| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 101, 23 May 2005
Welcome to this year's 21st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Gentoo Linux continues to maintain its presence on these pages - we have a quick tip describing how to save time and prevent downtime while installing this popular source-based distribution. We'll continue with an update on the release of Debian Sarge and point you to a couple of fantastic Linux learning resources made available recently by Novell. The featured distribution of the week is the PHLAK live CD with its amazing array of security tools and extensive documentation, while Robert Storey reveals a great utility to really erase data from your hard disks. Happy reading!
Installing Gentoo Linux in chroot
Following our recent mini-review of Gentoo Linux, it has become clear from the forum discussions that Gentoo's most significant disadvantage is the amount of time it takes to install it. Some users went as far as claiming that they would never use the popular source-based distribution simply because they cannot afford to tie their computer down for several days, waiting for all the applications to compile.
Fortunately, things needn't be this way. While several posters suggested the use of Vidalinux as an easy way to install Gentoo Linux, there is another method to avoid being unproductive during Gentoo's installation - by using the power of chroot. This way, all you need to do is to install the base Gentoo system, then reboot into your everyday operating system, chroot into the Gentoo partition and continue compiling applications in the background. Even if you start with the "Stage 1" tarballs, you won't be "without your computer" for more than a few hours.
As an example, let's say you have installed a minimal Gentoo Linux on /dev/hda5. Boot into your usual distribution, create a new directory, then mount the Gentoo partition like this:
mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/gentoo
Now you can chroot into /mnt/gentoo:
That's all there is to it. Now you are in Gentoo Linux and you can use all the power of Gentoo's usual utilities, including 'emerge sync', after which you can proceed with 'emerge kde', 'emerge gnome', etc. Once you are finished with emerging applications, you can get out of chroot by pressing Ctrl+D. Personally, I have been using this method of installing Gentoo Linux on several occasions without any problems. Sure, your main operating system will feel slightly less responsive than usual due to intensive compile activity in the background, but it certainly won't become unusable (and your computer won't be tied down) just because you are busy installing Gentoo.
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Free study guides from Novell, Sarge release update
A reader has sent us a link to a couple of useful educational resources made available recently by Novell. One of them is a self-study guide called "Make the Switch to Novell Linux Desktop 9". This is a 247-page manual in PDF format with tutorials and explanatory guides (with screenshots) not only for system installation and administration, but also for many of the included graphical applications. Although the guide is primarily aimed at Novell and SUSE users, anybody can take advantage of the application-specific tutorials in the guide.
The second resource is called "Novell Linux Desktop 9 Learning Center". This is an online tutorial focusing on Novell/SUSE Linux system administration, Novell Evolution and OpenOffice.org. A nice thing about this resource is that it includes a number of tests where you can evaluate your newly gained knowledge and review the study material again, if necessary. The Novell Learning Center requires a browser with a pre-configured Flash plugin, but otherwise it is a very well-designed study guide. Access to both of the above resources requires registration. For more information and links to the above-mentioned resources please visit Training for Novell Linux Desktop 9.
Steve Langasek has published an update about the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge". Although the target date is still 30th May, a very big "but" can now be sensed from the message: "Unfortunately, due to a number of RC bugs that were found after the freeze announcement, even though we've closed out about 50 RC bugs with your help during these past two weeks, the net count is only down by about 30." The message concludes that "if everything goes well, we'll be ready to release at the end of the month. If everything *doesn't* go well, then we're hopefully looking at the first weekend in June instead." Read the full mailing list post here.
|Featured distribution of the week: PHLAK
PHLAK, which is an acronym for Professional Hacker's Linux Assault Kit, is a Morphix-derived live CD with a twist - it includes a large number of specialist tools for conducting security analysis, penetration testing, forensics, and security auditing of hard disks. As such, this is a very useful CD to carry around if you administer computer systems, irrespective of the operating system used. But even if you don't, PHLAK is a well-designed and fun distribution, with one of the best and most comprehensive collection of security-related documentation around.
