9.0-BETA1 installer glithcies (i386)

Nathan Whitehorn nwhitehorn at freebsd.org
Sun Aug 21 16:53:25 UTC 2011

On 08/20/11 02:22, Lev Serebryakov wrote:
> Hello, Freebsd-current.
>    Maybe, everything is reported already, but I think, that better I'll
> be second, that no-one notice this:
>    Manual partitioning chosen
> (1) Installer offer me bunch of Partition schemes, but only MBR
> and BSD have sense. Why i386 installer offer me PC98 or PowerPC-based
> Apple partition schemes?! Why it offer GPT when system doesn't have
> UFI BIOS? I could be wrong about GPT, but APT and PC98-based variants
> should be disabled even in "Manual mode," IMHO.

GPT is bootable on all x86 systems, with either EFI or BIOS, and is now 
the default unless you are sharing the disk with another OS 
(Linux/Windows). All of them are offered as options because it is 
sometimes useful to have more choices -- for instance, one of the disks 
in my powerpc64 desktop is formatted with GPT, which is nonbootable on 
that platform.

For each partition type, the help text tells you if it is bootable or 
not, and you will be warned by the installer if you try to install onto 
a non-bootable partition scheme. The default selection in that dialog on 
all platforms is also always one that is bootable.

> (2) MBR Slice creation. Status line suggest "freebsd-ufs" and
> "freebsd-swap" as examples for "Type" field (which contains "freebsd"
> by default, but "freebsd-ufs" leads to "Error: Invalid argument" :)

The help text will be changed in this case, but the default is hopefully 
already suggestive. Thanks for pointing this out.

> (3) "Auto" creates one big / partition + SWAP. It looks very not-BSD
> way (disk is only 8Gb, it is virtual machine).

This is designed to ease resizing on VMs as well as to kill the 
default-/-is-too-small problem forever. There was a great deal of 
discussion about this several months ago; no one made a final proposal 
for changing it.

> (4) Partition types again: IMHO, drop-down of filesystem types will be
> much better. It is not clear, is it possible to type "zfs" here, for
> example.

That is slightly unfortunate, but unavoidable: libdialog doesn't have a 
drop-down menu widget and geom takes freeform text here (which can be 
useful if you want to use various kinds of exotic partition types). 
Again, you get a warning if you pick something crazy. Hopefully, 
freebsd-zfs will in fact be operational in the future.

> (5) Partition creation dialog has button "Options", but modify dialog
> doesn't.

This is by design. The installer can't run tunefs, nor is there even 
something like tunefs for some of the supported partition types 
(msdosfs, for instance).

> (6) Partition editor main panel:
>     (a) Inconsistent sizes display. "ada0" has size "8.0 GB" but "ada0s1"
>         has size "8 GB".

I've never seen this. Maybe some rounding behavior in humanize_number()

>     (b) No information about free size on device/slice.

That could be added, I suppose, although the total sizes and partition 
sizes are printed. The available free space is also used as the default 
partition size when you choose Add.

> (7) Partition editor doesn't seen existing filesystems and doesn't
> warn about parititoning disks with existing filesystems. I have two
> (virtual) disks common for all my VMs -- with sources (one common disk
> per version) and with some scratch space (common for every my VM),
> FSes are created without any partitions or slices, directly on device
> nodes (ada1 and ada2). PArtition Editor doesn't have any sign or
> warning, that ada1 and ada2 contains valid FreeBSD filesystems.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. It lists all existing 
partitions on all existing disks and warns you before replacing them 
with new ones. It has no way of knowing (from GEOM) about UFS file 
systems directly on disks, nor do any of our other system tools.

> (8) After "Exit" from Partition Editor I expected some filesystem
> options selection (as here is no visible options on partition
> creation). NOPE. Also, it is impossible to set mount points
> for exisitng filesystems (see above about ada1 and ada2)

Why would you expect it there? It is perfectly possible to mount 
existing file systems from the installer -- they just have to live on 
partitions. I'm not sure whether we want to support the case of the 
totally unpartitioned disk in the installer, anyway.

> (9) Lot of LORs on slice/partition creation and newfs.

Yes. These are not an installer problem, but should be fixed.
> (10) Mistype password for Root for second type -- no message about it,
> simple "New password:" prompt. It is not obvious, what happens.

That's the usual way passwd works? (which is what is running)

> (11) No way to mount NFS file systems :)

You can do this easily from the shell of course, but I'll try to think 
about an appropriate UI for that. It may not get done in time for the 

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