mattmiller
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[Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:35 pm

Declaration - I've never used it (well gave it a once over when it first came out but no really used it)

My reason for suggesting that it be discontinued (more like depreciate - just don't make any new versions and don't promote it anymore) is that it greatly increases the difficulty of providing support to new users by us here on the forums as (IMO) most of the people supplying help and answers don't run it.

So people come looking for help and a lot of the time, they get - sorry I don't use NOOBS/it works different on NOOBS etc

I'm not saying NOOBS is bad but I do wonder if the time has come to say - plain Raspbian is the standard way to setup a Pi for 99% of users so why not make it the one that is promoted and sold to people.

Or is the NOOBS way with no doubt some good features still considered better than plain Raspbian by whoever makes these sort of decisions at RaspberryPi?

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:40 pm

Yes, I always wondered what the point of NOOBS is. It certainly seems to bring a lot of grief to beginners judging by the questions that come up here.

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DougieLawson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:43 pm

I'd suggest they should replace NOOBS with PINN. PINN has some additional function like being able to reset the pi user's password without trashing the installed Raspbian system. They could launch that as NOOBS V3.0.

The whole idea of NOOBS and PINN is that you can write an SDCard on an unmodified Win7, Win8, Win8.1 or Win10 computer and get an SDCard that boots first time on ANY raspberry (except the CM/CM3).

If folks follow the documented instructions (and understand that they have to a) unzip the downloaded package and b) copy the unzipped stuff to the root of their SDCard) then they're going to win, they will get a system than boots first go.

I don't use NOOBS, but I have used NOOBS and that's what all the corpus of folks on here who want to help the novices and beginners should do. I even published a thread on here (horribly out of date now) on how to turn a NOOBS card into a plain Raspbian Wheezy card without losing anything done on the installed Raspbian system.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

ejolson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:09 pm

DougieLawson wrote:The whole idea of NOOBS and PINN is that you can write an SDCard on an unmodified Win7, Win8, Win8.1 or Win10 computer and get an SDCard that boots first time on ANY raspberry (except the CM/CM3).
I thought the idea of NOOBS was that if you trashed the OS you could reset and get going again without resorting to the use of another computer to rewrite the sdcard. Is this not true?

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B.Goode
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:18 pm

ejolson wrote:
DougieLawson wrote:The whole idea of NOOBS and PINN is that you can write an SDCard on an unmodified Win7, Win8, Win8.1 or Win10 computer and get an SDCard that boots first time on ANY raspberry (except the CM/CM3).
I thought the idea of NOOBS was that if you trashed the OS you could reset and get going again without resorting to the use of another computer to rewrite the sdcard. Is this not true?
That's true as well. The ideas are not mutually exclusive.

Another complementary idea is that NOOBS provides an RPF supported mechanism for installing multiple OSes on the same microSD card.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:15 am

I think part of the issue here is that people are looking at the question/problems encountered using NOOBS and treating that population as--possibly--proportionally larger than it is. The question I would have is this: Are the relative numbers of people having trouble getting going larger or smaller than those that had problems getting started with a Pi before NOOBS existed? I have this vague recollection of there being a *lot* of new users that had trouble writing image files to SD cards. That has to balanced against the large increase in the number Pis out there (the last 8 or 9 million haven't *all* been bought up by existing owners).

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bensimmo
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:36 am

Keep Noobs or similar, I use it, it's easy.

It has one big flaw though, there is no update NOOBS mechanism.
It renders a lot of the old cards useless and unbootable on newer systems.
That's what has caused a lot of problems.

Easy fix to start from scratch again, but not if you already have a working system.
Or a beginner buys a card with NOOBS on it that is not recent.
There is no documented update procedure on the RaspberryPi 'manual' https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

When you consider there where 9 versions of noobs last year, not being able to update it with a click of a button or similar is barmy.

It is easy to get going.
It leaves a FAT partition so you can place files on it and read in Windows/android if needed.



Yes I use straight Raspian too, but then I now know what I am doing.
I'll still default to noobs though.

