Linked by Joe Ferrare on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 07:10 UTC
Linux Installing Ark Linux was another episode in my continuing quest to find the perfect GNU/Linux distribution. My operational definition of perfect is pretty simple: just like Slackware, except for the parts I can't figure out (getting my USB thumb drive to work properly, for instance).
Order by: Score:
v sigh
by Josh Sakic on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 07:26 UTC
Ark linux installer
by Manish Bansal on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 07:34 UTC

The intaller of Ark linux leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the disk partitioning area. I don't mind if the distribution itself is alpha or beta but the installer should be rock solid. Unless you have a spare PC to try out stuff, you should never install Ark linux, atleast not on your regular PC. use VMWare or other similar virtual machines.
Infact any installer that does not give the option of installing on the existing linux partitions is best left alone.

RE: sigh
by blixel on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 07:49 UTC

why do so many reviewers for OSNews like to emphasis their personal story with desktops and the number of os' they have tried?

What would you recommend? That they put emphasis on information and distributions that they know nothing about and have no personal experience with?

Linux reviews
by Timo on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 08:01 UTC

Why Linux reviews so often consentrate only in OS installation that is in ideal cases performed only once? For me more important issue is how easy it is to live day by day with the OS. More attention should be paid to the software installation (both distro software and 3rd party), software removal, system maintenance & security upgrades, software stability/freshness, troubleshooting, etc.

v another...
by anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 08:17 UTC
RE: Linux reviews
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 08:22 UTC

One, because it is required to install most distributions of Linux. And two, because it is difficult.

RE:sigh
by Michael Moran on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 09:12 UTC

I tend to think it is useful to know the reviewer's prior experences. It can also help the reader understand what biases the reviewer might have. For instance, if I was reviewing Red Hat and mentioned that all I ever use is Debian because I had problems with RPM's dependency hell while using Mandrake. You relize that this indicates I might have a bias against RPM based distros. At least thats my thoughts.

Also, I thought the review was very good. I hadn't even heard of Ark Linux before.

Re: Ark linux installer
by Sergio on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 10:14 UTC

The issue of the installer is indeed very serious.
It doesn't even 'see' an existing swap, it creates a new one from the free space.
You don't get any choice regarding the bootloader: it will install GRUB in the MBR, and won't put any other linuxes in the menu. I use only Linux.
And the first choice on top is to take over the entire HD. You don't even get a second warning, like for instance in Lindows.
Many people have been left with their main OS unbootable or, worse, destroyed.
Mepis or PCLinuxOS are one man distros and are much more recent, yet they have excellent installers.
So much for a user friendly distro aimed at new Windows converts!

SIGH
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 10:59 UTC

-> What would you recommend? That they put emphasis on information and distributions that they know nothing about and have no personal experience with?

I'd recommend to take 20 people and make them test the distro, then point out the pros and cons. The opinion of one is not enough.


Re: Linux reviews
by walterbyrd on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 12:42 UTC

Reviewers basing their entire assessment on the install, and ten minutes of playing with the new install; is also a pet peeve of mine.

If you want a good review of you linux distro, make sure the install is very slick, everything else can suck.

Re: Ark linux installer
by GW on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 13:48 UTC

Well the good news is that they are starting over from scratch on the installer. They plan to debut the new installer in alpha 12, possibly 11.

And MEPIS's installer has been pretty buggy, at least for the first few releases. Half of the version updates to MEPIS so far have been done to fix problems with the installer. And the last time I tried to install MEPIS it wouldn't let me resize or delete my ntfs partition manually (despite specifically advertizing this ability), and the automatic installer choked at 10% on a full disk install.

re: SIGH
by David Bruce on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 14:15 UTC

"I'd recommend to take 20 people and make them test the distro, then point out the pros and cons. The opinion of one is not enough."

Then round up 19 of your buddies and start testing. Everything done on this site is by volunteers on their spare time. Remember that you get these stories and reviews for free.

usb pen drive
by bb_matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 14:50 UTC

With slackware it's easy enough to get your pen driving working. On most modern PC's, it's usually seen as a scsi device and will more than likely be /dev/sda - that's what I've found under slackware and what I've seen most people post on forums.

I found that if I plugged my thumbdrive in and rebooted slackware 9.1, it would configure the device when booting and then it's a simple matter of mounting it.

As far as I know, the default kernel installed with slackware has the modules neccessary to support most pen drives.
I could be wrong tho ;)

Re: walterbyrd
by Androo on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 14:53 UTC

Reviewers basing their entire assessment on the install, and ten minutes of playing with the new install; is also a pet peeve of mine.

