I’ll start at the beginning to keep the story simple. I wanted to dual boot Arch and Gentoo. In fact that is still my goal though I have yet to achieve it. So in order to dual boot, and being the near sighted person I sometimes tend to be, I had to make some space on my hard drive. A brand new 320G Western Digital and I didn’t leave a single byte for anyone but Arch. So I downloaded Parted Magic which is made by one of the same guys who make the better known GParted live CD. The difference as of right now I don’t really know. I didn’t put that much time into it. Anyway I booted it remade some partitions, rebooted to make sure everything was okay, and low and behold my root file system was corrupt. Its just not been my week, what can I say?
With that I rebooted using the Gentoo LiveCD and reinstalled Gentoo. I’ve almost got the handbook memorized at this point. So I’ve reinstalled Gentoo without a hitch, this time making sure to leave two empty partitions for Arch. My new binary best friend.
On a side note. I don’t know any English people… not really. I mean I know some people from England, but I have no true English friends. I also, being fairly well educated, know that stereotypes are more often than not a bad thing. With that being said I’m starting to feel awfully English these days. I’ve started drinking tea on daily basis. I even have grown found of English muffins. Something I loathed for years. Okay, sorry had to get that out.
After getting Gnome and most of my needed apps compiled I naturally had to see if my USB key still froze up the system solid. I plugged it in, it failed to mount, but my system functioned normally and went on without a hitch. It failed to mount, by the way, because I failed to include the vfat file system drivers in my kernel. I guess I’ll have to recompile later today or tomorrow. Since I’m using the same kernel version I’m wondering if perhaps it was a program I had installed that would of caused my USB thumb drive to lock down my system like that. The only program I can think of that I would of had installed is the database program required by OpenOffice. That program by the way is why OpenOffice is still masked. Its not OpenOffice, it is its dependencies.
I don’t know when I’ll get around to reinstalling Arch. Maybe this weekend, maybe not. I also have a girl in class who admitted to using Ubuntu. She started talking smack about Linux and I about smacked her face. Okay, no. I never had any intention of hitting her, but it sound good didn’t it? … It was a joke!
Enjoy the Penguins!
So now that I have installed Arch Linux I think it is only right that I review how it went. Do it.
First things first of course I downloaded and burned the CD in the library. My computer was technically out and I honestly didn’t want to learn how to burn an iso through the command line. That was easy enough I just downloaded the bigger install CD for AMD64 ver. 0.7.2 “gimmick.” Speaking of which I’d love to be the guy who gets to decide which stupid name I want to call the next release. Can you see me? “Lets call it blueberry guy! ‘Cause I like blueberry pie!” … Anyway.
My first several attempts at the install went poorly. I’m not used to dealing with cfdisk though a lot of people swear by fdisk suites me much better. Somehow I find it simpler to use. Maybe thats because when I was first learning Linux the guide I used from a guy named Grogan recommended fdisk and used it in his unoffical guide. All of you Slackware fans remember that site don’t you? You should. Moving on I could not for the life of me decide how I wanted to partition my drive. So after several lame attempts I just went with what ever Arch thought I should do and let Arch do all the work for me. Bad idea! Much like most distributions with said feature, Arch uses a very simple, yet in my own opinion, very lame partition layout. It gives you a boot partition thats roughly 32Mb and is ext2 format. It gave me, if I remember correctly, 256Mb (maybe 512?) of swap, and naturally the rest was all one big happy partition that doubled as my root and my home and everything else you need for a Linux install. As I have become fond of doing recently, I will hearken back to the days of the TV show In Living Color, “hated it!”
With that layout I finally decided just to continue on. I didn’t really care much at that point so I moved on installed nothing but the base layout. Which, I might add, is an awfully large base, I mean really, who do they think they’re kidding? If you can’t tell by now, for Arch to be the Gentoo of the binary distros, it sure does a lot of things I wouldn’t expect it to do. Which is my biggest pet-peeve with Arch at the moment. Ah so I continued on to the next step which was working on your config files. For some reason ver. 0.7.2 “gimmick” didn’t like my hard drive set up even though it picked it out. It didn’t recognize my any of hard drive partitions on my fstab. So I dumbly assumed they didn’t need to be there and continued on. Installed Grub, check the setup they gave me for my menu.lst and rebooted. It gave me a pretty little splash screen and then naturally failed to boot. So I checked out my problem and went online. I came back with my Gentoo liveCD *evil grin* filled out my missing parts of the fstab and tried again. Nope still failed to boot. I came back with my Gentoo liveCD and changed something in the menu.lst. Apparently the installer chooses between two different intrid images for you when it installs Grub for you. The guy on the Arch forums told who ever that the installer choose the wrong one for him. Since he had the same error I took his advice. After rebooting, Arch failed to boot for a third time. Although his advice wasn’t all bad, it did make farther than before, but it still failed fairly early in the process.