By default PHLAK boots into a full graphical desktop with XFce, while Fluxbox and XPde (a Windows-like desktop called "Sneaky" in PHLAK) desktops are also available. Once the CD is fully booted, you can start investigating the amazing range of security tools on offer. There are just too many to mention them all individually, but you can find a categorised list on this page. The project's web site also maintains an alphabetical listing of Linux tools and Windows Tools. PHLAK also comes with two graphical system administration utilities - the "PHLAK Control Panel" makes it easy to modify some of the common system settings, while the "PHLAK Security Panel" provides links for starting and stopping network, firewall, web and SSH servers, as well as several other services.
PHLAK is a brainchild of James Hartman. The live CD, which can also be installed on a hard disk, is available either as a free download or as an inexpensive official CD image. The project's web site saw an explosion of traffic after it had been mentioned on TechTV's Screensavers (video presentations are available for viewing). As a result, it has become a very popular project with a highly active and friendly user forum where help is never far away. For more information, screenshots, and educational security discussions, please visit PHLAK.org.
PHLAK - a live CD with a large collection of security-related tools and excellent documentation
(full image size: 475kB)
|Released Last Week
Zen Linux 1.2
Zen Linux 1.2 has been released: "We have something really special for you this time around. A lot of work has been put into creating a highly stable release. New frameworks have been added and we have the beginning of our GUI tools! We have a very intelligent GUI framework as well as a full Debian menu system integration! Also included are the very latest GNOME, KDE, XFce, and even Enlightenment DR17! This release adds a few new flavors to the official ISO set for your enjoyment." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
The knopILS live CD is an Italian edition of KNOPPIX, complete with support for the Italian language. Version 0.8 has been released. The most important improvements include the following: the software package list on the live CD has been synchronised with that on KNOPPIX 3.8; the original hard disk installation program by Fabian Franz has been replaced with a new installer developed by the KANOTIX project; several new applications have been added to the CD, including KStars and ClamAV. See the complete changelog on the project's home page (in Italian) for more details.
Puppy Linux 1.0.2
Puppy Linux has been updated to version 1.0.2. From the release notes: "The main news for this release is the migration from the 2.4 kernel to the 2.6 series, specifically 220.127.116.11. A lot of under-the-hood work went into achieving this. I have upgraded AbiWord to 2.2.7. There are significant improvements, including improved stability, better MS Word import, and text flow around images. I have also included more plugins: import/export AbiWord documents compressed with bzip2, xsl-fo files, XHTML/HTML, WMF image support, and embedded editing of images (using mtPaint). The install-to-hard-drive script previously only created a boot floppy, but now GRUB installation on the hard drive is an option....
PaiPix is a multi-lingual KNOPPIX-based live DVD. Version 3.8 has been released with the following major changes: "Based on Knoppix 3.8, including kernel 2.6.11. It uses the Unionfs file system that mounts the DVD image in read-write mode. Using this feature, PAIPIX can run your 3D-enabled drivers for ATI or NVIDIA cards. Just use 'knoppix install=ati' or 'knoppix install=nvidia' as boot option and run the FlightGear simulator (fgfs) to see the new fantastic 3D support in Linux." Full details can be read in the release page.
StartCom Enterprise Linux 4.0.0
StartCom Enterprise Linux 4.0.0 has been released: "After the successful distribution of the StartCom Linux 3.0.x series last year, StartCom Ltd. continues its efforts to provide free and open source operating systems based on Red Hat's Enterprise source code. Version 4.0.0 features the new 2.6 kernel infrastructure with better and more drivers supported, multi-core and hyperthreaded CPUs support to mention only a few. The improved storage and file system capabilities now use Logical Volume Management (LVM) as the default installation option. Also the desktop environment offers new enhancements providing a feature-rich, easy-to-use application pool, such as Firefox, Evolution and OpenOffice.org." Read the rest of the release announcement.
OpenBSD 3.7 has been released: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 3.7. This is our 17th release on CD-ROM (and 18th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of eight years with only a single remote hole in the default install. As in our previous releases, 3.7 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system. New platforms: OpenBSD/zaurus - expanding the arm porting effort by supporting the Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000, bringing a secure ssh-capable machine to your pocket; OpenBSD/sgi - starting out support with the SGI O2 machines." Full details can be found in the release announcement, OpenBSD 3.7 page, and changelog.
