| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 53, 14 June 2004
Welcome to this year's 24th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. It was another quiet week with only Xandros disturbing the distribution scene with its Open Circulation Edition. Have you download it yet? If so, what are your impressions?
Xandros goes freeware, Lindows goes bundle
The release of Xandros's Open Circulation Edition (OCE) came as a surprise to many, not only because the company gave no advanced warnings about it, but also because the product is freely distributable and completely free for non-commercial use. It even comes bundled with the Xandros NTFS partitioning tool, which as many of you will recall, is absent from the company's US$39 Xandros Desktop Standard edition. The only functional restriction of OCE is in the integrated CD burner which only supports very low burning speeds. This, however, shouldn't be of much concern (you do use the command line to burn CDs anyway, right?) and the OCE seems like an excellent deal. It also removes the often heard argument by some users who maintain that they won't buy a Linux distribution unless they can try it first. Overall, a very good move by Xandros, especially now that many distributions seem to be moving away from being "free".
Xandros OCE - a free edition of Xandros Desktop for home use
(full image size 229kB)
While we found the announcement by Xandros very exciting, we were surprised that a different announcement, by Lindows.com, received much more attention in the Linux media. In case you've missed it, Lindows.com is now bundling 8 CDs with Linspire 4.5, Mandrakelinux 10.0 and Fedora Core 2, and selling the bundle for US$39.95. This is designed to to give us an opportunity to evaluate different distributions and choose the one that fits our needs best.
But is this news?
If some of you are tempted by the offer, then let us remind you that you can get Mandrakelinux 10.0, Fedora Core 2 and SUSE LINUX 9.1 Professional, a total of 13 CDs, for US$25.88 at LinuxCD.org. Even better, get their LinuxCD Pack - 22 CDs of all major distributions for US$35. Of course, there is nothing wrong with Lindows.com selling their bundle. But there is something seriously wrong with the journalists who found the Lindows.com's announcement a newsworthy topic to cover in so much depth.
Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO
A reader wrote in asking for a feature about setting up multiple Linux distributions on a hard disk. "You probably do this more than anybody in the world making you the most qualified to do this," he claimed and, as the 25 Linux and BSD partitions on my two hard disks would be happy to confirm, he probably wasn't too far from the truth. If I was to set up a multiple distribution hard disk now, this is how I'd go about it:
- Partition your hard disk. If you have a new, empty hard disk, you can partition it with a tool like Partition Magic, or more cheaply, with QTParted included with SystemRescueCD, Knoppix or other distributions. SystemRescueCD is particularly suitable for this - it is a small download and it doesn't mount any of your existing hard drives or partitions by default. QTParted is a graphical tool, so if you can drag a mouse, you can partition hard disks. I normally create my first primary partition (/dev/hda1, about 10GB) right at the beginning of the hard disk (reserved for my primary OS), followed by another primary partition (/dev/hda2, also about 10GB) reserved for /home, followed by another primary partition (/dev/hda3, around 1GB) reserved for swap. The rest of the drive is then taken up by a large extended partition (/dev/hda4), which can be sliced up to contain up to 64 logical partitions (/dev/hda5, /dev/hda6, /dev/hda7, and so on). Since most modern distributions seems to be quite large nowadays, I'd recommend giving the logical partitions around 4 - 6GB each.
- Consider the OSs. Linux is particularly easy about where it resides on the hard disk, but other operating systems are much more picky. If you intend to keep Windows on your system, remember that it must be installed on the first partition of the first hard disk (at least that's how it was with Windows 2000 and earlier versions, I am not sure about Windows XP). FreeBSD is not that strict, but it definitely wants to be placed on a primary partition, rather than a logical one. If you still need Windows, you'll be wise to install it first, before installing any Linux distribution or BSD.
- Install distributions. Once your system is partitioned, you can start installing the distributions you want. Even the simplest installers (such the one that comes with Linspire) will give you an opportunity to specify where to install the distribution, although you might have to select an "advanced installation" option to do so. Let's say you have installed Debian on /dev/hda1 (with its /home partition on /dev/hda2) and now you are adding Mandrakelinux to /dev/hda5, Fedora Core /dev/hda6, Linspire on /dev/hda7, and Slackware on /dev/hda8. Since your hard disk is already partitioned, you can safely skip any partitioning questions the installer might provide.
- Keep the same swap partition. No matter how many Linux distributions you install on your hard disk, you only need one swap partition. Many distribution installers will detect and set it up automatically, but if not, you will have to specify it manually (in our case it's at /dev/hda3). It is safe to format the swap partition - no important data are kept on it after you end your current Linux session and reboot the system.