At this point I’m steaming mad. For I can tell it was the installer that was screwing me over. Things like picking between intrid images are something thats totally out of my control. How am I supposed to know that? They didn’t exactly give me a choice much less tell me the other existed or the difference between. So anyway I decided at that point the current install I had was for the birds. It only takes about 10-15 mins to get Arch installed so that you can start installing stuff so I just decided I reinstall from scratch. This time using MY partitioning scheme. Don’t get me wrong here! My scheme I’m sure isn’t perfect. Its not the scheme to end all schemes, but its my favorite. Its been the one I’ve use since leaving Slackware. I think it has its advantages. With that said, I partitioned the way I liked it. Setup the file systems I wanted to setup, and then did a network install instead of a disk install. I was hoping at this point that with the latest packages off of the server maybe I could at least get a system that booted. After that everything went smoothly. Oddly enough even though Arch couldn’t’ read its own partitions that it setup, it recognized mine during the network install. I rebooted and it worked! Something to note though. I downloaded 0.7.2 but upon rebooting I was greeted with a welcome message that said welcome to Arch Linux ver. 0.8 vodoo. I assume that was due to the network install. I’ll let that remain as a tip to anyone installing Arch. If you don’t download the new vodoo install CDs then do the network install and let my misery be a warning so that you don’t have to go through the same dumb crap I did. Using the network install and installing version 0.8 I was actually very pleased with the install process. The 0.7.2 install is for the birds though.
My final thoughts on Arch Linux? Its nice, not awsome, or great, but nice.
Pacman is very fast yes, but also not the brightest package manager yet. Its probably faster than apt or yum if you want a comparison to other binary package managers. That being said pacman is still very young and doesn’t do everything it should it. Config files are still the bane of pacman as far as I’m concerned. Though I have experienced it yet, having pacman automatically overwrite config files that aren’t on the “Don’t overwrite” list is going to be a pain. That, in my opinion, is a desperatly needed feature. Portage, despite its short comings, is in my opinion very good about config files. Not to mention it comes with at least one tool in order to help you update them. Without this feature pacman is nice, but not the greatest ever made like many Arch users will tell you.
If you can install Slackware you can install Arch. If you can setup Slackware you can setup Arch. If you want my honest opinion, it is probably more difficult to install and setup Slackware than it is Arch. On the other hand if your coming from Gentoo expecting to be able to all of this customization. Plan to be disappointed. There really isn’t that much to do. Nothing more than would you could do if you installed Slackware. If Pat wrote a package manager, it would probably be similar to pacman. So imagine using Slackware current and having pacman instead of slapt-get or swaret. That is Arch Linux in a nutshell.
Now having set myself up for nasty amounts of flame. I’m going to go browse the Arch forums *evil grin.* If you get the chance, try Arch its fun. I’ll probably end up dual booting it with Gentoo.
Enjoy the Penguins!
Arch Linux. What is Arch Linux? The best way I can think to describe it is a comparison to Slackware. A lot of people have used Slackware so it makes for a good comparison. In that case imagine that Pat built a bare bones package manager for Slackware. That basically did nothing but install and uninstall software. That would be Arch Linux. I either crashed my Gentoo setup or somehow broke it upgrading. Either way I took it as an opportunity to try out Arch. I was recommended Arch several times on TuxForums.org that’s why I’m trying it out now. As far as binary distributions go its great. I still don’t really consider myself a binary man though. If I had to recommend a binary distribution at this point though I would definitely recommend Arch.
Enjoy the Penguins!
First things first. My USB thumb drive still doesn’t work. Still don’t know why. If anyone has any ideas on that drop me a line. It will be greatly appreciated. I think I might upgrade kernels in hopes its a kernel bug that got squashed between the version I have (2.6.18) and the most current release of the Gentoo-Sources. I thought maybe it was HAL or something else in the Gnome desktop, but it still locks up the computer even when all of that is not running. I think I’m getting closer to the answer. I just hope my thumb drive isn’t the problem. That would really piss me off. I guess I would have to mail it back to Sansdisk at this point. I can’t take it back to the store, it was a gift.
I have done a good bit of updating to my extremely modest Google Webpage. Mainly updated my config files to newer versions. Fixed a typo here and there, and changed around some fonts and colors to make it easier to work with. If you like tell me. If you don’t then at 1:00AM I don’t really care to be honest with you, but tell me anyway. I’ll apreciate it tomorrow after I’ve had some more sleep.
