posted by Dan Gonzalez on Mon 20th Dec 2004 18:03 UTC

"Page 2"
Some Issues

I had two problems using this distro but I was able to resolve one of them (partially) without too much trouble. I was not able to get my printer (HP DeskJet 3820 - connected via parallel cable) working under CUPS, the default printing environment on FreeSBIE. I was able to start the CUPS service on the console as indicated in the manual and navigate to the CUPS administration WUI using FireFox (http://localhost:631). I was prompted for root login and password but I didn't remember entering a root password at any point during the install. Most Live CD distros run "root" without a password or the password being the same as the login. I opened a terminal and used the ®passwd® command to set a password for "root" so I could add my printer. I only mention this because I didn't see it mentioned anywhere on the FreeSBIE website or in their docs. It appears that there was no driver for the HP 3800 series printer I had connected to my machine. That also is going to require further investigation to see if there is another driver listed that will work for my 3820 printer. The second issue I had was getting my Linux partition and Win98SE partitions mounted read/write so I could save some screenshots to my hard drive. FreeSBIE provides a script (/scripts/mount_disks.sh) under /scripts so you can remount partitions read/write. All partitions are mounted read-only by default. No matter what I tried I could not get my partitions mounted read/write. This issue also happened with my 128MB Flash drive. I could see everything mounted read-only when I issued the "mount" command:

  • /dev/ad0s1 on /mnt/dos.1 (msdosfs, local, read-only)
  • /dev/ads03 on /mnt/ext2fs.1 (ext2fs, local, read-only)
  • /dev/da0s1 on /mnt/dos.2 (msdosfs, local, read-only)

As a result, I could not save any screenshots or documents I created to the hard drive. I was able to write this review on FreeSBIE using vim and emailing the file to myself. When executing the script for mounting disks read/write (®/scripts/mount_disks.sh rw®), I didn't see any output that would indicate that there was problem, so I could not understand why this wasn't working. I tried to work around this by using the script to save my settings (®/scripts/save_settings.sh®), which will save any changes you made to a hard drive partition. This script also gave no indication that there was a problem writing to the hard drive. I saved my changes to my Linux partition which is ext3 for my root filesystem. Still, when I issued the ®mount® command mentioned above, all partitions were listed as read-only. It appears that something was written to my Linux partition because a subsequent boot uncovered a "bad/duplicate inode" under fsck. It's not really a big deal because a manual run of "fsck" on the filesystem corrected the problem automagically and placed the offending data under /lost+found. I'm currently researching how to deal with the contents of the three files under /lost+found.

Conclusion

Aside from the two issues I mentioned earlier, I have grown very fond of this distribution in the short amount of time that I've used it and I look forward to version 1.2! Performance of this distro was excellent although not as quick as the other live CD (Knoppix) I've used in the past (Note: I know this may not be a fair comparison as Knoppix has been around a little longer from what I can tell). There were a few seconds of lag time when I clicked on icons to open apps and when they finally opened. I wasn't sure if my mouse clicks were having any effect. I'll have to check the Fluxbox settings menu to see if it can be corrected. Other than that, I am very pleased with my first experience using a FreeBSD-based Live-CD. I want to apologize in advance if the issues I encountered above are just ultimately proven to be pilot error on my part. I will keep recommending this distribution to others and I may even make it a stocking stuffer for some people on my Christmas list.

About Myself

I'm a Switch Maintenance Engineer for a cable monopoly in NY and have been using GNU/Linux since 1996. My first experience with FLOSS software was with the publisher's edition (Learning Red Hat Linux by O'Reilly) of Red Hat 6.0. I have a wonderful wife and two children that occupy most of my time nowadays. Feel free to contact me at this address.

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