- Don't keep the same home partition. As convenient as this might sound, sharing the same home partition among multiple distributions is asking for trouble. The reason is that each distribution comes with a slightly different set of application versions, the settings of which might not always be compatible with another distribution's set. Yes, you might very well get away with it, especially if all your distributions are reasonably recent, but I would still advise against this. If I want to share data between different distributions (e.g your email folders), I normally use symbolic links - just mount your main home partitions (in our case 'mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/home' then link your mail directory with 'ln -s /mnt/home/Mail ~/Mail'). As for application settings (e.g. bookmarks, browser settings, etc.), I normally copy them from my main distribution's home partition to any new distribution's home partition.
- Choose a boot loader. Historically, lilo was the only bootloader on Linux, but this has changed and nowadays you are more likely to see grub as the recommended boot loader on most distributions (although lilo might still be provided as an option). It doesn't matter which one you choose (it is one of those vim vs emacs battles), both can serve equally well for your purpose. The important thing is to place the boot loaders of different distributions in the correct place, while placing your main distribution's boot loader into the master boot record (MBR). In our case, we'll place the Mandrakelinux boot loader on /dev/hda5, (not /dev/hda), the Fedora boot loader on /dev/hda6, the Linspire boot loader on /dev/hda7 (Linspire is a bit more troublesome than most; more on this in the next paragraph), and the Slackware boot loader on /dev/hda8. Again, it doesn't matter which boot loader you use - you can have lilo in /dev/hda, but use grub in /dev/hda5 and vice versa.
- Reset your main boot loader. Some distributions' installers are particularly inflexible in the way they set things up. Ark Linux and Linspire are among those that insist on overwriting your master boot record without any consideration for your other partitions. If that happens, don't panic - the fix is quite simple. Boot into Linspire (alternatively, boot any live CD, such as Knoppix), log in as root, create a temporary directory with 'mkdir /mnt/tmp', mount the partition occupied by your main distribution (in our case /dev/hda1) with 'mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/tmp', and chroot into it with 'chroot /mnt/tmp'. If your main boot loader on that partition is lilo, then simply execute 'lilo' on the command line; if it is grub, then execute 'grub', then type 'setup (hd0)'. That should restore your master boot record to what it was before you installed Linspire. However, you still need to make changes to the Linspire boot loader, so type Ctrl + D (to get out of the chroot-ed partition), then open /etc/lilo.conf with your favourite text editor. Change the line that reads 'boot=/dev/hda' to 'boot=/dev/hda7' (that's because Linspire is installed on /dev/hda7 in our case), save the modified file, then execute 'lilo' on the command line.
- Install new distribution. Every time you add a new distribution to your hard disk and install its boot loader on the same partition as the distribution itself, you will need to add the two lines to the /etc/lilo.conf of your main distribution's (Debian in our example) lilo, but you won't need to modify /etc/lilo.conf of your newly added distribution. For example, after installing Mandrakelinux on /dev/hda5, you will add these two lines to your Debian's /etc/lilo.conf:
Later you'll decide to install Fedora Core in /dev/hda6, which will mean that you will add another two lines to your Debian's /etc/lilo.conf:
Don't forget to execute 'lilo' after any change you make to /etc/lilo.conf.
- Don't panic. If all of the above seems complicated at first, rest assured that after you've installed your 20th distribution, you'll be a multiboot expert advising all of your local LUG members on these matters. As always, practice makes perfect :-)
Get free SUSE LINUX 9.1 direct from Novell
If you don't have the bandwidth or the patience to perform a SUSE LINUX FTP install, you can get the entire distribution (and other Novell products) for free as part of Novell's Linux Technical Resource Kit:
"The Novell Customer Communities organization provides tools and resources to technical professionals all over the world. In order to continue to provide effective Linux resources from Novell, please answer the following questions to help us understand your Linux experience - and operating environment. Please be as thorough and accurate as possible in your response."
Interested? Then visit this page to find out more.
|Released Last Week
A new version of SystemRescueCD is out. From the changelog: "Added menu that helps choosing boot options; allow to boot harddisk and floppy at prompt; compressed bootdisk images (saved a lot of space); Partimage available in two versions (with or without SSL); updated hotplug and hardware detection; updated e2fsprogs to 1.35; added joe (editor); added telnet (cchangeent and server); added tcpdump (network analyser); removed the warning at startup; many minor updates."
