3 days with Linux

February 8, 2008 by Michael

Since Tuesday i installed Debian Linux 4 times on my new Dell Vostro 200.

The choice of hardware was kinda stupid. I thought, well this thing is not a special thingy but plain standard. Well, seems, it isn’t.

The first setback was, that the Debian installer booted from CD-Rom but didn’t recognize it afterwards. Yippie… I had to change the SATA Bios settings from IDE to RAID which means in reality, to AHCI. 2 things changed: Debian can be installed from CD-Rom and the dualboot Windows went nuts, i.e. crashed with a BSOD, even in safe mode. Solution to that was first switching back to IDE mode, installing some Intel driver for RAID thingies (really, there’s no raid in the machine… *sigh*), switch back et voila.

Next thing: The ethernet controller was to new. It’s kinda e1000 but not yet supported in the current testing kernel. The driver can be downloaded at intels site. I’ve chosen to skip network while installation and downloaded a full image. If you want to install from a netinstall image and have no 2nd nic at hand, here you’ll find a precompiled module. The blogs seems well written, but i wouldn’t call the Vostro a bunch of crap. The thing is very low noise, with Windows XP rock solid (at least at my workplace {i actually have two of them, at work and now at home}) and i appreciate the Dell pickup service. Another great howto is presented at the Ubuntu forums.

The next closed source thing i installed where the ATI drivers from here without a problem.

The things that lead to multiple reinstalls where the decision between KDE and GNOME. I just wanted to test them and didn’t want to purge every single package afterwards. In the end i went for GNOME.

So now i have a Desktop with the preinstalled Vista on a one partition and my new all day Debian system on a fully encrypted LVM partition. The later one was really no big deal to create with the Debian installer. The whole filesystem is encrypted except a boot partition and a relatively big space which i wanna spent on virtual machines.

prego stated that i should spent some energy into compiz. I already are accustomed to continuous zoom in the whole desktop, some nice effects and semi transparent windows through Mac OS X, for that to say, but i didn’t want to add non “official” repositories. In the end, i give it a try and followed the instructions here and used the instructions for the xorg.conf from here without that Xgl thingies. What can i say: It works and looks great. The wobbling windows are hilarious ๐Ÿ˜€

For my photo collection i already installed digiKam, which is a great tool.

Next steps are migrating my email from Apple Mail.app to a local IMAP server. Anyone suggestions which email client to use?

A friend tried to convince me several times to reinstall my Macbook for good but i don’t want to. Things used to work and broke with an OS update. And no, i’m not using *any* of the OS X system hacks. I used to be able to upgrade from release to release (hell, the iMac made it from 10.3.8 to 10.5.1 without a problem) and all of sudden i’m back in windows times: Upgrade and you’re doomed. Suck my dick… I don’t wanna go this path ever again. And then there the recent developments with Apple. I’ve been wearing a t with “Think different” know for about 5 years, i always like their products, the integration of Unix and eyecandy. But the apps are getting worse with every new release the last months. Apples behaviour to make you pay for a simple software upgrade (sarbane oxley my ass…, i’m expecting the first bugfix to be payed because the OS is no abo related model). OS Xs unablity to encrypt the whole volume (it can encrypt your home folder in some silly image file) without external tools (recently, Truecrypt can do this.

Stop. Must… breath… again.

In the end, i think three days without much sleep were well spend.

As before, i’ll keep you updated, if you like ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. tante wrote:

    Well, glad it works now. I use Evolution for my email, because the calendar and contacts do integrate all over GNOME that way but many people use thunderbird, too. If you just want a slim IMAP client you could use Sylpheed.

    Posted on February 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM | Permalink
  2. prego wrote:

    I use KMail at home and Thunderbird at work. If I’d to use GNOME I would switch to Thunderbird…

    Great that you installed Compiz. It really makes the desktop fun and as that is very importand for me, I think it might be for others as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Concerning digikam… I wanted to point out in the other post, that I made the initial german translation years ago, and that my name still appears in the credits… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted on February 8, 2008 at 1:28 PM | Permalink
  3. Michael wrote:

    From Sylpheed i came to Claws Mail… I’ll check that out.

    Thunderbird: Never again. At work i have to deal with imap folders with ~6000 messages (EDIFACT) and Thunderbird regularly dies with them. I use Mulberry on Windows.

    digikam: Now i understood which tabs you meant… sorry, like i said, i’m tired. This is cool! So you’ll be mentioned for a spanish translation of dailyfratze.de ๐Ÿ˜€

    My transition brought another thing to daylight: My planet-punk.de blog looked like shit in epiphany due to an umlaut in a non utf-8 css file. Great.

    Posted on February 8, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink
  4. tante wrote:

    So whatever happens, your linux migration did bring something good, your blog is fixed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted on February 8, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink
  5. prego wrote:

    small things matter! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on February 8, 2008 at 3:00 PM | Permalink
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