Kate OS 2.01
The developers of Kate OS have released an updated version of their distribution: "Kate 2.01 contains many fixes and updates in comparison to Kate 2.0. The installation on SATA hard drives does not make a problem any more. A possibility to choose localization in Polish and German languages has been added. Kate OS contains updated versions of the XFce environment and ppp package, which now includes ATM support created to simplify the installation of 'Neostrada' on some modems. New version of system has been supplied with kpmtool (Kate OS Package Manager) which enables package management in graphical environment. From version 2.01, Kate OS supports remote system actualization." Read more in the release announcement on the project's home page.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
PC-BSD 0.7 - installing and uninstalling applications has never been easier on any BSD operating system
(full image size: 182kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
KNOPPIX 3.9 and 4.0
Klaus Knopper has announced that work is now progressing towards KNOPPIX 4.0, a new series of the popular Linux live CD. This will be split into two editions - "Light CD" and "Maxi DVD". The "Light CD" edition will effectively be a continuation of the current 3.x series with a collection of commonly used desktop applications, but without development software. On the other hand, the "Maxi DVD" edition will come with "everything that's useful and exciting in GNU/Linux (including more supported languages)". Here are the upcoming plans: "For the first regular DVD edition of Knoppix 4.0, I'm planning to press a limited amount of manufactured DVDs again soon, hopefully in time for LinuxTag 2005 (23 - 25 June 2005), which should contain the upcoming Knoppix 3.9 stuff plus a lot of more GNU/Linux software. A few weeks later (giving the CD distributors some time to get hold of a few copies), the DVD image will also be available on selected mirrors." Read this mailing list post for more information.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distribution additions
- Muriqui Linux. Muriqui Linux is a Brazilian Debian-based Linux distribution incorporating the easy-to-use Anaconda graphical installer from Progeny. A special feature of this distribution is the option to install a Diskless Remote Boot Server (DRBS) automatically during the installation procedure. The principal aim of this effort is to provide a distribution specially adapted to educational environments in Brazil where the use of diskless stations for digital inclusion is growing fast and becoming a standard. The distribution has been tested in a group of "telecentres" in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil, with excellent results.
- Ufficio Zero. Ufficio Zero is a live Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It is completely translated into Italian and customised for users new to Linux. The included software set targets office environments.
* * * * *
New on the waiting list
- SLYNUX. SLYNUX is a user friendly GNU/Linux operating system for beginners. It can be run completely from CD without installation, but there is also an option to install it to hard disk. The main feature of this operating system is that any person who is familiar with Microsoft Windows can handle this operating system very easily. SLYNUX is based on Debian GNU/Linux and KNOPPIX.
- Xenophilia. Xenophilia is a Linux distribution that is based around Xen, a high performance virtualization system for x86 machines. Xenophilia is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux and uses the new Debian installer to install its packages. The goal of the project is to make Xen virtualization technologies easy to setup and use, and to allow even inexperienced users to gain access to a configured Xen system.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 408
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 11
- Number of discontinued distributions: 52
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 116
|Open Source Applications (by Robert Storey)
Darik's Boot and Nuke
Nuclear war would really set back cable.
-- Ted Turner
Despite the attention-grabbing name, Darik's Boot and Nuke (also known by its acronym DBAN) has nothing to do with nuclear Armageddon. Rather, this Linux-based utility is all about "nuking" (more commonly called "wiping") old unneeded data from your hard drive.
Why, you may ask, does anybody need to "wipe" data? Isn't it enough to "delete" data? And what, in fact, is the difference between "wipe" and "delete"?
To answer these pertinent questions, let's look at an example. Everyday, my mailbox fills up with numerous offers to purchase mail-order Viagra, opportunities to "make money fast", "lose weight now" and help some poor deposed dictator's son move US$10 million of ill-gotten wealth into a Swiss bank account (for which I will receive a 20% commission). Like most people with an IQ over 40, whenever I receive one of these messages, I immediately click on the Delete button (which in fact doesn't delete anything - it's really a GUI front-end for the Unix "mv" command) which moves the unwanted message file into the Trash folder. Sooner or later, I will click on the Empty Trash menu (a front-end for "rm"), and send those odious bits and bites into digital oblivion.
