Elive 3.0.0 installation feedback

Pre-installations "pop-ups":

1. On boot, after the country and language selection, Englightenment
-> asks: "Use hardware accelerated desktop?"
-> "Suggestion: accelerated [X]"
I checked the box, not knowing if the existing driver can offer my gma500 accelerated graphics.

2. By not having a 3D accelerated driver on my netbook, I got a Compositor Warning:
"Your display driver does not support OpenGL, or no OpenGL engines were compiled or installed for Evas or Ecore-Evas. Falling back to software engine."

3. The Elive displays an Information window:
"Hardware acceleration makes your desktop more responsive. It also makes for better video playback. If you encounter any strange behaviour like a broken desktop, a frozen system or crashing applications, this means that your graphics card is not supported by these drivers. In this case switch off hardware acceleration."

I wonder, is there a way to prevent Enlightenment asking the users if they want a hardware accelerated desktop? Because if it's possible, those 3 windows/pop-ups can be avoided.

If the following command returns "0", it means the graphics driver is in software rendering, so hardware acceleration is not possible:

glxinfo | grep -i llvmpipe

Then, about 5 minutes after boot, another window popped-up: Hot-keys | Using Elive faster!
Showing up unexpectedly is not a good idea. The user might be in the installation process by then, or doing something else, so pushing a new window into focus can be confusing and annoying.

It would probably help if the hot-keys document wouldn't show up at all, and be replaced by an icon in the dock - something symbolizing "info" or "help". It might also help if the dock would have less icons. I mean what are the chances that the common user will need these in the dock?

  • music player + photo manager? (unlikely, considering they can use the file manager to open music and photos)
  • image editor (unlikely)
  • color picker (highly unlikely)
  • word processor (maybe)
  • virtual box (extremely unlikely, definitely useless on PCs without virtualization support)

After a few minutes of inactivity, the screen goes black. If you do anything to end the sleep mode, you get a dialog window:
Activate Presentation Mode?
"You disabled the screensaver too fast.
Would you like to enable presentation mode and temporarily disable screen saver, lock and power saving?
[Yes] [No] [No, but increase timeout] [No, and stop asking]"

The thing is, choosing [Yes] doesn't change anything - at least in live mode. The OS doesn't enter the presentation mode because after about the same amount of time the screen goes black again, and the same dialog window shows up again if you quickly exit the sleep mode. It was great seeing that message the first time, indicating that the window manager is aware of the user's (in)activity and tries to help, but after the second time you expect the OS to actually enter the presentation mode so you don't get asked the same thing again, even when your battery is full. It looks like an Enlightenment feature, so I'm not sure if Elive can tweak it, but it would be nice if it was possible to at least know for how long the presentation mode lasts, because it's too short (again, full battery). The good thing is No, and stop asking works properly.

Starting the Elive 3.0.0 installer, and windows opened as a result, using the custom install:

1. Question
"Not many people report about bugs these days. Do you want to help us by enabling automatic reports for when a problem happens? [...] No personal information is sent and you will help the entire community."

2. Elive Installer options:
Guided help during the installation
Customized options
Show information about the installation progress

3. A progress window

4. Select items from the list - bad title, as you can only choose one
Automatic - Use the entire disk, smart partitioning with optimal options, can be encrypted
gparted - Graphical and user-friendly partitioner
palimpsest - RAID, LVM and ENCRYPTED options, advanced tools
none - My disks are already paritioned.

I chose Automatic.

5. Another progress window

6. Question
You are going to erase your entire hard disk to install Elive. Continue?

7. Question
Do you want to enable encryption?

^ Here, the No/Yes buttons can easily do something that the user doesn't want, if they click in a hurry. Considering the encryption is something the user should really take time to read about, it would be better if you presented a window with a checkbox and a "Continue" button that works even without checking the box, but only enables encryption if you check the box.