Linux LiveCD Router 1.9.4
A new version of Linux LiveCD Router has been released. From the changelog: "Version 1.9.4 Jun 2004. Added Frottle (Freenet Throttle) Packet Scheduling and QoS for Wireless Networks and Mesh WiFi at /opt/frottle; new default config for MRTG graphical network statistics; updated documentation."
Xandros 2.01 Open Circulation Edition
Xandros has released a free edition of Xandros Desktop, called Open Circulation Edition (OCE): "The Open Circulation Edition is a limited version of Xandros Desktop OS that can be downloaded at no charge and freely distributed to others. It is strictly for non-commercial use, and no e-mail installation support is included." Read the full release announcement and the product pages for more information.
SoL 18.00 Desktop
A desktop edition of Server optimized Linux (SoL) 18.00 has been released: "antitachyon - Manalo & Willner OEG proudly announces the release of SoL-desktop 18.00, the desktop expansion package for the SoL 18.00 series. With this package SoL will convert into a powerfull workstation for development, home, and office use. Features of SoL-desktop 18.00: KDE 3.2 desktop environment + security patches, GNOME 2.4 desktop environment, Mozilla 1.8a1, OpenOffice.org 1.1.1..." The full announcement.
BLAG Linux 10000
A new version of the Fedora-based BLAG Linux is out: "BLAG10000 has been released. BLAG10000 (borrow) is the next major branch of BLAG. It is based on Fedora Core 1. It uses packages from DAG, FreshRPMS, Newrpms, Dries and ATrpms. BLAG is a single CD GNU/Linux distribution based on Fedora Core 1. It includes everything a desktop user would 'expect' on a system and more. It has common server packages and handy utils that admins like." Read the complete release notes for further information and download locations.
Basilisk Live CD 1.3
The newly released Basilisk 1.3 (formerly known as RPM Live CD) is possibly the first live CD based on Fedora Core 2: "This is version 1.3 of the linux4all basilisk workstation live CD. Please consider this release to be currently in testing stage. The 1.2 live CD was ported to Fedora Core 2 packages, 2.6 kernel as default (with 2.4 as fallback), and the X server changed from XFree86 to XOrg due to recent license changes of the XFree86 Project. The disc contains KDE 3.2 like the previous version." Read the rest of the announcement.
knopILS is an Italian variant of the Knoppix live CD. Version 0.6 was released earlier today with the following changes: synchronised with the latest available version of Knoppix 3.4; updated knopILS HOWTO; updated index.html, knoppix-cheatcodes and readme-SECURITY (all Italian versions), new method of compressing the files on the ISO image. Read the full announcement on the distribution's home page (in Italian).
knopILS - the Knoppix live CD in Italian
(full image size 315kB)
Feather Linux 0.5.1
A new version of Feather Linux has been released. From the changelog: "Changes from 0.5 to 0.5.1: reincluded Chipmunk Basic and iftop; the command "xterm" is now functional; added script to download Brag; added cdparanoia; fixed Opera and HD install scripts; fixed xpdf; fixed all scripts that require the dpkg structure."
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Knoppix 3.5 is in the works: "Announcing KNOPPIX 3.5 LinuxTag 2004 DVD Edition. LinuxTag 2004 is the leading conference and expo about Linux and Free Software in Europe, and takes place in Messe- und Kongresszentrum Karlsruhe/Germany from 23.-26. June. LinuxTag e.V. is producing, exclusively for this event, a maxi edition of KNOPPIX as conference DVD. Features of the LinuxTag 2004 edition: over 5 GB of live Software from the Debian distribution, running directly from DVD; updated hardware autodetection (based on kernel 2.4.26 and 2.6.6 with ACPI); m23 software distribution system as boot option; talk papers from the free conference program of LinuxTag 2004, lots of LinuxTag-featured software, online books & videos. The KNOPPIX 3.5 LinuxTag DVD Edition is only available at the entrance of LinuxTag within a kit containing the LinuxTag 2004 collector's pin and an entry ticket for the free conference and exhibition. The kit can be obtained for a fee of 10,- EUR (including funding of the free project booths), as long as supply lasts." Find out more on the Knoppix home page.
|Web Site News
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- HKLPG Linux. HKLPG (Hong Kong Linux Player Group) Linux is a Linux distribution based on Mandrakelinux (version 2.0 is based on Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official), but with improved support for Chinese, browser plugins and other enhancements (web site in traditional Chinese).
- Freedows. Freedows is a Brazilian commercial distribution based on Fedora Core. Several editions are available, including Lite, Standard, Thin Client, Professional, and SMB. Among them only the Lite edition is available for free download via BitTorrent.
