I downloaded the TYPO3 4.4 introduction package, which contains the full TYPO3 sources with example pages so you see something in the frontend.
I unzipped it, fired up the browser and started the setup. All went fine, but after the installation was complete, the frontend page was white. It was not empty - HTML head with metadata, CSS and so was there - but the HTML content was not shown. The backend worked fine, and neither the apache error log nor the TYPO3 syslog showed any suspicious entries.
I found the solution in a thread on the typo3 mailing list : The permissions need to be set correctly before running the install tool - otherwise some files do not get installed.
The correct permissions are: Everything writable by the web server except index.php, typo3/ and t3lib/. In shell:
$ cd path/to/typo3/installation $ sudo chgrp -R www-data * $ chmod -R g+w * $ chmod -R g-w index.php typo3/ t3lib/