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procount
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:40 am

@bensimmo - PINN includes an auto-update feature.
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

gregeric
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:05 am

Surely now is the time for multi-boot environments, what with the Pi3's USB boot capability, plus the like of Western Digital targeting Pi users with mass storage which dwarfs SD card capacities.

ejolson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:10 pm

gregeric wrote:Surely now is the time for multi-boot environments, what with the Pi3's USB boot capability, plus the like of Western Digital targeting Pi users with mass storage which dwarfs SD card capacities.
Multi-boot is useful on Windows because there are at least two major operating systems that people use: some sort of Linux and some sort of Microsoft. For a while it looked like there might be two for the Pi as well: Raspbian and RiscOS. However, since RiscOS does not support multicore CPUs and no work is being done so it does, RiscOS is no longer interesting. I wonder what would have happened if Plan 9 had been promoted as a major OS for the Pi from the beginning.

I think the biggest appeal of NOOBS is the ability to start over without using another computer to reformat the card. Allowing a single Pi with a single sdcard to be self maintaining is especially important when a young person who doesn't have another computer is playing with it.

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:47 pm

I see no pressing need for multi-booting when it is so easy to swap the SD card and as pointed out above, there is only one interesting OS for the Pi.

If you really want to run two different operating systems then the Pi is so cheap why not just get another one. Or more!

ejolson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:10 pm

Heater wrote:If you really want to run two different operating systems then the Pi is so cheap why not just get another one. Or more!
The young people for whom NOOBS is targeted have almost no financial resources. In the 1st world children are not allowed to do anything that might be considered work; in the 3rd world the earned money goes to the parents out of respect.

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:33 pm

Do young people need to be tackling anything more than one operating system?

There is enough to be explored in raspbian to last them a lifetime already.

I have been using Debian almost exclusively for 18 years. Developed a ton of application code for it. I'm still a noobie in many respects. I'm constantly surprised by finding out things I could have known years ago or finding the new things that come along everyday.

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bensimmo
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:49 pm

The only other *OSs* would be RetroPie and the Kodi-likes being popular.
Yes it is nice to separate them away from the Pixel install.
But sdcards are not a lot for many of us, cheaper than internet access anyway.

Still noobs is easy, I like it. A read of PINN and a lot of that should be pulled into NOOBS.

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Burngate
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:00 pm

ejolson wrote:
gregeric wrote:... RiscOS is no longer interesting ...
I still find it interesting.
Though I don't use NooBs

I'd use the same phrase I used on the double-glazing salesman who's cold-called just now, but it wouldn't go down well, here.

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:22 pm

RiscOS is interesting. As a historical artifact. So is CP/M.

Martin Frezman
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:56 pm

It's really funny how you people are defining and using the term "interesting".

I personally don't find Raspbian "interesting" at all. Useful, yes. And, it is what I run on almost all of my Pis. Does useful stuff - mostly running omxplayer to watch videos. But pretty generic. Pretty much Windows in a different guise. Its genericity is its strength.

Interesting? I find RISCOS interesting - not that I've managed to do anything remotely useful with it (yet) - that's part of what makes it interesting. But my latest interest is in Arch Linux (which, incidentally, I found simply because it was on the NOOBS (actually, PINN) menu. Yey! Pinn!). Arch is the epitome of minimal and boots (and shutsdown) like lightning. Of course, the counter-argument to this is that by the time you get Arch bulked up with enough stuff to be useful, it might well end up being as slow as Raspbian.

P.S. As far as I'm concerned, Pinn stands for Pinn Is the New Noobs.
I don't see any reason to use plain NOOBS anymore.
If this post appears in the wrong forums category, my apologies.

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:01 pm

Hmmm.... That's "interesting" as in the dictionary definition : "arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention".

Linux certainly aroused my curiosity in 1997. It has been holding my attention ever since. There is so much going on in the Linux space it's impossible to keep up. I'm getting to try out all kind of new ideas and new software on all kind of machines running Linux. From cloud servers to desktop to embedded systems like the Pi. On all kind of architectures, Intel, ARM, PowerPC, MIPS, RISC-V Even tiny machines the size of your thumb.