- K-DEMar. K-DEMar is a live CD distribution based on Knoppix and fully translated into Catalan (included messages and help files).
DistroWatch database summary
- CHAOS. CHAOS is a CD or PXE-based Linux and openMosix cluster distribution. The CHAOS distribution fits on a single business card-sized CD-ROM. This tiny disc will boot any i586-class PC (that supports CD or PXE booting), into a working openMosix node, without disturbing (or even touching) the contents of any local hard disk. Ideal for large-scale adhoc clusters, once booted, CHAOS runs from memory allowing the CD to be used on the next node (and allowing for automated rebooting into the host OS). CHAOS aims to be the fastest, most compact, secure and straight-forward openMosix cluster platform available.
- CCux Linux. CCux Linux is a German distribution project, targeting desktop users. It should be easy to use, especially for users with no prior Linux experience. CCux is optimised for i686 processor architectures.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 306
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 79
The "Get the Facts" ads on DistroWatch
As a response to our last week's criticism of Linux sites that accept money for displaying anti-Linux messages on their web sites, a reader in Canada pointed out that Microsoft's advertisements also appear on DistroWatch:
"The ad on the upper left of the attached screenshot has appeared on the site from time-to-time (here in Canada at least). Google seems to be the culprit in this case. Ad placement based upon some contextual idea, where there are relatively few advertisers for the placement service (Google in this case) will cause this."
Here is the screenshot:
Desperation? Fear? Whatever it is, we have only limited control over the advertisements that Google's contextual ads places on the site and Microsoft owns many domain names in various countries around the world. If you happen to spot any more of their infamous "Get the Facts" ads, please let us know so that we can put those particular domains on the list of blocked advertisers.
That's all for this week, see you all next Monday :-)
1 • Weekly (by Robert A Eiser at 2004-06-14 13:08:09 GMT) |
Xandros OCE works great! I was able to find a compatible deb for k3b (11.9) on a website with Xandros tips: http://www.desktop-linux.net/ . Also, thanks to Ladislav for the Novell link! My software is on the way. Bob Eiser
2 • XandrOS (by CJ on 2004-06-14 13:24:27 GMT)
I was really looking forward to checking out the OCE of XandrOS. I might have even considered buying it, but it just plain doesn't work. At boot, I was given all the options (safe video, configure, and normal) and all but the safe mode gave me a blank screen. Safe ask for a root password, but the password I made for administrator would not work. To top it all off, they didn't really seem to care to want to help me on thier forums.
Thanx XandrOS, you lost a potential customer. Call me when you get a free release that actually works that you guys are actually willing to help users out with.
3 • Xandros 2.0 Business Edtion Has no firewallings and Geforce FX Series drivers (by Kenneth at 2004-06-14 13:43:50 GMT)
I could not install GuardDog, Firestarter, Shorewall and others becuase Xandros 2.0 and Desktop eluxe Business Edition have no firewallings and did not support Video Card: MSI Geforce FX series drivers.
I was too tired of installing and configuring firewall programs
Xandros did not add several Source URLs
If xandros doesn't update, I will switch Xandros to Knoppix.
4 • error in Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO? (by Mario Ballario at 2004-06-14 14:23:11 GMT)
Later you'll decide to install Fedora Core in /dev/hda6, which will mean that you will add another two lines to your Debian's /etc/lilo.conf:
other=/dev/hda9 -----> maybe I'm wrong but this should be changed to other=/dev/hda6, right?
Don't forget to execute 'lilo' after any change you make to /etc/lilo.conf.
5 • RE: error in Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO? (by ladislav at 2004-06-14 14:27:46 GMT)
maybe I'm wrong but this should be changed to other=/dev/hda6, right?
Right, thank you for your correction. This proves that there are people who actually pay attention :-)
6 • Multiple distros (or multiple operating systems) (by Sergio on 2004-06-14 15:29:09 GMT)
I have a suggestion which costs some money, but it is money very well spent., IMHO: use a commercial boot manager, like Acronis OS Selector or BootIt NG: they'll boot virtually every OS which runs on a PC and they are very easy to use.
The latter is especially good: you can download it and try it for free and it is much more than a boot manager: it is a partitioner, it backs up partitions or your HD, you can edit the MBR...