Not! As it turns out, the rm command doesn't really obliterate the data, but simply declares it "unallocated" space. The file name of that email message appears to be gone - you won't find it with the ls command, but the actual data still exists and can even be recovered with specialized software. Of course, now that the space has been declared unallocated, it's possible (indeed, probable) that it will soon be overwritten by new data. And when it's overwritten, it's irrevocably gone for good, right?
If only. One of the more amazing facts I've recently learned is that permanently deleting (that is, nuking) data is far more difficult than it seems. True, once you've deleted a file, getting it back won't be trivial but it's doable with specialized software. And even after the data gets overwritten several times, it usually can still be recovered with a technique called Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) which employs a customized electron microscope. This equipment, which was once ridiculously expensive, has fallen so far in price that nowadays almost any enthusiastic nerd can afford it.
You can go to this web site for an explicitly detailed explanation of how this all works. In a nutshell, overwriting your discarded data once will make it very difficult to recover with standard software tools, but it takes at least seven overwrites to be sure that an electron microscope won't be able to recover the forbidden files.
This raises another question - why should you be concerned about making delete unrecoverable? Aside from melodramatic situations (you work for the CIA or you've had contact with Martians), there are two realistic scenarios that you should consider:
1) You've got personal data that someone could use for nefarious ends.
2) Somebody else has put data on your hard drive, which could get you into trouble.
In scenario No. 1 consider the case where you've decided to donate your old aging computer to the local high school. You're cautious, so you delete all of your personal files and reformat the hard drive. Then, to your chagrin, some whiz kid in the school lab figures out how to recover your love letters, credit card numbers, and naughty digital photos from last year's summer vacation, and turns it all into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Things could be even worse if the donated computer was used in a commercial environment, and thus has customers' private and confidential data as well (does the word "lawsuit" get your attention?).
Scenario No. 2 could be even more wicked. Consider the real-life story of Jack, a Mitsubishi computer engineer falsely accused and convicted of being a net paedophile because of files that were put on his second-hand machine by someone else. Anyone who runs a server must be particularly concerned about security compromises that result in script kiddies storing warez, spyware, p0rn and other execrable data on your hard drive without your knowledge or consent.
Which is where Darik's Boot and Nuke comes in. DBAN does just one thing but does it well - it completely scrubs your hard drive clean, overwriting the platters with random data until not even the best secret agent's tools can retrieve it. DBAN works on both IDE and SCSI hard drives, but not on USB or Firewire devices, nor any kind of removable media like Zip disks (remember those?). At present, it's only compiled for 32-bit x86 computers.
There is nothing to install. DBAN is available as a bootable floppy disk image or CD ISO file from here. Just boot your machine with the disk and you'll be greeted by self-explanatory ncurses-style menus. You can choose to wipe individual partitions or the entire hard drive. You also have control over wiping methods - the default is DoD Short (three passes), but the more paranoid should go for DoD 5220-22.M (seven passes). If you really do work for the CIA or the Martians, then perhaps you should use the Gutman Wipe (35 passes).
As for how long this all takes, that depends on the size and speed of your hard drive, as well as how many passes you command DBAN to execute. On my 40GB hard drive, DoD Short (three passes) took 1.5 hours. Your mileage may vary.
You might think that DBAN is overkill - and perhaps for your needs, it is. If all you want to do is simply nuke the occasional nasty file, your requirements might be better served by the wipe utility. Also well worth exploring are Thomas Greene's Linux Wipe Tools. Be aware that journaling filesystems such as ext3, ReiserFS and XFS make it much less certain that these wipe tools will fully eradicate the data. The only way to completely avoid this issue on Linux is to use ext2, which is a sacrifice that few will choose to make. However, DBAN is immune to this problem since it scrubs the entire hard disk, journal and all.
Once you have successfully purged all of your unloved data with DBAN, consider the merits of using some sort of data encryption system such as Loop-AES. Remember, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
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That's all for today. We hope that you enjoyed this week's DistroWatch Weekly!
1 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-05-23 10:08:55 GMT from Italy) |
I have always installed gentoo from another linux, setting portage niceness to 10 and makeopts to j1. The pc was usable and the installation process easier (you can browse the web to solve your problems) and more enjoyable. I really like gentoo's installation.
