Thursday, November 27, 2008


I've been using Ubuntu for a while. It's got some great features, notably it's package management and update setup (which my friend has complained about, but I've always appreciated). But I've recently been frustrated with things responding slowly on my computer. I've tried turning off services and such, but it never seemed to improve. In the past, I've used gentoo and slackware, and I remembered them being a bit snappier for me. With a new version of slackware out, I thought it was about time to try something new(ish).

So I downloaded the iso images and burned them to cd. I backed up some data (been meaning to look at Amazon's S3 online storage... apparently that'll be another day though), and took the plunge. The setup seemed to be going well, until a failure when it got to installing mysql. Retry, and still fail. Took the disc out, tried cleaning it off, and still fail. So I came back to my ubuntu install, and found these directions about installing slackware without cds. I only skimmed through them, but got a good enough idea how things should go. Since the cds I had would properly boot and let me run setup, I think most of those directions weren't too necessary anyway. I downloaded new iso images, and rebooted with my install cd in the drive. When setup came around to asking for my source, I pointed it at the mount point (which I had made, and mounted things to before running setup) for my iso image, and was good to go.

One thing that confused me was that there are multiple install cds, but the directions at the link above didn't seem to care about that. They only indicated one disk. I mounted discs one and two in different locations, but I think you could save a step and mount both in the same place before running setup. I would have also mounted disc three, but it gave me an error about being able to find loop devices (perhaps I'm only allowed 2?). Anyway, after disc one was done, I was still in setup, and told it to install more packages from the second mount point. Seemed to go fine.

After a reboot, there was lilo, waiting for me. My ubuntu image wasn't there, but I've edited /etc/lilo.conf before, so I wasn't too concerned. First step: make a non-superuser - useradd. Next up, start the windowing environment (as pretty as the command line is) - startx. FAIL. "could not open default font 'fixed'", then "waiting for X server to begin accepting connections" and "giving up". That's not what I wanted to see.

Lynx, to google, and asked about it. This turned up, and using alt-F2 and alt-F1 to bounce between terminals, I got the commands entered. Fingers crossed, 'startx'... Hurray! Xfce.

Now I get to configure things again. Always a good time. I've got firefox 3 installed, and twitterfox, and the flash plugin, and my old bookmarks. I've got my desktop set back up basically the way I had it. That's probably enough for one day. Besides XEmacs and a terminal, that's pretty much all I use anyway. On that note, the default terminal isn't behaving at all for me. I type, and it doesn't even show the characters I type. I've been temporarily using xterm, but it's something I'll have to look at some more.

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