7 • Multiple distros (or multiple operating systems) (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2004-06-14 15:44:57 GMT)
I wrote about a 12 page article on using GRUB, and I found it does pretty much everything. of course, multiple instances of Windows is an issue, because windows automatically assigns drive letters in the order it sees drives, but GRUB can hide and unhide partitions as well as a number of other really cool, really advanced things.
there's one thing I always seem to have trouble with, and that's FreeDOS. it doesn't seem to matter what you do with partitions, FreeDOS doesn't seem to like running with anything else. (maybe they've fixed it in recent versions.)
8 • RE: Benjamin Vander Jagt (by Sergio on 2004-06-14 16:53:57 GMT)
Hello Mr Vander Jagt
Of course I have no doubts that GRUB does everything, only the learning curve is a bit steeper than using a commercial boot manager :)
9 • Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO: SUSE 9.1 FTP install (by David Howard at 2004-06-14 17:05:49 GMT)
Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO
3. "Even the simplest installers ... will give you an opportunity to specify where to install the distribution"
4. "Keep the same swap partition"
I'm not sure whether this is common experience, but a recent FTP install of SUSE 9.1 refused to use the intermediate (7th out of 8) formatted partition I allotted it, and insisted on using the last partition on the disk, which it created from the unpartitioned space on the end of the HDD. It similarly refused to recognize my /dev/hda2 swap partition, and created its own. So now /dev/hda9 is (SUSE only) swap, and /dev/hda10 is SUSE. /dev/hda7 remains unused.
10 • extended partitions (by A.N. on 2004-06-14 17:19:01 GMT)
Keep in mind that you can't use the DOS extended partition, I guess part7 in your case.
The swap could be an old format, although unlikely (those were max 128 Mb).
I don't see why you would install so many bootloaders, except if the installer really wants to install one. I just have one small boot partition with my kernel and Grub and simply add the new distro to the Grub config.
11 • RE: David Howard (by Sergio on 2004-06-14 18:37:07 GMT)
Yes, this of SuSe wanting its own way is a known issue (SuSe is my main OS).
The only way to overcome it is to use advanced install.
I hope they fix it in some future release, because it can be very annoying, especially for new users.
12 • Re:Multiple distros (Benjamin Vander Jagt) (by Soloact at 2004-06-14 18:37:30 GMT)
"I wrote about a 12 page article on using GRUB"
Could you please post the URL for your 12 page article on using GRUB?
I'm sure many of us linux novices would appreciate it much.
Thanks much and have a great today!
13 • Multiple Distros caveat if you include Lindows. (by Egon Spengler at 2004-06-14 19:02:12 GMT)
Lindows includes a wonderful piece of software by the name of jiffyboot, which resides in /sbin, which insists on overwriting ANY other bootloader with the lilo that Lindows uses, each time that you boot into Lindows. To avoid having to chroot your way out each time you run Lindows and then something else, kill the offending piece of excrement with a chmod a-x /sbin/jiffyboot. Otherwise, you will see your carefully crafted lilo.conf overwritten time and again. Chroot ain't hard, but it IS a pain in the tuchus.
14 • Linspire is loosing money everyday (by Anonymous on 2004-06-14 19:14:41 GMT)
Linspire is loosing money everyday
It just make sense that they try to get some dividend from the product that actually sales a lot there way.
Linspire reminds me of Stormix another Gnu/Linux based company that spent way too much into ploy and advertising and marketing and not enough in its own product lines and finally met its demise. a bit much like Corel ( wich Linspire actually as at its base since Linspire is based of xandros wich is the remainder of Corel legacy. ) . BTW as a side note there is actually no company that use Debian as it base that as a good and long profitable track record , its actually quite the opposite , Debian as a long track record of company who failed to make it using it as its base.
I disagree with your sugestion that people should buy from another third party vendor as most likely Fedora and Mandrake whont get any money to produce more and support over a longer period of time there own distribution. You like a product from any group support them directly by contributing directly to them. Otherwise your just making money to someone who dont contribute beside sending you a copy of someone else works.
15 • boot loader (by sclebo05 at 2004-06-14 19:50:14 GMT)
Someone may be interested in trying Gag a bootloader that works well on a multiple OS system. it can be found at gag.sourceforge.net I install all my distros to put their bootloader on their root partition then add an entry for them on my MBR and Gag.
16 • About partitionning (by Wrawrat at 2004-06-14 20:45:30 GMT)
"If you intend to keep Windows on your system, remember that it must be installed on the first partition of the first hard disk (at least that's how it was with Windows 2000 and earlier versions, I am not sure about Windows XP)."
Not necessarily. To my experience, you can install Windows XP on any primary partition just like FreeBSD. However, you also have to set the Bootable flag to it or it won't load for some reason or another.
