Progress Report 1.0

Started screwing around with DSL-N this weekend as I said I would in the DSL forums. The goal is to go bleeding edge with DSL-N. I don’t really like this (I’m pretty happy with stable systems — don’t really value eyecandy over function or care how “old” my application releases are), but several people have expressed a desire for DSL-N to go beyond the Debian repositories.

My suggestion is pkgsrc, which I think will be easier than retooling a Knoppix-based distro like DSL/DSL-N (the latter based on 4.0.2) to use Ubuntu’s repository. I don’t think that Ubuntu idea’s very well thought out considering how many libraries would either need updating in DSL-N or would be as soon as someone goes to install some dopey bleeding edge 200kb application that could break much of the system (e.g., older apps that won’t work with updated libs) significantly.

First round. I installed DSL-N RC4 to my spare hard drive. Started digging through Knoppix 4.0.2 to add back stuff I need to add pkgsrc — GCC, utils, and curses-dev. There’s also more that I want to keep from Knoppix, so I’ve decided that it’ll be easier to just strip Knoppix as needed than to add back stuff I want. Since I don’t give a **** about using a 2.6 kernel on my ancient computers and nobody else expressed interest in using pkgsrc, I’m backing to Knoppix 3.7 which has kernel 2.4.27. The 2.4 kernel line is far more mature than 2.6, is still actively developed and debugged, has a lot of “modern” stuff (e.g., SATA) backported, and retains legacy support that was deprecated in 2.6 (2.4 is also “smaller”). The same people who insist on bleeding edge releases demand 2.6. Not sure why I’m bothering, except to prove to myself it will work and work well.

Anyway, I’m stalled while I go work out and watch the NCAA Championships. I’ll probably resume some time next weekend. For now, I have pkgsrc working flawlessly with OpenBSD (since last summer) and Slackware (as of Friday night).


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