Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday: Back to Linux Mint 10 RC

Hi, and welcome to Friday.

As far as moods and disposition goes, this was not a good week for me to have been messing about with OS's. There are times when I am in a much better frame of mind for Slackware based distros.

Most of my "grief" came from three simple things, but there was more to it than just these:
1) Virtual Box & Guest Addition display drivers
2) Package management
3) I'm an idiot.

So, it went something like this.
I was running Linux Mint Debian Edition, but the RC for Linux Mint (Main~Gnome) 10 which has a lot of cool new features on the mintMenu in particular. And, it is available in 64bit.
Okay, great. Got it installed. Got Rosetta@home going again. All was good.
Well, while going through all that, I was thinking to myself... I wonder what Zenwalk has gotten up to lately. I mean, we are talking about a virtual machine, right? I stayed up on LM10 the whole time. No problem.
So... yeah.
First off, Zenwalk Core is great for a number of things. I mean, the file server here (an old 333Mhz Pentium got mercy's sake) that I built up scraps (with Dad's help - it was my first computer assembly) is still running Zenwalk Server for about four years now. Very stable, but anyway.

One of the things I like about it is it is really easy to switch from init 3 to 4 and back. (console environment to graphical environment) This is a good thing because I needed it. I just could not really get Xorg configured. It wanted to use nothing but the vesa driver and stuck me in 800x600 in stead of 1280x800 and the mouse integration never really worked right.
Going on the supposition that these were VirtualBox issues and all this would work fine in a "real" installation, I decided to set that aside and have a look around - the real purpose of the exercise. Well, the package manager - netpkg was not too bad. I mean, I am spoiled to Mint's updater and whatnot, but I could work with netpkg/zenpkg. It is better than it was four years ago when I set up the file server. But you kinda have to know what package you are looking for. There are plenty of resources for looking around the interwebs for package names, then hope that netpkg can find it out there. I mean, I did get the kernel headers installed so I could install the VBGuestAdditions. It was livable. Zenwalk is very pretty, but I do not want to settle. If I really wanted a MAC, but did not want to pay for it, I could run ZW and install everything under the sun and be happy, I suppose.

Quickly, I just went back to LMDE, but I could not get it to install. I got kinda frustrated with that because I _had_ installed it before.

So, I looked at Absolute. It too is slackware based. And kinda pretty. I had kinda tested it out in the past, but as soon as I saw that I could not just run it in VBox out-of-the-box, I moved on because I was looking for something kinda specific at the time. So, install again.
It had a nice little "Here is what you can do now" welcome message. Google Chromium was installed out of the box as were some other things I use and others I don't. Typical.
During the install, it prompted to create a root password, but did not have a step for setting up the user. Here in the welcome screen, the message was something like this:
Here is where I am supposed to tell you that you should create a user for yourself, but I don't because I need root for everything because the only things I do on this distro need root access and I do not want to su or sudo and keep having to type the password over and over.

Well, 1) sudo can be set such that one does not have to enter the password every time. It is not as secure, but better than running around as root all the time. 2) I suppose that is fine when one is the only person to use the computer or everyone using it is just going to all use the same ID. Whatever.
So, okay. I could just set myself up my user account and configure it the way I want - I hardly have to subscribe to the author's policies, right? I *see* where he is coming from, but I just don't go there myself. No biggie. Moving on.
I downloaded all the kernel source and started building modules and installing the guest additions. Pfft - same thing; 800x600 and no mouse integration. Oh, and no mounting host shares. That is definitely a show stopper... ish.
Then it comes to the package manager - yeah, right. Search the web, find the package its self, install it. Okay... this really is fine for plenty of situations. I can really see jumping into this methodology really easily. Especially in an IT type environment where you probably have a file server with all your packages on it and can just mount your share, get to your own little custom repository and pick and choose.
BUT, if I was doing that, I would probably just run SLAX, you know? This just does not suit my current mission. Maybe when I am setting up something where that would be more appropriate, then that would be more... well, appropriate.

Now, a few things about the installers. What ever happened to letting me use more than one drive for the install? No... What drive would you like to install this on. Pick one and I am going to ignore the rest. This is fine for some things, but I want to go through this setup during installation and not have to revisit it after the fact. I want swap on a disk all its own. I want to choose where my home gets mounted - on its own drive. Putting /media in its own partition has its purpose too. Sure, I can add them later, but during install really is when I want to do it. After install, I just want to get the extra packages I need, remove the ones I don't and get to work, you know? Not the end of the world, but I feel like this was a bit of a step back in the evolution of linux installers. (Sure, someone is going to read this and think to themselves - hey, if she had just done it this way, or that way, everything would have this or that. Did I mention that I was not in the proper disposition for doing this stuff this week? Maybe later. It's virtual, I can pick it up again when I feel more like gettin' teckie wit' it.)

So, I go back to my good old Mint. What is this? I had not reset the environment back to 32 bit when I was installing LMDE! Oh... I am an idiot. But, well, I am installing 64 bit now, so no problem.

I put the VM back to Linux Mint 10 RC so I can track it until the release comes out and see if I want to install it on my laptop, or stick with the debian.

Frame of mind? I had kind of had a few setbacks when I kept blacking out during the Zenwalk tests. I would be in the middle of something, then the next thing I would know, I would be doing something else, somewhere else and have no idea where the past few hours had gone. A major setback in the trying-to-get-things-done department.

Now, all that is set aside for now and I am back on my laptop. :sigh: Comfy.

Thanks, take care, and happy Friday!

No comments:

Post a Comment