8. Another progress window

9. Super Mario War 1.8 started for no reason - why?!

10. Another progress window

11. Progress window:
Elive is being installed on your hard disk. Please be patient.

12. Progress window:
Configuring the installed system. Please be patient.

13. Features of your Elive:
Bluetooth support
Printer support
Scanner support
Samba shared directories and printers
SSH remote access
Block IP's to prevent continuous attempted attacks
Mouse for the console
Disk utility and notifications

14. Features of your Elive:
Firmware for Broadcom NetXtremeII network
Firmware for Qlogic QLA2xxx fibre channel
Hard disk temperature sensors
PCMCIA support

15. Features of your Elive:
Blender 3D Modelling <- most people don't do 3D Modelling
Wine MS-Windows interpreter <- no, Wine is a compatibility layer
XBMC Media center <- most people are happy with a regular media player
Office applications
Inkscape Vector drawing <- this is not commonly used
Gimp Photoshop equivalent
Thunderbird Desktop email application
Games and emulators <- at least mention their size, if no other details

#15 should be evaluated by taking a look at the default programs (not) offered with the most popular distros. Many people don't need the mentioned software, so their Elive installation would be bloated if the agreed to installing the defaults.

16. Features of your Elive:
Google Chromium (Open Source, old) <- Chromium 37 - very old and insecure
Google Chrome (Fast but consumes more ram, old) <- Chrome 48 - old and insecure
Firefox (Slower, consumes less ram, newer) <- Firefox 52 ESR - somewhat old, also insecure
Opera (Good alternative, fastest one, newer) <- Opera 45 - old
Netsurf (extremely low resources, with menus, no JavaScript)
Surf (low resources, no menus, some JavaScript features)

17. Features of your Elive: <- this section is rather fit for advanced users who know what they're doing
Remove translations of unnecessary languages (450 MB)
Uninstall additional icon and themes (430 MB)
Delete the directory /usr/share/doc (210 MB) <- most people have no idea what this is
Delete Elive demo files (600 MB) <- what are these?
Uninstall unnecessary international fonts
Uninstall dependencies used for compilation (240 MB)
Uninstall all extra drivers support (NOT RECOMMENDED) (200 MB)
Uninstall debugging packages (30 MB)

18. Low resources computer
Modifications making the system faster will sacrifice some features. Keeping the defaults is suggested.
Replace the office suite with one taking up less disk space? <- with what? it should be mentioned
Switch from Zsh to Bash
Switch Terminal Terminology to Urxvt
Disable Getty console shells <- be specific: all of them, or all but one?
Uninstall Network-Manager <- this should also be (not recommended)
Uninstall login manager (not recommended)

^ Replacing the office suite is not necessarily a good idea, considering many people using it also need compatibility with other office suites, like MS Office. So the disk space is the smallest concern here. But at least say something like "Replace LibreOffice with Abiword and Gnumeric?" - or whatever the replacements are.

19. Add a new entry
Enter a short login name for your new user using English characters. (nickname)

20. Elive extra features
Don't ask password for 'SUDO' (not recommended)
Don't ask password for package management
Directly access to this machine as '.local' in your local network

21. Text View
#There is a list of the packages that you want to keep installed in your system across re-installations (in upgrade mode). If you want to edit it in the future, you can find it in '/etc/elive/packages_to_maintain_installed'

#packages list:

#20 shouldn't really be here. Let an advanced user open it by having an extra checkbox in #19, and spare 99% of the people who don't know what's this and click OK "blindly". Something like this:
Manage the packages list to keep installed across re-installations

22. Progress window
Installing and removing packages. This operation can take a while. Please wait...

23. Terminal
eliveinstaller doing the job for #20

24. Progress
Generating Grub and Initrd's

25. Terminal
eliveinstaller doing the job for #22

26. Add a new entry
Insert a password for your computer. <- this assumes a single-seat PC. "... for your user" is better.

27. Add a new entry
Again please...

^ It would've been better if the username and password (+ confirmation) would've been asked in the same dialog, to reduce the number of windows popping-up.

28. Question
Do you want to automatically log in without having to entre the password every time?

29. Add a new entry
Choose a name for this computer using English characters only.
The hostname is a simple name that you give to this computer to identify it, it is very common to use a funny name for it. <- Not really, many people give PCs their own names, ending with "-pc" or "-laptop". Even the installer suggests "Elive-username", but whatever...

