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Old 01-30-2003, 12:21 PM   #1
Misteree
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Extra hard drive. New distro?


(not sure if this is a hardware or software issue, so I'll post in "General")

Is quirkyness a price to pay for a highly graphical distro?

I've used Mandrake 8.2 for about one year, and an attempt to upgrade Mozilla ended up in utter disaster. Had to reinstall the os from scratch.

I went with Mandrake 9, and now it's acting up. Out of the blue, the "Send to..." feature of the context menu (which I use a LOT!) is no longer working with Galeon or Mozilla. Other little annoyances are also popping up from time to time. I have web development work to do, and I can't be wasting time fixing things that stop working all the time.

I need a very STABLE distro, but it should also be very graphical. Everything must be GUI because I really can't justify spending time learning the command line, or the complexities of system tweaking. So GUIs is my world, which is why I went with Mandrake.

Now, after the recent disaster, I bought another hard drive to backup and mirror the main one, and now I'm wondering if i should consider a distro other than Mandrake. A friend uses FreeBSD which he describes as "rock solid", but not user friendly.

I have not had the time nor any reason to look into the worlds of distros or hardware. All I want is to install an os, and start working, knowing I can devote ALL of my time to PHP, and not have to worry about fixing symlinks and whatnot. So I really know next to nothing about that aspect of computing.

Thus, 2 questions:
1 - Are there very GUI-oriented distros out there which are "rock solid"?

2 - What is the smartest way to use a second hd for backing up an Apache/MySQL/ProFTPD/"web development projects"/etc...,/etc..., situation?

I intend to stay with Linux no matter what.

Last edited by Misteree; 01-30-2003 at 12:28 PM.
 
Old 01-30-2003, 12:34 PM   #2
Wolven
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My personal preference is with Debian. If you need Apache installed, you literally (as root) only have to type

apt-get install apache



and it will download and configure and run it for you, all in one fell swoop. YES, you have to configure things to change it your way, if that's what you like. It will add the modules for php if you apt-get them later. Will configure mysql-server for you on the fly, et cetera. There are other distributions, but my uptime is a little over 2 years now, with the only downtime when I moved to a new house.


As for how to back things up, there are numerous ways, from straight out copying the files

cp -rf /source/directories /destination/directory

or using a convoluted string of tar and gzip commands.



Would you like to know where the files are located so you can back them up?
 
Old 01-30-2003, 01:55 PM   #3
Misteree
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Hi Wolven.

2 years up, WOW!
I will definitely take a close look at Debian.

How is it for liberal use of GUIs like Quanta, Idle, Gimp, etc.
Does it use KDE? Are there a lot of RPMs for it?

As for backing up on the new hd, I was hoping to be able to just do a "Copy & Paste" thing.
However, I don't know if I have to have a Linux os, Mandrake, Debian, or whatever, format it first?
Or can the new hd be used in much the same way as a floppy right out of the box?

What about having Mandrake on one hd, and Debian on the other, and mirror the two?
Would that be a practical solution?
As you can see, when it comes to that sort of thing, I'm totally lame.

I would definitely not relish the idea of "using a convoluted string of tar and gzip commands".
 
Old 01-30-2003, 02:23 PM   #4
Edward78
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SuSE is a good gui oriented distro.
 
Old 01-30-2003, 02:34 PM   #5
Wolven
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::nods:: I am to the point in my linux learning that I use Debian as a base, and as a guiding point to others getting into linux, because, in my humble opinion, .debs are betters than .rpms.

For the RedHat lovers: That's my opinion, please don't blow me away with how much better, et cetera. :_)


Yes, it's quite friendly, and if you would like me to help you get it up and going, I'd be more than willing. If you have an old copy of most of your old working .conf files (/etc/X11/XF86Config-4, for example) and such, it would speed things up.




There are thousands of available packages for it, and plenty of tutorials. We can go through the details getting things working here, if you like, or I can talk to you via IMs, or whatnot.
 
Old 01-30-2003, 06:02 PM   #6
Misteree
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Hi Edward78,

SuSE was the first Linux distro I considered going with, but at the time (in the dark ages, about one year ago) I was told Mandrake was more user friendly, so...

However, SuSE is presently in the running.

Thanks for your suggestion.

Wolven,

What you say is reassuring about debs (rpms?)
Personally, I couldn't careless about which Linux distro I use. As long as it's Linux, and as long as it's not quirky. So far I like what I hear about Debian and SuSE.

BTW, would you know, by any chance, how I can regain my "Send to..." menu?

Thanks for the help offer. I'll probably need it.
I don't have IM setup. Never used it. Don't know how.
 
Old 01-31-2003, 09:54 AM   #7
Wolven
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IM setup isn't that hard. If I can walk you through an operating system install, I can walk you through getting something like an IM app. :_)


As for the lost option, just a silly idea, but try adding another user and logging in as him, and seeing if the Send To option is there for him. If it is, we know it's in the configuration files.

I don't use KDE much any more. I use windowmaker, which allows me a ton of customization options. Lots of fun. You should try it sometime. That's the cool thing about adding users in linux. You can have each one have their own "shell" (kde, gnome, whatever) and test them out, before deciding on one, without losing any functionality. Of course, windowmaker is a *Lot* smaller than Gnome. :_) Gnome's bloody massive.
 
Old 01-31-2003, 11:34 AM   #8
nakkaya
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red hat is user friendly in my opininon you install it from scracth in minutes and comes with gnome kde as all the dist. you can check redhat 8.0
 
Old 02-01-2003, 04:59 PM   #9
Misteree
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Ok, after reading this,

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/27759.html

I'm a-goin' fer it.

so here the situation:

- I'm running mandrake 9.
- I have downloaded suse 8.1 and I'm keeping it stored in a folder (on mandrake). 2 gigs. Ouch!
- I want to install a new hd and install suse on it from the folder it is being stored in.
- I then want to be able to boot to suse or to mandrake.

