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Old 03-27-2005, 09:11 AM   #1
Boffy
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
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Reinstalling


After about 6 months using Mandrake 10 its finally time for a reinstall. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. This is the longest I have stayed with one version of linux for that length of time and I think mandrake has done a great job.

However linux still poses major problems when it comes to new software. Whenever I see a new bit of software on the net that looks great I think excellent. But after downloading it i come to the realisation I will not be able to use it. Either installing from source throws up too many errors. Or installing by RPM ends with dependacy issues.

To solve the latter problem I added every URPMI repository I could find to the database thinking that would solve the problem. It didn't. It has left me in the situation where I can't install most RPM's that I could before. I tried reinstalling apache to discover I was missing something, its been on my computer for months but suddenly something is missing. It makes no sense to me.

I am now going to try 10.1, it will give me something to do over the Bank Holiday if nothing else.

Boffy
 
Old 03-27-2005, 11:27 AM   #2
Pcghost
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: The Real Washington
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RPM hell and the difficulty in configuring software from source was the reason I gave Debian a shot. I always liked apt-for-rpm and figured the real thing must be better, and it is. RPM leaves a lot to be desired. I tried for weeks to make ivtv and MythTV work on my machine running SuSE, in Debian it took a couple hours and I was recording TV with my Hauppauge card. If you have broadband, give Debian a try.
 
Old 03-27-2005, 03:17 PM   #3
Boffy
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I have considered trying debian but it seems quite outdated. I will look into it now. Thanks for the tip
 
Old 03-27-2005, 05:30 PM   #4
pevelius
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woody is outdated for desktop use, but sarge and sid are fine. woody (stable) is meant to be used in applications where stability comes first.
 
Old 03-27-2005, 05:30 PM   #5
bigjohn
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What you can do Boffy, is to get debian by a roundabout means. If you try to install "proper" debian, you'll need to know one hell of a lot of stange/unfamilar stuff about your hardware.

When I tried debian, I did it by installing Knoppix to my hard drive getting everything set up and sorted and then changing the apt-sources to proper debian ones. That way, I had the benefit of a nice easy installer, but then access to all the debian packages.

If you wanted up to date debian, you'd have to make sure it's testing or unstable (not as dramatic as it sounds) debian. Because it's the debian philosophy to test everything to death, before they'll include it in stable version.

Personally, I've ended up going a different route (yes, i did it because of the mandrake upgrade cycle - which is due to change in the near future from 6 monthly to yearly - but that's no good for me, as I like to be able to get the newer stuff reasonably quickly - but with a certain amount of confidence that it's been checked out by people who know what the hell they're doing - I don't ).

So, hence I run gentoo now. There's still a shit load of stuff that I don't know about it, but with just the 2 disc download burned onto cdr, a downloaded and printed copy of the install hand book and a copy of the desk top set up guide, I managed to install it in about 2 hours to an up and running system with full graphic facilities. I did the Stage 3 +GRP install. I used the binary packages (don't forget, the package manager for gentoo, called portage, only downloads the source code and then compiles it on your system) to get KDE and Gnome installed.

The only downside of Gentoo, is that compile times can take a while! (a f*****g while at that). for instance, when I was originally looking into distro's and tried gentoo, I made the mistake of missing out -k from the command that I meant to issue i.e. I did "emerge kde" instead of "emerge -k kde". The difference being that the -k bit would have got kde from the second disc as a binary package, rather than downloading it the compiling (kde's really about 90 + seperate little packages) and the bugger took nearly 15 hours to compile.

Hence this time I just used the binary (GRP) packages from the second disc, and then just updated the whole system - with ONE command.

Yes, gentoo also has "testing/unstable" stuff, but you have to do some specific stuff to get those packages, you can't get them by mistake and end up down shit creek. The stable (normal) version is pretty damned up to date (well I'm currently using KDE 3.3.2-r2, and just waiting for KDE 3.4, which is still in the testing portage "tree").

Gentoo's brilliant. After mandrake I can't enthuse enough about it. One thing it does do, and that's teach you a lot about how your system works. Ha, one excellent thing that I find most convenient, is that the portage tree even has "e-build" version (that's gentoo-ised source code) of the nvidia driver so none of all that messing around to get that installed.

S'up to you, but you could do a lot worse than at least look at gentoo. You'd be able to find all the docs linked from here and the other place to look is here nearly as much stuff there, as you'll find here at LQ, but it's just for gentoo!.

Hope that gives you something to look into/think about, now I'm off to do my daily (yes, I update/upgrad my system daily) update.

TTFN from the south coast

regards

John

p.s. and yes, I do all my updates over night, when I'm not using the system so much (though I can still use it if I want/need).
 
Old 03-27-2005, 05:50 PM   #6
Boffy
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Thanks for the detailed post. I would like to give gentoo a try and I have been thinking about it for a while. The only problem is I dont really have time when i can leave the computer on for 15 hour or so. Also I can't print out the handbook because I got no ink in my printer. Could do it at college but im not there for another week. I'll read up on it a bit and then consider it.

I like your location being long/lat, curiousity made me look it up. Greetings from the north east!
 
Old 03-28-2005, 06:02 AM   #7
bigjohn
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Haaaaway the lads!

I only actually print off the instructions cos I'm a middle aged git! Who just prefers paper to on screen reading.

If you look through the online version, there is a way to read the entire handbook (I'm not sure if you can see the desktop one as well) as it's on the disc(s) (well it's on one of em anyway). Plus if you can config your service, you can use the links text browser to get to them.

I just happened to not be bothered to write down all the urls etc, and just burned off the printed version.

If you made sure that you have both discs, the first one is the actual install disc the second one has the "GRP" (binary) packages, and provided that you follow the handbook (and don't do like I did and forget a couple of the small spaced endings on the install commands) you won't have to wait that massive amount of time while it (kde or whatever, cos gnomes pretty large as well) compiles.

Hence it's my suggestion that if you do try gentoo, then you type in what the hand book says, and then re-read/check what you've put in before you hit enter.

The gentoo documentation has lots of ways of installing, which is good, because I'm sure you've seen lots of posts about struggling with winmodems and the like. That's one of the reasons that gentoo provide the binary versions, so that you can do a "networkless" install.

Like I say, since I managed to get it installed, I just won't look back. Worst case scenario is to make your system dual boot (my partners a teacher and she only has windows at work, so I have to keep eckspee in my machine - grudgingly).

regards

John
 
  


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