Unfortunately this is how things work in the real world. You get a first impression, then that first impression affects how you view the rest.

Take Gentoo, for example. So many people won't bother to even try installing it because its install process is 'difficult' and 'unnecessary'. In my eyes, Gentoo is one of the easiest and pleasant OSes to install; unfortunately though, many don't see it that way and this causes them to skip over one of the best distros that exists today.

I even knew some nut who refused to install BeOS because it was known that under very heavy load the kernel would drop messages! He explained to me that he didn't want an unstable OS and no amount of my explaining of why that doesn't happen and why it shouldn't happen would change his mind.

People are weird.

unmounted icons in KDE
by peragrin on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 14:55 UTC

KDE 3.1.4 (I am not sure about other versions) has a probelm in which unmounted icons don't properly disappear. I found this out when dealing with remote mounted samba shares. The fix that I know of.

Open the config desktop panel, go to the section which has check marks next which Icons to show on the desktop, check and then uncheck the affected share, makeing sure to click apply in between. when you exit the config panel your desktop will be updated.

v One distro to rule them all!
by Trollboy on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 15:57 UTC
v gentoo sucks.
by Trollboy's Father on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 17:07 UTC
packaging system
by Matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 17:17 UTC

based on redhat, i assume that its rpm based then? if so, do they offer anything like apt/yum/urpmi for package installation?

mount thumbdrive
by philci52 on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 17:37 UTC

I've recently acquired a thumbdrive and here's how I was able to get to to work. It should matter what distrobution you have as long as your usb drivers are loaded and the usb files system is mounted (modules (sd_mod, usb-uhci, usb-storage) and "mount -t usbfs none
/proc/bus/usb")
1) usually (since I don't have a SCSI drive) mine gets the mount point /dev/sda1. You can look at your mount points in /proc/mountpoints.
2) mkdir /mnt/thumbdrive
3) chmod 666 /mnt/thumbdrive
4) mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/thumbdrive
5) Mine (Kernel 2.4.20, Redhat 7.3) only gets mounted as read only, here's how I changed that:
mount -o remount,rw -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/thumbdrive

If all that works without a hitch, then you should be able to use your thumbdrive like any other directory.

packaging system
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:08 UTC

Hi

Yes. They use apt-get for rpm and synaptic to cover package management. So all apps that can installed from their repository is completely hassle free
regards
rahul sundaram

RE: packaging system
by bero on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:14 UTC

Yes, we use apt for everything.

RE: packaging system
by CaptainPinko on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:14 UTC

>> based on redhat, i assume that its rpm based then? if so, do they offer anything like apt/yum/urpmi for package installation?


and I quote:

"I downloaded the Red Hat RPMs..."

and:

"To get more programs I went to Mission Control, which brought up Synaptic, a nice front end to apt-get"

RTFA eh?

RE: mount thumbdrive
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 23:19 UTC

Windows XP users: You can just plug in your thumb drive, and then a Window will pop up, asking if you want to open the folder, view the pictures, copy the files, etc. No need to recompile modules, mount (?!),worry about usb-uhci/remote root exploits/us-storage, etc. Microsoft, in all their forethought, has automated all of these steps for you.

It should matter what distrobution you have as long as your usb drivers are loaded and the usb files system is mounted (modules (sd_mod, usb-uhci, usb-storage) and "mount -t usbfs none
/proc/bus/usb")
1) usually (since I don't have a SCSI drive) mine gets the mount point /dev/sda1. You can look at your mount points in /proc/mountpoints.
2) mkdir /mnt/thumbdrive
3) chmod 666 /mnt/thumbdrive
4) mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/thumbdrive
5) Mine (Kernel 2.4.20, Redhat 7.3) only gets mounted as read only, here's how I changed that:
mount -o remount,rw -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/thumbdrive

RE: RE: mount thumbdrive
by Namaseit on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 08:30 UTC

Actually if you use any of the bigger distros it is done almost exactly like that as well. Suse, Redhat 9 or higher, Mandrake, Lindows, Xandros, etc. That guy was using an older version of RedHat(7.3).

New installers?
by timhawkins on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 15:27 UTC

I think we need a new installer under the BSD License, so it can be used on *BSD systems as well as Linux systems. well all systems.. a nice easy to use installer that can be modified to work on many platform.. i would like that

re ark linux
by Anonymous on Wed 11th Feb 2004 02:17 UTC

as a computer dummy I have been following my workmates attempts at "trying Linux" with interest......they tried Redhat 9 weren't happy........tried ark linux.....very happy.....they even let me use it......it seems ok to me once you get used to the names of the applications......as a complete and utter pc moron I had no bother with ark.....well done people, keep up the good work.