[CentOS-docs] Installing CentOS - user feedback

Rich Bowen

rbowen at redhat.com
Mon Aug 17 20:04:09 UTC 2020


A few days ago I got email from a user who was attempting to install 
CentOS. I've included their full message below, but, to summarize, when 
one clicks on the "CentOS Linux" link on the front page of centos.org 
one is given a matrix of choices, and no guidance. On choosing one 
option - say, x84_64 ISO, one is then given another list of options and 
no guidance. Pick one of *those* options and you are yet again given a 
list of options and no guidance.

Now, it could be argued that someone who doesn't know what to choose is 
not our target audience, and I suppose that would be an ok position to 
hold. But wouldn't it be great to lower the bar just a little, and offer 
some guidance as to which links one should click?

I'd like to see several things:

1) On the front page, where it says "We offer two Linux distros:", there 
would be at least some hint of what this choice entails

2) On the download page - https://www.centos.org/centos-linux/ - a 
little explanation of what the various options there are.

So far, this is all just edits to centos.org. The next two steps involve 
pushing changes to the mirror network, and I honestly have no idea what 
is involved there.

3) Adding phrasing to 
http://isoredirect.centos.org/centos/8/isos/x86_64/ that indicates what 
that inscrutable list of links means.

and finally, possibly not even possible:

4) Add words to http://centos4.zswap.net/8.2.2004/isos/x86_64/ (as a 
random example) that say what the various options mean. This is probably 
not possible, since these are just autoindex generated pages. We could, 
however, offer Apache httpd and nginx configuration recommendations 
which will provide that additional information for sites that chose to 
follow the instructions.

And, really, #1 and #2 are the most important here.

The full message follows:

 >>
I stumbled on your address on a Centos Faq page. I hope you can give me
some sort of answer.
I have been searching for a way to ask a question, but have not located
a forum. As I am fairly new to Linux generally, I am exploring
varieties, and Centos surfaced as an interesting option. But, again, I
have a problem no one else considers worthy of asking or answering: how
do I choose? Apparently the user in the download directory is supposed
to know what they are looking for.
When I followed the link to "download CentOs", I chose a link with
".iso" on it. This opened another page, so I picked another likely
candidate. I went four or five branches deep before I gave up. I have no
idea why I would want one branch or the other. Should I just leave
CentOs to the experts?
I really wish that on the home page there was a specification for "user
level". Do developers assume that the user is expert, and that someone
who is not qualified will get exhausted and go away? It seems very
unkind to make that assumption and not say so. If I am not the intended
user, please tell me! Otherwise, could someone please explain how to
choose which version of CentOs to use?
If you could forward this letter to someone who can take the time to
answer my question, I will be grateful.
<<



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