View Full Version : FC2 to Sarge to KNOPPIX to FC2

11th October 2004, 07:34 PM
My wife's PC has FC2 installed on it. I heard that Debian's "Sarge" was getting close to being released, so I decided to give it a try on my wife's box. I downloaded the Oct 4 snapshot. In all fairness I understand that Sarge is a testing distro, but Debian buzz is saying that it is close to being released.

The first suprise was the Sarge consists of 14 iso files (that's NO typo - FOURTEEN), totaling 8.5GB!!! :eek: I like big distros. I usually choose the 'install everything' option. Many of the better distros have 4 to 7 iso files. Undaunted, I downloaded all 14 from an ftp server, then burned 14 CDs. (I fully expect to get a warning from my RR ISP, or perhaps a surcharge. Since they advertise 3Mb/s download speed I would think such a 'warning' would be hypocritical, because 3Mb/s is 972 GB/month and 8.5GB would be less than 1% of my monthly alotment.) No coasters were created during the making of the CD set! K3b works great!

The Sarge docs say that only CD1 is needed to make a functional installation, and CDs 2 through 9 add applications. I never identified what CDs 10 through 14 were for, if not to supply the source.

The second suprise was when I booted CD 1. My first Linux distro was RH 5.0, in May of 1997. The Sarge installer is console, and looks just like the RH 5.0 installer, IIRC. The light blueish background with the darker blue areas and the red highlighting. It worked just about as well. (I tried the GUI installer too, and found it well below current standards for an installer.)

Pressing on with the antiquated console installer, my third suprise was when I used the manual partition option and tried to reconfigured the 30GB HD to have a EXT3 /boot and ReiserFS / and /home partitions. ReiserFS didn't appear in the fs options, so I stayed with EXT3. The installer failed in its attempt to write grub, bringing the installation attempt to a screeching halt. . Selecting the MBR or other options made no difference. I could not back up past the partition step, so I rebooted and re-ran the console installer. On the second attempt the installer refused to recognize hardware that it identified on the first attempt. The installer still refused to erase the partition table, nor delete the last remaining partition.

I attempted to install using the GUI installer. The hardware identification phase went OK, but grub still wouldn't write. My third suprise was that the steps of the installation sequence on the GUI installer seemed out of order: probing hardware followed by completing the installation, followed by setting up keyboard & monitor, selecting sofware,...etc...

I decided the Sarge was a long way from being ready for prime time, but knowing that KNOPPIX 3.6 (the latest) was made from the 'latest' Debian I decided to boot that 1 CD distro. It ran beautifully on my wife's box. I opened a console and entered "IGNORE_CHECK=1 sudo knoppix-installer", without the quote marks, of course. The install presented a nice GUI installer that allowed me to repartition the HD, size it the way I wanted, and use the ReiserFS fs. The install was uneventful. The reboot presented me with KNOPPIX (Debian) distro using the 2.4 kernel, and a recent KDE desktop. Many, if not most, KDE apps appeared to be from the "Woody" Debian release, some from "Sarge". The overall look and feel wasn't quite KDE state of the art. OpenOffice was marked as 1.1. The total install was about 1.6GB, all from one CD. All-in-all, KNOPPIX had the feel of a 'minimalist' distro. If I were going to setup a server of some sort KNOPPIX might be a good distro to use, because of Debian's reputation for solidness and security. But, my wife likes bells and whistles! :)

I sat for a while and reflected on what I'd have to do to get KNOPPIX (or Sarge!) to the state that FC2 is in after a fresh install followed by the latest up2date. My conclusion was that the best way to reach that level was to reinstall FC2. The good thing that came out of this, besides learning about Sarge and how to do a KNOPPIX hd install, is that my wifes genealogy stuff is now backed up on a CD. There are a lot of younger Penquins who like to explore more than I do, so I offered my 14 CD Sarge set to the first taker on the HuskerLug email list.

11th October 2004, 08:18 PM
Welcome back to FC2!

11th October 2004, 11:40 PM
Interesting adventure you had. Whatever disto you use, that's cool. We just like Fedora is all. :)

Downloading distros is a good use of broadband. Unfortunately most ISPs oversell and so don't expect you to use all your bandwidth. Dedicated 3Mb/s is expensive.

I personally won't be trying out Debian any time soon. Maybe Koppix on occasion.