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Old 12-16-2006, 06:36 PM   #1
alizard
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converting from Fedora Core 6 to Debian


How hard is it to do?

Will I have to recompile all the apps built from source for Fedora Core? Replace all my RPM apps?

What else do I have to know or do?

As for why, I've got a Biostar Geforce 6100 AM2 that won't start X in FC6 no matter what I've tried. The Debian based Knoppix gets to a desktop EVERY time. (except when I spilled something on my LiveCD) That's how I'm online right now. This suggests that the problem isn't hardware.

I've gotten no help with respect to my problem from the Fedora community. (I did get several helpful hints from Nvidia, all of which failed)

I've also been well impressed with other Debian-based distros like Linspire and I've been thinking increasingly that going with Fedora was a mistake from the beginning... I'm one of many who prefers apt-get to yum.

So I'm planning to try a current Debian install on a spare drive and see if it gets to a desktop, and if it does, I'm going to seriously consider switching over.

thanks
A.Lizard
 
Old 12-16-2006, 06:55 PM   #2
Dutch Master
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Well, Debian really is different from FC. To start with it's packaging system: apt is vastly superior to any .rpm based tool, simply because rpm needs a higher degree of intelligence to figure out dependencies. Apt does it straight from the commandline :-) The packages themselves (.deb vs .rpm) are not compatable, but with the alien tool you can convert .rpm's to .deb. Never tried it though...

The Debian repositories contain 14,000+ packages, surely you'll be able to find the programs you need If not, building them from source doesn't differ from what you did on FC.

For your AM2 machine it's advised to use a netinstall CD for the Testing branch: Etch. Etch is on the verge of being declared Stable, thus becoming Debian 4.0 in the next 4-12 weeks or so. (I've installed Etch on my AM2 based server, a previous Sarge install was 'cumbersome' to put it mildly...)
 
Old 12-16-2006, 07:01 PM   #3
alizard
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re: converting from Fedora Core 6 to Debian

My real question is whether or not my Fedora apps will run or will I have to replace everything?

And... what's a "netinstall" CD? One that loads in basics and grabs everything online? Is there some reason not to download to a DVD iso and install from that?

thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Master
Well, Debian really is different from FC. To start with it's packaging system: apt is vastly superior to any .rpm based tool, simply because rpm needs a higher degree of intelligence to figure out dependencies. Apt does it straight from the commandline :-) The packages themselves (.deb vs .rpm) are not compatable, but with the alien tool you can convert .rpm's to .deb. Never tried it though...

The Debian repositories contain 14,000+ packages, surely you'll be able to find the programs you need If not, building them from source doesn't differ from what you did on FC.

For your AM2 machine it's advised to use a netinstall CD for the Testing branch: Etch. Etch is on the verge of being declared Stable, thus becoming Debian 4.0 in the next 4-12 weeks or so. (I've installed Etch on my AM2 based server, a previous Sarge install was 'cumbersome' to put it mildly...)
 
Old 12-16-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
Dutch Master
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With 14,000+ packages chances are there is a suitable replacement for your FC app's. Unless you've created them yourself (i.e. written the entire program from scratch).

A netinstall CD is just what you describe: installing the base system and grabbing the rest online. Why use a netinstall CD and not the full 2 DVD set? Cause the image for the CD is ~170MB, 2 full DVD's are a 8 GB download... Besides, with that 8 GB comes a lot of packages you don't need, so why bother getting them in the first place?
 
Old 12-16-2006, 07:15 PM   #5
IndyGunFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Master
With 14,000+ packages chances are there is a suitable replacement for your FC app's. Unless you've created them yourself (i.e. written the entire program from scratch).

A netinstall CD is just what you describe: installing the base system and grabbing the rest online. Why use a netinstall CD and not the full 2 DVD set? Cause the image for the CD is ~170MB, 2 full DVD's are a 8 GB download... Besides, with that 8 GB comes a lot of packages you don't need, so why bother getting them in the first place?
8 Gigs?? That's a lot of downloadin...

Never tried Debian, but I've been happy with Ubuntu(which is debian based)...

Just curious, whats wrong with Fedora Core 6? Fedora has always been a close second to Ubuntu in my fav. distro list.

IGF

Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 12-16-2006 at 07:27 PM.
 
Old 12-16-2006, 07:39 PM   #6
alizard
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FC6 worked fine until. . .

I tried running my new Biostar GeForce 6100 AM2 with it. Neither kmod-nvidia (customized for FC6) nor the nvidia driver installation package worked, X crashes immediately no matter what I've tried. Oddly enough, everything else works.

My new motherboard works fine for video on the Debian based Knoppix. I think Fedora Core 6 is the problem, which I upgraded from FC3 (a miserable experience) for the specific purpose of modern motherboard/video compatibility.

And ... *8 gigs* for a base Debian install? Are you serious? Linspire is Debian-based, and installs off a single CD. (I'm not going that route because it's 32 bit only... and given that I bought a 64 bit processor, I want to get full use out of it)

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyGunFreak
8 Gigs?? That's a lot of downloadin...

Never tried Debian, but I've been happy with Ubuntu(which is debian based)...

Just curious, whats wrong with Fedora Core 6? Fedora has always been a close second to Ubuntu in my fav. distro list.