30. Congratulations, you have installed Elive! You can now reboot...

At this step, instead of simply informing that the installation is finished, you could also ask the user if they want to restart and offer a Yes and No dialog. Most people would restart anyway, so they can start playing with their newly installed OS.


The login manager asks you to type your username. This was common back in the Windows 3.11 for Workgroups days, up to Windows 2000, but we could click the username from a list since Windows XP and KDE 1 (no kidding), so with a DE so nice and polished, the login manager should be similar.

31. Language selection prompt

32. Keyboard selection prompt

^ Why? They were asked at the start of the live session, and the least the installer could do is ask if you want to keep the same settings for the installed Elive.

33. Hardware Acceleration
Elive asks again if we want a hardware accelerated desktop. Why? It should've been settled during the installation. However, I checked the box again, just in case a better driver was added from online packages during the installation.

P.S. On subsequent reboots, the Compositor Warning window keeps showing up. I don't understand why Enlightenment doesn't remember to always start without hardware acceleration - it should.

34. Select items from the list
Select the services that you want to have enabled on your desktop. Elive has already selected the best option for you.
Elive updates
Audio volumes restore
Alarm Clock
Elive News
Elive startup sound
GSettings Data Conversion
Certificate and Key Storage
Elive reconfigurations
Secret Storage Service
Disk Notifications
Select Wifi to connect
Enable Wifi
PolicyKit Authentication Agent
Elive Health
SSH Key Agent
GPG Password Agent
Touchpad configurations <- isn't it possible to detect if there's one present and only select this if there is one?
Support Elive with a donation

^ Why isn't the above list sorted alphabetically? It's displayed randomly after each install, which is a bad things if you install Elive on multiple PCs and you want to customize the list with every install. You need more time to go through the whole list, to make sure you do all the required clicking.

35. Progress window

36. A password prompt shows up <- why isn't this run as root automatically?
The application '/usr/sbin/b43-driver-fixes' lets you modify essential parts of your system.

37. Compositor Warning
Your display driver does not support... Falling back to software engine.

38. Information
Hardware acceleration makes your desktop more responsive... If you encounter any strange behaviour... switch off hardware acceleration.

36, 37, 38 <- useless, considering this was handled before.

39. Touchpad Configurator <- is this really necessary post-install?

Wifi icon on the bottom-right corner: "Internet Selector" (weird name, technically inaccurate) should be named "Network Manager status icon" or something more appropriate.

Clicking the "Internet Selector" a second time, after the wifi connection has been set up, will show an information dialog:
Granted permissions without asking for password
The '/etc/init.d/network-manager 'restart'' program was started with the privileges of the root user without the need to ask for a password, due to your system's authentication mechanism setup...
Do not display this message again

^ It's the first time I encountered that wifi gadget, so I don't know who created it. Anyway, it would be nice if Elive wouldn't show the above notification, and it would be nice if "Internet Selector" would check if the Network Manager status icon is in place, so it doesn't have to kill it and start it again (wasted CPU cycles).

"Installer of packages and applications": Authentication is required to run the Synaptic Package Manager
^ but weren't we asked about this at #18? An accurate option would've been "Don't ask password for package installs/updates/removals"

As you can see, there's a big number of windows showing up during the installation process. No wonder it's annoying. How about using Calamares as an installer?

Ok, it's been a long review so far, so it ends here. Hit me with questions if clarifications are required.


WOW ! A lot of work in those comments…

Tks ! @Thanatermesis there are several things in this I agree with…

I will read it again later and comment ! Tks


Thanks a lot for the so-detailed feedback / suggestions, I have added this post to my tasks to read it in more detail while fixing / improving the things that are possible :work:

1 Like

What mr.kneekoo has provided, is beyond belief.
You would need several volunteer gurus to “smooth out” the installation process, to where a newbie can install it, or it will never fly.
I have downloaded 100+ Linux(s), sucessfully installed 30+, and the rest went to the *gun club !

This one is still 6 hours into writing zeros to a good/working disk… I think… I guess… how would I know?
Reminds me of MS-DOS, waiting for the diskette light to go out.

