I've been trying to setup a Nutch instance several times over the years, but never managed because it's so hard to configure the instance based on some parts of the 1.x tutorial and some parts of the 2.x tutorial which I had to figure out in trial and error mostly (and 2^# of configuration steps is a time consuming list of options to try). I already torpedoed the JIRA instance with a lot of issues, but now that I'm taking another approach, I don't think I can report them all and you might not want that.
I'd be nice to have a binary release of Nutch which works with a default non-production configuration which can be changed via the web UI since editing configuration files is just overly painful and makes the software appear in some pre-alpha state in which it is not (download of binary archive, extracting, `bin/nutch start-web` and opening localhost:8080 should get you started).
Nutch is important and very smart software. I'd be nice if it was so hard to use for no apparent reason (except devs resources of course).
https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NUTCH-728 covers releases, but it's been closed and there's no binary release available for download. Debian packages as suggested in https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NUTCH-1285 don't make sense because they're not very flexible; they should be low-priority. Things might be clearer after [migration to Maven](https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NUTCH-2292) is done.