IGF
 
Old 12-16-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
Dutch Master
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alizard
And ... *8 gigs* for a base Debian install? Are you serious?
Hold on! You're confusing things! The netinstall CD is only ~170MB, the full DVD set (of 2 DVD's) contains the complete repositories for that achitecture and hence it's size of ~8 GB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alizard
Linspire is Debian-based, and installs off a single CD. (I'm not going that route because it's 32 bit only... and given that I bought a 64 bit processor, I want to get full use out of it)
Linspire doesn't you give as much choice as Debian does... CD storage-space dictates a few basic but essential choices, like a KDE desktop and no Gnome in sight (or vice versa, never looked at Linspire). Also, it's repositories are much smaller then Debian. Haven't counted, but if Linspire hits 8,000 packages they're way above my expectations...

Anyway, Etch comes in a 64 bit flavour so you can indulge yourself in the desktop of the future today (hey, haven't I heard that before? )
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:15 PM   #8
alizard
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well, I can live with 2 DVD ISOs. . .

the download (sounds like about 8 hours on 1.5M down broadband) will give the computer something to do while I sleep. I'm just trying to figure out how much other pain is in store for me if I do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Master
Hold on! You're confusing things! The netinstall CD is only ~170MB, the full DVD set (of 2 DVD's) contains the complete repositories for that achitecture and hence it's size of ~8 GB.
Linspire doesn't you give as much choice as Debian does... CD storage-space dictates a few basic but essential choices, like a KDE desktop and no Gnome in sight (or vice versa, never looked at Linspire). Also, it's repositories are much smaller then Debian. Haven't counted, but if Linspire hits 8,000 packages they're way above my expectations...

Anyway, Etch comes in a 64 bit flavour so you can indulge yourself in the desktop of the future today (hey, haven't I heard that before? )
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:23 PM   #9
rickh
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Since you have broadband, downloading the entire Debian system is stupid and wasteful.
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #10
IBall
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I would strongly recommend that you use the netinstall. The DVDs are only for Sarge, which is the current Stable version. However, it is getting quite long in the tooth now (about 18 months old ?). Stable gets no new versions of packages, so it still comes with OpenOffice v1, Firefox v1.0, ...

I suggest getting the Etch netinstall CD. At about 170Mb, it is a much faster download. The installer will then fetch just the packages that you need. Since you have a good Internet connection, any other packages that you want later on you can install using aptitude. Also, Etch comes with much newer packages.

I hope this helps
--Ian
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:32 PM   #11
craigevil
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The netinstall cd is the easiest way to install and allows you to choose the base packages you want to start with. Then you can use APT to install whatever packages you need, with over 15k apps there are probably none that you would miss.

No need to download the 2 dvd's, all of the packages on the dvd's rae just a apt-get install foo away.
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:49 PM   #12
Dutch Master
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@IBall: I'm afraid I'd have to update your knowledge on Debian DVD's. There are Etch/Testing DVD's available, according to this page: http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ Btw, I see there are 3 DVD's (Sarge only has 2) for AMD64, totalling about 12 GB.

@rickh: wastefull yes, but the stupid qualification is way too strong. Not recommended I'd say. But then: it's his choice
 
Old 12-16-2006, 08:52 PM   #13
alizard
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converting from Fedora to Debian - anyone around here who's done this?

While I can either do net-install or download the Etch isos from http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ , as I said, my real concern is how much hassle I'm going to have restoring my desktop to its regular functionality after doing the conversion.

This is my business computer, and sustained downtime is A Bad Thing for me. A major reason why I' considering switching from Fedora is that unsuccessfully trying to get the Nvidia Geforce 6100 video running on it has caused me several days of downtime so far... making me exceedingly nervous about my deadline in a few days. Since it's a how-to piece on VMware Server on a Linux host running a Windoze guest for legacy apps, I can't do this running off a Knoppix LiveCD.
 
Old 12-16-2006, 09:13 PM   #14
Dutch Master
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Okay, I see your point. My advise summarized:

a) Do the Etch netinstall. As Knoppix uses the same installer, you should be out of the woods soon.
b) Don't bother with the nVidia installer for now. Work with the Debian native nv driver to finish your assignment. Unless VMWare requires that driver of course...
c) When installing the nVidia driver switch to single-user mode (type init 1 in a root terminal). The nVidia installer requires that anyway
 
Old 12-16-2006, 11:01 PM   #15
alizard
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Can I install Debian

as an upgrade over FC6 with the default behavior being to replace the previous applications?

Also, can I run both Gnome and KDE apps with KDE being the primary desktop?

I just downloaded the Etch netinstall.

Debian is set up for LVM, right? I just finished getting used to LVM and would just as soon stay with it.

I assume that I can get VMware Server running by simply running the config script.

BTW, Knoppix is using the vesa driver to provide video, it appears to have tried nv first. If etch uses the same installer, I can live with it doing the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Master
Okay, I see your point. My advise summarized:

a) Do the Etch netinstall. As Knoppix uses the same installer, you should be out of the woods soon.
b) Don't bother with the nVidia installer for now. Work with the Debian native nv driver to finish your assignment. Unless VMWare requires that driver of course...
c) When installing the nVidia driver switch to single-user mode (type init 1 in a root terminal). The nVidia installer requires that anyway
 
  


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