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2003 Jan 09 15:46

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Re: [vox] Ponder, ponder... perhaps a silly notion
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Re: [vox] Ponder, ponder... perhaps a silly notion



Thanks, guys.

For simplicity's sake, I'm going to stick with Red Hat for now. I know it and I'm familiar with it. ;-)

However... I'm anticipating getting a new computer in a few months to act as a web/file/print server in our home. When that happens, I will be using Debian on that system. It won't even be a dual boot system so I won't have to worry about creating a boot loader or anything.

Oh, and any future laptops I arGB hard drive, 96M RAM, 233 Intel Celeron processor (it's an old Gateway Solo 2500). Would that computer be a candidate for a Debian install? It's currently running Win98SE but I have no qualms about zarking that.

Richard


Rusty Minden wrote:
I used Libranet and liked it back in the 1.9.2 release. I have to say why not just use Debian and if you like the Libranet tools add libranet to your apt.sources list. I did and set up sound using it :-)

The next IF would be a good place to bring your computer to have Debian installed :-)

Rusty


On Wednesday 08 January 2003 11:56 pm, Rick Moen wrote:

Quoting Henry House (hajhouse@houseag.com):

What about LibraNet? A copy for the library (donated by the
LibraNet company) arrived yesterday. I have not tried an
installation yet, but the promise of a Debian-compatible
system with easy hardware autodetection during install is
very appealing.
I like the _beta_ of that Libranet version a great deal,
having retrieved the ISOs while it was still freely available
on the Net. (I've not tried the subsequent release version,
which is available only in a retail boxed set, of which the
library obviously just received a copy.)  I gave Pete copies
of the ISOs, for the beta.

Some people don't like the non-graphical (ncurses-based)
installer, ditto the fact that it scrolls past you huge
amounts of information as it does "dpkg -i" and "dpkg
--configure" on each package installed. Other installers (PGI,
Xandros) are all-GUI and have less of the scrolling-messages
displays that apparently bother some of the more skittish
desktop users.

Note#1:  Knoppix's hardware autodetection during bootup (and
thus during optional installation to HD) is difficult to beat.

Note#2:  Hardware autodetection during installation is very
much a mixed blessing, which is possibly why the plain-vanilla
one for Debian doesn't do much of it without the user's
involvement.  The biggest problem is that aggressive
autoprobing can cause installers to seize up, with the result
that some distributions are (avoidably) not installable on
some systems.  To pick a hypothetical example, suppose an
installer were to always autoprobe for my on-board sound
chipset, and that the chipset happened to react badly and
cause seize-ups.  (This _sort_ of thing does happen, though my
specific example is invented.)  In that case, having automatic
autoprobe during installation would be a bad thing.

The aim of the vanilla-Debian installer[1] is to support
enough of your hardware to complete installation on the
broadest possible range of hardware, using the widest possible
choice of installation methods -- floppy, ftp, http, NFS,
PLIP/laplink, SLIP/serial, ZIP drive, CD-ROM, tftp/bootp, or
files prepositioned on a hard drive partition.  _After_ that
necessary first step, there are extensive Debian packages for
hardware autodetection.  Quoting my Debian tips file:


Hardware-recognition (and related) packages:

discover
 hardware identification system (thank you, Progeny Systems,
Inc.) mdetect
 mouse device autodetection tool
read-edid
 hardware information-gathering tool for VESA PnP monitors
sndconfig
 sound configuration (thank you, Red Hat Software, Inc.)
hotplug
 USB/PCI device hotplugging support, and network autoconfig
nictools-nopci
 Diagnostic tools for many non-PCI ethernet cards
nictools-pci
 Diagnostic tools for many PCI ethernet cards
mii-diag
 A little tool to manipulate network cards

Don't forget that lspci and pnpdump will list installed PCI
and ISApnp devices, respectively.


But, people who nonetheless honestly want Debian via an
installer with hardware autoprobing during installation have
lots of options:  Xandros Desktop OS and Knoppix are the ones
that come to mind, aside from Libranet.

[1] Which comes with several different kernel/driver sets, to
let the user either have the widest possible driver support or
some subset of those to finesse around problem hardware
components that seize up other installers.

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