2 • PHLAK (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-05-23 10:16:47 GMT from Italy)
I like it very much, but there is no way I can make it bootable after install.
GRUB, the only choice, doesn't install anywhere: MBR, root partition, floppy...
I have the same problem with Sarge, but then I can choose lilo which installs fine.
3 • deleting data (by mark alec on 2005-05-23 10:47:11 GMT from Australia)
Why not just use 'shred'. See 'man shred'. Wish to delete all data from your first hard disk, 'shred /dev/hda' will overwrite it 25 times with random data.
4 • PHLAK install (by Geert Braekmans on 2005-05-23 10:59:42 GMT from Belgium)
Could it be a problem with master/slave if you have 2 disks?
Had the same problem. Just edit the menu.lst of grub to (hd0,0) or whatever partition you installed it on...
The problem is that if you boot from live cd it is seen as the second HD, if you boot from your HD it is the first. So Grub is installed on the other HD.
5 • RE: deleting data (by Robert Storey on 2005-05-23 11:42:25 GMT from Taiwan)
Yes, shred is good if you're using ext2, but a quote from the shred man page...
CAUTION: Note that shred relies on a very important assumption: that the filesystem overwrites data in place. This is the traditional way to do things, but many modern filesystem designs do not satisfy this assumption. The following are examples of filesystems on which shred is not effective:
* log-structured or journaled filesystems, such as those supplied with AIX and Solaris (and JFS, ReiserFS, XFS, Ext3, etc.)
6 • What's the hurry? (by Max on 2005-05-23 13:09:07 GMT from Australia)
Sarge takes two years to get to this point and now why do they need to hurry so much to finish it all in a month? Doesn't make sense...
7 • Debian status update typo (by kimchi on 2005-05-23 13:25:39 GMT from Singapore)
"Although the target date is still 30th March..."
Erm, should be May, right? Unless you're also hinting that they're going to delay the release till next year.
8 • Installing Gentoo in chroot (by Bibhu Prasad Swain on 2005-05-23 13:27:38 GMT from India)
I think Gentoo's attraction mainly lies with it's installation process and
freedom it gives to user about compiling and optimizing as required.
Gentoo is not just another pretty distro with fancy installer and lot of
broken dependencies. You install Gentoo for once and upgrade to any new so called version.Mr. Storey seems to have forgotten about Gentoo's portage and the simplicity of package installation through
Portage,he is just too much bothered about Gentoo's installation.
I have installed Gentoo through a stage one install and it didn't take days just a little more than 4 hours.Gentoo signifies the freedom that
is Linux, with Gentoo you do as you like and do as you please.I have cut my linux teeth with Mandrake and moved onto Debian and Gentoo.
There are many distros with fancy installers,people are welcome to try them instead of finding fault with Gentoo installation.
9 • Installing Gentoo Linux in chroot (by Mads Worsøe Petersen on 2005-05-23 13:30:48 GMT from Denmark)
I often install Gentoo from another linux host. But you write that, all you need to do is to install the base Gentoo system, then reboot into your everyday operating system. This is not neccesary. You can buildt it all from the host, like was it from the livecd. You doen't need to install a base Gentoo first, and then reboot into the host ;-)
10 • DBAN fan! (by Jeff on 2005-05-23 14:13:47 GMT from United States)
I've been using Darik's Boot and Nuke for over a year now and just love it. It is one of my essential utilities. It comes included on the "Ultimate Boot CD" http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/ if you want to pick up DBAN with a bunch of other handy utilities.
11 • Knoppix issues (by AQ on 2005-05-23 14:25:54 GMT from United States)
The only thing bothering me about knoppix is that they don't also host the source code of the entire distribution they put out.
Debian, slackware, Fedora and many others do.
So as much as I enjoy knoppix, I am very dissappointed by that fact. It seems odd for them to use the term GNU/Linux when they might very well be breaking the GPL.
12 • Gentoo guide for chroot install (by Klavs Klavsen at 2005-05-23 16:26:31 GMT from Denmark)
For Gentoo Chroot installation, the Alternative install guide should be mentioned: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml
13 • RE: PHLAK install (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-05-23 17:38:47 GMT from Italy)
"Could it be a problem with master/slave if you have 2 disks?"
