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Old 02-18-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
SteveSch
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Reinstalling Linux - keep Debian programs


Hello,

I ran Sid for approx 5 years with no real problems. Then I did a dist-upgrade and my system was pretty screwed up. That happened once in the past but it all gets fixed eventually. I didn't have time to wait this time so I backed up my hard drive and installed Lenny ('stable'). I was lucky in that all of my programs, including VirtualBox, still worked. I did have to install them again but all of the settings, and bookmarks, were still there.

Now my computer doesn't run well at all. Honestly, I think I have had more headaches with Lenny, than I ever did with Sid. My dual 2.4 ghz Xeon system is now very slow. I am sure it's something that I did.

I'm going to reinstall Linux, but I was thinking maybe a Debian based distro. Are there any that I can install that will still use my programs and settings, like Lenny did?

I know this can be fixed, but I honestly don't have the time to mess with it these days.

Thanks in advance,
Steve

Last edited by SteveSch; 02-18-2011 at 11:58 AM.
 
Old 02-18-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
snowpine
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Hi there, a fewcomments/suggestions.

Let me preface by saying, Debian Lenny is the "old-stable" release meaning it's been replace and is in its final year of legacy support. Squeeze is the new Debian Stable and you should definitely give it a try (I'm using it right now).

First suggestion is to try a completely clean install. It sounds like you have a lot of legacy settings and configs. Maybe you are also using a legacy filesystem like ext3? Try doing a totally fresh reinstall (maybe on a separate partition if you want to keep your old system in parallel) as an experiment.

Second suggestion is to try an alternate kernel geared towards desktop performance. Lenny uses kernel 2.6.26 I believe; there have been a lot of improvements since. I personally use the Liquorix kernel: http://liquorix.net

Finally, if you really enjoyed using Sid (it's got a lot going for it) but want a quick shortcut to get it up and running, check out aptosid and you'll have a working Sid install in less than 15 minutes: http://aptosid.com
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
SteveSch
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Hi snowpine,

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
First suggestion is to try a completely clean install. It sounds like you have a lot of legacy settings and configs. Maybe you are also using a legacy filesystem like ext3?
I believe that Lenny was stable when I did the install. It was several months ago. Squeeze was still in testing, if I remember right.

That's what I suspected was happening. I knew it was something that I did. I will do a clean install this time. I will test transferring my VirtualBox to a new install using a different computer first. I have software there that I can't afford to lose. It's a pain to install, and reactivate.

I believe that I am using a journaled file system, although cfdisk shows ext3. I thought that ext3 was what some of the journaling systems used as their base.

Quote:
Second suggestion is to try an alternate kernel geared towards desktop performance. Lenny uses kernel 2.6.26 I believe; there have been a lot of improvements since. I personally use the Liquorix kernel: http://liquorix.net
I believe that was my second mistake. I am using a bpo kernel.

Linux debian 2.6.32-bpo.5-686 #1 SMP Fri Jun 11 22:20:29 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux

Quote:
Finally, if you really enjoyed using Sid (it's got a lot going for it) but want a quick shortcut to get it up and running, check out aptosid and you'll have a working Sid install in less than 15 minutes: http://aptosid.com
I appreciate that info. Getting sid working in 15, OK maybe 30, minutes is not hard. It's just that if I do any updates sometimes things break, even with apt-listbugs. And I don't think I ever got flash working 100%.

I will check out aptosid. I will for sure look at the kernel you mentioned. It has been quite a while since I did any reading on Linux. I didn't even know anything like the Liquorix kernel existed.

Thanks for your info.

And yes, I really was happy with sid. I lost important data several times while running Windows. I never lost anything at all running sid, or Linux. 6 years on Debian.

Thanks again for your suggestions. They are much appreciated.

Steve
 
Old 02-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
snowpine
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ext4 has replaced ext3 as the Linux filesystem of choice. Some users find it gives a nice performance boost for certain tasks.

I agree with you about Sid; while it is called "Debian Unstable" it is arguably more stable than a lot of other distros. Currently I am using Stable due to my workload, but I've had fun experiments with Sid in the past.
 
Old 02-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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Yeah, Sid is fine, but you have to work with it with brain switched on. Not long ago it wanted to remove my complete X during upgrade, but I have the habit to actually read the output of apt-get dist-upgrade and check if I really want to do that, instead of mindlessly just pressing Y. Most of the times my Sid broke, it was my fault, not the system's. apt-listbugs will support you maintaining a Sid system, but it will not prevent dependency-errors.

And of course, this will all not affect you at all if you do a backup regularly.
 
  


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