My desktop PC is dual-booting WinXP and Gentoo Linux with /dev/hda1 as /boot, /dev/hda2 as swap, /dev/hda3 as the Windows XP system partition and /dev/hda5 and beyond as my Linux partitions. The boot flag is on /dev/hda3 but GRUB is installed on the MBR so it automatically load it instead of NTLDR.
17 • Multiple Distros and boot loader (by Knut Jarl at 2004-06-14 21:37:09 GMT)
I have used RPM - Ranish Partition Manager both for partitioning and booting with the option of 31 primary partition; and it all go down on a diskette!
18 • RE: error in Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO? (by Gary on 2004-06-14 21:56:57 GMT)
In step 5 I think you got your home and swap partitions mixed up. The /mnt/home should be /dev/hda2 not /dev/hda3.
19 • RE: error in Tips and tricks: multiple distros HOWTO? (by ladislav at 2004-06-14 22:11:24 GMT)
Fixed, thank you.
20 • X.org in Mandrakelinux (by jkeller on 2004-06-14 22:19:01 GMT)
Since it was covered for Slackware and Fedora, I thought it'd be worth mentioning that Mandrakelinux is officially converting to the X.org X Windows server.
See this cvs entry for details (search on "xorg").
Old news, but still interesting.
21 • More multi-boot hints and tips (by Andrew Yeomans at 2004-06-15 11:23:33 GMT)
1. MBR boot code - ms-sys can be used to reset the initial MBR boot loader. I've had problems with factory-shipped loaders which didn't want to use LBA addressing so would not boot beyond the first Gigabyte or two. It's on the System Rescue CD. Currently using the public domain MBR from syslinux.
2. Lindows (and presumably Linspire) - the partition selection option was broken when large numbers of partitions were present. The tens digit gets lost, but is used for sorting into order 1, 10, 11, 12, ...,19, 2, 20 appearing as 1, 0, 1, 2, ..., 9, 2, 0, - confusing! I zapped jiffyboot by renaming /etc/rc.S/S37runlilo to xS37runlilo. I still have a problem with it auto-detecting other partitions then hanging whilst trying to e2fsck them, worked round by adding a lilo.conf entry with "vga=normal" to force text bootup and using Ctrl/D after the e2fsck problem.
3. Java Desktop System (beta) - set its partition to be the bootable one. Not helpful when this was an extended partition! Easy to fix running fdisk from CD. This distro also fails to turn off on shutdown.
4. Lycoris - also sets its extended partition to be bootable despite being told not to. I failed to get this to work at all on my new system (displays scrolling garbage), but did work on older hardware. Maybe the recent update is better, but I've given up.
5. Fedora Core 1/2, Red Hat, Enterprise Linux WS, SUSE 9, Xandros, Mandrake, Knoppix HD - no problems apart from them starting uid and gid from different values (500, 501, 1000, 1001, 1002)
It would be interesting to benchmark startup times, general performance, shutdown on same hardware. Maybe later!
22 • SUSE 9.1 FTP install (by Jens Kruuse at 2004-06-15 13:07:18 GMT)
I experienced the same thing with the partitions but stumbled across a workaround. (Caveat: Going by memory here!) I opened the partition manager, fooled around a bit in there selecting mount points and filesystem for the various partitions. I only selected to format the intended root partition - I didn't select a mount point. I returned to the general installation and was suddenly able to select the correct intended partition. I don't know why, but it suited my purpose.
23 • alright, but lemme scrounge the newsletter up, first (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2004-06-15 15:18:52 GMT)
it's actually from a printed newsletter, which I personally love, 'cause it helps to be able to read instructions while your main computer is down. I also got an email asking for the newsletter article, so I guess I oughtta put it online. (can't do it from here.)
I'll get all appropriate articles and put 'em on my website. (I'm working on a support base for my customers anyway, so maybe I could toss stuff in there.) also, if anyone wants to help populate my forums and write up tech help there, it would be appreciated. (I'm hoping to have better forums than most that you see online by organizing them. in fact, I wanna see if I can get more levels in phpBB2. I want to organize it like crazy so that no question is answered twice and so that answers are really easy to find.)
if I forget, please email me to remind me. I'm busy and scatterbrained! ^_^
and Sergio, I'm sorry I haven't gotten around to a review. I really have been trying hard, but it's very difficult when Fedora discs 2 and 3 have an issue burning
( https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=123590 ) and Mandrake just keeps screwing up. (I scratched some notes on my forums.)
so far, in short, Mandrunk and Fedora are just horrible, this newest SuSE is great. it does have bugs with Mozilla, though, and that keeps crashing. overall, though, I'd say I've found it to be more stable and reliable than 9.0. the more I use it, the more little things I see that make it more reliable, such as things installed into their proper locations.