Thanks for the hint.
I have indeed two HDs, but I had this problem with Sarge and Grub even before buying the second one.
I'll see if I can put your advice to good use.
14 • Using Linux to help a friend (by Steve on 2005-05-23 18:54:37 GMT from United States)
I have a friend who runs Windows ME (no boos please) and is having a problem. It will no longer boot into full Windows. One option is to reinstall the system, but if anything fouls up, she may lose some pictures stored on the system.
I was thinking of using Feather Linux and writing her pics to CD's and then reinstall her system. She only has 128MB of memory though, so I'm not sure that is viable.
I would appreciate your comments.
15 • Re: Using Linux to help a friend (by Ariszló on 2005-05-23 19:04:13 GMT from Hungary)
128 MB should be enough to run Feather Linux. I could even run KDE in Knoppix on my speed-test machine with only 128 MB of RAM. I'm not sure whether the memory is enough to both run Feather and burn a cd but my guess is that it could be.
16 • Re2: Using Linux to help a friend (by Ariszló on 2005-05-23 19:52:49 GMT from Hungary)
If the memory is not enough to burn a cd then you might as well save the pictures to a pen drive.
17 • DBAN (by gord on 2005-05-23 22:29:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
ah, yes that reminds me DBAN also _wipes_ data. Personally I use it daily (several times daily in fact) to detect HDD errors. I typically use wipetype=DOD, verify=ALL passes, rounds=as.many.as.I.can.be.bothered or sometimes with the following formula: doubt.about.drive.errors x time available x 0.636
seriously though, after blowing repeated bits to every disk location several times and verifying each pass for umpteen rounds, it's very satisfying to see that "DBAN succeeded" as opposed to "DBAN exited with errors" (=disk read or write fault)
try running that newly-delivered server drive over a weekend to burn it in before commissioning it..... So far i've had a 6pc reject rate after 48hr+ runs. (I blame the couriers, as it often happens in pairs or triples in one delivery )
18 • DBAN (by Charles on 2005-05-24 00:35:54 GMT from Germany)
I swear by DBAN. It helped me out in the past when I sold a used hard drive on-line. I had sensitive data on the drive, which I had previously deleted, but to make sure no one could access that data, I installed the drive in my other computer and ran the Gutmann process. As comprehensive and secure as Gutmann is, make sure you have enough time on your hands to wipe the drive. On the PII 400 Mhz system I employed to wipe the old hard drive, it took about five and a half hours to complete the process. However, I would rather be safe and wait the 5.5 hours as opposed to just formatting the drive and shipping it off to someone I didn't know.
19 • RE: deleting data (by mark alec on 2005-05-24 02:21:36 GMT from Australia)
wouldn't an "mke2fs /dev/hda && shred /dev/hda" do the trick
20 • Using Linux to help a friend (by sphen on 2005-05-24 10:16:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Try Puppy Linux or Austrumi. Either will run entirely from RAM (even with just 128 Mb), and you can free up the CD drive to save the pictures.
21 • Gentoo Install Time. (by Mevatron on 2005-05-24 21:52:23 GMT from United States)
If you want to quickly install large packages and you use a standard CPU arch, then just use the Gentoo GRP for a speedy install. I installed gentoo using GRP in about 3 hours.
22 • Re; Knoppix issues (by Anonymous on 2005-05-25 03:29:18 GMT from United States)
"The only thing bothering me about knoppix is that they don't also host the source code of the entire distribution they put out."
Nearly everything on Knoppix comes from the standard Debian unstable or testing repositories. The source for the Knoppix components that aren't in the Debian repositories *is* on one of the Knoppix sites, although it may be tough to find unless you speak German.
23 • Re: Installing Gentoo Linux in chroot (by Ed Borasky on 2005-05-25 03:39:24 GMT from United States)
Actually, it's even easier than that. The only thing you need the Gentoo (or any other) LiveCD for is to create the hard disk partitions where Gentoo will reside. Assume you have some Linux already loaded, including a swap partition. Assume also you've set aside the partition(s) where Gentoo will be installed. In your *regular* Linux:
1. Make the filesystems in the set aside partitions.
2. "mkdir /mnt/gentoo" and mount the root partition on it.
