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Old 04-26-2005, 07:49 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 19

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reinstalling linux


I'm looking for a bit of general advice and a few pointers and opinions.

Position is this:

I have a RedHat Linux server located somewhere in Canada. I manage it over the net, and have no access to it otherwise. As a complete beginner I'm so far doing very well. I've installed a number of packages, sorted out DNS, email, phpMyAdmin etc etc etc. So my level of expertise isn't zero, but it's not great. My server is doing fine, as I was given at as a clean install and I added bits I needed. I can pretty much understand almost all of what's going on on my box.

My friend has a Debian box and a similar situation except his was set up originally for virtual hosting by his ISP ( many customers shared the same box ) and it's a rat's nest of config files, and scripts, which were used when he shared the box, so his setup is much more complex. I'm pretty much managing both, but his server is a pain. I was thinking about backing up the data and reinstalling, either Debian, or Red Hat. I'm thinking RedHat would be best, since I'm getting familiar with it and there's a lot of stuff on the web that goes step by step.

So, how hard is it to install a new version of Linux over the net? Should the disk be reformatted to get rid of all the confusing batch files? In which case how can I boot it? Or should I start getting rid of the rubbishy batch files bit by bit?

A few opions would be great here, since I've not totally decided what to do. Or is the job beyond me with my present level of experience. I've used Windows for many years, but Linux is all a bit new to me.

thanks for any replies.

Last edited by davespink; 04-26-2005 at 07:51 PM.
Old 04-26-2005, 08:18 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: gentoo
Posts: 190

Rep: Reputation: 30
The only intall I would be able to do 100% over the net assuming a working current linux install is gentoo. This is because there is no "installer" program that needs to be run off a bootable CD or anything. You can just create a partition, unzip a tarball, chroot to the new environment, set up the new OS, install grub the way you want, reboot, and pray to god you did everything correctly. I know of no other distro that would allow one to do a 100% net install the way I described. That being said, there may be a distro or two you can do this with that I just don't know about. I think this isn't much harder than setting up gentoo right infront of the box, and you sound like you should be able to do it with lots of reading, and a slow, cautios approach. You can read all about the normal Gentoo install process here: Gentoo Handbook, and then adapt it slightly to your unique requirements.

If you have physical access to the box, or someone else does, you can put whatever you like on it. Because you know redhat, that may be best. I fell in love with gentoo, and in my eyes, there is no other distro that even comes close. 30% of the reason I like it is the isntall process, the other 70% of the reason I love it is because of emerge/portage, it's package management system. No more dependency hell, no more RPMs, no more slow-as-hell precompiled binaries (well, that last part is optional). Give gentoo a try, I think you'll really like it.


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