This is my problem:
I don't want to install the new hd and have mandrake "find" it, and see it as part of its system. I want that new hd to be totally independent of mandrake, and vice-versa, mandrake to be totally independent of suse.
I want 2 computers in one box, each with their own OS's.

I'm really lame when it comes to that sort of thing, so I don't know how to do that.
Basically, I need both hd's to be running at the same time so that suse installs itself on the new one from mandrake.

But wait ! That's not all.
Once the hd issue is taken care of, I also need to know what I have to do to install suse on this new hd from mandrake.

Your help and suggestions would be most apreciated.
 
Old 02-02-2003, 11:55 PM   #10
wartstew
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No biggy, I've got Slackware, Mandrake-9, and two separate copies of Windows98 spread accross two hard drives in the computer I'm currently using. Just point the installers to the harddrive/partition you want it installed on and let it rip.

The problem will be configuring which ever boot loader you'll end up booting the system with to give the choices of both OS's. That is a little bit of a learning curve. Make sure you build a "boot floppy", or know how to boot into your system's from the bootable CDROM before proceeding.

Unlike M$ Windows, Linux distro's usually don't snoop around in partitions that don't belong to them unless you tell them too. The exception is when the boot loader gets installed, so just be careful at that point.
 
Old 02-03-2003, 12:21 AM   #11
wartstew
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Re: Extra hard drive. New distro?

Quote:
Originally posted by Misteree
2 questions:
1 - Are there very GUI-oriented distros out there which are "rock solid"?
Try "Xandros", It is new, Debian based, and very GUI based. The only problem is: You have to buy it. (but you can get a $250 package deal from Walmart where it comes with a complete computer system!)

I think the reason why many are recommending Debian is because you actually attempted an upgrade of a software package. I've had problems doing this with the RPM based distro's as well. It seems that Debian's packaging system does this sort of thing better. The problem is: Pure Debian is NOT graphical. Most of the Debian specific commands to get things done are command line only. Of course all Linux distro's can be graphical once you install the correct software and configure it. Don't expect pure Debian to lead you along graphically.

I've also had good luck upgrading packages in Slackware, but I don't know why: Slackware doesn't even keep track of dependencies. Still I seem to have less trouble getting new things to work than with Redhat/Mandrake. Slackware doesn't install very graphically, but it doesn't install too hard. I also think it is the easiest distro when it comes to figuring things out and to fix things that go wrong.

All that said, go ahead an try SuSe. It has it's quirks and bugs too, but they are in different places, so maybe you'll just end up liking it better.

Unfortunately, "rock solid" and GUI-oriented are still kind of mutually exclusive in the Linux world, but things are improving at a very fast pace.

Last edited by wartstew; 02-03-2003 at 12:26 AM.
 
Old 02-05-2003, 03:10 PM   #12
Misteree
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Sorry about not replying sooner, but i just went through hell and high waters installing two hd in my box.
I will spare you the gory details, except to mention that I have reluctantly improved my knowledge of bios considerably.

Anyhoo, I went through at least seventy-six thousand different combinations of complete mandrake re-installs in order to successfully install suse on the spare hd, but to no avail.

Ok, in a nutshell; I followed all the instructions in suse's README.FTP file.
I did the boot floppy from the bootdisk file with the dd if=etc... of=etc... commands.
I did the modules1 & 3 floppies from the modules1 & 3 files.

I boot with the boot floppy as instructed, go through the initial procedures for about 30 seconds, put in the modules1 floppy when instructed to do so, and after another 30 seconds the screen goes black and dead.
And that's it !
The only way I get out of this is by pushing the reset button.

I tried running suse's boot floppy from the mandrake console, nothing!

I'm stumped !

I have mounted the second hd in mandrake as /mnt/disk2
I figure when i install suse, it will detect the two hd's and ask me which one to install on (as did mandrake), but I can't figure out how to get the suse install process going.

HELP !!! plz!
 
Old 02-05-2003, 10:05 PM   #13
rodda
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Dude...your probably over your head.

Don't take this wrong, but it sound like your already spending too much time 'learning' about Linux rather than 'using' Linux.

Forget the dual boot setup...why do you need it? Go buy a boxed set of RH8, SuSE 8.1, Xandros, Lycoris or whatever. At least then you will have a printed manual (or several) for reference. Red Hat and SuSE have very excellent written material.

I have used Xandros for many months and while It's not the prettiest distro (can easily be improved) but it has been very stable for me and includes the ability to install compatible Microsoft products via the Crossover package.

Best of Luck...and remember that all things Linux related are improving quickly.
 
Old 02-05-2003, 11:51 PM   #14
Misteree
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Aaaahh... thanks rodda.
That was a real morale booster.

Anyone here ever did the yast thing?
 
Old 02-06-2003, 08:57 AM   #15
wartstew
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Somehow, I've never given SuSe a try, I guess I should some day.

Anyway, is there anyway you can tell us what the OS was trying to do just before the screen went blank? Perhaps it was trying to to run an X server, which can often cause this problem. If this *is* the case, there usually are good ways of dealing with the problem. Can you tell us what video chipset family you have in your computer? What X configuration does your Mandrake use? (hint, look into /etc/X11/XF86config, or /var/log/XFree86.0.log)

Another idea is a possible bad floppy disk. Those floppy based installs are troublesome because the floppies have to be 100% perfect, and when they are not, you often don't get good error messages about it. Does the floppy dirve make a fast, retrying "clunk-clunk-clunk" sound just before bad things happen?

Last edited by wartstew; 02-06-2003 at 09:08 AM.
 
  


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