# Designing the download section #
In this email, I will explain the the mockup for the download page and
the ideas that went into making the design.
First, a link to the mockup:
Remember, this is a work in progress, and everything is open for
discussion... and also subject to change.
As for this particular mockup, while the text is somewhat accurate, it
mainly exists to convey concepts for this page.
## Background ##
Goal: To make it easy for anyone visiting oVirt.org
to download and use
By "use", I mean *both* trying oVirt on existing hardware as well as
installing it to a hard drive.
To accomplish this, we need to:
* make it _extremely_ clear how to download oVirt
* provide a quick getting started guide to walk through a few steps
* inform the user what sort of hardware is expected
### Reasons to focus on an all-in-one "appliance" model ###
Having one favored, easy-to-use download allows us to:
* Eliminate the risks of things going wrong when a user sets up oVirt on
their own system.
* Isolate oVirt from the distribution kernel and subsystem changes in
distributions which may break functionality.
* Provide the latest and greatest features to oVirt users independent of
waiting for distributions to play catch-up.
* Test a known stack of software to ensure that oVirt works as intended.
Possible downsides of focusing on this all-in-one approach:
1) "It doesn't run on _my_ distribution"
Answer: oVirt + a very basic version of Fedora is a virtualization
platform that is just enough to run hosts inside of. Sitting on top of a
distro (even a very stripped-down one) and the fact that it's running on
top of the Linux kernel are both basically implementation details. Any
operating system, including all the different flavors of Linux, can
easily run inside — oVirt plays nicely with whatever anyone wants to run.
Furthermore, it doesn't make sense to run a mail server, web server, or
any other service parallel to oVirt. Those services should be running
inside of hosts running on top of oVirt.
As a result, it doesn't matter what distribution oVirt runs on top of.
2) The all-in-one image isn't development-focused (but that's okay)
Answer: We need a user-focused website, especially for the download
page. It should be as easy as possible to download and set up oVirt.
Right now, we're assuming that people have some sort of system knowledge
of maintaining a Linux server. The download page, for this reason,
should not include how to build from source. (That belongs on the
website, sure, but in whatever we call the "develop" section... not in
It will still obviously be possible to develop for and run oVirt on any
distribution of choice. It shouldn't be the default (for reasons
outlined above), but it should be possible.
## Design of the page ##
At the very top, you see a summary, and a big button which makes it
obvious that oVirt can be downloaded. Clicking the button will
immediately download the ISO. There's a size listed, so people know how
long it will take (roughly), and a hash (either MD5 or SHA1, but not
both) so that users can verify the download was successful.
Next, the page is split into two columns. As "what should I do with this
file?" is so very important, it has a prominent position on the page. At
the end, there's a paragraph about consulting documentation for more
information, as well as some quick links to a few commonly used
documents (in this case, I think it would be neat to see how people are
using oVirt, for the common use cases).
Hardware requirements / suggestions are very important, so they're at
the top too.
Regardless of having an easy-to-install image, many people will want to
install oVirt on their distribution of choice. We do want to make things
as easy as possible, but we should provide a path for advanced users to
install oVirt on Debian, Fedora (existing installation), openSUSE,
Ubuntu, and other distributions. Therefore, I made an "Alternate
installation methods" section on the page.
Provided we get permission for using the logos in this way (and I'm
pretty sure we can), it provides a simple, clear approach for others who
want to download oVirt for their existing machines.
## In closing ##
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I'm looking forward to what you
have to say about the ideas expressed in the mockup.