For what is needed the Internet and the geolocation in Live mode?

When you boot Elive in Live mode, it try's to connect to internet if possible and uses geolocation information.

Elive philosophy is that the OS is meant to be the most friendly as possible, where the user don't needs to deal with configurations or 'fixups' whenever possible, making the system just ready to use and with everything working by default.

How Elive can connect to internet if I didn't configured it?

Elive wants to be smart, so first it tries to connect to internet with an available LAN connection, in case that there's not, which is very common, it tries to re-use an existing (network-manager, at the moment) configuration and use it, which includes your wifi settings and passwords, this is done in the same way os-prober scans your partitions to find needed data to generate your grub with the other operating-systems included on them.

  • note that the 'secret' password of your configured wifi's is not something secret for you or for your computer which is meant to use them (it is just conf files in the system), the password is only secret to other people. Also, just like every other computer data in your computer it can be read by anybody that could have access to your computer, and the only way to protect your personal data is by having everything in an encrypted partition, which only you can unlock it using the password.

Booting Elive with a working internet connection is important for:

Why before the desktop starts?

There's many reasons of why the internet needs to be configured before the desktop starts, for example:

  • Changing the language of the desktop requires restarting the desktop (at least in e16) and re-set the environment variables like LANG too, is annoying to tell the user to re-login so its better to have the default language already set before to start the desktop
  • Some (first) user configurations are made in the language selected, we don't want to have applications pre-configured in different languages
  • User home directories are language-dependent (Downloads vs TĂ©lĂ©chargements), if the desktop starts in language-A, its home directories will be set on this language, changing them later is not an automated process and is a bit risky

Misc Features

  • Having the internet directly working without the need to manually configure it everytime (this is very annoying isn't it? especially if you don't always remember the wifi password)
  • Geolocation features: Using the commands showmyip / showmylocation / showmytimezone, Elive is able to determine your country and time configuration required for your computer, this allows to:
    • Making the system directly appearing in the language of your country
      • when the system starts, you can also re-configure this setting selecting your desired one, in case you want to use a different one
    • Making your keyboard directly mapped to the layout you are meant to use
      • when the system starts, you can also re-configure this setting selecting your desired one, in case you want to use a different one
    • Making the clock of your computer directly set in the correct time
  • Installer features:
    • Making the installer able to be updated before to install, this allows to use the last features and fixes available before to install without the need to download a new version, this feature has been especially useful in the past where a user reported an issue with the installer, and updating it was hard or required to wait for the next release
    • The installer includes fine-tune steps in the end, which allows the user to install / remove wanted packages, a few ones are included in the iso (especially essential ones like grub, lightdm, drivers, etc, which is good for offline computers), but there's other ones which are huge and could be not a good idea to include them (like extra language packages, office suites, the huge cuda toolkit, etc), so being able to install extra (internet) packages during installation is a pretty needed feature to avoid uncomplete installations
    • Having the time correctly sets allow to not disturb / scare the user in special situations, for example, Elive has some sounds (voices telling things, music for desktop startup, etc), these are played and volumes are autodetected, but if the user is in a "night" time all those sounds are ignored, to not wake up anybody or disturb anybody

Avoiding Bugs (Live mode)

  • Almost always, the BIOS clock is not configured to the correct time and very probably it uses an "offset" configuration (this means that the time is never correctly configured in the bios but 'known' that should add or remove some hours from its configuration), having the clock correctly configured is much more important than what the people thinks, there's a few examples:
    • Since almost every 'good' BIOS has not the correct time, everybody that downloads a fresh released ISO (in a max of 24 hours since its release) can be found to have the files created "in the future" (_let's say the files in the OS are created Monday at 14:00, but the clock of the bios says that is Monday at 11:00), this will cause so many issues that is not possible to list all of them, but there's a few examples:
      • Features that uses RTC will not work correctly
      • Important security issues / vulnerabilities
      • Issues checking the filesystem since can think that there's years without check it or because the data was stored in the future (probably: unbootable system)
      • Some important issue that I cannot remember :thinking: but it lead to systems unable to boot or to install, in fact the installer of Elive includes a verification that you are not in the future in order to warn about this
    • Some bios, especially in old computers has a broken battery, being never able to configure the time or saying that we are in 1970, leading to have always clock issues similar to the previous ones mentioned
  • Avoiding uncomplete installations (by not being able to install extra / needed packages), or to update the installer with fixes before to start

Avoiding bugs (Installed mode)

  • MS Windows is very known to change the clock everytime you boot on it (if you have dual boot), by re-configuring the clock in every boot (with ntp) of your Elive is the only way to avoid this issue
  • Probably other issues mentioned before meant to affect more in the installed system than in Live mode (like filesystem checks or superblocks recorded in the future)

Why set a default language which is not 100% guaranteed to be the wanted one?

One option is to not set a default language, but this will lead to a 90% of bad cases (meant that everybody in the world knows english?), and not only is a UX problem but also leads to the other issues like in "Why before the desktop starts?"

Another option is to force the user to select the language before the system boots, this was like that in old versions of Elive, but we don't use grub (grubgfx in fact) anymore to boot the ISOs, use use syslinux, on which we don't have this feature

So the actual solution is:

  • Let the user select the language when the desktop started (instead of before to boot)
  • And to avoid the re-login need (if selects a different language) and to avoid the other issues mentioned before, Elive sets already the default language of his country, in the best case is a 95% win that the user wants the language of his country and this turns into not even needed to select a different language / reconfigure anything
  • The language configurator already makes sure that displays in plain English and NOT translated to another one, in order to avoid people unable to decypher it (what if you read chinese or russian characters?)

Even if is not possible to know with 100% accuracy, stills

That's bullshit.
You got real numbers on that statement? ..... No way!
If that were true ..... you wouldn't be so busy getting the language right on the English website nor would you care about the English Wikipedia entry
English, for now, is the world Lingua Franca and you know it..... even coding requires (or has been set up to) a US keyboard lay-out. All the special characters are used that way.

I can give you a real hard figure:
Nobody, and I mean nobody, as in zero, nada expects an installer from a distro gotten from an English website, with an english e-mail or an English donation form .... to be in their own language.

If they cannot speak English, they would never have found or downloaded Elive in the first place.

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So all this humbug is only about the limitations of "syslinux" .... that's a sad situation. :face_vomiting:

Yeah, even if they used google-translate I doubt they'd expect it to be in their language