(I didn't like the fact that ATi gives no driver support for XFree86 4.4, and SuSE uses the last GPL-compatible release candidate of XFree86 4.4, so I grabbed some Slackware 9.1 packages, untarred 4.3 in (ran /install/doinst.sh after packages that had it), skipped installing the fonts, and was up and running flawlessly with ATi drivers. got Kaffeine to play DVD's but building libdvdcss, then xine-lib, then the newest Kaffeine. surely works better than any Windows DVD player I've ever used. other than Mozilla dying over and over, I've been really impressed with SuSE 9.1. for more of the details, refer to my forums.)
24 • x.org (by EEDOK at 2004-06-15 17:44:48 GMT)
since all these distros are adopting xorg, shouldn't it be a tracked package on distrowatch?
25 • Multiple OS's (by JimK on 2004-06-15 22:15:44 GMT)
Great advice on multiple OS's. Would you be willing to post it on the new grokdoc site? And maybe Benjamin Vander Jagt would be willing to post his GRUB howto there as well.
For those of you who don't know, grokdoc is a new site created by groklaw's pamela jones to provide comprehensive linux documnetation.
26 • MS ads (by Anonymous on 2004-06-16 06:32:39 GMT)
Your fear of MS advertising is really sad.
27 • multiple operating systems (by David Tomlinson at 2004-06-16 14:27:16 GMT)
Another way to boot multiple OS is to install your secondary bootloader
to a floppy disk. Install lilo (or perhaps grub-never tried it for multi-booting)
on a floppy at the point when your install asks where to install to; select
floppy. Also, if qtparted or cfdisk isn't handy try an old Mandrake 7.1 disk.
Not fancy, but it works.
28 • I'm taken by surprise (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2004-06-16 15:11:36 GMT)
alright, I dug up the old newsletter and found the article. it's Red Hat 8.0 centered, and it's a bit dated, but I can clean it up a bit, bring it up to date, and make it more of what you're looking for. (sorry to take so long. I work 80 hour workweeks.) plus, re-reading it, I find it to be incomplete for my tastes. plus, the majority of it is education for those who don't know what /dev/hda1 is, for instance.
I didn't really expect people to be interested, and I always figured everyone used GRUB. it really is nice to use. the main difference between GRUB and LILO is that GRUB keeps its configuration on a partition instead of in the MBR. GRUB also gives a command prompt if you need so that you can do something special if you need, though it also has password protected menus if you want.
what I would recommend is (on a test system if you're nervous) grabbing a copy of GRUB 0.94, compile, make, and install it, then run "grub-install /dev/hda". that will install GRUB into the MBR, and GRUB will then look for the configuration file /boot/grub/menu.lst. (I never make a /boot partition, myself.) a standard menu.lst will look something like this:
title Slackware Linux
root (hd0,0) //this would be your /dev/hda1
kernel /boot/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hda1 noinitrd telinit 4 //ro stands for read-only. I usually add the "telinit 4" just to tell it to boot into graphical mode and so people know what the "4" is
title Windows XP
unhide /dev/hda2 //just in case we hid it before
chainloader +1 //passes control to a bootloader on another partition
title MS-DOS 6.22
hide /dev/hda2 //that way, MS-DOS sees //dev/hda3 as drive C
you can also set commands like default, timeout, colors, splash screen, password, and so forth. the easiest way to find out about all this stuff is to download, configure, make, and install GRUB, then to run the command "grub". this takes you to the command shell that you normally get if you press "c" in the GRUB bootup menu. from there, you can type "help" or follow "help" with a command, like "help hide".
it's really quite nice! you can even make partitions your drive inside of GRUB! you can make menus that perform pretty much any of the following commands:
chainloader [--force] FILE
color NORMAL [HIGHLIGHT]
device DRIVE DEVICEdisplayapm
geometry DRIVE [CYLINDER HEAD SECTOR [
help [--all] [PATTERN ...]
initrd FILE [ARG ...]
kernel [--no-mem-option] [--type=TYPE]
map TO_DRIVE FROM_DRIVE
module FILE [ARG ...]
modulenounzip FILE [ARG ...]
partnew PART TYPE START LEN
parttype PART TYPE
root [DEVICE [HDBIAS]]
rootnoverify [DEVICE [HDBIAS]]
serial [--unit=UNIT] [--port=PORT] [--
setkey [TO_KEY FROM_KEY]
setup [--prefix=DIR] [--stage2=STAGE2_
terminal [--dumb] [--no-echo] [--no-ed
terminfo [--name=NAME --cursor-address
there's more, too. that's just what comes up when you do "help" inside of the GRUB terminal. the only thing that ever trips me up is misplacing menu.lst. it's good to copy down your LILO config so that, if you end up just getting a GRUB command prompt, you can type directly the GRUB equivalents and still get into your system.