( *gun club - CDs & DVDs make wonderful targets )

@IronTom if you are in this step is because the installer detected t hat you have badblocks in your hard disk (which you can verify with palimpsest), but writting with zeroes the disk is a feature that doesn’t always works good, is very trivial, almost lucky, if im not wrong the installer says something like “do you want to try to repair your disk?”, maybe this feature should be removed

unfortunately, there’s too many broken disks (badblocks) in the world that the users don’t even knows because they never noticed an error with them happening

by other side, i think that the installer is pretty easy for any novice user to use it, since it has automated, guided, and default-selected options, you just reached an annoying (optional) step

I must have installed ELive 30 times on 4 different hardware + several times within a VM and never encountered this.

I believe you but it must be related to your own hardware… I used SATA Drivers, 3 differents SSD drives, 3 differents memory stick, OLD IDE Drive and it always installed without any problems.

THough my reply won’t help you…


Yes and no, first, the GL (hardware-accelerated) feature is detected and this makes the checkbox already pre-selected, and this step still let the user to select himself if wants it or not (in the case of a virtual machine is disabled and not asked to the user), this is important because:

  • there’s specific drivers which can not work correctly (let’s say around the 90-95% of the times should work good), specially with newer drivers, so if it fails for a specific user, he can try again with it disabled (and this is why the next popup later explaining this) and so running in software mode it should work without problems for him

You can see the checkbox code here: enlightenment/page_150.c at packaging/e17/dev · Elive/enlightenment · GitHub

I don’t have one of my laptops with me, that has Intel graphic card, maybe correctly detected, but that it doesn’t works enlightenment with accelerated (GL) mode, to test your command with

But there’s llvmpipe code in the referenced source code, please make a look to it

Note: you had 3 popups because it failed the second test, otherwise is just 2

As a future improvement, I could suggest something like this:

  • start the destkop in software mode
  • later, show a popup (yeah these annoying ones) asking the user if wants to “try” gl-accelerated mode, explaining the advantages / disvantages, similar to the ecomorph asking question

or merge the ecomorph with the previous suggested one, like a checkbox selector of options

why: because the popup contains important information to the user about the correct performance of the desktop, but the way it is made surely only a 5% of the users reads it

Don’t worry about the installation process, the focus-on-new-windows is disabled during the installation process (which was pretty annoying in the past) so it will not damage anything

By other side, hotkeys are a very needed thing and the user must know that there’s hotkeys (he can look it later too, but is good to show them to the user to know that too)

So, I don’t know a different way to reach the same goal without simply showing up the window document

UPDATE: just reading the next of your feedback, having the hotkeys in the dock can be nice too, let me note that…

Note: the bar is also used as a “demo” for the new users, let’s say “showing an intro of the nice apps that are included, showing beautiful icons, etc…”, I mean that later, users can customize themselves the bar as how they wish to have the applications, but yes I think that of them should be replaced by the hotkeys

The key Bindings tools is very powerfull… Offer more actions to be binded to keys than other OS I tried… Having your hotkeys pdf icon on the bar would be cool, and within the pdf, I would explain they can access Key binding for others shortcuts / hotkeys

I’m changing the configuration to not ask this

From what I know, there’s nothing configured to make the screen goes black by default, did you changed anything to have the screen go black?, like activated presentation mode or run the command xset dpms… ?

the confs looks like dpms is set to go black after 20 minutes but i never noticed it (or i never waited 20 minutes in my test machines), anybody can confirm if the screen goes black or not? this also happens when watching a movie? @jfbourdeau

If you’re asking if the screen goes black when I watch a movie ? No…

And by default it goes black or it always shows the desktop running?

The desktop is always running… Never went black

Improved configurations to not being black and do not ask for presentation mode as reported by @kneekoo:

hotkeys do not popup anymore in live, instead we have it in the bar

Good move ! tks @kneekoo

I like it


page_150.c, lines 195-208:

   gl_renderer = e_glxinfo_renderer_get();

   if (gl_renderer && (strstr(gl_renderer, "llvmpipe")))
     llvmpipe = EINA_TRUE;

   if (match_xorg_log("*(II)*NVIDIA*: Creating default Display*") && (gl_avail))
       if (llvmpipe)
        do_gl = 0;
        do_gl = 1;

        /*do_vsync = 1;*/

The C code above looks for any occurrence of “llvmpipe” in the glxinfo output - which looks like this:
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 0x209)

Then line 259 sets the box status as checked or not checked, based on the above code:
ob = e_widget_check_add(pg->evas, _("Hardware Accelerated (OpenGL)"), &amp;(do_gl));

glxinfo is installed, regardless the graphics driver capabilities. And if llvmpipe is detected in the glxinfo output, it means there is no hardware acceleration available and there’s no point in asking the user to try it, so Enlightenment could be pre-configured based on this info. But without doing any code refactoring a bash script can easily deal with this issue.