3. Do the same for /boot or any other partitions.
4. Unpack the stage tarball and the Portage snapshot as described in the manual
5. Now do the chroot and finish the install. You're almost dual-booted.
6. Fix up the bootloader in your original Linux so it can boot the original one or Gentoo. You don't need another bootloader on the Gentoo side unless you're going to throw away the original Linux.
24 • Phaeronix (by Rob at 2005-05-25 22:25:04 GMT from United States)
Nothing interesting this week either. Except for Zen Linux and PCBSD .
I gotta let people know what distros taste and why you should see for yourself why.
# Phaeronix (gentoo)
# Vidalinux (gentoo)
# PcLinuxOS (mandriva)
# Blag (fedora core)
# FOX (fedora core)
# Kanotix (Debian sid)
# Frugalware (Arch/slack)
# Ututo (gentoo)
# Mutagenix (slackware/vector)
# Archie (arch) | is basically Arch but configured
# OverclockIX (debian/knoppix)
# SAM (mandriva)
25 • BitKeeper Strikes Back with FUD (by Anonymous on 2005-05-26 06:16:29 GMT from United States)
26 • Reply: Using Linux to help a friend (by Anonymous on 2005-05-26 16:54:55 GMT from United States)
Download and make a bootable CD of Puppy Linux. It will run just fine in 128MB of RAM, and will allow you to remove the live CD so you can burn the files to a CD-R. Out of all the small and lightweight distro's, I think for what you are wanting to do, Puppy would work the best.
27 • distro junkyism (by im_ka on 2005-05-26 23:58:07 GMT from Sweden)
i've messed up my sarge system so i'm once again trying out some distros before reinstalling... maybe i'll settle with something.
just tried the lates simply mepis and it's ridicolous. it takes about 10 minutes to boot (with kde) on my thinkpad t23, 866 mhz p3 and 256 mb ram (prolly the most linux friendly laptops come from ibm), starts all kinds of nonsense (for a desktop distro at least) such as apache.
i'm downloading kanotix 2005-2 now. last time i tried it was pretty impressive, and it looks like my ralink wlan card is now supported out-of-the-box.
let's see what the night brings ;)
28 • Gentoo Install Timings (by Ed Borasky on 2005-05-29 16:48:44 GMT from United States)
Just for the sake of curiosity, I re-installed Gentoo 2005.0 on one of my machines yesterday and timed it. The machine is a 933 MHz P3 desktop with 256 MB and a 30GB hard drive. There are three steps:
1. Make the filesystems, unpack the stage3 tarball and Portage snapshot and copy the binary packages to the hard drive: 6 minutes.
2. Install the entire Gentoo Reference Platform (KDE, Gnome, etc.): 95 minutes.
3. Kernel build: 46 minutes.
When I get some free time, I'm going to do the equivalent -- a full install of "everything" -- for the CentOS 4.0 RHEL clone distro. I've run this before; my recollection is that it took about two hours. So I would say a GRP (from binary) install is time-competitive with CentOS 4.0.
"Ah, but Gentoo doesn't have an installer", I hear someone cry. Aside from the partitioning of the hard drive, which I did manually, everything was done from three bash scripts, plus pre-coded "make.conf", "rc.conf", "grub.conf", "hosts" and "fstab" files. If I wanted to get fancy, I could write a more comprehensive "installer" in "bash", but it didn't seem worth the effort.
