrison
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I am absolutely intrigued by this story despite my better judgement.
> You were able to cook your own full OpenBSD installer on a USB stick
> with GRUB instead of downloading an ISO or using PXE, but you failed
> disk setup in the installer? It really would be interesting to see if
> you can read just http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html , particularly
> 4.5.3 and then come back to us with anything other than a mea culpa.

I admit to pressing Enter at some of the questions without reading
carefully. It simply never crossed my mind that the default action for
the installer is to erase the whole disk without chance for review. I
still think that's a disaster waiting to happen.

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM, Christer Solskogen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> What if you mistyped there as well? Do you want a "Are you REALLY
> REALLY sure?"?

Then again, partitioning your disk is a bit more serious than "What's
your hostname?" or "What time zone are you in?". Maybe that one
question deserves an extra confirmation, or a less dangerous default.
Just saying.

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Anonymous Remailer (austria)
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
> So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
> created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
> and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
> plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
> actually the same notebook from two years ago.

Not very smart trying to install another OS on a disk that has anything else
you want on it. I think you took a silly risk. Did you see the part where it
says you're supposed to have a good backup?

> password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
> a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
> installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
> system later.

Big mistake, as you found out later.

> And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.

Yeah, BSD spares us the endless hair pulling OK "confirmation" dialogs that
come standard with Windows and BSD users appreciate that. No, we demand it.

> I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
> a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
> overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.

It's pretty offensive when software does what you tell it, is that what you
are saying?

> What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
> gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
> gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
> managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.

Great. Do that a few more times and you'll have the know-how to multiboot a
new OS. BTW many Linux distros will do the same thing to you. No intelligent
person adds a new OS to an existing disk with important stuff on it unless
he knows what he is doing.

For you, VirtualBox or VMWare would have made alot of sense. It still would
except from your whining I don't really think you're cut out for
OpenBSD. Ubuntu would be good for you, probably.

> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it.

Try installing another copy of Windows on the same disk and let us know how
you make out. Even better, try OS/2. It will nail every disk you have.
Actually so will most Windows, they write bootloaders on every disk they
find, without asking you and with no confirmation dialogs.

> This is not about being an expert user or knowing what you want to do,
> because I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Maybe, but you had no idea *how* to do it. Critical difference there buddy.

> This is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just
> too unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.

Well honestly the BSD installers are mostly old and cranky but we know how
they work pretty well by now and they very seldom do anything but what you
tell them. You're coming from Windows and hand-holding "OS" and you got a
taste of a serious OS. You can't really blame the installer for believing
you meant what you typed.
>
> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.

Have a nice day luser! I didn't even have to join the list to say that.

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Todd-69
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 6:26 AM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.
>
> I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
> I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
> That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
> couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
> on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
> back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
> decided to give it another try.
>
> So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
> created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
> and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
> plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
> actually the same notebook from two years ago.
>
> I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
> password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
> a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
> installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
> system later.
>
> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
> on the screen, followed by the question:
>
>  Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]

For the sake of the archive:
I have performed similar installations where multibooting OpenBSD with
one or more other operating systems already installed.  The safest way
seems to be to change the partition type of the partition that you
intend to install OpenBSD on to a6 (using fdisk in linux)prior to
starting the OpenBSD installer.  Then when you get to this step in the
installer the default is to only use the a6 partition.


An example of what the disk should look like prior to starting the
installation from pub/OpenBSD/5.0/i386/INSTALL.linux
Device Boot    Start      End   Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1             1      211   850720+   6  DOS 16-bit >=32M
/dev/hda2           212      273   249984   83  Linux native
/dev/hda3           274      992  2899008   a6  OpenBSD


> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
> nothing works, so I press Enter.
>
> And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.
> I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
> a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
> overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.
>
> What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
> gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
> gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
> managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.
>
> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
> what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
> is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
> unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.
>
> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.
>
> Regards,
>
>  - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

James Shupe-4
In reply to this post by Raimo Niskanen-7
> So I think a pronounced confirmation question before touching the disk
> is not a bad thing. It is what many would expect.

I didn't know that the devs were in the business of holding hands.

OpenBSD has the best installer of any OS, hands down. It's tiny,
scriptable, to the point, and does exactly what you tell it to. The OS
is by the devs, for the devs, and if you're fortunate enough to be able
to use it, good for you. But don't complain about user friendliness
being at the bottom of their list.