My regular PC (with graphics acceleration):

nicu@Nicu-PC ~ $ glxinfo | grep -i llvmpipe
nicu@Nicu-PC ~ $ echo $?

My netbook (without graphics acceleration):

~ ❯❯❯ glxinfo | grep -i llvmpipe
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 0x209)
~ ❯❯❯ echo $?

In a bash script:

glxinfo | grep -i llvmpipe > /dev/null
if [[ $HWACCEL -eq 0 ]]; then
    # pre-configure Enlightenment with software rendering

So either the (bash) quick and dirty way or a code refactoring would definitely improve the situation.

No, it was a live session (on my netbook) and I only started the installer and as I took notes (on my desktop PC) for this feedback thread, and the screen went blank (black) while the system was idle. And when I quickly took it out of sleep that window popped up. It’s a very useful feature, if it would work. So the real problem is not the window appearing but rather that the presentation mode doesn’t seem to be enabled if you choose so. As a result, the sleep feature kicks back in. I just didn’t count the time it passed, so I would have to specifically test for this if you want more feedback.

Nice, thank you! :smiley:

1 Like

Some of the questions of the installer can be improved for the next versions, like the partitions selector, to ask all in a single window (partition, format, filesystem, mountpoint) for example, I’ll note your checkbox suggestion too

  1. improved some parts
  • improved deinstalling of games including a few remaining ones

  • other misc improvements of the selections in the installer

that’s why the checkbox / user’s possible selection, yes it is abiword / gnumeric, added this info now too

  1. noted

it is a single password for everything, so computer is more correct (used also for unencrypt the disk in case it was selected), I have see many many users having issues by using 2 different passwords (user and root) not knowing / understanding which one is for what and forgetting them, so using the concept “computer password” is better since that person is the one who is installing the system, other passwords can be generated for different users independently later, and any advanced user that wants to change that already knows how to do it

When I was new with Elive, several time I choosed Encrypted and didn’t wanted to…
I know I should have pay more attention but if there was a way to make the user make sure he want encrypted, It would be Dumb proof ( of Next Next Next kind of people proof)


Asked everytime a new desktop configuration is created, which is the case for the new created user in the installed mode, note that the installed system and the live mode can have different things (like asking the default startup applications) and so is better to have a new clean configuration, it doesn’t hurts much by asking that again, and it remembers about options to select like the gl-accelerated mode

Same answer for the next entries up to 34. , because is a new user desktop conf

If im not wrong, the tool is just skipped / ignored in case that is not, so it doesn’t hurts to have it enabled and doesn’t consume more resources, in fact it is not even needed to ask that but for compatibility with xdg autostart standards it is put in this place and so, shown

it is used a filename-based sorting, not possible to sort alphabetically because you are reading the translation of the contents (entries) that has no relation with the filename or the original sentence probably, but you can click in the first field manually to have them sorted

because you are now in the installed system and this tool requires root privileges, so it needs to ask you about it ( just in case you have this driver / needs it)

in live mode, no need to popup, for the installed system, is good to show it at the (only) first desktop start so that he can configure / fine-tune it for his final system

I could say this is a bug in debian / gnome / somewhere-else, since synaptic-pkgexec doesn’t knows that synaptic is already added to the sudoers and doesn’t needs to ask for password

This question has been asked many times and there’s no way to use a different installer, Elive has its own installer with their very specific things / features / needed steps and own features, any other installer is just a very limited tool (just a nice gui which does just a few things) and Elive needs all its own things from it, yes surely the gui is not the best on the elive installer but internally everything else is much better and needed, it can be only possible to improve the installer with better gui / steps / wording

DONE with all