Posted 02 September 2004 - 11:49 PM
Its been a while since I've been on this forum but now I'm back.
Thanks to help from people here I have been using Red Hat 9 happily for a few months. Well maybe not so happily...
I'm never going back to Windows now but I really hope I can get a better distro. I've found RedHat great when you want to maintain status quo but installing software can be a nightmare. I'm getting a new laptop soon so I am planning to get a new distro.
I've found that the configure, make, make install cycle time-consuming, tedious and unreliable (especially if there are dependencies involved). All to often I just give up. And rpms aren't that great either. Sometimes I think back to the Windows "setup.exe" files with longing...
I know that with so many distros the make, install cycle is sometimes the only way (there is no way to cater to everyone's needs when there are so many linux choices out there) but surely there is there an easier way? I've become scared of installing software of RedHat because it takes so so long...
I want a freely downloadable distro. Of course, I still want make, gcc and the usual tools. I'm looking into Gentoo as Portage seems to help a lot. Does anyone have any experiance of Gentoo? Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for your help
Posted 03 September 2004 - 12:07 AM
Posted 03 September 2004 - 12:17 AM
Portage is a fantastic system for installing software, but it compiles *everything* from source. This will not solve the problems you stated.
I highly recommend you seek out some sort of Debian distro. MEPIS is an awesome pick, even though 2004.1 has a little bug or two in the kernel (which happens to prevent me from using it at the moment), but it is an excellent system. Any Debian distro will treat you right with apt-get. Apt-get will solve most of your packaging nightmares.
Posted 03 September 2004 - 12:50 AM
Specificly what 'bugs'? Have you mentioned this on the mepis.org forum?
Honestly, I'm still running SimplyMepis2004 RC4... This might be missing some eyecandy, but otherwise it's the same as the final. The kernel is a touch leaner, and, I've found it to be a real sweetheart. Also the latest versions of SimplyMepis do not have the option for a boot floppy RC4 still does.
There will be a (final.final?) release about the middle of this month, but I probally won't change unless it's for something like the 2.6.8 kernel (unlikely).
Posted 03 September 2004 - 02:00 AM
Posted 03 September 2004 - 11:01 AM
Just a few thoughts before I decide.
-I have synaptic for RH9. Is the MEPIS/Debian apt-get have a more comprehensive repository than what I have seen with RedHat?
-Portage compiles from the source which will be available for 99% of the software I use. This sounds good as long as the compiling procedure is almost completely automated (I don't mind waiting if I am confident it will work).
-Gentoos list of 7000 + seems pretty comprehensive (even amazing). I search for "pixie", "blender", "bluefish", "anjuta" (the software I have learnt to use) and there are matches for all of them! I'm dumbfounded. If this list means "automated downloading and compiling" then I'm all for it!
-Most of the worry with RedHat9 is that you a) haven't fully read the documentation (which takes time) and b) it won't work on your system c) Having to be tied to your computer to give instructions and look out for errors. The compile time isn't a problem as long as I can think of something else while it is happening.
-MEPIS installs divX, realplayer, java etc automatically which is great.
-MEPIS has great hardware support which is very helpful.
I'm kinda torn between MEPIS and Gentoo now. Could someone point me out to the repository that MEPIS uses so I can check out how extensive it is?
Thanks for your replies!
Posted 03 September 2004 - 05:16 PM
type: apt-get update
type: apt-get install synaptic
You're back in familiar territory.
Mepis has the whole of the Debian repository available soo...
It's a heck of a lot of apps ;-) It's set to pull from testing, but you can change that depending on how adventurous you are.
Posted 04 September 2004 - 06:05 AM
Unfortunately, due to an apt-get dependency problem in 2004.1, I cannot recompile the kernel either, so I cannot use MEPIS until that simple value gets set correctly.
Posted 04 September 2004 - 11:14 AM
Portage is about as automated as compiling from source can be. It does ./configure make make install for you. Just as an example, say you wanted to install kde. All you have to do is open an xterm, and type "emerge kde". it finds all the dependancies and compiles all of it, for something like kde it takes a while, since it is pretty big. I've had very few problems with portage, in fact only when I used packages marked as unstable, ie. the really new ones,did they break during the install. Hope this helps.
Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:17 PM
I just HAVE to try Portage. When I understood the concept and saw the software database I was completely sold out on the idea. Thanks guys for pointing out MEPHIS to me though...I will also try it out some time (very soon if I have problems with Gentoo)
Posted 07 September 2004 - 10:52 AM
I've read the installation documentation MANY times and now I think I have some idea of what I am doing. I've made loads of notes on what to do and shall have a go today.
I think if anything will go wrong it is getting the boot loader configured. Everything else I have met in some way or another before.
Seeing I'm doing a stage 3 install, I would hope that I don't have to worry too much about setting up KDE/GNOME. We'll see
Posted 07 September 2004 - 05:33 PM
So I had a bloody go at installing Gentoo. Incredibly I almost go to the end of the installation without a hitch.
I deleted the boot partition I had from before and made a new one (which was an act of faith seeing I don't have an XP boot disk). Incredibly, I managed to set the GRUB to boot XP ok.
If I try to load gentoo from GRUB i get the following:
mount: Mounting /dev/hda3 on /newroot failed: Invalid argument
>>Could not mount the specified ROOT, try again
>>The root block device is unspecified or not detected
>>Please specify a device to boot, or "shell" for a shell...
Here is how I tried to set up the partitions with fdisk:
hda1 = Windows XP partition
hda2 = Boot partition
hda3 = Swap partition
hda4 = Root partition
Can anyone please help me?
Posted 07 September 2004 - 08:25 PM
I'm afraid I can't seem to access the actual /boot/grub/grub.conf file anymore. The shell mentioned in the error message above doesn't seem to do much. Do you have any ideas how I should find grub.conf again? Anyway, I do know what I was trying to set grub.conf to:
title = Gentoo
kernel /kernel-2.4.26-gentoo-r6 root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk=8192 real_root=/dev/hda4 vga792
title = Windows XP
Whether this was the right idea or not, I do not know. I'll play around with the GRUB once it is loaded to try to find out what is going wrong.
I used genkernel to compile. Only once I am confident with the easiest install method will I try anything fancy
Posted 07 September 2004 - 10:39 PM
This folder might not exist so you might have to do remount your root on /mnt/gentoo and you boot on /mnt/gentoo/boot, if you chroot into /mnt/gentoo make sure you also do mount -t proc none /mnt/gentoo/proc . This should give you access to grub.conf. Everthing looks good with what you have here execpt, don't forget to add an "=" to the vga option(which is not required on most systems). Hope this helps.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:54 AM
Thanks for your help.
I've been using my computer a little too much recently so I've got funny little registers floating in my head when I sleep at night and I sometimes mumble things like "The preprocessor directives are ALL wrong!!" while dreaming (only kidding - I'm not that bad yet).
Anyway, I woke up this morning remembering what might have gone wrong. In fstab, there wasn't enough space to seperate the fields: i had something like /gentoo/bootext3 with no space between boot and ext3. I was trying to keep everything in the columns given.
Do you think this may have been the problem? Do I have to keep everything in those columns? Anyway, in the meantime, I'll try doing what you said in your post above.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:36 PM
Is you real_root option set correctly? This is what you posted for what you intended.
and does your fstab entry for hda4 look something like this:
Also do you a a series of messages before what you have posted?