(I wonder if there's a length limit to posting here. hmm)
29 • Freedos sharing (by Anonymous on 2004-06-16 17:39:50 GMT)
I've found freedos can be made to play nice by installing it on a primary fat partition and then using smart boot manager. Install SBM to a spare MBR or somewhere and set it to boot that partition after 0s (you may need to rescan partitions first). Then get lilo or whatever to load the SBM MBR. Freedos will still look on the first partition, if that's a problem just put a fdauto.bat on that partition redirecting to D:fdauto.bat or whatever.
30 • RE: Benjamin Vander Jagt (by Sergio on 2004-06-16 20:26:16 GMT)
Not to worry about the review. You have said a lot in a few sentences anyway :)
I tend to agree with your opinion almost entirely.
I was finding a few SuSe 9.1 apps quite buggy at first, but then I reinstalled, I downloaded all the Yast updates, I upgraded Kde to 3.2.3 and now absolutely everything is working fine.
One issue that SuSe seems to have and which doesn't go away, IMHO, is the speed or lack thereof, when compared to other distros (mainly comparing with Debian which is my other favourite)
31 • Unthinkable (by Joe Linux at 2004-06-17 00:07:29 GMT)
Visit linuxsecurity.com, click on ANY headline, the second page will have an ad detailing how a MS Server is 11-22% less expensive to
operate............................with that in mind, read other headlines.
32 • SuSE 9.1 Personal & 9.0 Pro (by Paul Fadely at 2004-06-17 00:14:38 GMT)
Why are these distros so slowwwwww?
They both take a long time to boot on both my IBM 450MHz &
my Dell 2.8 Gig machines. I won't put either one on my
laptops. In addition to booting slow they both take a while to
I like the OS otherwise, just don't like the snails pace they run at.
Does anybody know any tips to get SuSE up and runing faster?
33 • BitTorrent downloads (by quantumpenguin at 2004-06-17 01:33:31 GMT)
BItTorrent might be a good concept but it really sucks in the real world.
34 • SuSE 9.1 speed (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2004-06-17 06:51:49 GMT)
back in SuSE 9.0, I had always loaded up systems with everything I could install. then I got my hands on 6 old Compaq Deskpro P2-350 128MB 4.3GB Matrox G200+ systems, and I did a default install (plus just one or two programs), and it was actually pleasantly fast.
I think it's something in the servers, but I'm just not sure. I also loaded some of those systems with lots of software, including amusements, multimedia, graphics, and stuff, and it didn't seem to affect it at all, but when I did my "install almost everything" installation, it went waaay slow, even though the hard drive was upgraded to a 7200 RPM 250GB.
just my experience
35 • BitTorrent downloads (by baud123 on 2004-06-18 09:52:29 GMT)
quantumpenguin : find azureus => it will change your point of view on BitTorrent ;-) (like it did from me, boosting downloads from 2-8 kb/s to 40-60 kb/s)
36 • BitTorrents downloads (by quantumpenguin at 2004-06-18 12:19:19 GMT)
after installing Azureus it does seem to be a much better program better interface,more info and faster, thanks for the tip baud123
37 • SuSE 9.1 speed (by archish at 2004-06-19 18:43:39 GMT)
I agree that the modern distros seems to be slow and it becomes a pain sometime. I recently upgaded to suse 9.1 and it seems slower than suse 9 on my old celeron 333 mhz 128 mb ram with 20 gigs hdd. I found slackware somewhat the fastest distro but still i cant understand why they are slow.
Althought not in the topic win xp runs smooth and fast than the linux distros. I think the distros are not that much optimised to run on old computers like mine or maybe something else. I really like linux but the slowness makes me frustrated.
38 • re: SuSE 9.1 speed (by P. Pearson on 2004-06-20 22:57:52 GMT)
You say "I think the distros are not that much optimised to run on old computers like mine" - well, perhaps you could try one of the "small" distros like Vector (Slackware based) or a source based distro like Gentoo? I'm a Slackware user myself, so I have no experience with either solution.
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