--
James Shupe

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Tomas Bodzar-4
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I want to tell you about my experience with OpenBSD.
>
> I'm a Linux user, but have always wanted to try OpenBSD. The last time
> I'd tried installing it was version 4.6 and I didn't get very far.
> That version wouldn't install on my notebook at all. The kernel
> couldn't recognise my hard drive because of some AHCI incompatibility
> on this notebook that I didn't have the expertise to solve, so I went
> back to Linux for the time. Two years later, we're on version 5.0, I
> decided to give it another try.
>
> So I downloaded all the package files, wrote them to a USB stick,
> created a bootable image with GRUB, booted into the OpenBSD installer
> and off we go. Now, this computer already had Windows 7 and Linux,
> plus about 16 GB of unpartitioned space where OpenBSD is going. It's
> actually the same notebook from two years ago.
>
> I start answering the installer's questions. Keyboard layout. Root
> password. Configuration of network interfaces. I'm not actually paying
> a whole lot of attention to the questions as this is just a test
> installation and I figure I can always explore and configure the
> system later.
>
> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
> on the screen, followed by the question:
>
> B Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]

So you work with GRUB for years, have Windows and Linux on that disk
already and still don't know what MBR is for and what means 'Whole
disk'?

>
> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
> nothing works, so I press Enter.
>
> And my partition table is gone. Poof! Instantly, with no confirmation.
> I immediately realized what had happened and rebooted. Too late. I got
> a "No OS" message. It seems that the OpenBSD installer actually
> overwrites the partition table the instant you press Enter.
>
> What saved me was an Ubuntu installation CD and the wonderful tool
> gpart (http://www.brzitwa.de/mb/gpart/). With a bit of tinkering in
> gpart and some very careful work with the Linux version of fdisk, I
> managed to reconstruct the partition table and saved my system.

Any disk tool can "save" you after your own fault. It doesn't need to
be Ubuntu-like

>
> Distributing an installation program that can wipe out the user's hard
> disk instantly on a single wrong keystroke, without so much as a
> confirmation prompt is so shortsighted and irresponsible that I can
> barely believe it. This is not about being an expert user or knowing
> what you want to do, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This
> is about incredibly stupid user interface design. Sorry, it's just too
> unbelievable that someone would think that this is actually a good
> idea.

Ubuntu does the same, but just in GUI. And there was question which
needed your confirmation in OpenBSD CLI ;-)
BTW you obviously skipped
http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#InstDisks (world is not just
Linux) and probably this one as well
http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#Multibooting

>
> I joined this mailing list just to tell you this: Right now, I feel
> like never, ever touching OpenBSD with a ten-foot pole again.
>
> Regards,
>
> B - Leonardo

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Re: My OpenBSD 5.0 installation experience (long rant)

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Leonardo Sabino dos Santos
On 2012-03-07, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Dmitrij D. Czarkoff <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, 2012-03-07 at 13:26 +0100, Leonardo Sabino dos Santos wrote:
>>> Next, the disk stuff comes up. A lot of partition information appears
>>> on the screen, followed by the question:
>>>
>>>   Use (W)hole disk or (E)dit the MBR? [whole]
>>>
>>> At this point I'm actually trying to remember if there's a way to
>>> scroll back the console, because some information has scrolled of the
>>> screen. I try PageUp, PageDown, Ctrl-UpArrow, Ctrl-DownArrow, but
>>> nothing works, so I press Enter.
>>
>> <...>
>>
>> You were asked whether you want to edit MBR or use the whole disk, and
>> you chose using the whole disk. This resulted in your disk being
>> occupied by single A6 partition.
>>
>> So, what went wrong? What kind of confirmation did you want?
>
> I pressed Enter by mistake there (and realized my mistake a couple of
> seconds too late). The kind of confirmation I expected is something
> like: "This will erase all partitions, are you sure (y/n)?", or an
> opportunity to review the settings before committing to the install.

The thing is, then you'll want another after you edit disklabel,
and another before running newfs (which is the first part which is
likely to be really tough to recover from). And then when the OS
is booted maybe you'll want rm to ask for confirmation, etc.

In my experience people used to having to answer lots of "are you
really sure" options just keep hitting enter without thinking.
This is not a useful mindset to have on a Unix system.
You can think of this as encouraging good habits from the start :)
Sure there will be some "oh fsck did I really just do that"
moments without the warnings, but these will happen with warnings
too - there are all sorts of creative ways you can break things
without triggering a warning, often when there is significantly
more data on the system.

> Sorry about the tone earlier, but I'm still incredulous that the
> install program would do something as serious as overwriting the
> partition table by default without confirmation.

Just looking at the installer prompts is not really enough for a
new user of OpenBSD, it is really expected that people will have to
take note of the documentation. There's a clear warning in exactly
the place that we'd expect somebody wanting to multiboot to look..
http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#Multibooting

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