This semester is going to be very tough. With two capstone course (history and math) I’m going to be very busy. Not to mention this crazy English Grammer class I signed up for. Who knows what I was thinking. So I can’t promise any regular posting. But I will do my best. The idea of graduating from college is starting to recharge my batteries.
Enjoy the Penguins!
Its official. Despite me being an average student by all accounts. I have been accepted graduate school to begin my Masters of Computer Science this fall. Wish me luck, its going to be rough.
Enjoy the Penguins! (and stay in school!!)
I didn’t know they did. Though I shouldn’t really be surprised, after all not everyone in the U.S. government is retarded. So anyway, I’m writing a term paper for my capstone on cryptography and I ran across a link to the NSA and a whole page about their involvement in SELinux. Which stands for Security Enhanced Linux (if you didn’t already know). Check it out. Neat stuff.
Enjoy the Penguins!
While my USB drive used to automount and appear neatly on my desktop waiting for me to use it. It now freezes my computer dead in its tracks upon insertion. I have no idea what has caused the change. If anyone has any ideas as to why inserting a USB device would freeze up my computer running Gentoo + Gnome I am more than willing to hear suggestions. I have posted on the forums (Gentoo) but as of this writing, no one has responded. I hope I can get this fixed rather quickly. Sort of takes the fun out of have a thumb drive if I can’t use it.
Enjoy the Penguins!
So I’m perusing the internet sometime before Christmas thinking to myself what on earth do I really want for Christmas? Even now I’m not real sure of the answer to that question but you have to pick out something. So I decided I wanted a USB thumb drive, but not for Christmas. I mean, yeah they’re nice, but I can think of better things for my parents to buy me. Being the kind of guy I am though I stashed it in the back of my mind as a gift for my birthday.
Low and behold I goto my girlfriends house for Christmas. That’s right fellows, I use Linux and I have a girlfriend. Anyway, what does she buy me? The exact thumb drive that I had picked out but never mentioned because I wasn’t real sure about getting it for Christmas! Totally awesome. In fact you can’t beat that. On my AMD64 desktop I have stopped using Fluxbox and instead have switch to Gnome. I hated to think that I might somehow be wasting money buying fancy computer parts only to never use them, so here I am on Gnome. Why is that important? Because Gnome comes with Hal and D-bus. What those are I really don’t know, but it is because of them that my USB thumb drive automounts and appears on my desktop. Something that would never happen in Fluxbox. For two reasons actually. I don’t know how to mount a thumb drive manually, and Fluxbox doesn’t have an automounting tool. So what kind of thumbdrive did I get? A Sandisk 1G Titanium. Its very sexy. If you don’t have a thumb drive get a titanium one. Chicks dig it!
Enjoy the Penguins!
That’s right! Its out so get it because you know you want it!
On the downside I don’t see a x86_64 download option. Was that not promised in the Beta and prior versions of 9? I think it was yet all I can find is the x86. We will see…
Enjoy the Penguins!
The monitor. Its your most used piece of computer hard ware probably. After all even when I’m not using the mouse or the keyboard, I’m still staring at the screen. So when I went to pick out a new monitor I tried very hard to take my time and pick out one that I wouldn’t regret. So for Christmas then I picked out the Samsung 940BF. Its a 19″ LCD with a maximum resolution of 1280×1024.
As a side note it really bothers me that my 19″ Samsung only goes up to 1280×1024 when my 15″ DELL laptop goes all the way to 1600×1200. What’s up with that?
Anyway, I really love this monitor. I bought it from TigerDirect.com and it arrived on time and has no dead pixels. I assume if it had any they would be very noticeable. It is stuff like that, that really irks me. Its extremely bright. When I first plugged it up and turned it on it had the brightness set all the way up. I have since had to turn it down below 50% to keep from getting headaches while looking at it. I don’t even know that much about all of its features yet. So at this point I’m probably not even seeing its full potential. The only complaint I can think of is on a totally black screen (which is a very rare occurrence) it’s brighter along the top and bottom than in the middle. There is a proper name for that and I cannot remember what it is. If you refuse to buy this monitor because of that you are to picky my friend, and probably have more money than you need. Without a doubt I love this monitor. Its base is very solid. It doesn’t telescope (rise up and down) but it does tilt and thats all I really need. It has an analog and digital in for your graphics card. Naturally if your graphics card can (my nVidia GeForce 6200 can) you should definitely run it through the digital input. Better picture quality that way. And of course it is 100% Linux compatible. I can’t imagine what kind of monitor wouldn’t be, but if you were worried, there is no need to be.
So there you have no it. No real complaints to speak of. Only trivial crap no one should really pay attention to. So if your going to upgrade go Samsung, its worth it!
Enjoy the Penguins!