Number of Comments: 28
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Issue 488 (2012-12-24): Reviews of Unity and Puppy Linux 5.4 "Slacko", FreeBSD 10|
|• Issue 487 (2012-12-17): Cinnarch 2012.11.22, OpenMandriva, Fedora Magazine, Tumbleweed, OpenJDK vs Oracle Java|
|• Issue 486 (2012-12-10): Linux Mint 14 review, Ubuntu "spyware" controversy, Haiku overview, troubleshooting Linux servers|
|• Issue 485 (2012-12-03): Kwort Linux 3.5, Mint bug-fix update, Fedora's new Anaconda, defining a distribution|
|• Issue 484 (2012-11-26): Look at SMS 2.0.1, Fedora pre-beta report, Illumos, Secure Boot update|
|• Issue 483 (2012-11-19): DragonFly BSD 3.2.1 and Xubuntu 12.10, Gentoo and udev, switching file systems|
|• Issue 482 (2012-11-12): Review of Zenwalk 7.2, Clang in FreeBSD, Omniboot 0.5, priorities on external drives|
|• Issue 481 (2012-11-05): Look at Tails 0.13, EFF on Ubuntu and privacy, Debian installer changes, ext4 data corruption bug|
|• Issue 480 (2012-10-29): Review of Ubuntu 12.10, Wayland 1.0, FreeBSD's pkgng|
|• Issue 479 (2012-10-22): Look at Zentyal 3.0, Debian bug reporting, initiating a halt|
|• Issue 478 (2012-10-15): Slackware 14.0 review, Ubuntu donations, connecting to multiple machines behind router|
|• Issue 477 (2012-10-08): Review of ODROID-X, OpenBSD's anti-Linux song, interview with Vincent Untz, Linux as operating system|
|• Issue 476 (2012-10-01): Review of openSUSE 12.2, Slackware 14.0 features, accessing home computer with SSH|
|• Issue 475 (2012-09-24): Look at PCLinuxOS 2012.08, Ubuntu and Amazon, SolusOS and PiSi, ownCloud|
|• Issue 474 (2012-09-17): Bodhi Linux 2.0.1, OpenIndiana interview, Frugalware history, update notifications|
|• Issue 473 (2012-09-10): The Linux Command Line, Slackware documentation project, Debian's new primary arch, Goobuntu|
|• Issue 472 (2012-09-03): Kororaa Linux 17, OpenIndiana and SchilliX, Ubuntu GNOME remix, home server tip|
|• Issue 471 (2012-08-27): Linux Mint 13 "KDE", Ubuntu 12.10 features, Slax update, folder quotas|
|• Issue 470 (2012-08-20): Liberté Linux 2012.2, Arch and systemd, NetBSD's sysbuild and sysupgrade, 19 years of Debian|
|• Issue 469 (2012-08-13): Peppermint OS Three, SUSE on Secure Boot, GNOME OS, moving email to Linux|
|• Issue 468 (2012-08-06): First look at CentOS 6.3, Debian installer beta, Fedora and MATE, Libtrash|
|• Issue 467 (2012-07-30): Ubuntu Made Easy, Debian "Jessie", OpenBSD on Secure Boot, Rawhide troubles|
|• Issue 466 (2012-07-23): Fuduntu 2012.3, Linux in PC-BSD jails, secure boot on older computers|
|• Issue 465 (2012-07-16): Netrunner 4.2, Mandriva's two codebases, firewalls and window frames|
|• Issue 464 (2012-07-09): Zorin OS 6, FSF's views on secure boot, Virtual PDF Printer|
|• Issue 463 (2012-07-02): TurnKey Linux 11.3, Red Hat and Btrfs, Sabayon's MATE spin, ZFS on Linux|
|• Issue 462 (2012-06-25): Sabayon 9, "Wheezy" freeze, Zorin OS overview, Vinux interview, mounting network shares|
|• Issue 461 (2012-06-18): Linux Mint 13, openSUSE 12. delays, Debian Multimedia, Mageia 3 roadmap|
|• Issue 460 (2012-06-11): Look at Fedora 17, PC-BSD and Slackware interviews, Openfiler and FuguIta|
|• Issue 459 (2012-06-04): Impressions of Mageia 2, Fedora updates, Debian or Raspberry Pie, improving software performance|
|• Issue 458 (2012-05-28): Impressions of SolusOS 1, Linux kernel 3.4, encrypting home folder|
|• Issue 457 (2012-05-21): Linux accessibility, Fedora 17 overview, MultiSystem, launching tasks|
|• Issue 456 (2012-05-14): Look at OpenBSD 5.1, Debian Installer 7.0 alpha, UDS news round-up|
|• Issue 455 (2012-05-07): Review of Ubuntu 12.04, "Quantal Quetzal" plans, Debian infographic|
|• Full list of all issues|