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Old 10-10-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
mpa
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Question Linux Distro for Intermediate User with -NO- Internet Access at home


Greetings !
I am looking for some advice to find a linux distribution which would fit my needs best. I've been using Linux / BSD for quite some time, started with Red Hat 5, moved on to Slackware for a few years and then settled with modern distros, ubuntu, opensuse or mandriva (change every 6 months or so).

One problem I have been having is the difficulty of installing linux softwares when you dont have internet access at home. In Windows, I can usually download a single .exe setup file to my USB drive and install it to my home PC.

Modern Distros that I am familiar with are usually repository-based which makes it very hard for me to install anything. While it is sometimes doable with smaller programs, the larger ones have dozens of dependency, making it unfeasible to resolve.

Right now, I am looking at PC-BSD with it's PBI-based softwares, which I think is similar to klik or Windows-based setup files. But it's being BSD I am not to keen on it.

What distribution would you recommend to someone in my situation ?
Thanks in advance.

PS
I prefer a modern distro, so unfortunately no more Slackware for me.
 
Old 10-10-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpa View Post
PS
I prefer a modern distro, so unfortunately no more Slackware for me.
Then install "modern" slackware 12.1. It has decent collection of software and doesn't require network that much (you still will have to download and bring home certain not-included packages from somewhere, but slackware has most things included on DVD). Can't think about any alternatives, because (to my experience), modern distros are internet-hungry. (to my experience debian or rpm-based distros eventually will require huge network download for one reason or another. For example for development kernel libraries, or something else.). You could try something like ubuntu, but I think this is one of distributiosn that must be connected to internet and must download updates (8.04 had certain bugs that were fixed only after downloading updates, with no instructions for manual fixes).
 
Old 10-11-2008, 04:20 AM   #3
salasi
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The problem of 'no internet access' is one that doesn't seem to get much attention from distros. However, bear in mind that simplifies your security problem, so may not need all of the updates that someone exposed to the 'net would need.

Firstly, get the DVD and not the CD. There is so much more 'stuff' on the DVD, that the DVD is what you are going to want, if you want stuff.

Secondly I have used SuSE with a poor (dial up) 'net connection in the 'old days' (the old days in internet time, which is well over five minutes ago ) and that wasn't bad. I'd also put kubuntu in that category, but your mileage will vary. Even if you have a .rpm or .deb distro and you download the packages separately, you can fix it to work. In SuSE, use yast to tell you what files are needed to solve dependancies and get them manually. Don't get a .rpm and then try to work out what other files you need or you'll take many bites to get a worthwhile cherry.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 10:05 AM   #4
ghodkiller
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try debian with all cd`s you can install anytime, whatever program you want.

Debian

Last edited by ghodkiller; 10-19-2008 at 07:29 AM.
 
Old 10-16-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
mpa
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Yes, I always use DVD image(s) when installing. They do provide the basic softwares but, as always, the ones that you dont have are things that you really miss.

Do one thing and do it well.
Unfortunately, from the looks of it current Linux distros are simply not designed for people like me.
 
Old 10-17-2008, 05:39 AM   #6
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpa View Post
Unfortunately, from the looks of it current Linux distros are simply not designed for people like me.
while it is true that they are not designed for people like you, you can make them work.

With debian/a debian-derived distro (anything .deb-based, there are various things that you could do:
  • you could make your own, local, repository. I think this porcess is described somewhere in the debian manual. Its not trivial, but you should be able to do it. the only real difficulty with this seems to be that it might take you several bites of the cherry to solve dependancies.
  • Another possibility is using kpackage, you can define a local directory to be searched, which is roughly the same as a local repository, without any of the unpleasant scripting.

You can also manually install, but this still leaves the dependancy problem.

You can do similar things with manual install of rpm packages (RedHat/fedora, SuSE, Mandriva); get the .rpms one by one and install manually, but still with the dependacy problem.

rpm's -R (--requires) option should list all of the dependancies for a particular package; this should do the job for you providing that the dependancies only go one level deep; beyond that, you are back to taking several bites of the cherry, which, I agree, is unfortunate.

Quote:
Yes, I always use DVD image(s) when installing. They do provide the basic softwares but, as always, the ones that you dont have are things that you really miss.
Certainly on SuSE DVD, I find that there is a real mass of stuff; but then I do find I do need to get extra packages to fulfill requirements (but I do realise that I have some obscure requirements as well as the more obvious stuff). Is there any particular reason that you are frequently finding that you need to go beyond the stuff on the DVD?
 
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