RiscOS cannot offer that level of interest. All though it has interest as a historical artifact like CP/M as I said.
But pretty generic. Pretty much Windows in a different guise.
Ouch! I guess that is true if you only want to watch vids and surf the net.

We can do so much more with Linux than any Windows.

mfa298
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:07 pm

ejolson wrote:Multi-boot is useful on Windows because there are at least two major operating systems that people use: some sort of Linux and some sort of Microsoft. For a while it looked like there might be two for the Pi as well: Raspbian and RiscOS. However, since RiscOS does not support multicore CPUs and no work is being done so it does, RiscOS is no longer interesting. I wonder what would have happened if Plan 9 had been promoted as a major OS for the Pi from the beginning.
I'm not sure that's necessarily true, I'm sure I've seen references to RiscOS on the Pi2/Pi3 which would imply it supports multicore CPUs (I've not checked if it actually uses them all). This support might require a bit of work from the end user, but that's not the same as not being supported.

OTOH as far as most beginners are concerned Rasbian, Ubuntu, Fedora are all different OSes which is where the the various boot managers might come in (NOOBS, PINN, Berry Boot).

Personally I'd go with the previous suggestion of using Multiple SD cards, but that's not always an option. And with support for USB hard drives there might be more of a case for having a good boot manager (especially if it can handle booting multiple Installed systems).

ejolson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:09 pm

Heater wrote:Do young people need to be tackling anything more than one operating system?

There is enough to be explored in raspbian to last them a lifetime already.
Agreed. That's why for me the main advantage of NOOBS is being able to reinstall the OS after it gets messed up without needing another computer or sdcard to do so.

Heater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:13 pm

Dual or multiboot is not even useful with Windows now a days. On this Win 10 machine I can run Debian Linux and a couple of other "specialy" distros under Virtual Box. But them full screen and you would not know there is Windows underneath.

I contend that beginners need not be confused with having to select from multiple operating systems. Isn't it better that they all start on the same page?

In that way NOOBS is a misnomer. The simple thing for noobies would be to get Raspbian up as easily as possible. NOOBS offers complexity that is more suited to those with some experience.

jahboater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:25 pm

mfa298 wrote:I'm not sure that's necessarily true, I'm sure I've seen references to RiscOS on the Pi2/Pi3 which would imply it supports multicore CPUs (I've not checked if it actually uses them all). This support might require a bit of work from the end user, but that's not the same as not being supported.
It runs on the Pi2 and there is some preliminary support for the Pi3 - but it only uses one core.

I think RISC OS is end of life. Its largely written in assembler, some of it very old going back to ARMv3. They are having difficulty moving from ARMv7 to ARMv8 32-bit hardware despite the fact that the differences are tiny (compare that to Linux which "just works" on both). The move to aarch64 will never happen.

Long ago the authors of UNIX rewrote it (from assembler) into C which ensured its phenomenal success.

ejolson
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:15 am

jahboater wrote:Long ago the authors of UNIX rewrote it (from assembler) into C which ensured its phenomenal success.
Did Unix ensure the success of C or did C ensure the the success of Unix? Is Unix the chicken or the egg?

jahboater
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:56 am

ejolson wrote:
jahboater wrote:Long ago the authors of UNIX rewrote it (from assembler) into C which ensured its phenomenal success.
Did Unix ensure the success of C or did C ensure the the success of Unix? Is Unix the chicken or the egg?
C was created in order to rewrite UNIX in its multi user form.

Obviously C (or just the fact that it was in a HLL) helped ensure the future of UNIX because it became easy to port to new platforms. That and a brilliantly clever design of course. But C spread far and wide outside of UNIX, isn’t Windows written in C?

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bensimmo
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Re: [Suggestion]Discontinue NOOBS

Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:18 am

mattmiller wrote:any chance of staying closer to the post topic people? :)
Ta :)
:lol: one day maybe

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