[conspire] Preparing dual-boot system

Eric De Mund ead-conspire at ixian.com
Tue Jan 22 02:13:41 PST 2008


Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>:
] Quoting hirohama at gmail.com (hirohama at gmail.com):
] > I'd like some recommendations on how to prepare my hard drives so
] > that I can install a multi-boot system next Saturday; I'll probably
] > arrive around 8 PM, so I'd like to do whatever preparatory work that
] > I can ahead of time.
] We'll be glad to have you.
] > I'll probably just go with a few flavors of GNU/Linux and maybe a
] > free version of BSD. I'm new to GNU/Linux, so I don't know what
] > distributions might appeal to me most.
] You know, my _own_ preference would be to load one distro at a time,
] and after a week or so, wipe it out and put something else on.
] <huge amounts of additional useful information elided>

You are one flipping superb source of useful information, Rick. This is
yet one more of your emails that I'm saving to my 23,000-note notebase
for future reference, just in case.

In particular, I didn't know all those flavors/types of virtualization,
Also, I'm not up on power supplies. I'm leaning towards making my next
machine a Micro-ATX one, and one of the reasons I didn't pick up one of
the 300 Watt Antec ones on sale for $30.00 at Fry's this weekend was be-
cause I thought that 300 Watts struck me as being too thin for safety's
(reliability's) sake.

] It would be desirable to do that in advance -- and also to arrive with
] _some_ idea what Linux/BSD distro(s) you want to load -- because with
] an 8PM start time, you might end up being time-constrained. Maybe not,
] but it would be good to not have to hurry, and to sit and chat.

I came out of the BSD world, and I first turned to Linux at home because
it had more end-user type "toys" (i.e. much more than just development
tools) than did FreeBSD, which was my BSD-at-home point of origin. Be-
cause my client at the time was a Red Hat Linux shop, I first tried Red
Hat at home. Red Hat Linux 5.x-7.x worked well enough, but I found the
distribution a little bit haphazard. I switched to Slackware, as it was
said to be the most UNIX-like Linux distribution. I couldn't and can't
comment on the superlative aspect (i.e. the "most" in "the most UNIX-
like"), but I found it to be very UNIX-like, very straightforward to set
up, very simple to administer, and very comfortable to use. I see that
it still strives for "UNIX-like":

    The Slackware Linux Project: General Information

    The Slackware Philosophy
    Since  its  first  release  in  April of 1993, the Slackware
    Linux Project  has aimed  at producing the  most "UNIX-like"
    Linux distribution out there. Slackware  complies  with  the
    published Linux standards, such as  the  Linux  File  System
    Standard. We have always considered simplicity and stability
    paramount,  and  as a result Slackware has become one of the
    most popular, stable, and friendly distributions available.

I finally ended up switching to Debian because I found no clean way in
certain instances in Slackware, other than manual compilation from
source, to add applications or libraries that weren't part of the dis-
tribution. Also, as far as I could tell there was no clean way to
upgrade a system from, say, Slackware 9.x to Slackware 10.x. Reinstal-
lation seemed to be the only way forward, and I didn't like this.

Debian is where I am now and where I imagine I'll be for some time. The
package selection is huge, obviating the need for me to compile all but
the most esoteric software from source. And the process of installing
and deinstalling packages, as well as upgrading systems, is very clean.

For one thing, the processes of, for example, (a) installing a Debian
4.0 system from scratch, and (b) upgrading an existing Debian 3.x system
to 4.0, both result in the exact same system. Speaking personally, it is
*wonderful* to have the confidence that my upgraded systems are as
"clean and correct" as equivalent brand new systems.

Good luck, and enjoy your journey. This is a great group to take it with.
Or the best group to have on board when, rocketing across the Bonneville
Salt Flats with the vibrating wheels hinting that they might soon be
coming off, some cheerful soul informs you, "This X part of your system
really needs to be swapped out for this other Y."

"I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In
fact I work only under duress." --Edward Abbey

Eric De MUND   | Ixian Systems           | Jab: eadixian at jabber.org/main
ead at ixian.com  | 650 Castro St, #120-210 | Y!M: ead0002
ixian.com/ead/ | Mountain View, CA 94041 | ICQ: 811788

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